WEEK 2 – Feasibility Study (aka – can we turn a hobby into a business???)

This week we are doing market research.  In order to be accepted into the NEIS program a lot of this has already been done to some degree. However now we have to be able to provide some evidence to support our thoughts, feeling & beliefs.  It’s a very good exercise, not only because it helps us to take a hard look at reality but it also can raise some points we may not have thought of.

There are three main areas we have to do for this assignment.

The first is a QUESTIONNAIRE.  We have to design a questionnaire tailored to our particular business & then either take or send it out into the world. In this survey I will be asking about things such as pricing, whether people prefer natural fibres as well as organic & Eco friendly fibres..  I will also be looking to see what age groups might be interested in shopping at NITTENS & PATCHES.  Because I am planning an on-line business I have decided to do mine on-line.  You can create your own questionnaire through Google Docs for free & then add it to your blog etc., so keep an eye out for that, I will be posting mine soon.  I have to send the draft to my trainer first, but once it has been approved I will be off to Google Docs to create it.

The next thing we have to do is a SWOT chart.  SWOT  stands for Strengths – Weakness – Opportunities – Threats.  This is another very good exercise as it helps you to not only look at your business possibilities, but also YOU.  The Strengths & Weakness are ‘internal’ … what strengths do I have – i.e. technological skills, distribution channels, production quality & management. Weakness looks at areas such as the absence of important skills, unreliable product/services & again management can fit into this field.

Opportunities & Threats are ‘external’ … what opportunities are there to grow & expand, what threats are out there to your business – i.e. changing customer taste, new distribution channels, new technology etc..  And lastly Weakness can be things like change in government policies, tax’s, closing of geographic markets & of course competition from others doing something similar to you.  There may also be other issues that can pose a threat such as loss of the internet service for example would cause major headaches for an on-line shop.  It took quite a few months for us to get the internet connected several years ago (thanks Optus 😦 …) In fact our last move was the only time we haven’t had to wait for the internet – for what seems an eternity – to be re-connected & that was only because we had Wi-Fi at the previous house (could ONLY get Wi-Fi from ONE provider at the previous address)  so it was just a matter of making sure this area had decent 3G coverage.

Apart from going through & answering several question about the information I have gathered & the results of this information, the last thing to do is to work out the ‘Start Up Cost‘.  Again this is something that was done for the application for NEIS, so it’s just a matter of going back over it & fine tuning it a little.

It’s been a pretty full on week this week.  There have been many hours on the internet finding the statistics I need to complete this weeks assignment & now I have to put it all together.

Next week we start to look at the Legal requirements of running a small business in Australia.  That will be interesting & another busy week.

“You talking to me!?”

Bye for now

Love Mignon & Georgie  🙂

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