12 Feasible

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1. THE IDEA 1 1.2 IS IT FEASIBLE? . Whats Your Motivation For Setting Up A Social Enterprise? . Assessing The Idea . What Is A Feasibility Study? . Contents Of A Feasibility Study . Conducting A Feasibility Study . The SWOT Analysis . Setting Up A Business . Communities And Business - Can It Work? P 21 2. IS IT FEASIBLE? 1.2 WHATS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR SETTING UP A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE? The motivation for setting up a social enterprise can be personal, social or political. This includes the desire to help other people, which for some people is a personal desire, for others a social need and for some a political necessity. Before you start it is vital that you understand your motivations for being involved. What are your reasons for being involved? List them in order of importance. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: P 22 3. IS IT FEASIBLE? 1.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of being part of this project? 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: Think of the barriers you may face if the enterprise gets going. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: P 23 4. IS IT FEASIBLE? 1.2 ASSESSING THE IDEA Have You Got What It Takes? 1 : Why do you support this particular idea? 2 : What effect will it have on you life and that of your family/partner? 3 : Are you physically and mentally tough? 4 : Will you be able to keep going even if you feel like giving up? 5 : What sacrifices will you have to make to get the idea off the ground? 6 : Do you have the time to support the project intensively during the start-up period? 7 : Do you understand all the things involved in managing a business? What are they? Do you need help/advice/training? 8 : Are you a natural organiser? Do you have strong nerves? 9 : Can you make difficult decisions? 10 : Have you worked out the hours you will need to commit to the project? 11 : Do you have advisers? Banker, Accountant or Solicitor? Do you need them? 12 : Do you see jobs through from the start to the finish? 13 : Can you work in a consistent way, juggling a lot of bits of information? 14 : Can you work under pressure? Can you work to a deadline? 15 : Are you good at managing your own finances? Do you know what is in your current account? 16 : How good are you at understanding what other people want? 17 : Do you enjoy a challenge or do you fear the unknown? P 24 5. IS IT FEASIBLE? 1.2 On balance, having thought about these points, do you have what it takes to set up and manage a social business? Note down any issues that will need tackling: P 25 6. IS IT FEASIBLE 1.2 Have you or your group got the . Do you know the law as it relates to your business and to business in general? skills you need? . How easily do you find decision-making? You will need a variety of skills to provide the core product or service, manage the . How good are you at identifying and business day-to-day and control its financial assessing risks? and operational aspects. Each aspect of the business needs a separate set of skills: Controlling The Business . Are you good with figures? The Product Or Service . Can you keep your own books? . Do you have experience of buying . Do you understand the principles and selling? of costing and pricing? . Do you have experience of negotiating? . How will you maintain and control the Can you be persuasive? quality of your output? . How good is the group at communicating - both verbally and in writing? . Are you comfortable with both Having thought about these, are there any areas where you need training or management and staff? advice? A key task will be to find out . Would you be able to write your own where you can get this training. advertising copy? . Do you have in-depth knowledge of the product/service? If not, where can you find it? . Do you understand the principles of marketing? . Do you know the best way to sell your business idea to supporters and backers? Managing The Business . Who will be doing this? And what skills will they need? . Are key people computer literate? If not, will this be a problem? . Are there people involved who are methodical? Or who can plan well ahead? . Is the group good at time management? . Can the group be self-critical? Does it learn from its mistakes? P 26 7. IS IT FEASIBLE 1.2 What Do You Know So Far? 1 : What are your objectives in setting it up - for the business and for yourself? 2 : Have you set a target start date and thought of the timescales involved? 3 : Do you have a profile of your typical customer group/s? Do you know how to draw one up? 4 : Why will customers want your product and service? Have you established that there is a demand from people who will pay for it? 5 : Have you clearly defined the products or services you intend to sell? 6 : Have you worked out why customers will buy from you rather than the competition? What is special about you and your products and services? 7 : Have you thought how you will get your message across to potential customers? What methods of advertising and promotion will you use? 8 : Will you have to offer back-up services - delivery, accepting credit cards, long term support etc? 9 : Do you know who your competitors are? Do you know what their strengths and weaknesses are? 10 : Do you know how much money you will need and where to get funds from? 11 : If you need stocks or materials, have you identified reliable suppliers? 12 : Have you worked out what you need to charge to cover all your costs? 13 : Are there likely to be any planning or legal problems with starting the business? 14 : What regulations or red tape will apply to the business? Do you know who can help you find your way? 15 : Are there any other barriers that could hold you back or delay your start up? Have you made plans to overcome them? Your answers will highlight aspects of your business where you may need help and guidance. These are all topics (along with many others) which will need to be incorporated into your business plan. P 27 8. IS IT FEASIBLE? 1.2 WHAT IS A FEASIBILITY STUDY? A feasibility study is designed to provide an overview of the primary issues related to a social enterprise/business idea. The purpose is to identify any 'make or break' issues that would prevent your organisation from being successful in the marketplace. In other words, a feasibility study determines whether the business idea makes sense. A thorough feasibility analysis provides What Is A Business Plan? a lot of information necessary for the If the feasibility study indicates that business plan. For example, a good market your business idea is sound, the next step analysis is necessary in order to determine is a social enterprise business plan. The the projects feasibility. This information business plan continues the analysis at a provides the basis for the market section deeper and more complex level, building of the business plan. on the foundation created by the feasibility study. For example, the financial section Because putting together a business plan is of the plan would include estimated a significant investment of time and money, financial statements and 2-3 years of you want to make sure that there are no financial projections. major roadblocks facing your enterprise idea before you make that investment. A business plan gives you an opportunity to find any weaknesses and reveal any A feasibility study looks at 3 major areas: hidden problems ahead of time. A good . Market issues social e