The business is a version of a mobile library except we don’t drive a truck around with books. We deliver to customers who have to call us to place their order or they could place their order online. Our delivery charges would be free so customers would only pay for what they have ordered. The website will be very easy to use especially for those who aren’t experts at using the computer. The name of the business will be Rani’s book rental services. The main business activities will include rental and delivery of books and all audio types.
The main objectives of the first 12 months will be establishing a solid customer ground, accessing customers who live in the innermost parts of Shenfield and have no access to the Shenfield library because of the distance. The aim is to set up grounds and acquire enough customers and also providing books of all genres. I came up with the idea because most people living in Shenfield get home late from work and by that time the library’s closed so it isn’t available for them to use. Also most people leave quite far from the library and don’t have access to the library.
The product range will include sales and rental of books, DVD’s, CD’s, audio tapes. Available for order and over the counter, internet or by phone. There will be books of all types and genres. They will range between newspapers, educational and research books. The target customers will include early morning commuters who would like to read on the train or bus. They also include the nursing mothers who are at home, the young people, and those who get back from work after the library has closed. After some time customers will be eligible to purchase some books at reasonable prices.
There would be sales of books, CD’s, DVD’s and everything else we offer as a reward to would be long time customers. The only known competitor is the Shenfield library and they are the most important competitor because they offer customers a chance to borrow books at no cost. They only charge customers for the rental of CD’s and DVD’s. Their only disadvantage is that they open quite late and close quite early. So early morning commuters and late commuters can’t use their services which is an advantage to us. Presently there are no known competitors over the internet.
A survey was taking of a group of potential customers and they were asked quite a lot of questions to see if it was worthwhile to continue with the business. We asked some people if they were happy with the closing time of the Shenfield library to enable us know those who could become potential customers. The 65% who said ‘NO’ would have required an alternative to the library which was what we were offering. The 35% who said ‘Yes’ could end up being potential customers if they later needed an alternative. The next question which we asked was if they would
welcome the idea of a mini library to enable us know our market. The 55% who said ‘YES’ helped us to know how many people would patronize us and how many books we would need. 20% were not sure but could still change their minds if they were told they would be getting a good deal. We asked a couple of people if they would mind being charged for books because our main competitor, the Shenfield library wasn’t charging its customers for borrowing books and this could have led to stiff competition. However the 45% who didn’t mind reassured us that some customers didn’t mind being charged for some services as
long as they got the services they wanted. We asked some people if they would mind being delivered books to their home because we knew that not every one would like the idea of being brought books to their homes. For the 26% who didn’t want this service we would make alternative arrangements for them to pick up their books or have it posted to their homes. We asked how people travelled to work because those who travelled by train and bus would require books and newspapers to keep them busy. The 60% who travel by train would need books and newspapers to keep them busy.
We asked people if they would buy books from us because as a reward for joining us after some time customers would be able to buy books from us at reduced prices. For the 65% who said yes were probably informed of the offer and that 35% who didn’t want to buy books had other offers so that they were satisfied customers. This was an important question because the staffs were mainly teenagers and we needed to establish the fact that the customers were comfortable with this. Also we needed to know that the consumers did not feel threatened by staff because of their ages. The 63% who said no
were satisfied with the staff’s ages while the 21% who said yes would need to be persuaded that our staffs were harmless and would not harm them. In asserting the habitat of the inhabitants of Shenfield we had established a fact that those who lived really far from Shenfield were our target customers and they were the ones the library was being set up for because they were not getting the services they wanted. The 62% who lived far from the library would become our target customers while the 38% who lived near the library would be watched to see if they become dissatisfied with their services.
We asked some people if they had children who were old enough to read so we would know the number of children’s books we would need to stock up on. The 74 % who had children where the people who we would make sure we had children books. While the 26 % who had no children would need books to satisfy their various ages. The information collected helped us to understand what exactly the consumers wanted. They wanted a library which was open quite early in the morning and closed after they had gotten home from work. They also wanted a place which was fully stocked with the right books.
The range of products offered will include literature books, school books, encyclopaedias, newspapers, all types of children’s books, research books, teenage books, fiction and non fiction books, sci-fi books, etc. There will also be DVD’s and CD’s available for rental and for sale. Promotion is to be covered by one of the fore mentioned staff. The staff is to cover all aspects of promotion and advertising. She would have to make sure she does publications like telling people about us and informing them of new offers and promos. She would also be in charge of updating the website regularly.
There is not any problem concerning place because the library delivers all books in person. The books will be stocked in a ware house and from there they will be delivered to the customers. Sources of finance that a new small business could use include borrowing from friends and families without paying back interest, loans from banks or building societies, overdrafts, grants from central or local governments which do not have high interest rates attached to them, leasing of equipments for money, assets that are no longer needed like an outdated computer can be sold for cash.
I have decided to take a grant from my local government because it would be better to start a new business without having huge debts. If I get a loan from a bank I would have huge debts because there would be large interest rates attached to the loan I take from the bank. Also if my grant is not large enough I will need to take out of my savings borrow from friends and families or cut back on my expenses. Conclusion For my idea to be a success I will need to stick to my plan.
It will also depend on if a new competitor comes into the area or not. Also if some of our potential customers move out of the area then we will need to find ways of replacing them with newer customers or selling and renting more books. This business is all about risk taking, not all customers will return books and not all books will be in good condition so they would have to be replaced. This is not a major problem as all customers will be asked to pay for books that they have damaged or misplaced.