Business Plan Review

Description

Project Purpose
In this project, you will write the beginning sections of a business plan that can be used to solicit investors or financing for the new business.  
The purpose of this assignment is to develop the critical thinking and entrepreneurial mindset necessary to translate the idea into a money-making business. Along with critical thinking skills, you will develop research, communication and data evaluation skills. 
Outcomes You Will Meet by Completing This Project:

apply the basic steps involved in developing a comprehensive business plan for both starting and operating a business by creating your own business plan.
describe and explain the environments that businesses operate in—social, economic, political, technological, environmental and legal.
develop your business vocabulary and knowledge of concepts, trends, and current issues by applying them in all course work.
demonstrate the use of software and Internet sources by researching and planning the start-up and operation of your business.
demonstrate the use of a marketing assessment process to develop a marketing plan and a marketing strategy

Instructions
Begin to Write the Business Plan
Use the business idea chosen in Project One and the plan format used starting Week 4, (Writing a Business Plan for a New Venture), complete the following Business Plan Sections:

Business Description
Market Analysis
Competitor Assessment
Marketing Plan

Research:
Online research is needed to successfully complete this project. The research will be graded as a separate element so make sure you select credible data sources. The information retrieved from the research in the Action Plan is a good place to start but more depth is required to complete this assignment. Course material and research should be used to support all conclusions. APA in-text citations and reference list are required.Running head: [INTERNET GRAPHIC DESIGN FIRM]
Opportunity Feasibility Study
Internet Graphics Design Firm
Magdalena Sepulveda
University of Maryland Global Campus
BMGT Entrepreneurship and New Venture Planning
April 18, 2023
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I plan to launch an internet graphic design firm. The primary target audience for my
business would be small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and individual entrepreneurs who
require graphic design services for their online presence, marketing materials, and branding. I am
passionate about graphic design and have acquired the necessary skills and experience to provide
high-quality design services. The company will operate entirely online, leveraging the power of
the internet to reach clients globally. The website will be the leading platform for showcasing our
services, portfolio, and client testimonials. The business will be headquartered in a location that
provides access to a strong pool of talent in the graphic design field, which will be crucial in
delivering exceptional services to clients.
Worth noting is that launching an internet graphic design firm can be an exciting venture.
To ensure its success, I will need to carefully evaluate the commercial viability of my business
idea, understand the different environments in which businesses operate, develop a strong business
vocabulary and knowledge of relevant concepts, trends, and current issues, use software and
internet sources for research and planning, create a marketing plan and strategy, and analyze
projected financial performance (Inskip, 2004). Here is an outline of steps I will take to meet these
outcomes:
I will evaluate Commercial viability: This will involve conducting market research to
understand the demand for graphic design services and identify my target market. Evaluate the
competition and assess the potential profitability of my business idea. I will also consider pricing,
customer acquisition costs, and revenue projections to determine if my business idea is
commercially viable.
Understand Business Environments: I will also study and analyze the social, economic,
political, technological, environmental, and legal environments in which my graphic design firm
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will operate. Moreover, it is crucial to understand how these factors can impact my business and
develop strategies to navigate them effectively.
I will develop Business Vocabulary and Knowledge: I will stay updated with the latest
concepts, trends, and issues in the graphic design industry. There will be a need to read industry
publications, attend relevant workshops or conferences, and engage in continuous learning to
develop a strong business vocabulary and knowledge of the field (Tóth et al., 2020).
I will also engage Software and Internet Sources: Utilize software tools and internet sources
to research and plan the start-up and operation of my graphic design firm. This may include using
design software for creating graphics, project management tools for organizing your workflow,
and online resources for market research, financial planning, and other business-related tasks.
There will also be the need to create a Marketing Plan: As a result, I will develop a comprehensive
marketing plan that includes an assessment of your target market, competitor analysis, marketing
objectives, strategies, tactics, and a budget. Use a marketing assessment process to ensure my
marketing plan is effective and aligned with my business goals. Finally, I will project my financial
performance by creating financial forecasts, including income statements, cash flow statements,
and balance sheets. Moreover, I will use selected financial ratios, such as profitability, liquidity,
and leverage, to analyze and explain the financial performance of my graphic design firm, as
affirmed by McCreary (2017).
By following these steps, I will effectively launch and operate my internet graphic design
firm while meeting the outcomes of evaluating commercial viability, understanding business
environments, developing business vocabulary and knowledge, using software and internet
sources, creating a marketing plan, and analyzing financial performance.
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The growth strategy for the company would be moderate initially, with plans to expand and
diversify the services offered based on market demand and customer feedback. As the business
grows, I recommend hiring additional designers and expanding the client base.
Industry Analysis
The graphic design industry is highly competitive and constantly evolving due to rapid
technological advancements. The industry is structured with a mix of small, medium, and large
companies, ranging from freelancers and small design studios to large design agencies. The major
companies in the industry include design agencies such as Pentagram, Landor, and IDEO, as well
as online platforms like 99designs and Fiverr.
The industry is driven by the demand for graphic design services from various sectors such
as advertising, marketing, digital media, e-commerce, and branding. The market for graphic design
services is growing, fueled by the increasing importance of visual communication in the digital
age. However, the industry is also susceptible to economic cycles and discretionary spending,
which may impact the demand for graphic design services during economic downturns.
Start-up costs in the graphic design industry can vary depending on the scale and scope of the
services offered. Costs may include purchasing software and equipment, hiring and training
designers, marketing and promotional expenses, and overhead costs such as office space and
utilities. Supplier relationships in the industry may include partnerships with software providers,
printers, paper suppliers, and other vendors.
Opportunities in the industry include: the growing demand for graphic design services from
SMBs and individual entrepreneurs, the increasing importance of visual communication in online
marketing and branding, and the potential for global reach through online platforms.
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However, there are also risks in the industry, such as intense competition, changing customer
preferences, and the need to constantly update skills and knowledge to keep up with technological
advancements.
Competitive Analysis:
In order to analyze the competition in the graphic design industry, I will use Porter’s Five Forces
Model:
The threat of New Entrants: The graphic design industry has a low barrier to entry, as it is relatively
easy to set up a freelance design business or a small design studio. However, building a reputation,
establishing a client base, and competing with established design agencies may challenge new
entrants.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers in the graphic design industry
is moderate. Software and equipment suppliers may have some bargaining power due to their
technical expertise and proprietary products. However, multiple options are available in the market,
providing flexibility to businesses.
Bargaining Power of Buyers: The bargaining power of buyers in the graphic design industry is
high. Buyers can access a wide range of design services and compare prices, quality, and reputation
before deciding. This may put pressure on pricing and profit margins.
The threat of Substitute Products or Services: The threat of substitute products or services in the
graphic design industry is moderate. While there are alternative design solutions, such as DIY
design tools and pre-designed templates, professional graphic design services are still valued for
their creativity and customization.
The threat of Substitute Products or Services: The threat of substitute products or services in the
graphic design industry is moderate. While there are alternative design solutions, such as DIY
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design tools and pre-designed templates, professional graphic design services are still valued for
their creativity, customization, and expertise. However, with the advancement of technology and
the availability of online design tools, there is a potential threat of substitute products or services
that offer lower-cost alternatives for basic design needs, which could affect the demand for
professional graphic design services.
The threat of New Entrants: The threat of new entrants in the graphic design industry is high. The
barriers to entry are relatively low, as there are minimal upfront costs to start an online graphic
design firm and access to design software and tools are readily available. As a result, there may be
an influx of new competitors in the industry, which could increase competition and impact market
share and profitability.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers in the graphic design industry
is low. There are numerous design software and tools suppliers, and with the availability of opensource and free design resources online, the bargaining power of individual suppliers may be
limited. Additionally, as an internet-based graphic design firm, the reliance on physical suppliers
is minimal, reducing their bargaining power.
Bargaining Power of Buyers: The bargaining power of buyers in the graphic design industry is
moderate. Buyers can compare and choose from various design firms and freelance designers
online, which may pressure pricing and service offerings. However, professional graphic design
services are still valued for their expertise and creativity, which may limit the bargaining power of
buyers to some extent (Hulbert et al., 2013).
Rivalry Among Existing Competitors: Competition among competitors in the graphic design
industry is intense. The industry is highly competitive, with numerous online graphic design firms
and freelance designers vying for clients. Competition may be based on pricing, quality of work,
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customer service, and reputation. Differentiation through unique offerings, branding, and customer
relationships may be vital to gaining a competitive advantage in this industry.
Based on Porter’s Five Forces analysis, the graphic design industry is moderately
competitive, with potential threats of substitute products or services, high threat of new entrants,
low bargaining power of suppliers, moderate bargaining power of buyers, and intense rivalry
among existing competitors. This indicates that while there may be opportunities for success in
the industry, there are also significant challenges and competition to contend with.
Product or Service Offerings:
In order to be competitive in the graphic design industry, it will be essential to offer a range
of services that cater to the needs of different clients. This may include services such as logo design,
website design, social media graphics, branding, print design, and more. The key is to provide
high-quality, creative, and customized design solutions that meet clients’ unique needs and
preferences.
A comprehensive marketing strategy will be essential to promote the product or service
offerings. This may include a combination of online and offline marketing channels, such as social
media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing,
networking, and targeted advertising. Building a solid online presence through a well-designed
website and engaging social media platforms will be crucial in reaching and attracting potential
clients.
Pricing will be another essential consideration. The pricing strategy should consider factors
such as design software and tools, labor costs, overhead costs, market demand, and competitor
pricing. It will be essential to strike a balance between competitive pricing and profitability to
ensure the viability of the business. The distribution channels will primarily be online, as the
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business is an internet-based graphic design firm. The website will serve as the leading platform
for showcasing the portfolio, providing information about the services, and communicating with
potential clients. Additionally, leveraging social media platforms, online marketplaces, and other
channels can help reach a wider audience and generate leads.
Go or no go decision:
Based on the analysis and evaluation of the business idea, launching an internet graphic
design firm is viable, but it will also face significant competition and challenges. The business
strategy should carefully consider and address the moderate threat of substitute products or
services, the high threat of new entrants, and the intense rivalry among existing competitors.
To increase the chances of success, the business should focus on offering high-quality,
creative, and customized design solutions to meet clients’ unique needs. A comprehensive
marketing strategy, including online and offline channels, should be implemented to promote the
services and build a solid online presence. Pricing should be carefully determined to balance
competitiveness and profitability.
Staying updated with the latest design trends, technology advancements, and customer
preferences will be essential to stay ahead of the competition. Building a solid portfolio,
establishing a reputation for quality and reliability, and developing long-term relationships with
clients can help create a competitive edge in the market. With careful planning, strategic execution,
and continuous adaptation to market changes, launching an internet graphic design firm can be a
viable business opportunity. However, thorough market research, competitor analysis, and
financial planning should be conducted to make informed decisions and mitigate risks.
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Conclusion
The graphic design industry is a highly competitive and rapidly growing industry. The
demand for professional graphic design services has also increased with the increasing reliance on
digital platforms for marketing and communication. The industry is structured with a few leading
companies dominating the market, but there is also room for smaller firms to enter and compete.
The company will be located online, allowing for a global customer base and flexible working
arrangements. The online nature of the business also means that there will be low overhead costs
and minimal start-up costs, as I plan to use readily available software and internet sources for
operations.
I also plan on moderate growth initially, with the potential for rapid growth as the customer
base expands and the demand for services increases. As the initial costs are minimal, I can start
the company. Some of the major companies in the industry include design agencies, freelancers,
and online platforms that offer graphic design services. These companies have varying earnings
and revenues, and their success depends on their ability to provide high-quality and unique designs
to their clients.
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References
Inskip, I. (2004). Corporate branding for small to medium-sized businesses. A missed opportunity
or an indulgence? Journal of Brand Management, 11(5), 358-365.
Tóth, Z., Nieroda, M. E., & Koles, B. (2020). Becoming a more attractive supplier by managing
references. The case of small and medium-sized enterprises in a digitally enhanced business
environment. Industrial Marketing Management, 84, 312-327.
Hulbert, B., Gilmore, A., & Carson, D. (2013). Sources of opportunities used by growth minded
owner managers of small and medium sized enterprises. International Business Review, 22(1),
293-303.
McCreary, M. (2017). The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business: Everything you need
to know about how to start a business. Entrepreneur Media, Inc. Retrieved on March 27, 2023,
from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/297899
Mening, R. (2018). How to Make a Website: An easy, step-by-step guide from a web developer?
Website Setup. Retrieved on March 27, 2023, from https://websitesetup.org/
Morris, J. (2016). What Is the True Cost of Building and Managing a WordPress Website? Copy
Blogger:
Words
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Retrieved

What Is the True Cost of Building and Managing a WordPress Website?


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