This proposal will discuss the setting up of an E-Commerce business that will essentially deal with the sale of hemp products for use in the areas of health, beauty, home, clothing and even building materials. All this will be done over the internet. The website will also act as a hub of information regarding industrial hemp and its uses. The site will thus be about the sale of these products online to anyone in the world. The site will thus have payment affiliates who can be payoneer MasterCard, Metabank, eBay and moneybookers etc. These affiliates have well established online business transactions. The manager of the website will be a system administrator who will be responsible for maintaining and updating the site and owned by shareholders who will be founders of the website. The website will be located in North America and will be launched soon at the end of the year. The website will be launched as an online business because of the geographical location of the target market that in this case is all over the world.
Overview of the Company, Industry, and Service
Hemp just might be one of the world’s most versatile plants. It has over 25,000 known uses. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not recognize the value of industrial hemp and permit its production. I feel that that is a very good niche market. I believe that if there were more opportunities to use hemp products that didn’t have to be imported more people would use it.
The E-commerce industry in Industrial hemp is still taking the first steps, and our proposed website (Hemp for life) will have the necessary tools to help this field reach new heights. “Hemp for life” is the ideal catalyst for the industrial Hemp E-commerce market to attain a status of such magnitude (Buchanan, 2002). The E-commerce market in industrial Hemp is missing a crucial component, that component is the ability to optimize the potential possibilities of the internet. “Hemp for Life” will be able to play the role of that component, helping the Industrial Hemp market to reach high international standards.
“Hemp for Life” will be a company dedicated to internet marketing of industrial hemp as well as informing the public about the benefits of hemp.
Hemp products include everything from food and clothing such as hemp seed oil, protein powder, coffee, shoes, pants and jackets etc. Products derived from the plant also comprise of a veriety of beauty products like lotion, makeup, soaps and hair products. Construction materials can also be made from hemp and those would also be available through the website too, thou there are only a few items like rope, fibers that are mixed with concrete for strength, insulation, paints and carpet. There are more being invented and tested daily. The market for hemp products is big, given the diverse number of products that we can derive from the plant (Conrad,1994). It is only be a matter of time before there is a large verity of the available items. While this company would be pushing for the legalization of industrial hemp through legislation and Supreme Court rulings, some products could be imported from Canada in bulk for a low cost.
While fiber and thread could be purchased from over seas and sown together right here in the US. This would also create jobs in a time of economical need as well as help out the environment. Hemp for Life would market it good to all major stores like. Food items would be marketed to grocery stores, the beauty products would be marketed to solons. Clothing would be marketed to clothing stores and construction materials to building companies and home improvement stores. We would try to main stream our hemp products as much as possible (Conrad,1994).
With services such as Pay-per-click management and search-engine optimization, “Hemp for life” could be is a leading engine in the Hemp marketing industry. Unparalleled management that focuses on minimizing CPA could be offered This can also be done while maximizing sales or lead volume and exposure” (Aldous, 2009). Such services will help optimize the “Hemp for Life’s” market through providing the ease in finding what the consumer is looking for. Meaning more sales and more profits are generated in the process (Baker, 2008).
Another service that “Hemp for life” could provide is “Hemp for life” Affiliate. This affiliation would help various companies to spread our brand logo and name across the internet and help reaching the targeted group through the websites they use. This service will enable the companies reach their customers more easily and will help gain loyal customers as well.
Hemp for Lise’s Design will help the affiliated companies portray their image in the most fashionable way. Elaborate websites usually attract more customers and therefore generates more sales. Websites are always looking for that X factor that distinguish them among other competitors. Hemp for life is able to provide that factor to help websites in this field become more business-pro.
One of the great advantages of starting “Hemp for life” is the beneficial impact on employment. As the company opens up it will be looking for some workers for many parts of the department as it is an online marketing website. Also, since “Hemp for life” is itself a service based on marketing for other companies or businesses through its affiliation program, it will surely advertise effectively to bring more employment to the region. In addition, “Foreign investments into a country are assumed to lead to higher productivity and labor standards through the demonstration effect of foreign multinationals in the way they manage advanced production processes and systems” (MENAFN) (Hill, 2002). Therefore, “Hemp for life” will be offering direct foreign investments in those countries where hemp will be supplied from. Some of these countries include neighboring Canada. After much analysis we can assume that Hemp for life will increase the consumption of other products, made out of hemp depending on what it is marketing. For example, if our company is marketing beauty products made out of hemp, beauty and cosmetics companies that would have marketed on our site stand to benefit as the consumption of beauty products is bound to increase.
The company faces human resource challenges from the management in that the process of recruiting the suitable managers & employees competent enough and knowledgeable in the field of industrial hemp. Since the plant is illegal in the US, there are few people who are skilled and knowledgeable in handling industrial hemp. Since the site will also provide information, there is a need for knowledgeable as well as experienced staff who can answer queries from customers regarding us usage of industrial hemp. This acts as a setback to those who want to purchase products from the company. Government regulations are another example of external factors which act as opportunities and also as threats to the company’s’ performance. However, when the regulations are softened by the government they become opportunities to the company’s production activities (Siegel, 2008).
The media in in general is one of the most important tools that can be used to help the marketing industry. On an online level, “Hemp for Life” is a prime candidate to execute an online marketing strategy
Due to the process of product differentiation and improvements fewer competitors are recorded in the market. The company should be able to increase its market share. Quality of services that could be offered in our website could range from basic information to wholesale delivery of industrial Hemp for use in the manufacture of various products. (Applegate, 2005).
Plan of operation
The business will obtain its products from outside countries. In this process, it will be essential to form business to business relationship with our prospective suppliers in order to constantly get the supply of hemp products.
In this sense therefore it is important to have the website functioning and meeting the requirements of a good website before launching the website. Details the plan of operation in this case will assess the unforeseeable possibilities and manage how they are going to be addressed. The other consideration in this case is the domain name from a web hosting company. The domain name should be simple if possible. After accessing the domain name, it would be imperative to consider the rates of web hosting companies and their reliability. It may be important to use a more expensive but reliable company if you want to be successful in the internet business. In his studies (Baker, 2008) states that downtimes of a website can chase potential clients
Plans for financing the entry
Hemp for Life is going to be a limited liability company together with its corresponding marketing website. The advantage of having a limited liability company in Saudi Arabia is; the company would be taxed as an individual. Since this is an online or internet business, the major cost will go to the web designing process, web hosting company and the site manager responsible for updating the internet or checking all the ongoing activities in the website. A typical expense table of an internet business structure will be as follows;
|17.||Salary of owner-manager (amount you need to pay yourself)||$0,000.00|
|18.||All other salaries, wages, & commissions||$0,000.00|
|19.||Payroll taxes or self-employment tax||$0.00|
|21.||Equipment lease payments||$000.00|
|22.||Advertising (print, broadcast and Internet)||$000.00|
|23.||Postage & shipping costs||$000.00|
|24.||Supplies (inks, toners, labels, paper goods, etc.)||$00.00|
|28.||Website hosting and maintenance||$00.00|
|29.||General business insurance||$000.00|
|30.||Business vehicle insurance||$00.00|
|32.||Interest & principal on loans & credit cards||$0000.00|
|33.||Inventory, raw materials, parts||$000.00|
|34.||Legal and other professional fees||$0000.00|
Financially online business is the best because there are no costs related to the structure, the cost of location unlike the physical business. We estimate the total start up cost adding up with the monthly expenses for the first 6 months to be around $40,500.00 (Baker, 2008). We are considering two different ways to finance the operation: 1. Bank loan. 2. Interest free loans from friends and family
- Bank loan: We are planning on taking a bank loan of $60,000.00 to pay the start-up cost and to finance the operation for the first 6 months. The interest rate on the loan would be 3.5%.We are expecting to start paying off the loan in the seventh month of operation.
- Loan from friends and family: We are planning on taking an interest-free loan from family and friends in the amount of $20,500.00. This will help our company to start up and be able to pay off some of the monthly expenses. We will be paying the company back on monthly payments starting in the seventh month of operation.
Due to the fact that the biggest portion of the budget goes for aggressive campaigns and advertisings to promote the company’s services, we are expecting 6 months to be enough for the company to be established and reach its target audiences. Then the company should start generating money after those six months. We still expect a negative cash flow for the first year. We expect the company to start generating profit in its third year of operation as the latest. We estimate the monthly income of the company after it is established and reached its target audiences and became a strong competitor in the market to be around $100,000. We estimate the monthly expenses including loans payments to be around $1,500.
Applegate, E. (2005) E-Commerce Today. London, Rowman & Littlefield.
Baker, M. (2008) The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit. London, McGraw-Hill.
Buchanan, W. (2002) The Complete Handbook of the Internet. New York, Springer.
Conrad, C. (1994). Hemp: lifeline to the future: the unexpected answer for our environmental and economic recovery. New York: Creative Xpressions Publications.
Hill, W. L. (2007). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 6th ed. New York, New York: McGraw-hill/Irwin.
Siegel, S. (2003). The Ernst & Young Business Plan Guide. New York, John Wiley and Sons.