This blog will follow the developments of my Business Plan over the next few weeks.
The business plan that I will be proposing is a marketing agency that solely focuses on small and medium sized charities. I thought of this idea while speaking to a friend who runs a charity in Glasgow, which is a rehabilitation center for people with addiction problems. The charity was shutting due to lack of funds and as we were speaking I realized that they have never done any form of marketing due to the fact that firstly, they never made any financial plans to include a marketing budget. Also, the charity is run primarily by psychologists and other health care professionals who do not have any marketing experience and did not know how to go about it. And also, their main focus was always on their clients and hence very little attention was given to publicity, which in retrospect they all agreed they should have put more attention into. This is the case with many small charities, and they gap here is an affordable, co operative marketing agency that works in tandem with the needs of charities such as these adhering to their unique situation which does not follow traditional business structures. This may involve the financial situation that they are in, the methods and time frame of remuneration, the different choices in publicity techniques, etc.
There are already several challenges I can see at this stage.
Firstly, there is the problem of a steady cash flow. The clients that I hope to work with will be those that at this moment do not have a significant amount of funds, and hence may not be able to pay the agency for a while. Also since we do not want to eat into the profits made by the charity we would have to wait for a period of time untill the funds of the agency has passed a certain level and then expect for them to pay us back. This would mean a significant period of time where this business has to run on independent funding.
Secondly, the business may not have as good a response from its market as i hope. This may be due to the fact that charities may still be reluctant to maintain their old methods of working, without any form of advertising, and see this as a commercialization of their charity or as an unnecessary waste of funds.
Hopefully through my research in the next few days I will work out solutions to these problems and be able to present a profitable business plan.