What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
As a facilitator of charitable retailing operations, our mission is to pass as much of the value added to our charity clients as possible. Yet, to protect our own survival as a commercial entity, we need to periodically evaluate the mark-up which is required to sustain our own survival and growth, while ensuring a continuous improvement in the service we provide.
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
This venture has been specifically designed to maximally benefit from our preexisting capabilities, including the skills of the founding members and affiliated organizations processes. As a result, there is very limited need for product development or investment in operation processes.
The primary need for financing relates to the sales function of the firm. As a result, there will be an initial funding gap, particular during the first 6 months of operations.
In addition to the sales function, our other costs are directly tied to our level of sales. As a charitable entity, we have negotiated to buy these services at a low price that only covers the suppliers direct costs. As we benefit from preexisting infrastructure, we have no fixed costs.
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
We expect this venture to break-even within the first year of its operations.
As this venture will be structures as a "Corporation Limited by Guarantee", we will not have the possibilities to raise share capital to finance our growth. Instead, this venture serves the interests of its members, the charitable organizations. These organizations will pay a small annual fee to maintain their membership. In addition, we will seek to acquire Corporate Support Members, and Individual Support Members who can offer their skills and resources to further the cause of this venture. In addition, our underlying charitable clients may have members with the right skills to further improve the service we are offering our clients, such as software coding skills.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
The launch of this project relies upon the technical and operational support of a preexisting affiliated e-retailing business. This operational support allows us to launch this venture with very limited product development costs or investment in expensive facilities. Also, we benefit from the preexisting operational efficiencies, which will have a material impact in ensuring the operational success of this project.
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
As we are in the very early stages, it is too early to say.