Want help to write your Essay or Assignments? Click here
Infinity Solar-Powered E-Bike Business Plan
The Infinity Solar-powered E-Bike is an innovative bicycle technology that allows users to enjoy a manual ride and experience an electric bike at the same time. While there are many varieties of e-bikes in the market, the Infinity bike is an exceptional model in that it is not only solar powered but it also has an electronic motor control, such that the rider can switch between three modes of propulsion.
Besides this, the bike comes with a speedometer, which helps the rider determine the speed at which they are riding. The Infinity solar-powered e-bike is bound to attract major fandom based on its unique features which make it ideal for protecting riders from knee and back injuries.
The Infinity solar-powered bike targets three customer segments: adventure riders, people seeking cheaper transport alternatives, and employees and students who commute regularly. To reach the customers, the company will utilize digital media and social media marketing. These methods are capable of effectively promoting the bike to the selected group.
To successfully implement this lucrative idea, a considerable amount of resources is required, including set up expenses, equipment and material, staff and marketing. The amount available to the owner is however limited, hence the need to seek funding. This business plan details information that may be necessary in informing the bank’s decision to fund the business. If successful, this will be the beginning of a highly rewarding business venture.
As the world increasingly embraces ‘green energy’ to reduce the impact of global warming and natural resource depletion, valuable innovations have emerged in the market, with solar energy being described as one of the most sustainable sources of energy. Solar energy has been successfully used in lighting houses, water heating running machines and equipment and most recently for the solar-powered cars. In the same bearing, the motivation to build a solar E-Bike resulted from observing the endless possibilities that can be achieved using solar energy.
This is a form of energy that is not only freely available but cannot be depleted like other natural resources. This means that it will offer continuity while providing cheap energy to power the E-Bike. While the idea of the solar E-Bike is highly feasible based on research and projected benefit to individuals and the environment, the execution remains an enigma, partly due to the need for financial resources necessary to begin production.
This business plan details the major concepts behind the solar-powered E-Bike and the commercial viability of the venture. Through this business plan, it will be possible for the bank to understand the motivation behind this business venture and how the finances obtained will be used in setting up an exceptional idea that will influence future generations.
Business Name and Address
Name: Infinity Solar-Powered E-Bikes
Proprietor’s Name and Address
Name: Jiachen Bonnie ZHANG
This business is a sole proprietorship run and managed by the business owner.
Infinity Solar E-Bike is the newest innovation in the market, featuring a bicycle that has an integrated electric motor and a solar panel which can be used for propulsion. The unique bike comes with a direct charging system that allows the user to charge the bike from a power socket and a solar panel that feeds solar energy into a battery. This power bike allow the user to not only take a manual ride but also use the electric motor control and solar motor control to propel the bike, thus increasing comfort and offering flexibility. The bicycle has an electronic display on the handlebar that shows the speed and battery level at any time.
An additional feature that makes the Infinity E-Bike attractive is the fact that it is a portable and foldable bike. This makes it suitable for expeditions and long-distance adventures since they can be easily transported in a motor vehicle and retrieved when needed. The flexibility of the bike also allows users to carry it around when taking public transport and then unfolding it for use in navigating areas that are not covered by public transport. It is therefore very versatile and convenient.
Aims of the business
The solar E-bike was developed with the aim of providing users with a superior experience from ordinary bikes. The solar bike provides a cheaper option than driving a car, given that it can effectively run on solar power, requires to gas or insurance. The E-bike targets people who are working and constantly endure long hours of traffic during rush hour. With this bike, users can make it to work in good time.
The bike is designed to increase user comfort. Compared to the traditional bicycle, the Infinity E-Bike is friendlier to knees and joints, thus minimizing discomfort and chances of injury. The Infinity solar-powered e-bike provides a more upright seating position and this plays an imperative role in reducing back and neck pain. The ride is also in a position to watch for obstacles and cars more easily, thus reducing risk of accident. The e-bike does not get hot when riding uphill and riding in the wind is no longer a challenge.
The e-bike also comes with a security feature aimed at protecting the bike from theft. The e-bike requires a key to operate is heavier to move, hence making it harder to move than traditional bikes.
- To reach 5000 customers within the first three months of operation
- To achieve $2,640,000 in sales in the first year of operation
Market size and growth
The idea of a solar-powered bicycle is relatively new and has not been optimally explored. However, as solar panels become increasingly portable and affordable, competition is expected to rise significantly, thus saturating the market. Solar bikes first came into existence in the 1980s but their bulky nature which consisted of a trailer to carry the solar panels negatively affected their popularity. Currently, solar powered bikes are sleeker and less bulky.
The manufacture of solar powered e-bikes is still on small scale and not commercially exploited, with innovations mostly consisting of individual creations and custom-made orders. This is associated with high manufacturing costs and low adoption by potential users. The same applies for electric-powered bikes, which have continued to gain in recent years.
|eZee||NYCeWheels||-Electric bike – Popular brand -Folding varieties -In the process of developing solar-powered bikes -Financial strength-Superior power in all terrains||– Expensive to use -Better variety emerging in the market – Bulky|
|ELF||Organic Transit||-Bicycle-car hybrid -Roofed -Stable and can be used by non-riders (Has 3 wheels) -No gas required, runs on solar energy||– Lacks flexibility for use as a bike due to its size -Designed for smooth roads -Cannot navigate small spaces like a normal bike|
|Solarbike||Jesper Frausig, Germany||-Sleek design -Solar panels on wheels saves on space Both manual and electric -Light and portable – full battery could propel the user for over 40 miles and go up to a speed of 30mph.||– Still in product development stage -No backup source of energy, only solar|
Infinity solar-powered E-Bike
|-Sleek design -Foldable -Speed reader -Solar and electric power -three riding modes -Cheap -No need for gar/insurance -High chair for easy survey of surroundings and traffic -Does not heat up when going uphill||-Heavy -New in the market hence no customer base -Not yet tested by customers on the ground -Lacks funding for development|
The Infinity Solar-Powered E-bike is designed in such a way that it seeks to provide great value for cyclists, by offering them three power modes. The user can choose to either ride manually or switch between solar and electric modes. This provides backup power and the rider is not likely to get stranded, such as when there is no sunlight. The bike provides a solution for people who want to enjoy a bicycle ride but may not desire the physical intensity involved in manual riding. Furthermore, the bicycle offers a cheap alternative to vehicle transport since it does not require the use of gas. The e-bike is of high quality and is expected to serve users in an effective manner while providing value for money.
Selecting a target market ensures that the company can design products that are tailored towards satisfying their customers (Chuwiruch, N, Jhundra-Indra and Boonlua, 2015). Proposed customer identification also ensures targeted marketing, thus enhancing efficiency (Johnson et al, 2014). The Infinity solar e-bike will target three types of customers:
- Adventure riders: The e-bike is designed in such a way that it can overcome tough terrains and uphill riding. It is therefore perfect for people who ride for fun or adventure.
- Individuals seeking cheap transport alternatives: The price of gas is highly volatile and maintenance of cars can be quite expensive. Public transport also has its limitations in terms of costs and convenience. The solar e-bike takes care of this by providing a cheap alternative that is also convenient.
- Employees and students: This group of customers consists of individuals who must either go to school or to work every day; often spending significant amount of time in traffic. The e-bike promises to reduce the time taken to get to work by a great percentage, thus enhancing convenience. Furthermore, the e-bike is useful for traversing areas where public transport is unavailable instead of walking.
Want help to write your Essay or Assignments? Click here
Marketing strategy denotes the approaches taken in ensuring that the company’s products attract demand and that they can effectively compete with others in the market (Chuwiruch, Jhundra-Indra and Boonlua, 2015). A well-structured marketing strategy will assure high sales and profitability for the company. In reference to the marketing mix, the Infinity Solar-powered E-Bike will design its marketing strategy based on the following aspects.
The Infinity solar e-bike aims at providing the highest level of customer satisfaction. This will be attained through producing quality products that are long-lasting, made possible through investing in high technology machines and quality input materials (Najmaei, 2014). To ensure maximum customer satisfaction, the e-bike will be made to accomplish all the positive features described. A return policy will be put in place, such that customers can return any faulty bike.
At infinity, the guiding principle will be to provide customers with the best quality e-bike and the best customer service possible, with the objective of turning them into loyal customers. Customer needs will be given first priority and every employee will be required to possess customer care skills and product knowledge necessary to provide effective feedback to customers. As noted by Valick, A. & Benavides (2011), responding to customer queries is not only a responsibility of customer care representatives and marketers but a common duty for all company staff; hence the need to familiarize with all product aspects.
Price is a direct determinant of demand and the company must therefore set a price that is attractive for the customer while allowing a reasonable profit margin (Davari and Strutton, 2014). The pricing policy at Infinity will be to provide e-bikes at a reasonably low price. Due to the uniqueness of the brand, the bike will not be the lowest priced but it will be lowly priced for a product of its caliber. All e-bikes will be sold at the same price even where distributors and re-sellers are involved. This will enhance uniformity in price and hence create consistency. The cost for one solar-powered e-bike will be set at $1,100 per piece.
This refers to the method of communication to targeted customers. This must be designed to appeal to the target market so that it can be effective in attracting customers (Davari and Strutton, 2014). Infinity solar-powered e-bikes will be advertised through digital media such as television and social media. Digital media is preferred due to its ability to show motion and hence give customers an idea of how the bike works instead of placing a still picture advertisement on print media (Kotler and Armstrong, 2015).
Social media is bound to be effective because the targeted market spends a significant proportion of their time on social media (Kumar, et al, 2016). Through videos and post shares, the company will ensure that the e-bike is advertised to target customers.
The need to ensure that the customers can access the product easily calls for the creation of an effective supply chain (Kirovska, Josifovska and Kiselicki, 2016; Ashby, Leat and Hudson-Smith, 2012). In essence the company must ensure that the e-bike is accessible for potential customers through considering various channels of distribution including direct sales, franchising, wholesalers and retailers (Chelliah, et al, 2013). To begin with, the Infinity solar e-bike will be available in the United Kingdombefore expanding the company’s presence in other regions. The bike will be available in leading sports stores, supermarkets and individual retail stores besides direct sales from the factory.
Effective production of solar-powered e-bikes will require the following equipment:
|Frame building tool||$4,100|
|Bicycle assembly machine||$4500|
|Rim making machine||$7,000|
|Grinding and polishing machines||$13,000|
The number of equipment and costs involved may initially be too high for the start-up company to afford. Accordingly, some of the equipment required will be leased for the first one year.
Key people and job functions
Forecast Profit and Loss Account
Infinity Solar-Powered E-Bike
Profit and Loss Account
For Period between August 2016 to July 2017
|Less variable costs|
|Total variable costs||$980,000|
|Gross profit||$1,660,000 (B)|
|Less Fixed costs|
|Salaries and wages||$150,000|
|Total fixed costs||$1,164,000 (C)|
(A) x (C)
= 1,851180 units
Cash flow Forecast
|Sales – Cash||33,000||55,000||55,000||110,000||165,000||220,000||275,000||297,000||330,000||352,000||363,000||385,000|
|Sales – Debtors||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Cash flow (A) – (B)||-41,250||39,250||-84,750||-20,250||35,750||342,750||-2,250||169,750||202,750||226,750||237,750||24,750|
Approach to value creation
The process of value creation for the solar-powered bike business entails a five step process from when the product is developed, to when it achieves value creation.
The first step has mostly been accomplished, having developed the concept of the E-Bike and how it will operate. Gallego, Rubalcaba and Hipp (2013) present the case for innovation, stating that creating value is about presenting innovative products and services. The E-Bike presents a unique innovation which will allow users to use a E-Bike with three functions namely; manual ride, electric motor control and solar power motor control. Electronic display on the E-Bike allows the user to read speed and battery level; further demonstrating the level of innovation. The E-Bike, which is also foldable provides exceptional convenience.
The second step is demand creation, which basically includes marketing the E-bike to potential customers and convincing them to buy it. This will involve showing the value of the innovation and how it will impact their lives, affordability and durability of the E-bike (Lynch, 2012).
Once demand has been created and sales made, the next step is to convert buyers into loyal customers. This will be achieved through ensuring that the E-Bike meets their needs as expected during the marketing stage (Rath and Mousumi Singha, 2013).
Next is to enhance customer satisfaction through meeting their needs and addressing any concerns they may have regarding the E-Bike. At this level, the customers are likely to refer potential clients based on their level of satisfaction (Johnson et al, 2014).
The final step to value creation is to make customers part of the organization. By working with customers as partners, the company can seek ways to further improve the E-Bike’s performance and probably develop a new product that is more innovative (Grant, 2016). This step sets pace for the next value creation process.
Factors encouraging entrepreneurship
In life, every day is a learning process and a chance to become a better person. When I initially lost my job as a Digital Social Media company manager where I worked for six years, the next best thing would have been to seek employment elsewhere. However, I was inspired by a drive for independence and an opportunity to make a difference in the society, hence my decision to venture into business.
Moving to entrepreneurship depends on the kind of product one is dealing with and whether customers might be interested. Having observed that bicycles are widely used as a means of transport and recreation, I thought that users might be interested in a bike that offered them greater capabilities than just the manual ride. Internet searches revealed that solar power is the next energy frontier and the idea of an E-Bike appeared best suited to help me achieve my objective.
It is notable that the high level of instability in the country has impacted employment significantly. Job security is no longer assured and even where available, the level of remuneration is barely enough to sustain a favorable purchasing power. Entrepreneurship however opens endless possibilities, particularly when the product is innovative and appealing to customers. I therefore found it reasonable to increase my earning capacity through entrepreneurship, not only to improve my life but also contribute to national building through creating employment opportunities for others.
Want help to write your Essay or Assignments? Click here
Developing and appraising personal potential as an entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, it is important to understand my competence and potential. In this regard, I will apply various techniques in developing and appraising personal potential as an entrepreneur. This will mostly include taking professional tests and self-assessments available online such as BDC Entrepreneurs First. The site provides a list of 50 questions on entrepreneurial attributes, motivation, attitudes and aptitudes which the user is expected to fill in.
Once completed, the site makes an analysis of the responses, which will then be used in determining entrepreneurial potential (BDC, 2016). Common professional assessment tools include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Entrepreneur Equation, the StrengthsFinder, Teamability and FourSight Thinking Profile.
Functional skills appropriate to the management of SME
In the management of SMEs, certain functional skills are necessary to enhance performance and resilience in a competitive environment (Botha, Vuuren and Kunene, 2015). These skills include:
Finance management: SMEs must be in a position to manage their finances in order to stay afloat. The management must therefore be capable of managing cash flow, credit and have knowledge on financial reporting (Ayub, 2014).
Marketing: Being a small business, there is need for high level marketing to promote growth. Every contact with customers should be a chance to market the company (Goodman and Dingli, 2013). Functional skills also necessary include advertising and public relations.
Personal business skills: These include oral and written communication, computer skills, negotiation skills and organizational skills among others (Botha, Vuuren and Kunene, 2015).
Problem solving: The management of an SME should be capable of dealing with challenges and problems whenever they occur (Goodman and Dingli, 2013).
Dispute resolution: When working with a team, disputes and conflicts are also likely to emerge. The management should be in a position to resolve disputes amicably to enhance collaboration.
Infinity Solar-Power E-Bike presents an innovative product that is bound to change the face of solar e-bikes. The e-bike provides customers with a unique brand with flexible capabilities, demonstrated by its three function modes. This sets the bar higher because the rider can either use the manual, the electric motor control or the solar power motor control. The target customer group is expected to find the bike useful, both for navigation and fun expeditions.
As a cheap alternative to cars, the bike’s demand is expected to increase tremendously following its introduction. To enhance successful launch and sale of the product, various factors in the marketing mix are put into consideration to ensure that the product appeals to customers. The price of $1,100 is relatively cheap and the quality is excellent.
These characteristics coupled with effective promotional strategies, customer service and convenient access to the e-bikes will ensure that the company realizes adequate profits to make the business successful. The Solar E-Bike has great potential and at this juncture, the idea’s execution is only limited by unavailability of funds, hence the need to seek funding in the form of a business loan.
Ame, AM 2013, “Factors influencing customers’ evaluation of service quality and customer satisfaction – findings from Tanzania”, International Journal of Marketing and Technology, vol. 3, no. 5, pp. 87-112. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/business/docview/1400678963/DDE5D366AA9240ADPQ/5?accountid=45049
Ashby, A., Leat, M., & Hudson-Smith, M 2012, “Making connections: A review of supply chain management and sustainability literature.” Supply Chain Management, 17(5), 497-516. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13598541211258573
Ayub, KM 2014, Diverse Contemporary Issues Facing Business Management Education, Herhey, PA, IGI Global.
BCD 2016, Entrepreneurial potential self-assessment, Available at https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/business-assessments/pages/self-assessment-test-your-entrepreneurial-potential.aspx
Botha, M, van Vuuren, J, & Kunene, T 2015, ‘An integrated entrepreneurial performance model focusing on the importance and proficiency of competencies for start-up and established SMEs’, South African Journal Of Business Management, 46, 3, pp. 55-65, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 31 May 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=039d867c-9fbc-4e0e-8d60-7cb40632e9b3%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=121
Chelliah, S, Chin Kok, K, Annamalah, S, & Munusamy, J 2013, ‘Does Marketing Mix Still Relevant? A Study on Herbal Coffee in Malaysia’, International Journal Of Management & Innovation, 5, 1, pp. 31-45, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 31 May 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=8c9f45cc-194e-432e-93cd-070f1f44bb6f%40sessionmgr120&vid=1&hid=121
Chuwiruch, N, Jhundra-Indra, P, & Boonlua, S 2015, ‘Marketing Innovation Strategy And Marketing Performance: A Conceptual Framework’, Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings Of The Academy Of Marketing Studies (AMS), 20, 2, pp. 82-93, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 31 May 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d426671f-c0e2-45f0-a010-7a7ceb1a40e0%40sessionmgr107&vid=1&hid=121
Davari, A, & Strutton, D 2014, ‘Marketing mix strategies for closing the gap between green consumers’ pro-environmental beliefs and behaviors’, Journal Of Strategic Marketing, 22, 7, pp. 563-586, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 31 May 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=5ecfe942-153a-4df9-a323-a73b06871484%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=121
Gallego, J., Rubalcaba, L. & Hipp, C. 2013, “Services and organisational innovation: the right mix for value creation”,Management Decision, vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 1117-1134. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/business/docview/1398033404/FBD13FB131224195PQ/43?accountid=45049
Goodman, M., & Dingli, SM 2013, Creativity and Strategic Innovation Management, New York, Routledge.
Grant R 2012, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, techniques, applications, 8th Ed, London, Blackwell.
Grant, R. M 2016, Contemporary Strategy Analysis: text and cases, 9th edn. Chichester, Wiley & Sons.
Johnson et al 2014, Exploring Strategy: text and cases, 10th edn, London, Pearson.
Kirovska, Z, Josifovska, A, & Kiselicki, M 2016, ‘Efficient Management Of Supply Chain In Achieving A Significant Competitive Advantage In The Market’, Journal Of Sustainable Development (1857-8519), 5, 14, pp. 5-22, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 April 2016. Retrieved from eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=8&sid=aaeacbc0-639c-47a8-a0be-b74cdd38d404%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4103
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G 2015, Principles of Marketing. Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.
Kumar, A., Bezawada, R., Rishika, R., Janakiraman, R., & Kannan, P. K. (2016). From Social to
Sale: The Effects of Firm-Generated Content in Social Media on Customer Behavior. Journal of Marketing, 80(1), 7-25. doi:10.1509/jm.14.0249. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=6a26cf54-0115-4e50-aca9-3a3123e7ba89%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=114
Lynch, R 2012, Strategic Management, 6th Ed, London, Prentice Hall
Najmaei, A 2014, ‘Towards an Integrative Model for Management of Organization’s Total Innovation: Insights from the Strategic-Process View’, IUP Journal Of Knowledge Management, 12, 3, pp. 61-73, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 25 March 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=74&sid=7e831331-5b34-460b-b494-ea037a777b66%40sessionmgr112&hid=122
Rath, S, & Mousumi Singha, M 2013, ‘Brand Recognition and Advertising Effectiveness: Study of Youth Responses for Select Print Advertisements’, Journal Of Contemporary Management Research, 8, 2, pp. 82-88, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 27 March 2016. Retrieved from eds.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=29&sid=7e831331-5b34-460b-b494-ea037a777b66%40sessionmgr112&hid=122
Valick, A. & Benavides, TJ 2011, Practical Human Resources for Public Managers: A Case Study Approach. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Want help to write your Essay or Assignments? Click here