Students: Cory Buck, Cyndi Petten, Sheena Tuttle, Matthew Hancock
Professor: Dr. Dale Foster – Information Systems
Sienna and Chelsea met and have been friends ever since the end of their first year of university. They both have decided to move out from residence into a two-bedroom apartment for their third year of studies. After realizing how time consuming and financially strenuous it can be for students to both get rid of and acquire necessary household goods, the girls decide to create a business together - a student exchange website , S2S, that offers other students like themselves an easier, more affordable way to acquire their necessities. With both girls bringing different skills and assets to the business - Sienna, an aspiring investment banker, and Chelsea taking computer science, it seems as though they somewhat of a foundation. Their next steps will decide if their idea is strong enough to succeed. They must build a solid business plan and ensure sufficient financial backing to get things up and running.
1. For the majority of students the transition from high school to university involves moving out of the household and living on their own for the first time. This initial move means that students will need to collect various household appliances needed for daily living that could not be acquired by other means. Sienna and Chelsea recognized an opportunity in this and set out to create a website that allows students to swap, purchase and sell student related items on a S2S exchange.
There are several areas in which Sienna and Chelsea could potentially encounter difficulties, the first being the fact that they are students with limited resources, specifically time and money. There is also limited knowledge amongst them in how to develop and maintain a webpage and database as well as designing a payment processing system.
In order to make the S2S exchange webpage successful, Sienna and Chelsea must take steps in addressing the concerns that they face. The first major constraint is the lack of time and required skill to develop a database which will be addressed below in question 2. They should look at hiring additional help once the website is launched and beings to start generating revenue. The lack of capital serves as a concern upon starting due to the high start-up costs. However, it is possible they will look to their parents or other investors for an initial cash injection.
It is very crucial that Sienna and Chelsea first conduct research on several variables that that are detrimental in creating a successful business, and in turn will help determine if it is a sound business decision that can generate a good return on investment. Questions such as the size of their potential customer base, average income of students, and research upon competition must be addressed. Sienna and Chelsea must then do a cost benefit analysis to assess if there is potential to make revenue
It is the recommendation of the group that if the cost benefit analysis looks to be in their favor then Sienna and Chelsea should go ahead with the creation of the business. Sienna and Chelsea have access to start-up capital from their parents and could utilize resources from other students studying in skill areas in which they need assistance with, for example database creation, to minimize costs. Sienna and Chelsea could also explore obtaining various grants through the government for financing part of their start-up.
2. When Sienna and Chelsea initially start their research they will most likely realize this project will require a much more in-depth analysis and in order to make a sound decision. They must first analyze a structured cost benefit analysis. The first step, according to our text books is to ask the questions in the concept and inception stages of system development. The first two questions have been