Question from Pakistan/Former Student
Hope you're doing well. I wanted to ask as to who I would need to contact to help me out with a business plan I had at penn state. I wanted to export potatoes from Pakistan to the US and since penn state started by being a agriculture university I thought why not start to ask for help from my own alma mater. Basically I wanted to know about the list of people who do imports of Potatoes or even other vegetables in PA. Do you think the university would have this info? I hope you can guide me in some direction so that I dont have to start from scratch in collecting my information.
Thank you for your business planning inquire.
Congratulations, and welcome to Penn State Alumni. The United States Department of Agriculture has a list of vegetable importers and other economic data available here:
Taking the steps to prepare a business plan as I see it, is 80% research up front and 20% assembly, give or take. The business plan will serve as a living document describing your entire operation. A business plan is usually prepared prior to, or at start-up, and then modified throughout time as varying needs arise. Two very important functions of the business plan are; a) to aid with capital planning and b) to securing funding. The well written business plan contains a plethora of useful financial and organizational information, it is a one stop source for potential investors, customers, and employees to learn about the business. In some cases, specific sections of the business plan can be generated to relay certain aspects of your business before, and as, the master document is prepared. For example, the vegetable market supply shifts to the left. This presents the need to change marketing strategies by perhaps adding in electronic payment capabilities. Customers buying behaviors may change as well, with decreased supply they might want to buy in bulk or buy at different times. Or, they might be asking for delivery or more variety. Whatever the change, the marketing chapter of the business plan should reflect any yearly shifts/modifications/ammendments in your marketing goals objectives and strategies. Since the marketing plan may require frequent modifications, it is one chapter I recommend folks get started on right away. Two good starting points; a) perform a marketing feasibility study. This is an analytical look at the external market from the standpoint of; who is my competition, where are my customers, how will you be successful in gaining market share, what makes my entrepreneurial idea stand out from theirs. b) do a SWOT Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat matrix.
A business plan contains the following chapters:
Executive Summary, Company Introduction, Industry Analysis, State of Market Analysis, Target Customer Analysis, Competition, Marketing/Sales Projections, Human Resource Plan, Operational Structure, Legal & Licensing, Research & Development (Product & Services), Financials (Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Budget, Income Statement) and an Appendix for sources and additional documents.
Link to University Vegetable Resources: