Bill’s business start up proposal

Bill Wilson, a close friend of your family wants to start a business. A family member referred him to you since you are presently working on a technology related degree. In your first discussion, you discover the following facts:

·         Bill has been a sales representative for a major restaurant supply company for many years.

·         His prior skills are very low tech. He drove from city to city, visiting restaurants and either providing his customers with supplies, or visiting new restaurants to try and convince them to purchase supplies from him exclusively. He phoned in his orders to the manufacturer, and other than accounting for his expenses while on the road, he did little or no record keeping.

·         Other than basic email skills and a some familiarization with Microsoft Word, Bill has little or no experience with existing communications technologies or software applications.

·         Bill’s business plan is to start a new restaurant supply business in his home. He wishes to spend more time at home and travel much less than he did in the past. He knows he will sometimes be required to travel to negotiate deals or meet with clients, but he would prefer to be able to do all this at home whenever possible.

Bill has already implemented the following actions:

ü  He has found an accountant who has agreed to help him set up his accounting system. (Do not consider any accounting software for this assignment. The accountant will provide that.)

ü  He has contacted six different restaurant supply companies and negotiated a fee and commission arrangement that will allow him to represent them and sell their products.

ü  Bill understands the basic operation of Windows 7 and Microsoft Word. For any new software applications, be prepared to provide guidance on the appropriate training he can find locally or online.

Although Bill has minimal technical skills, he does know what he wants. You completed your first discussion with Bill, and the following information was provided by Bill or deduced by you:

o   Budget: Bill has funds for the start up, but the budget has some limits. He doesn’t want the fastest, biggest or best, but he will spend what it takes to have equipment that will suit his needs.

o   Security: Bill has heard horror stories about computer information being hacked, and he wants your assurance that his business information will be secure if he follows your suggestions.

o   Hardware: Bill knows of no special requirements for hardware, but he does know he will need to store somewhere between two and three terabytes of catalog information from the companies with whom he will be working. He needs to be able to access this info at all times from any location. He has no knowledge or preferences about hardware and says he will go with what you recommend.

o   Operating System and Software: Bill feels comfortable with the Windows 7 environment, and prefers not to learn another operating system.

o   The Cloud, Wi-Fi, Mobile Computing: Bill has no idea how these technologies tie in to his business, but he does know he needs to be able to do the following from his home office, from his car, or from any remote location: Check his email and compose/send emails at any time, place a supplies order via the Internet to any of his suppliers, be able to answer phone calls, and be able to set up video conferencing phone calls. 

The Proposal:

Prepare and submit a written proposal to Bill that gives your suggested solution to his business plan. This report is to be written to Bill. DO NOT write your report to your instructor and talk about Bill. DO NOT speak about Bill in the third person. Write this proposal as a professional business letter directly to Bill. Provide Bill with the details of what he needs to purchase in order to have what he needs to conduct his business using today’s technology. Make sure you include the following items in your report:

1.      Hardware: What items of hardware (computer, laptop, tablet device, telephone, etc.) should Bill purchase. For items like a computer, include minimum specifications for all major internal components. Justify the need for any major hardware items recommended.

2.      Operating System: With the recommended hardware, what operating system choices are available and which would be best? Why?

3.      Other Technologies: How will Bill handle communications and mobile computing? Include the details on any peripheral devices and technologies that you propose (“The Cloud”, mobile computing devices, Bluetooth, wireless networking, etc.) and explain how they fit into the business plan.

4.      Software & Training: List the software applications that should be purchased. Make sure you include at a minimum: Operating System, system utilities, such as defrag apps, virus and malware protection and any system utilities Bill might need. Include the training courses that Bill should attend to gain basic skills in the software packages you recommend.

5.      Cost: Provide Bill with an estimated cost for him to implement all of your suggestions. Give an estimate for the individual components and applications, and an approximate cost for all of the items you suggest.

Your proposal will be evaluated using the rubric below. Make sure you read the rubric and have a clear idea of what is expected. If there are any additional questions that you would like to ask Bill, you may also address a memo to “Bill” by posting it in the Week 4 area of the online Forum. Your instructor will answer these memos as Bill might. And all students will be able to see any information posted.

DELIVERABLE: Submit your Business Proposal to your instructor, in the Assignment section of the site, as a Word document.

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