Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Analyzing Project Feasibility

Making a Business Case
It is important to calculate the profit estimate when taking on new projects. Determining the net present value (NPV) of a project helps determine if a project should be accepted or rejected. The NPV is an important method to use in concluding the value of projects. The NPV formula determines the value of an investment based on its discounted cash flow. The NPV is calculated by subtracting the project cost from the present value (PV). The NPV capital budgeting rule suggest that projects with a positive NPV should be accepted and projects with a negative NPV should be rejected. According to the NPV capital budgeting rule, the firm could benefit from approving this project because of its positive NPV. Based on the positive NPV, this project can be assumed a valuable investment.

Project Risk
If there is concern regarding risk associated with the project, the firm could optionally use a cut-off threshold. A cut-off threshold prevents project budgets from going into the negative by using cut-off numbers that determine when and if a project should be shut down and abandoned. A project should be abandoned if the value is too low and the expected revenues do not justify further project investment. In addition, putting the project together in stages and with budgets for each stage can reduce risk. Upon each stage completion, the firm would invest into the next stage. Consequently, the financial risk would be minimized.

Decision Justification
Considering the NPV for this project is positive, it will likely generate positive cash flow and would not do any harm to the firms’ status quo. Having a positive NPV suggests the project will generate value for the shareholders’ wealth. If the NPV value is accurate and the project is successful, it could potentially have positive effects on the firms’ equity value.

In addition to the benefits, there are considerable risks and disadvantages of using NPVs. Considering NPVs are based on only assumptions, it does leave room for error. A small company could have a difficult time providing reliable estimates based on the NPV data. Minor changes in the interest rate could affect the projects discount rate, which could drastically affect the projects NPV. A concern of the NPV is its requirement to make calculated projections. In most scenarios, the formula will not be 100% reliable. Before deciding based solely on the NPV, a discounted cash flow analysis should first be analyzed. Although the NPV formula does present a feasible projection of cash flow, it does not present the projects actual return. Because of the difficulty of determining an exact valuation, there could be unforeseen cost, which could incur a negative cash flow rather than a positive one.

Something else to take into consideration when investing into a project is the IRR. Both NPV and IRR are tools used to evaluate potential project investments by measuring capital budgeting, which is the process used to determine significant business investments. While NPV examines cash flow value based on the discounted rate, the IRR defines the rate of return for a project based on the stream of cash flow. IRR is the discounted rate that converts the present value to zero by making the current value of cash flows equal to the present value of cash outflows. Disadvantages of using IRR is that it is not ideal for long-term projects considering the calculation does not evaluate discount rates. Another limitation of using the IRR is that the method does not consider the initial investment amount. This can present a problem when comparing two alternative investments based solely on the IRR. Businesses can use both NPV and IRR to assist with making investment decisions. However, there is no 100% method to use, which will guarantee a positive return on investment. When making an investment decision, the investor should take into account the IRR, NPV, and other investment indicators including risk, and alternative options.

Analyzing a Marketing Plan

The goal of the tourism strategic marketing plan for Connecticut is to direct and coordinate marketing efforts. The levels in which a marketing plan operates are strategic and tactical. Strategic focuses on target market and the company’s value proposition. Tactical market plans specify marketing tactics such as product features, promotions, pricing, sales channels, and service. The salient features of the Connecticut marketing plan include its overall goals and objectives. The State is looking to gain visitors by introducing awareness of its history, activities, and art and culture. Additionally, the marketing plan has a solid understanding of its desired consumer and marketing goals.
 
Overall, the plan has a good idea as to what is needed to generate awareness. The objectives are simple and seem achievable by the company. The plan, however, has no detailed strategy for achieving the desired results. Marketing implementation should address the who, where, when, and how of a marketing goal. To address the desired segment of users, the plan suggest building the brand through marketing efforts and industry partners. The goal of the plan is to influence visitors to the State by increasing the State’s relevancy and attractiveness to potential visitors. The plan suggests that in order to communicate to the desired market segment, the company should focus on markets that have the greatest visitor potential. Those markets include women who are between the age of 25 and 54, individuals who live within surrounding areas, and individuals with a household income of $80,000 or more. 
 
To improve the current marketing plan, the marketing company should create an actual strategy that can be followed to implement the plan. Marketing implementation is the process that ensures the strategy accomplishes the stated objectives. For instance, the plan refers to building search engine optimization into its production. However, it does not mention which keywords to optimize for and why those keywords are best suited for the task. Additionally, the plan has no mention why this plan will be effective at producing positive results. Furthermore, there is no mention of competition and market potential. A marketing strategy should address the what and why of marketing activity.
 
Marketing plans are the starting points for successful companies, and the plan often includes dozens to hundreds of pages worth of data analysis. The difference between a marketing plan and a business plan is that a business plan focuses mainly on defining the company, its history, mission, and goals. A business plan includes more than just a marketing plan or strategy. It also includes discussion regarding staffing, locations, finances, and strategic alliances. A marketing plan focuses on creating keys to success. Additionally, the marketing plan tells the story of how to achieve goals and generate success. Each of the company’s leaders and managers should see the plan and give insight into whether the plan is achievable. Marketing plans are best when there are many people involved in its creation. Gaining feedback is important considering most all ideas will affect each department within the company. Leaders and managers can provide realistic data, experiences, and share insight into market opportunities. 
 
Marketing plans are crucial for starting and growing a business. A good marketing plan will help organizations identify there target customers, and generate a plan to reach and retain those customers. The marketing plan is the roadmap to gain customers and improve organizational success if done properly. A Key section of the marketing plan includes the executive summary, which is helpful for providing an overview of the organization and the plan. Additionally, the plan describes the desired customer by targeting their precise needs based on their demographic profiles. This is helpful for identifying targeted customers and creating pinpointed advertisement aimed directly at those prospective customers. 
 
An additional crucial point of the marketing plan is its plan of distribution. The distribution plan details how customers will purchase or buy in to the organization. The promotional strategy of the plan is considered one of the most important sections of the plan. The promotional strategy details how new customers are to be reached. Examples of an affective promotional strategy include distribution and promotional tactics on television, at trade shows, and through online advertising. A marketing plan includes everything from understanding the desired customer, to determining how to outperform and strategize the competition. A marketing plan is paramount to achieving business success and the time taken to develop a marketing plan, is an investment worth making considering it defines who to connect with customers and generate sales. 

Analyzing the Context of Internet Marketing

Mobile vs. Traditional Internet Context

CompanyEC (CEC) currently does not have a mobile based website. While its current website does fit a normal touch screen mobile device, it is not built for mobile devices at all. The biggest concern from some mobile device users who have tried to view the CEC website, is that they are getting slow loading times for the website. What CEC should do to fix this issue is create a website made specifically for mobile devices (FairWinds Partners, 2007). What this mobile website should include is a link to the about us, testimonials, portfolio, contact us and make a payment. Each of these pages should also be optimized for mobile browsing to allow for faster speed, better graphics and a small amount of clicks to help navigate the user quickly. In addition to creating a mobile website for consumers mobile devices, creating a new marketing plan aimed at mobile devices could also benefit CEC’ mobile marketing (Fairchild, 2009).

Cultural Uniformity Within a Country vs. Cultural Variation within your country: 

I believe that the United States does have cultural differences. These differences include consumers locations, lifestyle, income and many other psychographics and demographics. Being that CEC is an online business located in Dallas, TX, we have to direct our marketing toward consumers within the area. These consumers are normally different form those within other parts of the country. Being that I have personally lived up north and now down south, I have seen many differences in the culture of these consumers. Our normal consumers from up north are normally focused more on design and price, while our consumers from the south are concerned about building a relationship and trust with our company. We have had to change the way that we did business once we moved locations. Nonetheless, being that we work with customers all throughout the country, we try to keep our business practices universal to all customers.

I believe that Internet Marketers target specific ethnic groups. While I believe this, I believe that sometimes, it is necessary based on the target market that the particular business would like to attract. For example, CEC has never had a Middle Eastern customer. Knowing that most of our consumers are African American, Hispanic or White, we target our marketing efforts toward these individuals and businesses because it has a better chance at success as it is proven. Nonetheless, being that we do want all customers and ethnics to purchase services from our company, we may need to look into our marketing strategy and find out a way to make it attractive toward all ethnicities.

Credits

Fairchild, T. (2009). Matching mobile ads to consumer intent. Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://searchengineland.com/matching-mobile-ads-%20to-consumer-intent-24647

FairWinds Partners LLC. (2007). Mobile web: what is the mobile web? Retrieved May 28, 2010, from http://www.fairwindspartners.com/en/newsroom/perspectives/vol-2-issue-7/mobile-web

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