Business plan: a networking and recruitment platform for cross-border expansion between China and Europe.
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The word ‘Mesh’ can be defined as: 1. a network; net 2. an open space between the strands of a network 3. anything that ensnares, or holds like a net 4. to entangle or become entangled 5. (often followed by: with) to coordinate (with) 6. to work or cause to work in harmony A mesh network (or simply meshnet) is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches, and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients. (Definition by Techopedia) This is why ‘Mesh’ is the perfect name for a platform/service connecting people and businesses and merging their existing professional and personal networks. The following document outlines a business plan for an EU-China deal-making and professional consulting platform targeted at both Chinese and European small businesses and self-employed professionals. The main service offered is consulting and connection to trusted and qualified businesses/professionals who are able to meet the client’s needs. The service offers free initial consulting and only charges a fee once the deal is confirmed a success/a match is made. It includes sourcing/headhunting trusted overseas service providers/business partners from the network as well as expanding business success through offline local networking in the form of events open to anyone in the network. The key of the success of this project lies in activating all personal and professional networks of all stakeholders, further encouraged through referral rewards. Essentially it is a matchmaking service for small businesses and self-employed professionals in China and Europe. What makes it different is the personalized consulting by experts with wide networks as well as the opportunity for offline networking/connections and the focus on small businesses and self-employed professionals as opposed to large corporations and traditional recruitment. Management Team The Director will be based in Europe and will appoint a CEO in China who will oversee connections and operations there. We will also hire a COO who will oversee daily operations related to Finances, IT and legal work. Since it is a startup, for the first year or 2 the company will rely on the management team and outsource additional consultants from the network where needed and hire a few remote relationship managers in different cities in both China and Europe as the network and operations grow. Products and Services The major service offered is business matchmaking via a trusted international network based on real relationships and referrals as well as consulting for businesses looking to expand abroad. The network also offers qualified professionals exposure and opportunities for remote and local working arrangements. A secondary service offered is offline networking in the form of professional development events/trainings by and for those that are a part of the network. Customers This business focuses on a B2B model where the businesses/service providers are both consumers and suppliers. The target consumers are in based in China and Europe respectively. Marketing and Sales We will make use of several different forms of marketing including direct marketing and outreach to qualified businesses/professionals, social media marketing, word of mouth and referrals as well as events and experiences. Once the network is up and running, one major form of marketing will rely on personal and professional networks or ’guanxi’ as the name suggests. The idea being that each member of the network will be incentivized to activate their own personal/professional network to participate. Our partnerships with external organizations also provide further publicity for us. Financial Forecast The business could take a few months to start generating major profit so the beginning will focus mostly on building trust and good relationships within the network. We would also have to rely on the service fee from successful placements as the major source of income in the beginning. Events will be free initially and once we have demonstrated value we can start to charge for events and develop further streams of revenue as we grow as a network. The major startup costs will include marketing costs and staff time as well as the fee for building a website and other brand development costs. We could start to breakeven and generate profit after 4-5 months if successful. Required Funds To get started, the business would need an estimated 10,000USD including the cost for the website and brand development as well as initial marketing and 2-3 small scale events. This does not cover the salary of the startup and management team as this will be commission-reliant for the first few months until we start making a good profit.