1st December – 7th December 2015
Time spent on project this week: 21 hours
The lecture started off by Bernie getting a perspective on how much progress the individual groups in the class had made. Tufael gave Bernie an idea on the three different documents: Business plan, Marketing plan and the technology plan.
The lecture then had a guest speaker, Tony whose talk was about starting up a business. He informed us about government schemes, that support people creating startup ventures and also schemes that support existing businesses, in order to broaden their horizon and expand further.
He then went on to explain the different options that we would have to form a company and explained the advantages and disadvantages of these structures (we had already looked at this in detail earlier, when deciding the structure of our company). A brief summary of these structure is as follows:-
- Sole trader – A single person, with full equity in the business, can have employees and count in personal expenses. However the risk is, full liability and that personal belongings such as the house and cars will be considered part of the business and can be seized if the company goes bankrupt.
- Partnership – This is works similar to the above but can have two or more people. Once again the partners between themselves have full liability and if the business goes bankrupt, personal belongings can be at stake.
- Private limited company – Must have between 2-50 shareholders with limited liability in the company. The shares are private and cannot be sold off to outside parties, without being offered to shareholders first. All shareholders have limited liability and are only liable for what they invested within the company, personal belongings are not considered part of the business.
- Public limited company (PLC) – These companies can sell their shares to the public, with the benefit, that the company can get external investors to invest in the company and hold a stake. All shareholders have limited liability and their personal belongings are not at stake.
Tony then explained the purpose of a business plan and why it is important that it contains citations and sources. The business plan, is what the investors will look at, to see how viable the business is, if it just boasts about the product, without showing enough evidence, then investors will not find it useful to invest in your idea.
Finally, Bernie spoke about the cost of employment, the minimum wage that employees have to be paid per hour, their national insurance contributions and pensions contribution, which has now also become compulsory for most cases (depending on the kind of company and its size). To be a more attractive employer, the company could also give perks to its employees, such as mobile phones or a company car.
BIT group project
Meeting – 1h
This week, we held an hour long meeting, where I explained that it was of paramount of importance, that all the work is sent to me ASAP, as it would take a lot of time to proofread everything, make corrections, check citations, and finally format everything into a single document, seeing as I had very little time to do everything and hand it in, before the deadline.
Creating electronic survey – 2h
Tufael had completed the survey and shown it to me, the two of us sat down, made a few amendments and created an electronic version of the survey on ‘google forms’, so that we could easily distribute it electronically, just by sharing a link. This also gave us the advantage that friends and family internationally could send their opinion, this proved very successful, because at the time of writing this, the survey has had 73 respondents.
Early user evaluation – 1h
As we had received responses on the survey, I was able to finalise the early user evaluation and make decisions based on the responses from the survey.
Creating graphs (DSS) to present findings – 4h
In order to make some information more presentable to the readers, we decided to make graphs, which clearly represent the data, that we have collected as a result of the survey and evaluating the findings, in order to change a few parts of the business plan.
Creating minutes of the meeting – 1h
I created minutes of the meeting and strongly emphasised once again, how important it was that I receive all the work ASAP.
Working on the technology, business and marketing plan – 6h
I had been working steadily throughout the year to give the three a uniform structure and change the language and structure that I receive from my fellow group members to reflect the work, as if had been written by a single person. However due to the fact that it was just a few days to the deadline, I went through all the work that had been sent to me and checked the entire plans once again, to make sure everything was in check. I contacted the people, that I still needed sections from, prompting the submission of the work. Much of the work I receive requires more work, I made sure, that I finalised all the work that I had received from my team members.