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Irshad Consultancy Center in the Saudi Market Coursework


Executive summary

Irshad Consultancy Center will be a business entity that will specialize in providing career-planning services to Saudi citizens based in eastern province aiming to set up a successful career. However, once the company establishes itself, we will diversify its activities and expand the market to other provinces. The center will be located in the Eastern province and the main client targets will be high school graduates. The center will target high school graduates because they are usually faced with career challenges once they complete their studies. Many high school graduates end up pursuing careers that do not coincide with their subject selection. Other students just pursue careers that they do not have a passion for. In the long run, most of these students fail to excel in their careers. Consequently, unemployment among youth increases. Therefore, Irshad Consultancy Company will be created to assist students in planning and choosing a suitable career.

Irshad Consultancy Company will use ability tests to match the candidates to the appropriate professional. Moreover, the company will employ the use of seminars and forums to enhance the student’s understanding of career matters. The company will also create an official website to enable customers to gain access to its products and services. In addition, the center will create a database showing job trends, updates on the demanded skills, and job positions in the current market. This database will also help Irshad to connect previous customers to job opportunities after graduation. Irshad Consultancy Company realizes that employment is a critical issue in the kingdom. There are several reasons that have led to poor employment trends. These factors include shortage and surplus in one field over another, the lack of qualifications and skills, and the lack of interest and passion for the job. Therefore, we believe that our business can fill the gap by matching students with the right skills to a suitable career choice.

Career consulting companies serve both male and female customers but in some specific cases, females get special attention because of the inequality that occurred in the yester years across Asia and Saudi Arabia. Providing advice to the female population in seclusion acts as a means of empowering those women who still feel that inequality prevails in the current society.

Projections from 2007 show that the number of students who require career advice increases by approximately 10% annually. Therefore, given the number of students who enrolled in secondary tertiary of 2007 were 1,144,548 we can easily calculate and project the increase in the market base for any given number of years. Irshad consultancy will perform market projections on a five-year basis to ensure that the projected data does not go stale. The following graph shows the market trend between the years 2007 and 2011 in the career consultancy market.

The company structure will be made of five different levels. At the top of the structure will be the president of the company. The president will also be the owner of the company. Under the president, there will be a vice president. The vice president will oversee all the activities of the company. He or she must be highly qualified and very experienced in the field of career consultancy. Under the vice president will be four managers. Under the managers, there will be supporting staff.

Irshad consultancy will offer one major product and various services to enhance the experience of the clients. The product offered will be a business magazine, which will show the latest career trends and provide information on new careers. The development of a good magazine will highly depend on the market research that the company will undertake.

Mission and Vision Statement

Overview of the company

Irshad will be a consultancy company that will aim at providing career-planning and development services to Saudi citizens. The company will be located in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia and the major market target will be high school graduates. This is because high school graduates face the challenge of choosing a suitable career to pursue after completing their secondary education. Many high school graduates pursue careers, which do not suit them. Therefore, most of them fail to excel in such careers. Other students tend to fear the difficulty of a job or career not realizing their ability. Therefore, Irshad is a Consultancy Company that will be created to assist students in planning and developing careers.

Vision

Irshad Consultancy Company aims at creating awareness on career building, choice, and its benefits to society.

Mission

Irshad Consultancy Company offers Saudi citizens and students a reliable, high-quality alternative career development plan, capacity building, and the creation of an extensive career selection strategy.

Guide to Success

  1. Excellence in delivering promises in career development while ensuring complete confidentiality, reliability, trustworthiness professionalism, and information delivery.
  2. Irshad will encourage the development of strategic visions that will enhance the generation of new career leads and career development.
  3. Irshad consultancy will depend on several pools of expertise to generate multiple opportunities for students and Saudi citizens.

Product and Services

Irshad consultancy will offer various products and services to enhance the customer’s experience of the company. Among the products offered will be a career development magazine. This magazine will show the latest career trend and offer career advice. Moreover, the company will offer a variety of services, which will ensure that the company remains a leader in the market. Irshad consultancy will provide a comprehensive set of quality consumer services. These services will be specifically designed to cater to the needs of individual students and Saudi citizens. These services include:

Career Development Program

Users of this program will experience value-added interactive sessions with the staff of Irshad Consultancy Company. Moreover, there will be programs and lectures focusing on specific career areas. The function of this program is to increase the knowledge of the students in different career choices.

Community Outreach Program

this program will be viewed partially as an advertising tool and as an educative tool. Irshad consultancy will use this program to encourage the community to take part in the career development of youth. This program will be facilitated out using various tools. For instance, message boards can be placed in different areas to enhance the process of information dissemination. In areas where the technology is well incorporated into the societal setup, chat rooms and email may be used to disperse the information among the different groups in the community. Community officers may also come in handy when disseminating the information to the local population in Saudi. The community outreach program will be a useful tool when it comes to building the profile of the customers. Moreover, it may provide quality demographic data, marketing data, and feedback that management can analyze and use to make sound business decisions.

Personalization

users of Irshad consultancy services will be able to personalize their career requirements. This will be enhanced by gathering all relevant information from the customer and using it to develop a comprehensive timetable for different groups of students with similar career prospects. Personalization will increase loyalty and repeat usage from clients since the customers will be getting what they deserve. Each customer has specific career ideas, thus our programs, products, and educative content will specifically target the customer’s career preferences.

Interactive Internet Services

Irshad consultancy will use the latest technologies to enable customers to use interactive computer usage. This will enable students to create a personalized career experience. Users of this service may also insert all their favorite subjects and find different career options that they can pursue.

Online Registration Services

Moreover, the clients willing to use Irshad’s services will have a chance to register and learn via the internet. The purpose of this service is to increase the company’s market share. All students who cannot afford to get face-to-face advice will get career advice via the internet.

Buying Options

Buyers of the Irshad magazines will be referred to respective online merchants who offer the magazine at the best possible prices. Buyers will have a chance to access the magazines from electronic sources without undergoing difficulties and bureaucracies involved when ordering from the main publishers.

Industry Analysis

A career consultancy company is best defined as a service facility that is intended to provide quality career advice with the help of specialized personnel and equipment. Career consulting companies are meant to serve both male and female customers but in some specific cases, female clients are provided special attention because of the inequality that occurred in the yester years in Saudi Arabia and most Islamic nations. Providing advice to the female population in seclusion acts as a means of empowering those women who still feel that inequality prevails in the current society. Therefore, for some of the female clients, the staff will be required to incorporate special programs that enhance the process of empowerment. Normally, the environment at the consultancy premises must be casual and portray a fun place of work. The purpose of having a casual and fun environment is to ensure that the customers are comfortable and at ease when getting career advice. Industry analysis forms the basis of a market entry strategy that a company can use to penetrate a new market.

Consultancy companies can employ a variety of methods and strategies when entering into new markets. However, these strategies are dependent on market analysis and industry analysis. Among the strategies that a consultant company can employ is a design known as ‘increasing commitment’ (Souvik, 2006). Under this strategy, the company starts by exposing a negligible amount of its products to the target company. Thereafter, the company may employ the services of local consultants to enhance their knowledge of the market. After gaining sufficient knowledge of the prevailing market conditions the company may start operating a directly controlled branch since they can compete relatively equally with the other consultancy businesses in the industry.

This entry design is suitable in markets where the founders or business investors are not sure of the viability of the market. Therefore, it is useful when companies want to reduce the risk involved in entering a new market. In Saudi Arabia, the number of candidates graduating from high school is high enough to provide a market for the consulting company. Moreover, the number of competitors in this market is small and most of them target other groups like college graduates and university graduates. Therefore, the idea of increasing commitment may seem a bit too farfetched in this case since there is a lack of competition. However, it should be noted that the entry strategy is not solely dependent on the competition. Therefore, managers must view other factors in the industry that influence the development of a career consultancy business.

An analysis of the Saudi career consultancy market shows that there is a viable market to exploit. However, there is a challenge involved in entering this industry. The prospect of paying a professional to advise them is lower than one may anticipate since most high school students get career advice from their teachers and the school at large free of charge.

Industry analysis is normally done to determine the risks that might be involved when entering a new market. Therefore, the choice of market entry strategy will be determined by the degree of risk, amount of control that the new consultants require, costs, and the number of returns that a company expects from the new market venture (Dow, 2000; Davis et al., 2000). A consultancy company will choose various methods of entry depending on the industry risk. A company may adopt either a low profile entry strategy or a high profile entry strategy.

Consultancy companies that adopt a low profile entry strategy usually minimize the risks involved in carrying out the business and are likely to succeed. These companies do not have the burden of investing heavily to initiate the business venture. Their capital outlay is usually very small and they have no responsibility of investing in infrastructure to disseminate the information to the students and the Saudi citizens. Moreover, they do not have the need to invest extensively in staff recruitment and marketing campaigns. However, these consultancy companies will also have very little knowledge of most forces influence decision-making in the market where they are operating (Eden and Miller, 2004). Information that shows the market share they command, information on consumer behavior, and information on prevailing prices will generally be missing in the database of companies that choose a low profile entry strategy in the industry.

On the other hand, a consulting company can choose a high profile entry strategy. Such companies face the problem of exposing themselves to the high intensity of risk (Souvik, 2006). However, these consultancy companies have greater control of the information flow in the industry. Information on matters pertaining to consumer behavior, prevailing price levels, and the market share will be available for companies that choose high profile market entry strategy (Souvik, 2006). Companies choose their market entry strategy depending on the amount of risk they can handle. Companies that have a low propensity to handle risk will choose the low profile entry strategy while companies with a high propensity to handle risk may choose a high profile entry strategy.

According to a survey conducted in 2010, the total number of students enrolled in high school education was 1,188,342. The population of girls in this figure was 553,415. The northern region had 23.7 percent of the total population of students entering high school. Therefore, the industry had a potential customer base of approximately 1.2 million customers. Assuming that 70 percent of these students successfully graduated from high school then the potential customer base would reduce to approximately 840,000 students. Therefore, when entering this industry, the consultants should calculate clearly identify a target market and the customer share they will claim from the industry. In the Northern region, the competitors have not monopolized the market. Moreover, there is no professional career consultancy agency for high school students alone. Therefore, in specializing in this sector the company is bound to reap some benefits.

Pie Chart showing the Total Number of Boys and Girls making up the Market Base for the Industry.

the Total Number of Boys and Girls making up the Market Base for the Industry.

The career consultancy industry has been evolving and changing its trends swiftly in the recent past. In the last ten years, we have experienced major changes in trends when it comes to choosing a viable career. Students want to get the best possible career that they can excel in. Moreover, the private sector and the government are willing to reap maximum benefits from their employees. Therefore, they are encouraging the students to seek the best possible careers that will enhance the productivity of the student. Some of the changes in career trends include:

  1. The number of Individual students seeking career advice has increased drastically in the last ten years.
  2. In the last decade, the government has increased its efforts in educating the young generation. Therefore, the number of students graduating from high school has increased thus increasing the total number of students who need career advice in the market.
  3. Moreover, the awareness of students has drastically increased and therefore high school graduates are seeking career advice.

Market Analysis

Market Description

The unemployment rate among the Saudis is estimated at 10 percent (Sfakianakis, 2011). This report was based on an estimation made by the Labor Ministry in Saudi Arabia. The unemployment rate among the youth is four times greater than that in other age brackets. Education and labor market reforms are the biggest challenges facing Saudi Arabia. There are concerns over whether the education system in Saudi is providing the youth with the required set skills to get jobs (Sfakianakis, 2011). Apparently, only one-tenth of the working forces in the private sector are Saudi citizens. However, this situation can change drastically if the private sector decides to take the responsibility of job creation and educating students on matters pertaining to career choice (Sfakianakis, 2011). This initiative will enable most of the students to gain knowledge on how to choose the best careers.

Therefore, despite the target market of Irshad consultancy being only the high school students, the company can extend the market and capture other Saudis who are not well equipped to handle the careers planning and development. As of 2009, the country’s indigenous population was approximate to be 18.7 million. Of this population, 47 percent are between the ages of 18 and 4. Irshad consultancy will increase its markets with an increase in interest and stability. Moreover, Irshad consultancy will aim at increasing its markets from the northern region to a national level to gain access to the 66% of the population who might require career advice, which forms a potential market for the services offered by Irshad consultancy. The northern region had 23.7 percent of the total population of students entering high school in Saudi as of 2009. Analysts expect this figure to increase as parents realize the importance of education in the country. As the total number of students enrolling and graduating out of high school increases, so does the number of potential customers (Sfakianakis, 2011).

Many students pursue careers that do not suit their subject selection while others pursue careers that they do not have a passion for. Therefore, most of these students fail to excel in such careers. Other students tend to fear the difficulty of a job or career not realizing their ability. Projections from 2007 show that the number of students who require career advice increases by an approximate value of 10% annually. Therefore, given the number of students who enrolled in secondary tertiary of 2007 were 1,144,548 we can easily calculate and project the increase in the market for any given number of years. Irshad consultancy will perform market projections on a five-year basis to ensure that the projected data does not go stale. The following graph shows the market trend between the years 2007 and 2011 in the career consultancy market.

Market trend

From the graph, we can detect that the number of students seeking career advice has been increasing every year. Therefore, if Irshad consultancy commences its operation in 2012, it will be easy to estimate the number of individuals who will require career advice by the end of 2016. The projected figures will give the managers of Irshad an easy time when planning for the future of the company. The graph below shows the expected growth in clientele for Irshad consultancy by the year 2016.

Estimated Growth in Clientelle

Market Life Cycle

The career consultancy market in Saudi is still in its infancy stage. The industry has been around for less than two decades and therefore it has not grown very much. Currently, the total number of clients who seek the services of this industry is less than 200,000. These clients are usually from extremely wealthy individuals of society. Market coverage is only 3 % of the total market throughout Saudi Arabia. However, with an increase in sensitization, this industry has a great potential for growth in years to come.

Cyclical Trends in Industry

Career consultancy business is rarely affected by different seasons. In fact, this industry keeps operating smoothly throughout the year depending on the client’s preferences. However, during the time when high school candidates graduate, there is a high demand for consultancy services. During this period, most consultants earn a high income.

Market Plan

Every business in a market requires a plan to ensure that all their products and services are properly presented to the potential market (Mietzner and Reger, 2005). Irshad Consultancy Company has no difference. The directors will adopt a comprehensive market communication plan to ensure that the company performs well in the market. Integration of a successful market communication plan requires the adoption of a comprehensive marketing communications-planning model. The stages of achieving a successful communication plan include:

Context Analysis

This is the process of analyzing the consumer to determine their preferences and tastes. One of the key services that Irshad Consultancy Company shall be offering is the personalization of services. This will be enhanced by gathering all relevant information from the customer and using it to develop a comprehensive timetable for groups of students with similar career prospects. Personalization will increase loyalty and repeat usage from customers since they will be getting what they deserve. Each customer has a specific set of career ideas, thus our programs, products, and educative content will be specifically targeted to the customer’s career preferences. This process is achieved by vigorous marketing research on consumer habits. A marketing manager must do extensive market research before entering the market. The manager has to obtain extensive and sufficient knowledge pertaining to the time of high sales. This information assists the manager in decision-making. Generally, context analysis involves studying previous market trends and consumer behavior.

Promotional Goals

Once the marketing manager has determined the market trends, consumer preferences, time of the highest sales, and services with the highest sale, he can decide on promotional goals. Promotional goals are designed to ensure that the popularity of the company is maintained. Irshad Company will form various goals to ensure that the company remains on top of its competitors for a long time. The process of forming goals is important since it acts as a source of motivation for the marketing manager. In addition, goals also provide a means of measuring performance. The marketing manager needs to set marketing goals on all products and services offered by the company depending on their previous performance in the market. However, Irshad Consultancy Company is a new entrant in the market. Therefore, the goals will be set according to the manager’s financial projections. Moreover, the manager should set a system that will ensure the goals set are communicated to the other personnel in the organization.

Promotional Strategies

A strategy is an elaborate plan and systematic approach to work. Setting up comprehensive business strategies will ensure that the marketing department can achieve its goals. The marketing manager will have the responsibility of determining the strategies to use and the viability of these strategies in the business set up. A good strategy usually differentiates successful organizations from the rest. Adopting Michael Porter’s generic strategy in the marketing of services and products of Irshad will be advantageous to the organization as a whole. Porter’s defensive strategy is usually handy in ensuring that the market share is maintained and expanded over time. Therefore, the adoption of Porter’s generic strategies will allow Irshad Consultancy Company to improve its marketing. Some of the strategies that Irshad can adopt from porters model include:

Cost Leadership Generic

This strategy emphasizes the need to minimize costs. Irshad as a new company needs to maintain costs that are relatively lower than those of their competitors are. By maintaining lower operation costs Irshad can overtake the competing companies. Irshad Consultancy Company can achieve lower costs by having a lower cost per unit in the course of its operation. Lower costs per unit will ensure that the company’s profits are relatively higher than those of its competitors (Bradford, 2011). This strategy is considered defensive since it ensures that the company can decrease its prices and fight for a market share with well-established brands in the market. Since Irshad consultancy does not have many competitors with established brands they can easily employ this strategy as an offensive strategy.

The cost leadership strategy will also ensure that the company is well protected against powerful consultant companies. This is because it provides an easy time when absorbing the increasing production costs. When applying the use of cost leadership a company will be able to minimize it’s cost-effectively whereas the other companies will be aiming at outsourcing as a means of cutting costs. Therefore, this strategy gives the company sufficient opportunity to establish a brand in the market by claiming they are the best local company that will offer sound career advice and products that other companies are not offering. Cost leadership will be encouraged by economies of scale. Therefore, Irshad Consultancy Company will be encouraged to offer its services to a large number of students. With the increase in the number of clients, Irshad will have the ability to offer its services at cheaper prices.

Product Differentiation

Differentiating products and services provide the company with an opportunity of creating something unique (Seaton, 2007). Unique products will ensure that the company is able to create its own market in career consultancy. Service and product differentiation will be done by creating new designs of magazines, creating different brands of magazines to meet the different needs of students, and using different technologies to market and disseminate information. Service differentiation, on the other hand, will occur through the use of highly qualified counselors and the use of technology to enhance services.

This strategy is considered defensive because it provides insulation to the company from competitors by creating brand loyalty. This in turn reduces the price elasticity of the products making them less likely to be affected by the changes in price and demand. The uniqueness of a product creates barriers that reduce the propensity to substitute a brand for another. With no substitutes in the market, the company will create a margin that can assist in dealing with bigger competition in the future. By differentiating the product, the company can control the purchasing habits of the consumer. Irshad Consultancy Company can successfully differentiate their services by doing extensive market research then implementing the findings of the research. However, while conducting research, additional costs shall be incurred. Therefore, it is essential to note that product differentiation requires strong marketing skills.

Focus or Niche Strategy

Niche strategy focuses on a particular group of consumers or product discrimination. Product discrimination in the production of different products for different markets. For instance, Irshad’s first strategy involves offering services to high school graduates. This means that we will have differentiated our service from similar services in the industry. The marketing department will focus on the target group and do aggressive advertising to capture this market before other competitors invade it. The company will also establish a system of marketing products in different markets after it attains stability. The process of marketing products and services in different niches requires the management of Irshad to use either product and service differentiation or cost leadership to achieve their goals. Niche marketing will be considered as a defensive strategy since it will direct the resources of the company towards a specified group of consumers thus locking the competition out. In our case, the target niche is the northern province of Saudi Arabia. After attaining stability, Irshad Consultancy Company will target other niches to expand the market share.

After establishing the strategies, the marketing manager of Irshad will coordinate the communication mix. Coordinating the communication mix will involve controlling the manner in which information will be released to the public. The marketing manager will have to decide on the method of dissemination of information about the product and services. Advertising carried out by Irshad Consultancy Company will not be person-specific. It will target the masses unlike in the community promotion, which will entail reaching specific persons to ensure information is passed along.

The marketing department will have to decide on whether to use promotions or mass advertising. Usually, the method of marketing used is dependent on the marketing strategy adopted. Lavidge and Streiner’s model provides the best communication model to enhance advertisement. This model involves capturing a customer’s attention first by creating awareness of the existence of the products and services offered by Irshad Consultancy Company. Once the customer is aware, the marketers will need to build the customer’s knowledge of the product and services. A customer’s knowledge will determine whether he or she develops a liking for the product. If the customer likes the product, he or she might develop a preference for the brand over other brands. Finally, consumers must make a conviction about a product before he/ she finally makes a purchase or decides to use the services offered by Irshad. The process of capturing consumers’ attention, creating awareness, building his knowledge, up to the process of purchasing summarizes the Lavidge and Steiner model.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Management of Irshad Consultancy Company will employ a result-orientated approach to attract and maintain customers in the infant market. The managers must come up with the best possible methods they can use to advise the students to gain many clients. The company will employ the use of the latest technology to ensure that they minimize the costs. Moreover, the company is an early entrant into a market that is not saturated. Early entrants enjoy the advantage of being the first movers in the market.

Weaknesses

The company will have various weaknesses that may prevent its growth (BizPlan corner, 2011). One of the weaknesses is the lack of sufficient market to sustain profitability. The probability of increasing or commanding a sizeable market share will be low since most schools are already offering career advice. Moreover, the probability of differentiating services n the industry is quite low. This is because modifying the services in career consultancy is hard. Moreover, if a student has specific preferences the choice of career is usually limited within a given range. Therefore, career consultancy represents an industry where service and product differentiation is small.

Opportunities

The market presents the best possible chance of success. There is a high probability that the market share will increase gradually. The fact that the number of students who require career advice is increasing, shows that the market share of a company will eventually increase if they provide good services. Moreover, Irshad Consultancy Company has the opportunity of expanding its market into new niches. Initially, the company will begin its operations in the Northern Province of Saudi Arabia. However, they can slowly expand their business into the whole kingdom.

Threats

There are several threats that Irshad consultancy company. These threats include factors such as competition. In cases where new entrants will come into the market, they may threaten the company’s survival (Tellis and Golder, 1996). Other threats are the schools that offer career advice free of charge. If all the schools decide to adopt this system then they may threaten the survival of Irshad Consultancy Company. Another threat that the company may face is the idea that some of the established competitors in the market may be offering cheaper rates. However, since the industry is still in its infancy this threat is actually minimal.

The management team and Co. structure

The company structure will be made of five different levels. At the top of the structure will be the president of the company. The resident will also be the owner f the company. Under the president, there will be a vice president. The vice president will oversee all the activities of the company. The vice president must be highly qualified and very experienced in the field of career consultancy. Moreover, the vice president should be a holder of a master’s degree or a Ph.D. The vice president shall have four major functions. Among the functions of the vice president will be:

  • Decision-making – vice president of Irshad consultancy must approve all decisions made in the organization. Managers who shall work under the Vice president must present any crucial ideas to the general manager before implementation.
  • Management – all the duties that are tied to the management of Irshad Consultancy Company shall be bestowed upon the vice president.
  • Legal duties – the vice president of Irshad Consultancy Company shall have the responsibility of dealing with all legal matters. The company legal team will work with the vice president on all legal matters.

Under the vice president will be four managers. These managers include the general accounting manager, the marketing manager, the human resource manager, and the legal department manager. These managers will work together with the vice president to ensure that Irshad Consultancy Company is working smoothly. Under the managers is the supporting staff. The supporting staff will be the ones who come into contact with the client and make sure that they disseminate the relevant career information to the clients. Therefore, the success of Irshad Consultancy Company will depend highly on the quality of the supporting staff. If the supporting staff is poor then the company is bound to fail. On the other hand, if the supporting staff is made up of quality personnel the company will prevail.

The following diagram shows the organizational structure of Irshad Consultancy Company.

The organizational structure of Irshad Consultancy Company.

Operations Plan

Irshad Consultancy Company will follow the service model below to enter the new market.

Month June July August September October November
Activity
Choosing a suitable location X
Market research X X
Hiring and training staff for the company X
Development of a website for the company X
Advertising and promotions X
Official opening of the consultancy offices X

Location of the Consultancy Company

The company must be located in a strategic position where it can capture the highest number of clients. However, with the advances in technology, the company’s choice of location will depend on the distribution of technology. To commence its activities the company will set its offices in the central business district of the biggest town in the northern region. The reason for setting an office in the biggest town is due to the concentration of population in urban centers.

Legal Environment and Ethics

In the current Saudi setting, the company is not barred by any legal restrictions. Therefore, to commence its operations the company will have to acquire only the legal documents that the registrar of companies requires. On matters to do with ethics, the company will adopt a general code of conduct used by other professions such as teaching. There is no code of conduct established in the field of consultancy because the industry is at its infancy stages. Moreover, the law has some provisions on matters that pertain to ethics. Therefore, the company will incorporate these into their operation plan.

Personnel

The company will begin its operations with a maximum of 10 employees. Some of the employees will be forced to multi-task to ensure that the company runs smoothly. However, the company plans to increase the number of employees annually. Increasing the number of employees will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the company in service provision.

Service Design and Development

The company will provide career guidance services based on several models. The high school results for students who enroll in our program will be analyzed and the students grouped accordingly. The first model will be based on the students’ perceived areas of strength according to their performance in high school. The company will seek the results from previous exams that the students have sat on over the years to provide sufficient data for proper analysis and conclusions. The students will then be guided on the career options available if they are to pursue subjects in which they show strong performance. They will be taught which subject combinations would most suit them when it comes to pursuing particular career paths. The second model would be based on letting the students choose which careers they want to pursue, then guiding them accordingly on how to get there. This will require a thorough analysis of their performances in various subjects to identify areas of weakness and any other areas that need more development in order to help them pursue their chosen careers. In summary, the program will show the students various career opportunities available, what is required if one is to pursue a particular career, and what they need to do to get there based on their high school results.

Prototypes

There are several prototypes of our kind of set-up in other parts of the world. One good example is the Careers Guidance Service (CGS) operated by the Government of Mauritius through its Ministry of Education and Human Resources. Its main aim is to help its young citizens to come up with realistic strategies based on their personal strengths and circumstances as they go through education, training, and employment. Another good example is the Institute of Careers Guidance in the U.K. It provides career guidance to schools and individuals that register with them. Their operational model is broad-based and includes lectures, conferences, personal coaching, training, and career exhibitions.

Challenges and Risks

The first challenge will be marketing the idea of a Careers consultancy and convincing parents to send their children there, especially for the girls who are our main targets. This will require intensive public awareness campaigns to help the parents and students realize the benefits of enrolling with such a program. Another challenge we foresee is how to deal with poor performance for students who insist on pursuing careers that require strong academic credentials. There is the risk of the whole idea of a careers consultancy collapsing since it is a relatively new concept that has not caught on in the country, especially in the Eastern parts. The idea might meet a lot of skepticism, and even outright resistance, from some hard-line members of the Saudi society.

Patents and trademarks

As a company, we will have our own patents and trademarks that we will use for our operations. First, the name Irshad consultancy will be patented so that it can only be used by our company and our affiliates. We intend to expand our operations and open more career consultancy centers throughout the company. These centers will be using the company name, Irshad consultancy, and therefore no other company or centers should use the same name. We also intend to launch several products, starting with a consultancy magazine, and this shall bear our company trademark. Any other products or services we develop will be registered as the company’s trademarks, and will not be used by any other party.

Financial Projections

Sources and use of funds

In starting operations, the company is sure of getting funding of up to SR 1 million from the personal investment of the company owner and SR 400,000 in overdraft. This will be sufficient to start the basic operations as outlined in the initial budget. The company has also applied for grants from the Saudi government to help fund its school-based operations. Since this money has not been allocated, it has not been included in the budget. The company has also opened avenues for private donations from private citizens and institutions that want to support the idea of a careers consultancy in this region. The funds from private donations will be used to cater to community-based programs and sponsoring needy students.

Assumption sheets

The projected revenue forecasts are based on several surveys conducted amongst the students, working-class, and the general population regarding the idea of a careers consultancy firm operating in the region. Based on the positive responses, and taking in factors like the number of high school graduates each year, the company was able to estimate how many people are likely to enroll in such a program once it starts. The company is also hoping that the money invested in market research, promotions, and advertisements will bring good returns in terms of increased enrollment. Since there is no careers consultancy firm operating in this region, the company is hoping to take advantage of its monopoly in the market to establish itself well within the first five years.

Irshad Consultancy Company start-up expenses

Source of capital Amount in SR
Personal investment 1, 000, 000
Overdraft 400, 000
Total 1, 400, 000
Start-up expenses Amount in SR
Premises 350, 000
Personnel and staff 250, 000
Capital expenditure 250, 000
Market research 100, 000
Consultation fees 100, 000
Promotion and advertisement 200, 000
Total expenses 1,250, 000
Graph on company start-up expenses

Revenue Forecasts

The revenues will be projected on the assumption that the company will claim 10% of the total market share in the northern region when we enter the market.

Collection from clients Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Year (1) 50, 000 clients 500, 000
Year (2) 55, 000 clients 550, 000
Year (3) 65, 000 clients 650, 000
Year (4) 80, 000 clients 800, 000
Year (5) 103, 000 clients 1,030,000
Other collections
Sales of magazines
Year (1) 1, 000 magazines 20, 000
Year (2) 9, 000 magazines 180, 000
Year (3) 17, 000 magazines 510, 000
Year (4) 30, 000 900, 000
Year (5) 50, 000 1,000,000
Totals 520, 000 730, 000 1,160, 000 1,700,000 2,030,000

Graph Showing a Three-Year Revenue Forecast.

a Three-Year Revenue Forecast.

Five-year Income Statement projections

Revenues Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Collection from clients 500,000 550, 000 650, 000 800, 000 1,030, 000
Sales of magazines 20, 000 180, 000 510, 000 900, 000 1, 000, 000
Total revenue 520, 000 730, 000 1,160, 000 1,700,000 2,030,000
Operating expenses
Personnel and staff 250, 000 300, 000 380, 000 400, 000 420, 000
Capital expenditure 250, 000 100, 000 70, 000 70, 000 100, 000
Market research 100, 000 50, 000 50, 000 55, 000 70, 000
Consultation fees 100, 000 20, 000 10, 000 0 0
Promotion and advertisement 200, 000 210, 000 270, 000 270, 000 300, 000
Total expenses 1,250, 000 680, 000 780, 000 795, 000 890, 000
Profit or losses before taxes (380, 000) 50, 000 380, 000 905, 000 1,140, 000

References

BizPlan Corner (2011). Web.

Bradford, R.W. (2011) Communicating Your Strategic Planning With Your Employees. Centre for Simplified Strategic Planning.

Davis, P. S., A. B. Desai, and J. D. Francis. (2000). Mode of international entry: An isomorphism perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 31(2) 239–258.

Dow, D. (2000) A Note on Psychological Distance and Export Market Selection, Journal of International Marketing, (8)1, 51-64.

Eden, L., and Miller, S. (2004). Distance matters: Liability of foreignness, institutional distance, and ownership strategy. M. A. Hitt, J. L. C. Cheng, eds. The Evolving Theory of the Multinational Firm. Advances in International Management, (16), 187–221.

Mietzner, D. and Reger, G. (2005). Advantages and Disadvantages of Scenario Approaches for Strategic Foresight. International. Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 1(2), 220–239.

Seaton, C. (2007). Katahdin Consulting: Business Plan. Business planer magazine , 3(2) 44-67.

Sfakianakis, J. (2011). Saudi Youth struggle to find Work Raises Urgency for Reform. Web.

Souvik, D. (2006). Case Studies on Market Entry Strategies. Nagarjuna Hills, Punjagutta: ICFAI Books.

Tellis, G. and Golder, P. (1996). First to Market, First to Fail: The Real Causes of Enduring Market Leadership. Sloan management review, 34(2), 66-79.

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