Starting and Operating a Woman-Owned Mechanical Engineering Consulting Firm in Kansas: Business and Operations Plan
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Venture Description: The proposed business is a mechanical engineering consulting business that designs heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and fire protection systems for commercial and industrial buildings. The proposed business is a woman-owned firm, and seeks out design projects requiring women and minority business participation. The proposed business is currently in the start-up phase of operations. The owner of the proposed business is a licensed professional engineer. The engineer will stamp all design documents, which includes plans and specifications.Venture Organization and Structure: The proposed business is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), owned and operated by Elle McEwing. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Architectural Engineering from Kansas State University, 10 years of mechanical engineering design and management experience, and is a licensed professional engineer.Elle McEwing will handle all engineering design, drawings, specifications, and client correspondence. An attorney and an accountant will be hired as needed for legal and tax expertise. Venture Market: Buildings for commercial and industrial use are continually being built and/or renovated. Engineering services are in constant demand for all of these projects. In general, large architecture and engineering firms are hired for large design projects, and they often seek small businesses to handle some portion of their work. This is commonly due to fulfilling the minority and women-owned business goals for government work. There are 15 to 20 large firms and many small firms in the Kansas City area that are potential customers of the proposed business. The proposed business is one of very few businesses that can provide this service and business classification in the Kansas City Area. Most of the marketing for the proposed business will consist of networking and telephone correspondence with known individuals in the engineering industry.The proposed business will seek subcontractor roles for government contracts where the woman-owned status will aid in securing contracts. The marketing strategy will be to register on SBA’s PRO-Net database (http://pro-net.sba.gov). PRO-Net is a searchable research database of small businesses that is used by both government buyers and small businesses. Government contracting officers and prime contractors use the database to identify small businesses that have the capability to provide the products or services they need. Small businesses can use it as a marketing tool and for researching their competition.The proposed business will network to secure relationships with large local Architectural/Engineering firms to provide support roles and to help meet the goals for subcontracting with small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and woman-owned small businesses for government contracts.Venture Operations: The proposed business will have very low operating costs. Services for customers will be billed by the hour, with an anticipated billing of $75,000 to $100,000 annually. This is based upon billing an average of 20 hours per week. This number of hours could increase in the future if the Owner wishes to spend additional time working. Expansion in terms of hiring additional employees is not anticipated.Venture Financing: The company will be started with very little initial cost; approximately $5000. A home office will be used for operations. The Owner already has a computer, printer and software needed for the business. An additional phone line and fax machine will be purchased, along with business cards and office supplies. State licensing fees, liability insurance and trade association memberships will be maintained annually. The initial money required for start-up will be obtained from personal savings.
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