E-BIKE BUSINESS

Consultation Case

At the end of my MBA study, we had a client that came to us for consulting purpose. The company was focusing on high-tech electronic bike products, and it had its prototype in process.

The company is looking for some advice about the Go to Market strategy and fundraising options for the next stage of the product. 

It was a three-month length project, and we also signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. So, the information that might be linked to the company will be removed from this portfolio.

Step One: kick off meeting

Step two: Market research

The first brief meeting with the client is always essential to kick off the project. We listed an A4 page of questions that we wanted to know about the business and its goal. The target of the first meeting is to have a general idea about the business and at which stage it was. Most importantly, what is the most critical problems the company was facing.

The whole communication between the client and the team had been efficient and smooth. Both parties keep updates once for a while about the process and if there was new information coming. Because the client and the team were not located in the same city, the communication was all virtual meetings through Zoom throughout the entire project period. Therefore, it is vital to outline the topics covered and solved before the meeting.

The first problem we were solving is to decide which geographic regions the company should launch its first e-bike product. So, we divided the team into two groups. One group focused on market research (market size in different countries, age group, disposable income, etc.). The other group focused on the competition research (existing e-bike competitors, pricing, business structure, etc.). 

The whole process of market research became a learning experience for all the team members. First, it gave us a picture of what is the E-bike market looks like globally. Then, of course, the team met weekly to update each group's findings and decide the next project step.

Decision matrix of market entry
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Based on the evaluation criteria, we identified the top 5 countries for the client to launch its first E-bike product. They were Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France and Italy. However, we also highlighted that the market competition is relatively high in the top 5 countries. As a start-up from New Zealand, the company should also consider the cost of competition if it decides to enter the European market. On the contrary, launching the product in New Zealand should not be viewed as Kiwis contribute robust support to the local businesses, and the market is also growing.

Step three: Go to Market strategy

After identifying the potential markets for the E-bike product, we reviewed what kind of elements we should take into account in the Go to Market strategy. Finally, I drew a mind map to illustrate the current blueprint, so the team could find the gaps between "As" and " To be".

Project Mind Map
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Fundraising options

Capital raising has been a critical stage of launching a new product. We listed several approachable options for the company and prioritised the top 3 recommendations.

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Fundraising through crowd-funding had caught our eyes due to the flexibility and potential of market data gathering. Then, we looked deeper at different crowd-funding scenarios and compared the pros and cons.

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Marketing Strategy

Based on the client's information and the competitor analysis, a marketing plan dedicated to customer service and sustainability was made to approach the niche market of the electronic bike.

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Step Four: Financial Analysis

The financial assumptions also sent the signal that the E-bike is a very capital-consuming product. Therefore, the initial investment could be hefty, and the payback period will be longer than expected.

This also resonates with the recommendation of testing the market and building reference by launching its first product through reward-based crowdfunding.

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Step Five: Execution Plan

In the end, a 3-year execution plan and risk assessment were followed to illustrate the upcoming milestones for the business and potential pitfalls in the recommended solutions.

Timeline
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Risk Assessment
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