Khan Fashions: E-Commerce Retail Stores for Designers in Third World Countries

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Executive Summary

The Internet has opened the communication line to many third world Caribbean countries, allowing them to have access to information and products that they would normally not reach. Khan Fashions is a Limited Liability Company that provides an online store for the purchase of designer clothing, jewelry, and accessories to consumers around the world. The products found on the Khan Fashion online store will be creations from fashion designers living and working in third world countries, particularly in the Caribbean. Khan Fashions will work to network and build relationships with talented designers who, due to economic hardship and geographical location, have been previously unable to gain a fan base or clientele. Khan Fashions allows underprivileged designers the opportunity to sell their products to consumers who, without the convenience of the Internet and the service provided by Khan Fashions, would otherwise never be able to buy these fashions.

Khan Fashions will offer designers in third world countries the ability to sell their products through an online store, in exchange for a small portion of the sales revenue. Such an arrangement will be mutually beneficial in that the designers will be able to increase their customer base from consumers in a global market, with the potential to sell a large amount of merchandise. Meanwhile, Khan Fashions will gain in the form of receiving a small percentage of the revenue made by designers’ sales. Khan Fashions will also manage marketing and well-integrated retail strategies for the designers in the form of fashion competitions. The public will be exposed to new and interesting designers and give their input on which designers are the most talented. The top three winners of the fashion competitions will receive special bundles of benefits through Khan Fashions as well as business mentorship.

With the discovery of new designers, sales, and marketing services all tied into one business venture, Khan Fashions will be a unique and highly sought-after online presence. Khan Fashions expects the local markets in third world countries to benefit from Khan Fashions and the services offered. Once Khan Fashions has been reasonably well accepted in at least five countries, Khan Fashions predicts that word will quickly spread about the opportunities for designers and local economies to grow through Khan Fashions. Khan Fashions expects to sell approximately two thousand units per month in the first six months of operation. Sales will then increase to more than five thousand items per month during peak seasons. After fashion competitions have begun to be held around the world, interest in Khan Fashions will grow, leading the company to sales of more than ten thousand units per month in the first two years. Expected sales are based on Internet sales to citizens of numerous countries. As an e-commerce company, access to Khan Fashions will be international and Khan Fashions expects to grow unbounded.

Industry Overview

The industries that Khan Fashions will be joining are the fashion industry as well as the e-commerce industry of online retail. Both of these industries are currently brimming with possibilities, new ventures, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs trying to break their way into the powerful dynamic of elite business. According to Swedish fashion professionals who are seeing an immense flood of interest and talent in the European fashion industry, "there is an interesting dynamic with many young creative entrepreneurs who are expected to contribute to new businesses that can grow and contribute to the countries' economic development" (Holm & Tijburg, 2013, p. 9). In a report published by the University of Boras, The International School of Textiles describes a trend that is applicable to fashion businesses around the globe. The authors of the report state that, "The international success of some Swedish fashion brands has led to an increased interest in fashion even in Sweden. This applies to both media as well as research and different organizations that promote Sweden as an exporting country" (Holm & Tijburg, 2013, p. 10). While this report refers directly to Sweden, the same trends are happening for third world countries, but at a smaller rate. Khan Fashions hopes that with time, effort, and excellent marketing skills, Khan Fashions will be able to help third world countries and, in particular, Caribbean fashion designers to begin entering the fashion industry with as much speed and grace as the Swedish are seeing in Europe. The goal of Khan Fashions is to help those talented designers who choose to begin expanding their brand and gaining exposure through Khan Fashions.

Fashion helps to create the image of a country both domestically and globally (Holm & Tijburg, 2013, p. 11) and, therefore, fashion designers in third world countries can do much to improve the state of their respective country's economy. In order to do this correctly and most efficiently, designers can use the tools, services, and events offered by Khan Fashions to promoting their own businesses and enter the industries of fashion and eCommerce like seasoned professionals. Fashion is an industry that relies upon and contributes to other industries such as journalism, advertising, photography, retailing, and logistics (Holm & Tijburg, 2013, p. 11). So success with Khan Fashions can lead to success for numerous other businesses and for an entire nation as a whole. In other words, the fashion industry relies upon a fast-paced balance of success. If a designer is successful, their marketing team can be successful, leading to news, photography, and journalism professionals being successful. In the end, the retail business is then successful based on the demand that the previously mentioned industries have created in the wake of their individual successes.

While the fashion industry can be looked at like a self-sustaining machine – or monster, depending on whom you ask – the e-commerce industry is much more delicate and offers disproportionate amounts of success and failure. Many more online ventures fail than those that succeed. In order to be successful, an online business must be able to handle the volume, shipment, and customer satisfaction (Mele, 2000, p. 105). Deliveries must be accurate, undamaged, and on time in order to keep customers coming back for repeat business (Mele, 2000, p. 106). Some new online businesses are able to meet these demands and thrive because of them. But recently, a wave of new online businesses have taken root online without thoroughly creating and examining all the factors that enter into a business plan.

The most recent new wave of online businesses is called I-grocers, shortened from the term “Internet grocer” (Mele, 2000, p. 105). The goal of the I-grocer business is to make grocery shopping easy, affordable, and convenient. However, once you analyze the operation of the I-grocer business, it does not seem possible that the I-grocer can achieve all three goals – ease, affordability, and convenience – in the same venture. These new businesses called I-grocers (Mele, 2000, p. 105) are attempting to eliminate the need for customers to drive to stores, wander amongst aisles trying to find their necessary provisions, and wait in long lines, only to load heavy bags into and then out of their vehicles.

Though the idea is spectacular, the numbers simply will not sustain this industry for long. While I-grocers are able to do away with the overhead cost of pleasantly decorated and designed grocery stores, cashiers, deli staff, meat department staff, produce staff, floral staff, retail managers and assistant managers, cleaning, and maintenance crews, and other staffing necessities of a physical grocery store, the I-grocers will have added costs such as warehousing, order creation personnel, customer service staff, delivery operation managers, truck drivers, and fleets of trucks (Mele, 2000, p. 106), all of which are likely to be comparable to the costs of physical store locations.

Also, there is a small target customer base that can afford home delivery of groceries. Physical grocery store locations are frequented by people of all socioeconomic strata and are often frequented out of convenience or as an afterthought. For example, grocery stores are often located in shopping centers beside other popular businesses. There is a great deal of foot traffic near these stores, which brings in haphazard clientele who did not start the day with the purpose of going to the grocery store in mind. Also, there is a specific demographic of people who care enough about saving a couple of hours per week in buying large quantities of groceries for the family; that target market is dual-income homes with busy parents and hungry children (Mele, 2000, p. 106). By providing a service that caters to only a portion of the customers that were originally being reached, I-grocers are dangerously minimizing their target audience.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the amount of the American population living in rural areas, such as the areas where the I-grocer’s target audience is likely to live, is twenty percent (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The vast majority of dual-income families live in suburban or rural areas, which have lower home density. This means that delivery vehicles will have longer distances to travel between deliveries, leading to fewer deliveries being able to be made (Mele, 2000, p. 106). In addition, deliveries will need to be scheduled and carefully checked to ensure that customers will be home to receive the delivery of their perishable goods (Mele, 2000, p. 106). If customers are not home to accept deliveries or if drivers miscalculate their routes and do not arrive at the specific time a client requested, that could lead to lost earnings, discarded product (as perishable foods cannot be left unattended), and countless disgruntled customers.

All of these obstacles combined equal a great challenge for I-grocers and leave little room for profit. It is important to examine the ways in which certain online businesses may fail to ensure that a new online business does not fall into the same trap. The problems the I-grocers are facing include excess cost, a small customer base, increased risk for lost profits, difficult operations, and more. Fortunately, Khan Fashions falls into the category of being perfectly suited for online business. Khan Fashions will be able to take advantage of minimal overhead costs while providing fast shipping. In order to minimize cost, not become overwhelmed with too many tasks at once, and to maximize efficiency, Khan Fashions will use already established shipping providers. By using any number of already established shipping companies, Khan Fashions will be able to focus more strongly on website functionality, marketing, and special events. Furthermore, by using companies such as Federal Express, UPS, and DHL, customers will feel a sense of security knowing that their products are being carried by companies with long histories and solid reputations. By associating with such companies, Khan Fashions will appear more reputable and more trustworthy in the eye of the common consumer.

The Internet is a booming world of its very own that is growing with such rapidity, it is no wonder that people all over the world are attempting to use the Internet for their own personal gains. In 2010, "the estimated value of the online retail market across all sectors" was more than $41.5 billion (Walsh, 2010, p. 6). This is up from almost $15 billion in 2009 (Walsh, 2010, p. 6), proving that the online retail market is growing and rapidly. However, rapid growth does not necessarily mean that all online companies are doing well and have no problems to contend with or hurdles to cross. As the Internet grows, new commodities and technologies arise. In the past decade, we have seen a surge in the popularity and necessary adoption of social media technologies. For many online start-up companies, the main issues of concern "are how to attract and retain online buyers and also how to tie in with social media properly" (PR Newswire, 2013, p. 1). As social media becomes a way of life for developed countries, third world countries who wish to catch up to the leading nations will need to adopt social media practices and handle social media marketing with mastery. As a company that is founded in a developed nation and, in fact, a nation that pioneered social media, designers in third world countries would do well to use Khan Fashions as a gateway into the world of social media.

There are many reasons Khan Fashions would like to target third world countries. First is that third world countries are home to countless unrecognized talents that could benefit from international exposure. This is exactly what Khan Fashions aims to do – to provide exposure to those who are presently without the financial or technological means to do so themselves. Second, third world countries have the passion and drive to become on par with developed countries that are needed in new business ventures. Third world nations are secluded from the rest of the world and therefore develop such rich cultures and have such strong passions for their own heritage. It is this appreciation of humanity and the uniqueness of the self that drives a business towards success. Third, more individuals are seeking to explore the great unknown of third world countries. As the world becomes more easily accessible with increased airline flights, travel companies, and service providers competing with one another and thus lowering their costs, it is becoming much more common to encounter individuals who have traveled to developed countries. No longer is travel and world exploration a privilege reserved only for the wealthy. As traveling to Europe or Asia becomes more common in the middle and upper classes of American citizens, travelers are looking for the next great adventure. Khan Fashions will show them that the next great adventure is found in the third world countries featured on our website. The talented designers featured on Khan Fashions will draw tourism to these third world countries and provide them the opportunity for economic growth, publicity, and global appreciation.

Fashion and travel are becoming more popular with the younger generations as well. In the 1950’s America saw the Beat Generation and in the 1970’s the Hippie Generation; now in the 2000’s we have the Backpacker Generation – a group of young people desperate to not miss out on the world their parents ignored and determined to see the beauty in the world, even with little to no money in their pockets (Scheyvens, 2002, p. 145). In an article by Regina Scheyvens, a new light is shown on third world countries as target destinations for backpackers and tourists from around the globe, particularly the United States, Australia, and New Zealand (Scheyvens, 2002, p. 145). With tourism interests beginning to reach third world nations, marketing is beginning to travel and do the work for companies like Khan Fashions. As Khan Fashions grows in the United States, Europe, Australia, and other developed global entities, tourists may flock to events hosted by Khan Fashions such as the fashion competitions and recruiting events for local designers.

Developing fashion brands and businesses within third world countries is rarely discussed, but not unheard of notion. According to Timothy Scrase of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales in Australia, "globalization has intensified the precarious existence of artisan communities through increasing global competition, the mass production of craft goods, and shifting trends in fashion, cultural taste, and aesthetics" (Scrase, 2003, p. 449). With so much global competition to create handcrafted, culturally valuable goods, third world countries need a strong business entity to help them hold their own against the larger powers of the world.

Too often we have seen stories in the news of the horrors of child labor and the exploited third world countries that suffer to put hot bargains on the racks of American department stores (Smith, 2012, p. 14). Khan Fashions aims to eliminate this exploitation by giving designers and clothing creators an equal playing field in the business world. Timothy Scrase states that "Both government and non-government efforts at supporting artisans are criticized for providing limited and ineffectual programs and policies" (Scrase, 2002, p. 449). Khan Fashions will not fail the artists and designers as these previous efforts have. The third world countries are struggling to meet developed nations in terms of industrialization and the export of quality or low-cost goods (Videla, 2005, p. 307). However, Khan Fashions and the designers with whom we will work will not be producing goods on a mass scale. Rather, Khan Fashions will help consumers, designers and business-people alike to value the one-of-a-kind, unique goods produced by the talented hands of citizens of third world nations.

Discussion of Business

Khan Fashions is an Internet store that will allow fashion designers from various countries to sell their products to people all over the world. In particular, Khan Fashions will highlight the items for sale by designers in third world countries. Khan Fashions will target and reach out to young fashion entrepreneurs at least 21 years of age who design their own clothing items and would like to expand their customer base. Khan Fashions will advertise in and actively pursue designers in third world countries, particularly in the Caribbean, with the goal of finding talented designers who do not have the resources to advertise or start-up Internet shops themselves. Therefore, the mission statement of Khan Fashions is to allow talented and ambitious designers from third world Caribbean countries to sell their well designed and quality items across the world.

Khan Fashions will offer a user-friendly, accessible website that is entertaining and fun to navigate. Our design team will implement a look and feel that is reminiscent of browsing the shops and stalls on the Caribbean Islands. Khan Fashions prides itself on its excellent relationships with vendors. Building rapport with vendors will improve morale and will lead to quick shipment of orders, high-quality goods, and a desire to please the customers found through Khan Fashions.

Khan Fashions will be a Limited Liability Corporation (an LLC). A limited liability company is a type of legal structure that allows for limited liability features of a corporation, but the tax efficiencies and growth and operational flexibility of a partnership (SBA.gov, 2014). Members of an LLC can be either one person or multiple (SBA.gov, 2014). Taxes are done on the profits and losses of the company as a whole and then passed through the company to the members (SBA.gov, 2014). Members then report profits and losses as income on their personal tax returns (SBA.gov, 2014). For Khan Fashions, I will need to file the articles of organization, a document stating that the business is legitimate and names each of the members, who, for the time being, will be myself, only (SBA.gov, 2014). Next, I will need to create an operating agreement (SBA.gov, 2014). An operating agreement is not required in all states, but due to the everywhere-and-anywhere nature of e-commerce businesses, as Khan Fashion will be, an operating agreement will be beneficial to have (SBA.gov, 2014). Finally, I will need to obtain licensing and permits for my business once it is registered (SBA.gov, 2014).

Khan Fashions will offer designers two options. Designers can either manage the shipment and handling of their products on their own with some guidance and assistance from Khan Fashions, or they can delegate the responsibility of shipping to Khan Fashions. If designers choose the latter option, Khan Fashions will have the facilities in place to assist the designers with their shipping needs. Upon completing a design and posting it to their website through Khan Fashions, designers will send their merchandise to the Khan Fashions warehouse in bulk. Khan Fashions will have a centrally located warehouse to store all designer goods. The key to operating a successful online business, according to Kate Walsh of the Sunday Times, is to sell unique items that are easily located within a warehouse and that can then be immediately shipped to the consumer (Walsh, 2010, p. 6). Therefore, the Khan Fashions warehouse will be organized according to designer name, and then organized by designer product numbers to ensure the exact product can be found quickly and easily.

Another powerful business strategy is having very little competition in the market, which boosts the odds of a business surviving and making a profit (Walsh, 2010, p. 6). Khan Fashions will thrive on the bases of these two objectives. As a fashion retailer, Khan fashions will have organized inventories of easily shipped products such as apparel, jewelry, shoes, and accessories. In addition, as Khan Fashions recruits up-and-coming designers from third world countries, we will have absolutely unique products and no competition. Consumers will not be able to find the same products on any other website or in any stores outside of the designer's home country.

For many online start-up companies, the main issues of concern "are how to attract and retain online buyers and also how to tie in with social media properly" (PR Newswire, 2013, p. 1). Khan Fashions will implement the use of SiteSpect, a provider of testing and optimization services. SiteSpect has been instrumental in helping Wayfair, an online home goods store, to achieve record sales growth in recent years (Business Wire, 2013, p. 1). Thanks largely to SiteSpect, Wayfair has become the largest retailer of home goods in the United States (Business Wire, 2013, p. 1). Khan Fashions strives for the same success and will, therefore, implement the same techniques. SiteSpect enables online businesses to “test every aspect of the customer experience,” on both full and mobile websites (Business Wire, 2013, p. 1). By using SiteSpect, Khan Fashions staff members will be able to run tests to ensure that operations are running smoothly on a global scale. The last thing customers want is to encounter technical glitches when trying to purchase fabulous designs. In an effort to retain repeat customers, we will use SiteSpect to proactively test for and repair any such glitches with the goal of preventing our customers from encountering such troubles. Also, "the success of electronic commerce significantly depends on providing security and privacy for its consumers' sensitive personal data," according to a study by Thaw, Mahmood, and Dominic (2009, p. 153). Therefore, Khan Fashions will use SiteSpect's testing server to ensure the successful completion of online transactions without any breach of security of consumer information.

SiteSpect will also help Khan Fashions to integrate social media marketing into the stores of our participating designers in third world countries. As social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more grow into life necessities for people in developed countries, Khan Fashions will assist third world designers in getting set up with and taking advantage of these tools of connectivity. In doing so, Khan Fashions will need to ensure that designers are able to operate successful social media platforms, and testing with SiteSpect through the Khan Fashions website will be of paramount importance.

Analysis of Business Opportunity

At present, the fashion and e-commerce industries are immeasurably large. With websites such as Overstock and Wayfair, only well-known trends and designers are listed for purchase options to consumers. Other websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy allow less-well-known and up-and-coming designers and sellers to sell products themselves but offer limited to no marketing options. Khan Fashions will be a new breed of online store that incorporates e-commerce options with lively marketing strategies.

The marketing plan for Khan Fashions is based on the concept of bringing a fresh new contribution to the world of fashion - one that has previously been inaccessible. Khan Fashions expects to market to those customers who love the ease and beauty of island culture and clothing. Third world designers will be offering styles much less expensive when compared to high fashion styles like Tory Burch in developed nations such as the United States, France, Italy, and Japan, just to name a few. Although the international trend is bordering on a minimalist fashion style, designs will be created with cultural flair and materials native to where the designer is creating.

However, we must consider carefully some of the already existing companies that may have overlapping intentions. For example, Tommy Bahama is a leading American company that aims to bring island life to the world of fashion. However, while Tommy Bahama appeals to the nuances of island life, consumers will likely detect the differences between Tommy Bahama fashions that are mass-produced and disingenuous and the unique creations of designers found on Khan Fashions' website. Other leading companies, such as Target, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, Macy’s, JCPenny, and more that specialize in mass quantities of a vast array of different products will also be competitors within the same market of Khan Fashions. However, Khan Fashions will emphasize through marketing the uniqueness and specialty of the items displayed on the Khan Fashions website. With regard to the uniqueness of items, Khan Fashions has no competition at present simply due to the fact that the designers Khan Fashions chooses to work with will be previously undiscovered. Therefore, the unique items created by unknown individuals cannot have any true competition in the world of fashion that values one-of-a-kind items and products with deep cultural backgrounds.

The designers themselves will determine Sale prices. Therefore, sale prices are likely to be set in the context of nations poorer than those of the United States, Europe, and Asia, leading to cheaper costs and, in turn, more attractive purchases to consumers. The designer will also determine the quality of goods as each designer has different standards and preferences when creating their unique designs. However, quality of service will be closely monitored and moderated by Khan Fashions to ensure that each customer receives his or her order in an acceptable amount of time and that the orders placed match the goods that are received. Customers will have options for choosing their own method of delivery, as long as certain services are available in the countries from which the goods are originating. Federal Express, UPS, and DHL shipping options will be made available throughout the website. Upon selecting an item for purchase, the customer will be notified which of the delivery options are available in the designer's specific country. Khan Fashions will assist designers in getting acquainted with the available shipping companies in their areas, setting up business shipping accounts, and providing adequate shipping services to customers. Production will be determined by the skill and efficiency of each designer. If a designer chooses to offer only one quantity of any given garment or accessory, it is the designer's right to do so and only increases the demand for that item. All information such as price, shipping rates, shipping carriers, and item quantities will be specified on designers’ websites giving full disclosure to the consumers looking to make a purchase.

Advertising will largely be conducted through Internet media. Khan Fashions will take advantage of search engine optimization techniques. When a customer types in words such as “fashion,” “unique clothing,” or “island style,” Khan Fashion aims to be at the top of popular search engine results lists provided by Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Khan Fashions will also utilize interest-related ads and email marketing to target customers who frequently use keywords pertaining to the goods that Khan Fashions can deliver. Finally, after a duration of time of testing, experimenting with SiteSpect and becoming a stable and reliable company in the eyes of fans and critics alike, Khan Fashions will venture to create television commercial marketing campaigns, magazine ad campaigns, and billboards to garner global recognition and become another household name in the area of fashion.

Khan Fashions will also partner with local stores around the globe, cooperative brands, and other designers in order to host a minimum of fifteen fashion competitions. One fashion competition will be held in each of Khan Fashion’s participating designers’ respective countries throughout the year. Local businesses that assist in creating the event will have opportunities to sell designer fashions in their stores – an exclusive and valuable opportunity. Local designers who enter the competition will have the option of setting up a store on Khan Fashions online website. By hosting these competitions, Khan Fashions hope to generate excitement, collaboration, networking, and publicity for itself as a company and for related parties. Khan Fashions will use these events as a means of recruiting new designers.

The start-up cost for Khan Fashions will consist of website costs, promotional campaigns and marketing, and product inventory should designers choose to delegate shipping responsibilities to Khan Fashions in exchange for Khan Fashions receiving a larger portion of sales percentages (see fig. 3). In addition, we will have labor costs of website developers, accountants, administrative assistants, customer service personnel, warehouse managers, and shipping personnel (see fig. 3). Funding for the start-up of Khan Fashions will come from owner investments and a long-term business loan. This funding will be put directly towards creating, developing, and maintaining the website, contracting to SiteSpect, marketing campaigns, warehouse establishment, hourly wages for personnel, office supplies, and computer equipment, necessary software needed to maintain and manage the website as well as bookkeeping software, telephone, internet, and electrical expenses (see fig. 3). Startup expenses will include a domain name and website hosting, website creation and development, promotional campaigns including online advertisements, banners, etc., legal fees, labor, the establishment of a warehouse, capital improvements and equipment, computers, phones, software, and personnel wages (see fig. 3).

Sales records will be broken into categories and the categories will cover all manner of items sold through Khan Fashions (see fig. 1). The apparel category will include pants, shorts, skirts, tops, blouses, dresses, suits, vests, jackets, socks, and intimate apparel (see fig. 1). The jewelry category will include necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, anklets, and body jewelry (see fig. 1). The accessories category will include handbags, belts, scarves, hair clips, buttons, cufflinks, and other products not covered in the apparel or jewelry categories (see fig. 1). The shoe category will include sandals, slippers, loafers, boots, tennis shoes, ladies' heels, and other footwear (see fig. 1).

The target market for Khan Fashions will be forward-thinking and self-identified “trendy” individuals who are actively looking for new and exciting fashions. The fashion industry is a booming world on a high-speed track to finding the next best thing. Khan Fashions will help the fashion industry discover the next best thing in one of Khan Fashions’ participating designers. Customers of designers with online stores hosted on Khan Fashions’ website will be located all across the globe, allowing anyone with an eye for unique designs to reach never-before-seen talented designers. The location of Khan Fashions will initially be located in Dallas, Texas with plans to expand to various locations depending on the ease of shipping and need of customer service personnel.

Khan Fashions expects the local markets in third world countries to take well to Khan Fashions and the services we will offer. Once Khan Fashions has been reasonably accepted in at least five countries, Khan Fashions predicts that word will quickly spread of the opportunities for designers and local economies to grow through Khan Fashions. Khan Fashions expects to sell approximately two thousand units per month in the first six months of operation (see fig. 1). Sales will then increase to more than five thousand items per month during peak seasons (see fig. 1). After fashion competitions have begun to be held around the world, interest in Khan Fashions will grow, leading the company into sales of more than ten thousand units per month in the first two years (see fig. 2). Expected sales are based on Internet sales to citizens of numerous countries. As an e-commerce company, access to Khan Fashions will be international and Khan Fashions expects to grow unbounded.

During the initial start-up of Khan Fashions, there will be one manager who is also the CEO of the company. Khan Fashions will outsource talent scouts in third world countries to look for local designers in their respective nations. The CEO of Khan Fashions will visit interested nations and collaborate with designers and talent scouts, spreading the word and mission of Khan Fashions and gathering support. As profits rise, Khan Fashions will begin hiring administrative, marketing, and development personnel to fit the needs of the company at that time. Long-term positions will include a marketing director, operations and transportation manager, and office manager.

Self-Analysis

In my personal experience as a data scientist, I have worked for over ten years as a Business Intelligence Developer and Programmer with numerous audit and finance companies. I have also had the opportunity to work in development and assistance for one of New York's top security companies, Forte Security. In my many years of application development experience, I have had to learn to identify crucial factors such as geographic market segmentation, for example, in order to best identify the target market. By identifying the target market, I must take into account the concept of the average consumer who would use the product I am working on, the age range of our target demographic, and the most ideal color schemes to use for the design portion of the development. Also, I frequently use Google Analytics to get statistical information on how my development is being received by the target audience. Google Analytics allows me to take advantage of search engine optimization, as well, so that I may gauge whether or not my particular business or organization is appearing high on the Google search results list when any given potential customer searches for products like mine.

While Google Analytics goes a long way to tell me how well my product is doing at being seen by my target audience, I have room to improve in the area of actually modifying and enhancing the search engine optimization of my products. This is an area that I feel is a weakness for me. In today's market, search engine optimization is crucial and must be incorporated into a project to maximize the potential success of the product I am developing. For Khan Fashions, I would want the very best chances of my business to be seen at the top of Google search results, which means improving myself and my skills in the area of using search engine optimization techniques. Because Khan Fashions is an online-only endeavor, the ranking position on Google search results can either make or break my business.

In order to improve in the area of using and improving search engine optimization techniques, I must first gather and digest as much information about search engine optimization as possible. Only with proper education and understanding will I be able to develop a mastery of this skill. Next, even though I am a businessperson and have a tendency to think in rather technical terms, I must learn to think like the average consumer who will be supporting my business with their purchases. Both of these skills will take time and effort to develop, but as with any business venture, there is room for growth and your success is determined by how much effort you put into your new business. Also, this will need to be a life-long education process because the world of online commerce, technology and tools are constantly changing. Therefore I will need to readily keep myself updated on the most current search engine optimization tools and techniques, as well as changing trends in consumerism. I am determined to transform my weaknesses into strengths and help this business to thrive in the world of online retail and e-commerce.

(Appendices A, B, & C omitted for preview. Available via download)

References

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