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The Entrepreneur's Guide to Computer Recycling: Basics for starting up a computer recycling business in emerging markets
PC Recycling Guide
Commercial Strategy

The entrepreneur must pay particular attention to the company’s positioning on the market (in terms of location, activities and products), to optimize his pricing policy and to improve relations with his clients and partners. A study of demand allows the entrepreneur to get a better appreciation of the market: he is then able to analyse and remove the obstacles to computer purchase (such as price or lack of easy terms). Feasibility and market studies also enable the entrepreneur to identify his potential clients and to learn about the means to be implemented in order to meet demand. Once the market has been fragmented and priority targets have been determined, the entrepreneur must define a communication plan, to make his offer known and find clients.

Marketing and communication

Beforehand, a market analysis should be conducted in order to categorize customers, according to their purchasing power. The entrepreneur must always look for creative ways to promote the recycling centre.

Marketing plans should mainly focus on field missions, e.g. prospecting, tracking quotes, follow-up and development of customer loyalty. In the shop, the enterprise may prepare and use selling devices such as advertising and technical documents or sales pitches. The sales area and the store window may also be arranged in an attractive way. Even in a small organization, communication issues are important. The entrepreneur must promote his products and has to maintain and develop his reputation. In order to get good exposure, the entrepreneur needs to use various types of media. To communicate the entrepreneur can resort to press conferences, advertising, television, telemarketing, emails, etc.

Action plans

The commercial strategy must be written in a concise way. The entrepreneur must summarize the main procedures of the company’s policy. The written form meets two needs: it clarifies ideas and synthesizes key elements which constitute the company’s competitive advantage. This is the reference document the entrepreneur must align his strategy on. It enables decisions to be explained and to make them understood and accepted.

The entrepreneur must prepare in detail the action plans he is going to set up to achieve the goals set out in the business strategy. The next phase consists in describing in practical terms the different stages and means implemented to achieve these goals. For each step, the following aspects are detailed and planned: actions, costs, timing and human resources. These action plans should be aligned with the business and the objectives set. Actions are prioritized according to needs. Depending on the situation, their implementation may be simultaneous or sequential. Every action must be validated before moving to the next.

Partnerships

Before making his business known, it is in the entrepreneur’s interest to get in touch with networks of businesses and institutions involved in computer science and which are committed to the reduction of the digital gap. By establishing partnerships with the key members of these networks, the entrepreneur will secure regular clients for the company and will extend its scope of action. Partners may contribute to the communication strategy: they can spread the word about the company and act as free advertisements.

By getting in touch with governmental authorities, the entrepreneur may also gain access to certain information (e.g. about the expansion of the power system or the launching of a plan to finance computer equipment in schools) which will enable the company to enter new markets. In the same manner, a partnership with an Internet access provider may be beneficial: the latter could advise his clients to purchase their computers at the recycling site. Finally, the entrepreneur may try to create partnerships with businesses which could sell his products on other markets.