Ruth M. Owades
Ruth Owades was working as the Director of Marketing at Avion, a group of mail order companies, when she felt the need to start her own business. Indeed, in late October 1978, she had wanted to leave her job and fully commit to starting her own mail order company. Thecompany would be Gardener’s Eden, which would offer unusual, practical and rare tools by catalog to affluent home garderners. She first presented her venture to her company, Avion, which, whereas a quite enthusiasm in the first place, turned down her proposal to start such a company within it. However, Ruth Owades seemed very well determined to run the new entreprise she had in mind. Therefore she ask for and received permission from Avion’s chairman to use the idea an try to start it on her own if she could raise the money.
She knew exactly what her target market was and thus was really determined and confident. Working as the Marketing Director of Avion, she was used to know customers, to communicate with them, to handle their need. Here she wanted to target amateur horticulturalists thath could be very much profitable, easily reached and extremely loyal if well served. However she rapidly faced some difficulties because as an unproven entrepreneur with an unproven idea investment money was not exactly forthcoming. Her best offer for funding involved her providing 25% of the money for the venture from her own bank account, while giving up 49% of the company to the investors. She also had to deal with Fulfillment and overhead costs, such as finding a printer, a warehouse where she can put her stocks, phone and credit card companies... She succeeded in contracting with all the suppliers she needed, by well negotiating the terms. Unfortunately, the expected numbers she had based all of her strategy on was a bit too unrealistic and she had to revise the figures downward.
She has planned and gained investors and now needs to decide whether or not to go ahead with the plans, or...
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