Saturday, 26 February 2011

Business Plan

I have cobbled together a type of business plan for our Sown Boxes. It runs to around 33 pages and the figures need re-juggling (that's what I like about numbers).

Please find the first few pages of the plan.

I will bring a printed copy to our meeting on Tuesday.

Sown Boxes

Executive Summary
Sown Boxes (SB) is a new company which specialises in bio-degradable fast food containers. SB is concentrating on making recyclable food containers with a wide range of vegetable seeds impregnated within a section of the container. In addition to having several sizes of containers , SB will also offer the option of a customer choosing which type of seeds and size of containers they require. SB will be selling to smaller retail outlets as well as larger ones. Initially the bulk of SB's business will be generated by individuals from word-of-mouth referrals, but as time passes, it is intended that corporations will become a growing percentage of sales.
Once up and running with some momentum, SB will be steadily producing profits. It is projected that SB will be making a profit by December 2012. By the end of year three, it is projected that SB will be generating a net profit of approximately £15,000.
The Company
The Sown Boxes' mission is to create the finest boxes of this type available. SB, soon to be located in Dundee, using  premier local seeds, when possible and good quality biodegradable boxes. The business will be based in a working unit which is part of a small industrial development site within the city. Although this will be a small business to begin with, it is anticipated that as the venture grows it shall create a few working places to the local community. 
The founders of the company are, at present, full time students at Dundee Duncan of Jordanstone University and have various skills which they can bring to the business. The primary Sown Boxes that will be offered shall be for: pizza, burgers, fries, soup, hot drinks. Each container shall have a section which will contain the vegetable seeds with the remainder of the box being used on the compost heap.
The Market
The purchasing of Sown Boxes shall rely heavily on the buying public and the retail outlets who shall provide this type of container. It is anticipated that a greater number of containers shall be required during the 2summer holiday” period.
SB's competitive advantage will be based on two factors, low overhead which allows reasonable prices, and an unrelenting desire for the highest quality product and service.
1.     Low overhead.
2.     Highest quality product and service.
SB's sales strategy will be targeted at obtaining both the individual and corporate clients through word-of-mouth referrals. Customers will be able to place an order at the office, over the phone or via the website.
SB's start-up costs will include all the equipment needed for the unit-based office, legal fees, website creation, and start-up advertising. The home office equipment will be the largest chunk of the start-up expenses. This equipment includes a computer system, fax machine, office supplies, cellular phone, and pager. Additionally, there will be the installation of a broadband connection, and furniture for the home office. Total start-up expenses are expected to be £28,000, all of which will be provided through the Groups own equity.
The Break-even Analysis indicates SB will need to sell approximately £4,900 per month to break even. SB expects to earn approximately £14,000 in year two and £21,000 in year three.

1.1 Mission
The Sown Boxes' mission is to create the finest food containers available. We exist to attract and maintain customers. When we hold fast to this truism, everything else will fall into place. Our products and services will exceed the expectations of our customers.
1.2 Objectives
The objectives for the first three years of operation include:
1.     To create a small company whose primary goal is to exceed customer's expectations.
2.         To increase the number of clients served by at least 20% per year through superior performance and word-of-mouth referrals.
3.     To develop a sustainable small business, surviving off its own cash flow.

Company Summary
SB, soon to be located in Dundee, and will offer a wide range of bio-degradable food containers, production as well as custom units. SB will be producing the containers out of premier ingredients, local seeds when possible.
The business will be based in a small Dundee industrial unit. Although this will be a small local business, to begin with, toward the end of year one it is anticipated that it will have one more  employee. If the business goes per the forecasted plan, the business will achieve profits by the end of year one.
2.1 Company Ownership
The Sown Boxes will be a sole proprietorship, owned by the group of students.
2.2 Start-up Summary
SB's start-up costs will include all the equipment needed for the unit-based office, legal fees, website creation, and start-up advertising. The home office equipment will be the largest chunk of the start-up expenses. This equipment includes a computer system, fax machine, office supplies, cellular phone, and pager. The computer should have a 500 megahertz Celeron/Pentium processor, 64 megabytes of RAM (preferably 128), 6 gigabyte hard drive, and a rewritable CD-ROM for backing up the system. Additionally, there will be the expense installation of a broadband connection. While a broadband connection is not totally necessary, it only costs between £40-50 per month for service and will make working on the Internet significantly faster and easier.
The unit office will also require a few pieces of furniture such as a desk, chair, and bookshelf to transform a standard room into an office.  Lastly, an additional land phone line will be required. The legal fees are used for the formation of the business as well as for reviewing/generating standard client contracts. The Web creation fees at start-up costs are for design and creation of the website. The start-up advertising will be the production of brochures.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

origami flower

origami flower in Paris ~~~

 origami flower in Span~~~

 origami flower in Bei Jing ~

the website ~~~yi nan

Brian Clark Howard, 2009, Reinventing the pizza box, [online] Available at;   [Accessed 20th February 2011].

Joy Division, 2010, Tower Box , [online] Available at;   [Accessed 20th February 2011].

Paula  Alvarado,Buenos Aires, 2010, Seriously Cool Boots from Recycled Plastic Bags , [online] Available at;  [Accessed 26th February 2011].

Stefan, 2009,  Amazing Recycling Design Chairs,[online] Available at;  [Accessed 27th February 2011].

Seed Supplier Websites

Sorry I couldn't make the meeting today (Tue 22 Feb).

I have found some bulk seed suppliers at the following websites:

Bulk seed buying. US company.

Bulk seed buying. Australian company.

*Carrots, UK supplier

*Carrots, UK supplier

Where I got the links for the two sites above *  they do other veg seeds as wll.

Looks like another US supplier. Also have to contact the supplier to place an order. (seems obvious).



Recycle Now - where and how to recycle - Official UK recycling campaign. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2011].

BBC - Gardening - Gardening Design: Planting styles - Vertical gardening. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2011].

(This Ones so cool!)
Container Gardening - Growing Vegetables, Dwarf Fruit Trees in Containers & Wooden Raised Beds. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2011].

LifeBox - [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 February 2011].

Monday, 21 February 2011

Mushroom Origami

Sown Boxes Logo

Origami in Milan



Packaging Suppliers & News, 2011. Biodegradable Box Design. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 21 February 2010].

Shawkins, 2010. Archive for Category Seeds. Suttons Gardening Blog, [blog] 3 November, Available at: <> [Accessed 18 February 2010].

The People’s Supermarket, 2011. [TV programme] Channel 4, 20 February 2011 20.00.

WWOOF New Zealand, 1973. Volunteering – The Organic Way. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 9 February 2011].

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Brechin Castle Garden centre

On Friday I took a trip to the Brechin Castle Garden Centre as part of the research for our Sown Boxes project.

Here are some of the photos I took and also a plan of the patio area outside the restaurant.




Play area

Food counter


Display of seed packets

Patio plan (not to scale)

Unfortunately it was raining so the scenery does not look very appealing,

Thursday, 17 February 2011

New Business Questions

These are the 10 Questions I mentioned the other day.

10 Questions to Consider When Starting a New Business
The following questions should be considered when starting a new business; they also make an executive summary of a business plan.
Briefly write out your thoughts related to the following issues.
1)      What is the Product/Service?

2)      What is the Unique Value Proposition?
1.       What makes it better or different?

3)      What is the Market Opportunity?
1.       What problem do you solve?
2.       How large is the market?
3.       How fast is the market growing?
4.       Who is the competition?

4)      How do you Make Money?
1.       What is the revenue model?

5)      Who is the Management Team?
1.       How are they uniquely qualified?

6)      What is the Strategy?
1.       What is the long term goal?
2.       What are the 3, 6, 9 & 12 month milestones?

7)      How do you Sale or market your Product/Service?

8)      How Much Capital do you Need/Intend to Raise?
1.       What are the Primary Start-Up Costs?

9)      What are the Projected Financials for the Company?
1.       What is the projected income statement?

10)   What is the Preliminary Valuation of the Company?
1.       How much would you sell a percentage of your company for?

Notes from Tuesday Meeting

Here are some notes I made from the meeting we had on Monday.

Items discussed at the Group meeting on Tue 15 Feb 2011.
In attendance: Jennifer, Rebecca, Yi Nan, Stephen & Alan.


Blog that we are no longer going to do this project – doing Sown Boxes instead.




How it indicates what seeds are in them?


Coffee cups
Soup containers

With seeds in them

Container types



See mind map on PostGroupMeeting_15Feb2011

Garden centres / eating places

Brechin castle garden centre
Tesco Riverside
School canteens
Hospital canteens / cafe

Do drawings as well


How long does it take for the box to biodegrade?
How do other countries recycle?

Grafix coating?

Biodegradable material.

Jobs 1

Look at eating places & design gardens
Schools, colleges, uni.

Jobs 2

Development of Yi Nan images & CAD drawings

Yi  Nan

Baked potatoes

Fruit juice


Great wall
Other places in China

Next Wed 23 Feb

Everyone find 4 websites about
·         Life boxes
·         Gardening
·         Recycling
·         Postconsumer

Look at websites and keep references


Ask Pete about his vegetables for the SOWN BOXES projects.


Girls at the computer to post on Team Blog.
SOWN BOXES poster.


Research on Postconsumer
Development into product

Mind maps

Life boxes

Look at websites and keep references

Post consumers

·         Children
·         Parents
·         Teachers


Will we give Hamid our notsosecretgarden blog?


Type of veg seeds


Products already
·         Life Box
·         Gardening
·         Recycling
·         Post consumers



Veg already half grown

Tomato plants etc


Look at and reference all the sites listed on the sheet Hamid gave us.