O'Connor & Partners

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Agricultural Consultants Business Plan

Executive Summary

O'Connor & Partners LLC will consult to companies that want to produce chemicals and energy from annually renewable feedstocks. We will help our clients attain economic utilization of the major fractions of biomass as well as minor components that can be functionalized into high-value specialty products. The two major components of all forms of biomass are cellulose and hemicellulose, which are long chains of simple sugars.

Many chemicals made today from petroleum were once manufactured from sugar. Several of these are niche chemicals with small markets and high barriers to entry. The others are comprised of commodities whose manufacturing costs are optimized by the economies of scale found in the traditional refineries of the world. In order to compete in today's marketplace with these petroleum-derived commodity chemicals, it is critical to begin with significantly lower feedstock costs. Under-utilized lignocellulosic biomass feeds have the potential to be much cheaper than petroleum, on a carbon basis. Biomass contains the same sugars which have been demonstrated to work.

There are many products that can only be effectively made from biomass sugars. Industrial biotechnology has developed fermentation organisms which produce high selectivities to specific products, often with preference to one racemic stereoisomer over another (important in, for example, many pharmaceutical compounds). To mimic these feats of biochemistry, traditional feedstocks and processes would be much more expensive, if they were even possible at all. An excellent example of industrial biotechnology is polylactide polymers made from fermenting corn sugars, by Cargill Dow LLC. Industrial biotech has been coined by industry observers as the "third wave of biotechnology."

O'Connor & Partners LLC recognizes that new ventures in bio-refining require technical excellence grounded in economic realities. We seek to serve as management consultants to those individuals and companies that intend to lead the bio-industrial revolution. The expected customer base includes emerging industrial-biotechnology firms, large existing chemical companies and utilities, and agricultural operations. We will help our clients realize industrial at less cost and/or in less time than they could do alone - with a guarantee of top-quality, professional service. With our assistance our clients will also achieve sustainability from the perspective of the triple bottom lines - economic, environmental, and social responsibilities in all their business activities.

The potential market is enormous. Experts have estimated that bio-refining will grow into an industry ranging from $280 billion/yr to $500 billion/yr by 2013.

O'Connor & Partners LLC will open for business in Minneapolis, Minnesota, starting with the founding partner (Ryan O'Connor), one associate (to be recruited), and one secretary. Figure 1 forecasts sales, gross margin, and net profit for the three years covered in this business plan. Starting with an investment from outside investors, the plan projects a modest profit over the three-year period and a healthy net worth at the end of year 3. At this point the firm should be well-positioned to add consultants to grow the business, or to consider a buy-out from a large consultancy.

1.1 Mission

O'Connor & Partners will be the leading bio-refining consulting firm in the United States providing expertise in the technical and economic analysis of integrated bio-refining projects and activities. We will provide this service while adhering to our economic, social, and environmental responsibilities for our clients, our industry, and ourselves.

1.2 Objectives

We seek to establish the industry standard for technical and business excellence in the pursuit of visionary bio-refining platforms, according to customer-satisfaction and industry surveys. To accomplish this objective, the following elements are crucial:

  • Unique consulting services that are clearly proven.
  • Ability to manage confidentiality and intellectual-property issues among competitors.
  • Professional relevance (state-of-the-art awareness) and knowledge growth in rapidly expanding industry.
  • Demonstrated concern for clients' well being, leading to repeat business and a good reputation for our firm.
  • Retention of our own employees and partners.

1.3 Keys to Success

  • Professional quality in all consulting
  • Ability to manage confidentiality and intellectual-property issues among competitors
  • Professional relevance (state-of-the-art awareness) and knowledge growth in rapidly expanding industry
  • Retention of existing clients (repeat business)