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Feasibility Study

Keep Your Voice Scientific

Another important element is the “voice” you take in writing your study. Again, it's human nature to “sell” the idea with your language and this is diametrically opposed to the purpose of the feasibility study! Huh? What? Feasibility studies are one of those odd ironies of life. In the micro, they need to be devoid of emotion and use direct “scientific” language if you will. Yet, in the macro, what are they supposed to do? That’s right, sell something into existence. Why the difference? Well, you can’t prove a negative. There aren’t feasibility studies for what not to do, only what needs to be done and what can be done.

The details of what needs to be included in a feasibility study in relation to the identified topics can be discussed ad infinitum. However, I've found through experience that simplification at this stage of development is required for ascertaining required details. In fact, we can borrow some tenets from the journalism discipline to make this happen.

What. Who. When. Where. Why.

Address these five words in relation to each topic with “scientific method” language and you’ll be on your way to putting it on paper.

Let’s go back to your first element: the land. We already mentioned what type of land and where it should be located, so the what and where is covered, as is the why -- because Sherry wants a water park. That leaves when and who. The when is at some point in the process on the time-line. The who can be a stickler at this point, like a much bigger check than expected at a family dinner when you’re buying! If you already know where you want the park to be, it wouldn’t take much to find out who owns the land. But there’s more to the “who” in acquiring land, like realtors, mortgage bankers, and zoning, unless money isn’t an object.

The Money Factor & The Time-Line

Speaking of money, two elements can and do (and probably should) recomplicate a feasibility study. Obviously, one is money; however, it's a minor irritant compared to the grand complicator -- time. We’re not measuring time in the normal vein in a feasibility study. A time-line must be included in a good study. For example, you should have a long list of “things’ to be acquired for your water park, right? Well, you could buy the WizoWiz gas stove for the concession stand tomorrow, but should you? No, of course not. That item comes as the 117th purchase.

Your time-line is the only place that you should make a prognostication, like, Sherry’s Water Park will open the first weekend in May 2003. You put that on the far right of the chart and leave plenty of room to put things between the start and that date.

What’s next? Well, it’s time to start Sherry……

Hopefully, the overall process and approach to a feasibility study comes through here. It really is a form of analysis on paper.

Hope this helps.

Kent Capener of Capener Consulting

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