InvestTank plans to develop a product that will enable people who have started their businesses, those who want to start their businesses, and those who have been doing business to get viable business ideas and implement them successfully. It intends to get a revenue of $200,000 from the owners of the business and use 30% of its 3 years’ profits for expansion. It will utilize social media channels preferred by clients such as Facebook and Twitter to market the product. Assuming 15% of market penetration, customers’ lifetime value is estimated at $900,000/year. The key activities the company intends to do include satisfying the needs of the clients, marketing the product, implementing e-commerce, and majoring in research and development. The major resources are research and development professionals, marketing and social media professionals as well as effective administrators. The key partners are Amazon and eBay e-commerce, business professionals and Entrepreneurs, and StartZapp. The social course of the company is to provide financial and coaching support to not-for-profit organizations that encourage and nurture start-up businesses such as Spark Inside. It will incur costs in research and development, marketing, and operations. When it starts operating, it will use metrics such as the number of followers in Twitter, including the retweets, the number of Facebook followers, the total page likes, post reach, profile visits, favorites, sales per month, sales per square foot, and customers per marketer to gauge its performance.
The business will cater to clients of all ages who have an interest in investing in the business and will include:
· People who have started their businesses
· Those who want to start their businesses and
· Those who have been doing business
InvestTank aims at grabbing the market of those who have started businesses since they are always in the initial stages of business and can consequently welcome the ideas that would make their businesses gain large market segments and be sustainable. They are usually flexible to changes since they have not invested many of their resources in their businesses, thus, they would not lose much of their investment when they change their business models or products and services. The group of those who have begun their businesses also needs guidance during their business operations and processes to ensure that they successfully implement their business plans. Another segment of customers is those who have not begun businesses but have the intention of starting them. Such people normally scan the environment to look for business ideas that could be profitable. However, identifying the right ideas has been difficult for many people. InvestTank will do market research for them, identifying business opportunities, and advising them on the best business ideas to implement. It will also guide them during the implementation of the business ideas to ensure that the businesses succeed. The last segment of customers consists of people who have been in business for some period of time. This customer segment normally has its products and services in the market. InvestTank will also do market research for them, identifying what the clients need and advise them on the changes they can introduce to their products and services to ensure their customers’ needs are met. Because the needs and the tastes of customers continuously change, the market segment will be interested in InvestTank’s services concerning the identification of the changing needs and the proposal of the best ways of improving the existing products and services or creating new ones meeting the needs of the clients.
To exceed the customers’ expectations, InvestTank intends to use social media and other online platforms such as Skype to effectively communicate with the clients regarding business ideas or opportunities available and provide advice and help through the implementation of business ideas.
Secondly, the business intends to implement simulation software that would help the clients feel the positive impact the proposed business ideas would exert before engaging in the business; this will help them identify the risks and threats they will face in the market and find the ways of mitigating or averting them.
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The goal of InvestTank is to help organizations identify business opportunities or ideas and implement them successfully. Currently, there are many business ideas that can be identified after carefully scanning the market; however, identifying an idea that would meet clients’ needs simultaneously bringing value to a business is not easy. Therefore, InvestTank will help individuals and organizations to come up with feasible and profitable business ideas. Thus, the target customers will not experience difficulties with identifying business ideas. Secondly, even after the identification of a good business idea, there is no guarantee that it will be effectively implemented. Therefore, InvestTank intends to help individuals and organizations implement their business ideas successfully. The clients will be guided accordingly during the implementation process, taking decisions that will not make their businesses incur losses that can be prevented.
InvestTank is a business whose main product is to provide online trading services to people who want to invest in the business. It teams up with people who have business ideas by bringing in valuable business information for those who intend to do business and face the problem of choosing and purchasing a corresponding product. The organization also engages in the collection of information in the market and monitoring the process of implementing business ideas by clients, thus fostering business among entrepreneurs.
Many entrepreneurs have vast amounts of resources but find it difficult to identify one business idea to develop and implement it as a business. They, therefore, strive to receive professional advice from various firms; however, these firms are normally few or do not possess market knowledge, thus thwarting the efforts of the entrepreneurs or even preventing them from beginning their businesses. InvestTank will do a thorough research of the market, identifying the clients’ needs, and providing advice to them based on their financial status, capabilities, and areas of interest. For instance, in case a business or entrepreneur is interested in engaging in green business, InvestTank will specifically scan the market to come up with business ideas that align with the expectations and interests as well as the financial position of the entrepreneur or business. Unlike other competitors, InvestTank will move further to assist entrepreneurs and businesses to successfully implement business ideas.
In contrast to many competitors, InvestTank is also going to provide guidance during the implementation of the business ideas it offers to businesses and entrepreneurs; thus, there is a guarantee that the ideas will be effectively implemented. It will also partner with entrepreneurs who have vast knowledge and experience in the field of business to ensure that the clients receive viable and feasible business ideas.
InvestTank is a start-up business with no experience in the industry thus might find a lot of difficulties during its initial stages of operation.
There are many businesses and entrepreneurs who in addition to obtaining business ideas, need help during their implementation. InvestTank will, thus, assist the businesses and entrepreneurs in implementing their ideas successfully, thereby controlling the market since most competitors concentrate on one line of business only, i.e. either providing business ideas or assisting in their implementation.
Entry into the industry is very easy; therefore, the competitors or start-up businesses can easily integrate InvestTank’s business model in their own models once the company starts operating.
Develop a social media platform/fan page where various entrepreneurs will share information with the intention of identifying appropriate business ideas.
Work with successful organizations to find out the challenges they have faced while implementing their business ideas and how they have overcome them with the intention of improving the experience of InvestTank customers, with the company assisting them in applying their business ideas.
Revenue Streams and Pricing
InvestTank intends to obtain a revenue of $200,000 for the business’ initial capital from the owners of the business. In addition, the business intends to plough back 30% of its profit for expansion during the first 3 years. It is projected that $10,000, $30,000, and $50,000 will be ploughed back during the first, second, and third years respectively. The projections are based on the assumption that the business will penetrate 15% of the target market.
Idea #1 on Increasing Revenue
InvestTank plans to expand to other markets with the intention of increasing revenue. This will be done by implementing an e-business model that will provide services to a larger market without engaging with the clients physically.
Idea #2 on Increasing Revenue
The company will do considerable research, which translates to allocating enough money in its research and development department to be able to come up with innovative ways of adding value to the clients. When the clients receive high quality and effective services, they will help market the company to friends and relatives who will purchase the company’s products thus increasing the revenue.
Idea #3 on Increasing Revenue
The company plans to register its clients in its online and physical stores and charge a monthly membership fee except the first month. The registered members will have access to a variety of business ideas and professional advice. In case the clients successfully implement their businesses and begin getting profits through the help of InvestTank, the latter will claim the 5% share of the profits obtained during the first year.
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The company will use the following pricing strategy:
· Pay for the services or products when in need; in this case, prices differ depending on the type of product or service required. Almost all competitors use
· Subscribe with InvestTank and pay a monthly subscription fee while accessing a wide variety of products and services. Some competitors use this strategy while others do not.
· Accepting to pay a flat-rate fee of $5,000 and agreeing to provide 5% of the profits to InvestTank during one year is a pricing strategy or model which no competitor currently uses.
The channels preferred by clients are social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter where they will receive advice and socialize with other customers and company workers; word-of-mouth where they get feedback and recommendations from other clients; the company’s website where they get to know more about the products and services the company offers.
Idea #1to Use Other Channels
The company will use radio/TV advertising to market the product to its clients. The advert will be placed on television and radio stations which have many viewers/listeners. The adverts will be aired before newscast and in-between the news.
Idea #2 to Maximize the Return of Existing Channels
InvestTank will employ the services of social media experts to guide and advise on the best ways to utilize social media so as to drive much traffic and effectively engage social media users. The experts will also help implement various online marketing strategies with the aim of attracting many customers and retaining the existing ones.
Idea #3 to Create New Channels
Many people like to be rewarded, especially when they turn out to be loyal customers. The company will create loyalty programs that do not only reward customers who have stayed with the company for a long time, but also those who have attracted new customers or have purchased products in bulk, thereby bringing more revenue to the company.
With regard to customer lifetime value, assuming
A customer purchases the product 4 times per year
9.99 in every course or 19.99 every year for 4 years
Using the average $15
4 times per year * 5% (100,000 clients)
The total market value:
(15% market penetration) $9.99 +$19.99/2 = 15(4) = $60 (15000) = $900,000
Assuming 15% of market penetration: $900,000/year
The company is currently attracting clients through Facebook, Twitter, word-of-mouth, and the company’s website.
Ideas #1 to sell more
The business will provide clients with the most profitable business idea which aligns with their area of business for free immediately after purchasing the product. It will also send newsletters in customers’ emails occasionally reminding them of the trending markets and business ideas.
Idea #2 to reward them to buy often
Providing discounts to customers who buy products in large quantities and offering business advice to clients who have been loyal to the company.
Idea #3 to give advantages
One free monthly subscription for every 5 clients attracted to the company by the existing clients and a $25 cash offer for every customer attracted to the company by the existing customers or due to purchasing a product of $5000 and above.
Idea #4 to attract new clients
The company will use TV/radio advertising and roadshows to present the product to the people who do not know about it.
a. Satisfying the needs of the client
· Utilizing highly experienced customer service professionals
· Responding promptly to the customers’ feedback and inquiries as well as addressing the clients’ concerns
· Utilizing social media and other marketing avenues to promote the product
· Expanding market reaches through doing market research and meeting the customers’ expectations in new markets
· Creating an e-business to enable people’s shopping anywhere 24 hours a day throughout the year
· Utilizing the services of the existing e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay to sell the products
d. Social Media
· Using social media platforms for businesses to target entrepreneurs
e. Research and Development
· Performing constant market research to identify the changing needs of the clients and coming up with business ideas that satisfy them
Moments of Truth
The greatest moment of truth for the product is when clients successfully implement the business ideas they have been sold and begin to gain profit from them, i.e. get their return on investments. This moment of truth will be kept even as the company strives to create the three new ones: interacting with the simulation software, the explanation of the business ideas to customers provided by the company’s employees and making the customers feel that the ideas are feasible, and aiding the clients in implementing the business ideas.
a. Research and development professionals
i. The company needs highly experienced research professionals who would perform market research, identify emerging issues and market gaps, and come up with ideas that translate to viable businesses
ii. The cooperation of highly experienced researchers with interns during the research and development stage would enable the company to save on labor costs while nurturing expertise
b. Marketing and social media professionals
i. Social media professionals will assist the company in identifying and using marketing strategies that would drive traffic to the business
ii. Since it is a new product, marketing professionals will play a significant role in promoting the product
c. Effective administrators
i. The company will need effective administrators to ensure that the business model works well and is adjusted to the customers’ needs
ii. A database/system administrator will also be crucial, especially if the business implements e-commerce; the system administrator can be outsourced.
1. Amazon and eBay e-commerce: The two companies will assist in selling the product. Since the companies have well-established e-commerce platforms and a wide customer base, they will considerably affect the promotion of the product. Amazon Web Services will be the company’s new partner due to the fact that the company plans to implement e-business. The company will use the cloud computing services of Amazon Web Services to lower costs; therefore, it will not be necessary to purchase the underlying architecture but rather pay-as-a-service.
2. Business professionals and Entrepreneurs: The two categories are key partners since they will be both the clients and advisers. The partners will assist the company in identifying the changing market trends which will lead to establishing business ideas. Business professionals will also be essential in creating new business models that can be used by the company to increase its value to the customers.
3. StartZapp: InvestTank will connect with start-up entrepreneurs through this social media platform and interact with them with the aim of attracting the latter to the product.
The company’s social cause is to provide financial and coaching support to not-for-profit organizations that encourage and nurture start-up businesses such as Spark Inside. The company is also involved in offering entrepreneurial public lectures at the University of California twice per year. Spark Inside is a not-for-profit organization that offers coaching services to persons in jail or on probation for them to learn basic business skills which may help them start their own businesses after they get out of jail. By supporting Spark Inside and the entrepreneurial public lectures, the company will expose the new product to the market making it known to many customers.
The company will incur the following three major costs in the order of importance:
1. Research and development
a. When there is no proper research, the business ideas will not be feasible
b. The cost of doing market research is not identified yet
a. A new product needs to be intensely marketed to let people learn about it
b. Using an appropriate marketing channel is essential for making the product known
a. The cost of the managing and business running model
b. Highly experienced people are a key to ensuring the effective running of the company’s processes
The use of social media in marketing is important in bringing down costs. In addition to social media, the company will use cloud computing services of Amazon Web Services which will allow it to utilize a pay-as-a-service model to reduce the costs of purchasing and maintaining information system architecture. The business will also use the services of social media experts who will promote the brand and enhance web traffic. In addition, the administrators will constantly improve the business model to satisfy the needs of the clients.
Public Relations and Advertising
Current Advertising Channels
1. Facebook: The Company has created a Facebook fan page where it advertises its products and services and responds to the clients’ concerns.
2. Twitter: The Company has a Twitter account where it advertises its products and services to the clients by creating a huge following.
3. Fliers: The Company uses both online and physical fliers to inform the clients about its products and services. The online fliers are placed on websites that are frequently visited, such as Google search engine, while the physical fliers are strategically placed in cities and highways.
1. TV/Radio advertising: The company intends to use TV/radio advertising to reach out to the segment of clients who do not interact through social media frequently.
2. Roadshows: Since it is a new product, roadshows will be essential for interacting with clients and informing them about the benefits of the new product. Sales representatives will use word-of-mouth to inform people about the features of the new product.
3. Celebrity endorsements: InvestTank understands the huge following celebrities have and the positive impact they can exert on a business. Thus, the company plans to identify renowned and successful entrepreneurs who will endorse the product and market it to their followers.
a. Attracts new customers
b. Includes a link to the company’s website for more product information
c. Responds to the customers’ concerns
d. Makes a product app that can be downloaded on mobile devices
e. Constantly adds new friends to increase market reach
a. Used as a channel to respond to the customers’ concerns
b. Provides the customers with updates regarding the product and the company as a whole
c. Creates a wide clientele following
d. Favoring tweets
e. Offers discounts to the Twitter users who drive in more traffic through their tweets regarding the product
1. The number of Twitter followers indicates the number of people who know about the product, which is a way of determining its popularity
2. The number of retweets indicates the number of people who read and respond to the company’s tweets and is a way of creating fresh leads
3. The number of Facebook followers indicates the number of people who know about the product on Facebook and is a way of determining its popularity
4. Total page likes to point out the number of followers who like the company’s Facebook fan page and show the popularity of the product and the company
5. Post reach displays the number of exclusive persons who have visited the page and shows the number of new customers who might be attracted to the new product
6. Profile visits point to the number of times people have viewed the product’s profile, which testifies to its popularity
7. Favorites present the number of times the tweets of the product are favored, which indicates the customers who like the product
8. Sales per month present the number of products which have been sold in a month, which indicates the volume of sales of the product
9. Sales per square foot present the number of products sold in each geographical location, which indicates the areas where the product attracts more customers
10. Customers per marketer present the number of clients a salesperson brings to the company, which indicates the efficiency of the employees