Home > Sample Business Plans > Time

Time Merchants
Company Overview

Mission Statement
Time Merchants seeks to create time for today's harried household by consolidating a fragmented home-service industry. We will make lives easier by lessening the time demands on today's households. We will establish lasting relationships with our customers and partners to help create long-term growth and value.

Background
Increased time constraints among Americans have created many opportunities for service based companies that can add quality hours to people's fives. Time Merchants has identified a unique niche in today's busy economy that i currently not being served by any direct competitors. Management feels growth in this niche is evolving and has significant long-term potential. Currently TM is in the research and development phase.

Description of Services
Time Merchants is a service broker and provider. Customers can participate in two different levels of service and can utilize TM for many of their household service needs. This allows TM to meet the needs of a broad range of customers. Premium Delivery Service customers pay a monthly fee to TM. These customers will enjoy a scheduled once per week pick up and delivery of groceries, dry cleaning, film developing, and home movies, in addition to the benefits offered by the referral service. Referral Service customers can call an 800 number and be directly connected to qualified service providers in their area, i.e. a plumber, electrician, maid, etc. The Referral Service will also serve as a channel to attract new customers to the Premium Service.

Time Merchants addresses the needs of our customers and our suppliers. Most local service providers are skilled in their trade and are not so skilled at marketing their services. Time Merchants will promote the services of prescreened and qualified local suppliers to consumers for a small monthly fee. This fee is comparable to the expense of a small advertisement in the Yellow Pages. With respect to the Referral Service, TM views itself as an entrepreneurial company in the business of promoting entrepreneurs.

The type and number of services offered by TM to its customers will expand with customer demand and desire. A detailed outline of our launch timeline can be found in appendix A.

Figure 1 - Feature and benefit evaluation

Time MerchantsFeatures/BenefitsPrice
Referral Service
1-888-FOR-TIME
Customers
Reliability
Convenience
Timeliness
$0
Suppliers
Marketing,
Increased Sales,
Credibility
$350/month
Premium Home
Delivery Service
Customers
Reliability
Convenience
Timeliness
$50/month
Suppliers
Marketing,
Increased Sales,
Credibility
Commission %

Proposed entry strategy and time line of events

Phase I. Establish Relationship with Service Providers - Beta Test Premium Service
During the eight months prior to scheduled launch, the management team will concentrate primarily on securing relationships with our service providers. This will be accomplished by a direct sales campaign targeting potential partners. It is important that these relationships be established before we begin marketing our services.

This phase will be followed by a beta test of the Premium Home Delivery Service. The management team plans to provide this service to a select number of households within our targeted communities free of charge for a three-month period. This will enable TM to solidify our distribution systems in order to provide the highest level of quality service to our customers. TM will also list pre-screened service providers at no charge during the first three months of operations.

Phase II. Marketing Blitz
During the next stage of operations TM will embark upon a major marketing effort designed to attract consumers to the service. The plan is to besiege the market with radio and media advertisements. Time Merchants' objective is to obtain a 3% response rate for the Referral Service, and achieve a market penetration of 1% with the Premium Delivery Service. This marketing campaign will be ongoing; our year 1 promotional plan and target markets are in appendix B.

Phase III: Maintain and Ensure Quality and Efficiency to Consumers and Providers
In the third phase of operations TM will concentrate on ensuring the satisfaction of both consumers and providers. This stage of operations will be critical to the overall success of the venture. This is the stage of the business rollout where TM must solidify customer loyalty. Deliveries to Premium Service customers must be on time and accurate, referrals must be to qualified providers, etc. TM will contact 100% of all customers who utilize the Referral Service (customers and providers), either by phone or mail, to measure their satisfaction with the services provided. Premium Delivery Service customers will also be contacted on a regular basis to measure their satisfaction,

At this stage, management must be providing consistent referrals to each provider in order to maintain their business. Time Merchants will also evaluate the number of service providers in each area to identify weaknesses in the existing structure. This type of evaluation will be done annually unless there appears to be a large discrepancy in call distribution between providers of the same type in different areas. It will be of the utmost importance that the volume of calls meets the needs of the providers.

Phase IV. Expansion of the Premium Delivery Service to Other Communities
The fourth phase will include expansion of the Premium Service to other communities within the San Diego area. The communities included in the expansion will be determined based upon consumer demand and demographics.

Phase V. Geographic Expansion
During the fifth phase, Time Merchants will begin its geographic expansion of the Referral Service. The first expansion will be to the Phoenix area during year 2. Time Merchants plans to expand the Referral Service to one additional city per year, with Las Vegas, Orange County, and Los Angeles following in years 3 through 5. Expansion of the Premium Home Delivery Service will be dependent upon the experience in the San Diego market and market conditions in the expansion cities. Time Merchants plans to expand its home services to any city in the US that meets our demographic criteria.


Time Merchants
Table of ContentsAppendices
1. Executive Summary
2. Company Overview
3. Market Analysis
4. Marketing Strategy
5. Operational Strategy
6. Critical Risks
7. Management Team
8. Financial Plan
Gantt Chart
Promotional Plan
Cost Benefit Analysis
Market Research
Resumes
Potential Service Providers
Staffing/Revenue Streams
Financials
© 1999 Time Merchants