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Time Merchants
Operational Strategy

Production - External
Time Merchants will be partnering with local vendors for the goods and services provided to our customers. Management has developed a comprehensive screening process to ensure the highest quality products and service will be provided to our customers (see Appendix F). A list of home services that Time Merchants has identified as potential partners can also be found in Appendix F.

Production - Internal
Time Merchants will be directly responsible for screening potential suppliers/vendors, operation of the call center, coordination of account payment and delivery of goods to our premium customers.

Time Merchants headquarters will be in San Diego. The space TM will operate out of will be 2,000 square feet. This space will be divided up into the call center (600 sq. ft), the main office where the teams supporting the premium customers will be located (600 sq. ft) and an 800 sq. ft warehouse/expansion area.

Business Model
Referral Service - 1-888-FOR-TIME

Premium Home Delivery Service
Initially, this level of service will be offered in a specific and limited geographic area. Time Merchants has selected several communities within San Diego that meet our income level requirements and are within close proximity to our operations center to launch the Premium Service (See Appendix B). Expansion into other communities is planned and will occur as customer demand grows. The Premium Service will include:

Human Resources
Time Merchants will attract and hire people with very strong communication skills. Because prospective employees may have access to a customer's home and the fact that TM will build its foundation developing strong relationships with our customers, prospective employees will have a thorough background check and will be bonded and insured. Time Merchants' employees will have, at a minimum, a high school diploma. TM will be an equal opportunity employer. A detailed staffing plan can be found in Appendix G.

Growth Rate of Staff

Year One Staff LevelPositionsYear Five Staff Level
5Service Representatives32
2Delivery Drivers15
4Management Staff12
Table 3 - Growth Rate Staff

Goods and Services Expansion
Time Merchants will evaluate expansion into other services as demand and availability dictate.

Geographic Expansion
Management feels that the best opportunity for initial expansion beyond San Diego is within the southwest and will eventually include the entire US. The expansion efforts will begin in year 2 and will be lead by the TM founders. The cities targeted for the initial expansions include Phoenix, Las Vegas/Henderson, and Orange County/Los Angeles.7

The expansion effort will utilize the systems and procedures developed and perfected during the San Diego roll out. The primary costs associated with the expansions will be related to marketing and promotion, as the call center operations will remain centralized in San Diego. The TM founder assigned to the expansion will establish the TM concept in the expansion area and train the new employees. The anticipated time frame for training and implementation is estimated to be 7 months. It is critical to establish a strong relationship with the employees as they will be responsible for maintaining the TM concept when the TM founder moves on to the next expansion area.

Time Merchants will employ state of the art technology to process transactions. By requiring all transactions to be completed electronically, via credit cards and purchasing cards, TM will create a virtually paperless environment. This will enable TM reduce overhead expense as well as the likelihood of delinquent accounts. This strategy will also help eliminate any future cash flow problems for both TM and the providers it will be representing.

Premium Home Delivery Service Customer Accounts

Provider/Supplier Accounts

Time Merchants has chosen the credit card option for receivables and payables because it has been determined the benefit of virtually non-existent AR/AP as well as reduced labor costs to maintain an AR/AP capability far out weigh the initial 3% per transaction cost of the credit card service.

Time Merchants Web Site

Call Center Communications System

Key Strategic Alliances
Time Merchants management has identified several key strategic alliances that will be critical to a successful launch and ongoing operations. In addition to the 4 key strategic alliances listed below, many other alliances will be forged as TM builds relationships with other service providers in the operations region.

Sefert Consultants - Full service web design and software development company.

Grocery Providers
Jonathan's - Full service grocery store

Video Providers
Hollywood Video - Full service video store providing thousands of new releases and classic movies for rent.

Dry Cleaning Provider
ARYA Cleaners - Full-service dry cleaning service located throughout the launch region.

7 GIS and ArcView software will be utilized to identify target markets
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
Potential Service Providers
Staffing/Revenue Streams
© 1999 Time Merchants