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Time Merchants – Executive Summary

Most people just don’t enjoy spending their free time running errands and performing household chores; their time is valuable! And there is always a fear of the unknown when calling a service provider listed in the yellow pages without having some sort of reference.1

Time Merchants has a solution for these problems!

Executive Summary

Time Merchants (TM) is in the business of providing consumers with two of the most precious commodities in today’s modem society – time and convenience. Time Merchants is a service broker and provider. As busy people struggle to maintain a balance in their lives, conserving time has become a rather daunting task. By consolidating a fragmented home service industry, the TM service concept addresses the need consumers have for simplifying their lives. Time Merchants plans to build brand equity by providing superior home service and by being the first company of its kind to enter the marketplace. Anticipated launch for the business is January of 2000. The proposed legal form for TM is a C corporation.

What We Offer
Time Merchants offers consumers two ways to simplify their lives. First, the basic service provides, at no cost to consumers, referrals to a variety of pre-screened home service providers. Customers who call our referral hotline can be confident that they will be referred to a reputable home service provider that meets the quality performance criteria set by TM. Secondly, with its premium delivery service, TM provides the home delivery of consumer goods. The premium delivery service, which includes a once per week pick-up and delivery of groceries, dry cleaning, film developing, and package posting, is available for a monthly fee of $50. Consumers participating in the premium delivery service will be able to place their orders online, via phone or fax and can change their orders up to 24 hours before a scheduled delivery. Both services are designed to save time for today’s busy household. Time Merchants plans to take advantage of a unique opportunity to consolidate a fragmented home service industry.

While there are currently no direct competitors in the western US, TM is aware of the risk associated with low entry barrier ventures. Time Merchants plans to mitigate this risk by building a strong foundation of trust between our providers and our customers. The keys to sustained market growth and a competitive advantage will be building a strong brand identity and positive relationships with our suppliers and customers.

Our Target Market
Time Merchants has two different target markets. First, the Referral Service targets the mass-market consumer as well as local service providers. In comparison, the target market for the Premium Delivery Service is working professionals and dual-income families with annual household incomes greater than $60k. Initial launch of the TM service will be in the San Diego area followed by expansion throughout the Southwest. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and ArcView software from ESRI will be utilized to identify expansion target markets.

Size and Growth Trend of Target Markets
Market research suggests the citizens of San Diego will readily embrace the time saving services offered by TM. Recently listed as the fastest growing city in terms of future job growth2, San Diego is a prime market for TM. With a current population of nearly 3 million people, combined with a large military presence, San Diego has man mobile people that warrant the introduction of such a time savings service. Recent demographic information shows there are approximately 195,000 households in San Diego with incomes greater than $60,000 (28% of all households)3. Current growth projections for TM forecast a 0.8% share of the market by year five for the Premium Delivery Service. This is equivalent to roughly 1700 active members. The growth rate of the Referral Service is expected to be even higher and will result in a 20% market share of all small to medium service providers in the San Diego area by year five.

Time Merchants plans to expand geographically to other cities that fit the demographic requirements identified through market research. The growth rates in these markets are expected to be similar to that of the San Diego market. Based upon realistic growth rate assumptions there will still be a great deal of potential for expansion beyond year five.

Operations Strategy
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 service customers. State of the art technology will be utilized in the call center, for our web page and for payment of goods and services. The marketing strategy will create a brand image for TM. To reach our target market, TM has enlisted the services of Vision Communications, a marketing and communications firm, to develop a promotional mix, which will include advertising (radio and local newspapers), direct sales, direct mail, and public relations. The TM staff will grow from I I personnel in year one to 77 in year five.

Critical Risks
Management recognizes there are several internal and external risks inherent in the TM concept. Quality and response time will be key factors in the consumers’ decision to utilize the service on a continual basis. Also, consumers must be willing to accept the services offered by TM in order for the company to meet its sales projections. A strong marketing strategy and careful screening of employees and service providers will mitigate these risks. Building a loyal and trusting relationship with our customers and partners is a key component to the success of Time Merchants.

The Founders
Time Merchants was founded by Debbie Bieneman, Toby Danylchuk, and Stacy Linder. The group brings a strong mix of managerial, marketing, sales, accounting, and contracting experience, in addition to their technical expertise in entrepreneurship and finance gained through the MBA program at San Diego State University. The team has a combined total of over 28 years of business experience. The group has worked together extensively during the past two years. Together these three individuals make a very strong team.

Initial Funding
Time Merchants will initially be funded with $150,000 invested by its founders. Time Merchants is seeking an outside investment of $750,000 in return for a 30% equity ownership of the company. Based on proforma projections, fifth year revenues will be $11.5 million, yielding an operating income of $3.8 million. An investor can expect an 78% compounded annual return on their 30% equity based upon a valuation after year five (P/E = 12). The funds will, provide for start up costs and working capital during the first years of operation.

Summary Financial Data

Yr1 Yr2 Yr3 Yr4 Yr5
# of Customers at year end 200 342 585 1,001 1,711
% Growth 71% 71% 71% 71%
# of Providers at year end 217 530 950 1,446 2,181
% Growth 144% 79% 52% 51%
Operating Results
Revenues 727,999 2,340,978 4,291,354 6,998,549 11,473,767
EBIT (689,755) 132,346 1,138,090 2,668,368 6,303,722
% of Sales -95% 6% 27% 38% 55%
NPAT (689,755) 132,346 905,818 1,601,021 3,782,233
% of Sales -95% 6% 21% 23% 33%

Exit Strategy
Our most desirable option for exit is a merger or buyout by a large corporation. Time Merchants believes with substantial cash flows and a loyal customer base it will be attractive to potential corporate investors within five years. Time Merchants would also consider the possibility of issuing an IPO after five years to provide liquidity for its initial investors as well as the additional funds necessary for a national roll out of the concept.

1 Time Merchants- primary market research
2 Newsweek February 1, 1999 pg 44
3 SANDAG Demographic Statistics

Time Merchants
Table of Contents Appendices
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

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