Business Plan (In Progress)

Executive Summary

 Vector Buddy is a graphic design company. The company will be concentrating on providing high quality designs on request by the target customers which are Businesses, Video Game Clans and Individual Designers.
Vector Buddy will operate out of a small office in the Enterprise area in Roland Levinksy Building, University of Plymouth.

Vector Buddy will offer our target customers with fresh, ultra high quality graphic designs from request through online communication.

Most firms come solely from creative backgrounds.  While this is useful for the crafting of logos and other devices of visual communication, it lacks the intuitive business mindset that Vector Buddy can offer.  This competitive edge allows the company to bring both an aesthetic design focus as well as a practical, quantitative mindset that adds value to the service offerings by creating solutions that have both creative elements combined with rational, ideas.  This is useful mainly for the business clients.

Vector Buddy will grow it’s customer base using such social networks as Twitter along with affordable competitive pricing for custom-made graphics. Vector Buddy will hopefully reach profitability by the year’s end.

1.1 Objectives

The objectives for the first year of operation include:

  1. To develop a start-up graphics agency that will grow to profitability within year two.
  2. To create a company whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
  3. To create a firm that provides the target customers with valuable services and provides the owner with a flexible, creative, fun, and profitable opportunity.

1.2 Mission

“Vector Buddy’s mission is to provide world-wide businesses, video game clans and web designers with ultra high quality graphic designs when they need it. Vector Buddy exists to attract and maintain customers. When it adheres to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.”

1.3 Keys to Success

The keys to success are:

  • Professionalism
  • Creativity
  • Practical insight
  • Enjoyment of the experience
  • Create business relationships with customers

2.1 Company Ownership

Vector Buddy is a Limited Company owned and operated by Lee Cunnington

2.2 Start-up Summary (Initial Costs of Equipment)


Services

Vector Buddy provides ultra high quality graphic designs to established and starting businesses, designers such as freelancers and video gamers who belong to a Clan. Some of the services offered are company identities, logo’s, avatars, vectors, textures, packaging and branding.

Business

The pricing of the projects for business packages are typically estimated as a project-based cost. This will be set as an hourly rate, but depending on what the customer needs, the prices are set as sections.

Video Gamers/Clans

The pricing of the projects for gaming clan packages are also estimated as a project-based cost but as a set border price.

Freelancers/Individuals

The pricing for these customers will be set prices depending on the individual graphic designs or combo packs they purchase. This can range from £1 to £10.

Custom requests will range from £5-20

Market Analysis Summary

Vector Buddy has several targets for each of the customers needs.
For business customers Vector Buddy will be targeting small to medium sized companies who are either starting out or need rejuvenation in the old advertising graphics. What these companies have in common is that they have started as a small company and have grown up into a larger, more mature company that must now decide if they are going to maintain the current business or reinvigorate the company in order to move to the next level.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Vector Buddy has 3 main groups of customers which have different needs.

Businesses/Companies

Gaming Clans/Individuals

Freelancers/Individuals

The businesses have  started with a concept and leveraged their original ideas of visual communication elements.

Gaming clans and gaming individuals need ideas for their identities online.

Freelancers and Individuals may need aid in certain website design projects for graphical layouts/templates or may simply need logo’s and vectors to aid in their projects.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Client Referral: Referrals from client to client is very common. By encouraging customers to recommend Vector Buddy after service is complete, it will increase the likelihood of referrals for the company.

Another strategy will be to use the Chamber of Commerce, I should be able to contact them with a proposal to create some work for them in order for this to be showcased allowing the Chamber of Commerce to help with referrals. It will provide a good reason for the Chamber to recommend Vector Buddy. By making sure that I exceed expectations, this will increase the likelihood that he will receive referrals from satisfied customers.

Social Networking (Online and Offline): Social Networking is an ideal leverage by using free social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, I will be able to effectively advertise Vector Buddy for free and at the same time create a fan base for hopeful future clients. This also helps in referrals because these websites encourage users to suggest and recommend liked pages. This will help in effectively updating news on the companies progress and can allow current and past customers to post comments of recommendation to Vector Buddy.

Website: Using the website as a platform from advertising to selling the products is a prime way of targeting customers and future clients. By combining Google search SEO’s (Search Engine Optimisation), when a user searches for graphic design companies in the south west, Vector Buddy will appear in the top list. Using my web design skills, I will be able to use meta data to achieve this proposition.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The graphic design industry is diverse with all types of different services available online and offline. There are  large, medium and small advertising agencies which specialise in graphic design; there are freelancers and in-house businesses that serve specific purposes for their clients.

Trends have been changing for the past 10 years for graphic design companies. In-house firms are on the increase and full-service agencies are also jumping this bandwagon instead of out-sourcing it. This is occurring because of the higher profits for the providers. Vector Buddy will be concentrating on it’s own specific skill set.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Large Design Agencies: Over the past 10 years when Web 2.0 has came into the fray of internet culture and economics, advertising agencies aren’t just selling media forms such as video but they are now increasing their services in order to sell media forms such as graphic designs. Mainly targeting to develop corporate identity.

Freelancer Designers: These are strong competitors as they are typically a one-man operation like myself. The majority of freelance designers work from home. Some Freelancers are well experience and may offer the same professional level as graphic design agencies offer.

MediaLoot.com:

Strategy and Implementation Summary

5.1 Marketing Strategy

Vector Buddy will rely on three main activities in order to achieve it’s marketing efforts.

Social Networking: Using social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in order to become known to many online users. This also includes customers offline, but building relationships with both ‘communities’ will hopefully increase the leverage for popularity for Vector Buddy.

Client Referral: Providing customer attention is vital for pre and post customers of Vector Buddy. By providing attention it means by Emailing the customer with weekly or monthly updates of new designs and packages available to them. Also sending Emails to several customers to ask if the service and product has been effective for their needs is a nice gesture to maintain relationships. This in turn will hopefully allow them to refer their friends and/or business partners to use Vector Buddy’s services.

Targeted Customer Acquisition: Vector Buddy will target customers  by determining who the ideal ones are and how Vector Buddy can offer them a decent value for the service provided.

5.2 Sales Strategy

The sales strategy will be to use the website as a selling purpose but to also use it as an overall portfolio. By having this portfolio I will be able to illustrate my proficiency with the specific skill set I have to offer to the customers. In order for more success I will research into prospective companies and customers so that I have specific knowledge of the needs the companies or customers may have and solutions that I can offer.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The first few weeks of the first month of operation at Vector Buddy will be general office setup.

Months two through to four will be slow progress because of client development and client referrals will be low. By now Google SEO’s will have kicked in and the website will be shown on Googles searches. By month 6, will be developing projects for businesses and gaming clans and this will hopefully continue to grow steadily.

However, trends may change as seasons affect the rate of sales of graphics. Individuals and freelancers and gamers may choose to go on holiday during the summer months, leaving game consoles behind and leaving business for several weeks at a time. This means that interest in graphics are lower than in the winter months when businesses are at their peek and need graphic advertising and a lot of gamers are home playing video games.

5.3 Milestones

Vector Buddy will have a few milestones for the first year.

These are:

– Profitability

– Office Set up

– Business Website

– Clientele/Contact building

5.4 Competitive Edge

Vector Buddy’s competitive edge is based on my background of creativity for the business. The majority of companies similar to mine  will have the same talents but many of these people are aesthetically oriented. This is obviously the main type of persona within graphic design, but this is almost certainly limiting because while their work is creative on all levels, their work may not be understood by non-creative types we see in the business culture.

My knowledge background entails aesthetics and business. I have more of a sense of creativity within design but I have also began to become more business oriented. This edge will allow Vector Buddy much more creative and business success than other companies offer.

Web Plan

6.1 Website Marketing Strategy

The website is the center of everything for Vector Buddy. It will be showing off an extensive portfolio of recent projects from my creative background along with advertising the company by selling the range of services Vector Buddy will offer to its customers. The website will provide different forms of being able to contact my service such as an online contact form and an email address for the interested customer.

The strategy for marketing Vector Buddy online will be the use of visual materials.

Search Engine Optimisation will be a key factor in success for Vector Buddy as my ability to design and use Meta data will help search engines such as Google find my website and will hopefully keep it in the top 10 list when a user searches for ‘Graphic Design Companies in the South West/Plymouth’.

6.2 Development Requirements

The development requirement of the website plan will be handled by myself. With 3 years of knowledge in HTML and CSS web languages I will be able to build the website along with providing the creative works and designs. For PHP development in order for users to purchase the on-the-fly downloadable content I will be able to use such content management systems such as Joomla in order to creative an online shop, so when users purchase the product, they can download their graphic designs straight away. When it comes to developing the custom packages, I will be able to build PHP contact forms which allows the user to quickly pick what they need to send a request. When the form is sent to my Email I can confirm their request and will be able to contact them with a reply stating how long their project will take and how much it will cost.

Management

7.1 Personnel Plan (Year 2 and beyond)

If profit margins look promising after the first year of Vector Buddy, I will hire another member of staff in order to assist with the increasing work load. The work load will of course involve designing  various graphics and building business and gaming packages. Their role may also assist in administrative detail such as running the website and providing edits and new content monthly.

-Pay-

Financial Plans

8.1 Important Assumptions

-Table of 3 year plan with interest rates-

8.2 Break-even Analysis

-Table/Graph of monthly revenue break-even-

8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

-Table/Graph of Profits and Loss-

8.4 Projected Cash Flow

-Table/Graph of Cash Flow-

8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

-Table-

8.6 Business Ratios

-Table-

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