CompuDate

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Dating Matchmaking Service Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

CompuDate's strategy will be the emphasis on its matchmaking system that is more predictive than other systems by analyzing a host of different variables to come up with the most likely candidate. Other systems rely too much on shallow variables such as appearance. While appearance is important, when it is the primary variable, the matchmaking is often temporary. In order to develop a stronger long-term relationship, the other variables must be taken into account. Focus groups indicate that although most people primarily gravitate toward aesthetic considerations, they do so recognizing that this is less than ideal. For whatever reason, when the variables are not longer chosen by the individual themselves but by a service, there is a sense of trust or comfort because it is based on a host of things beyond appearance. Oddly, if people could recognize this and act on their own volition, they would be more predictive themselves in choosing the right people. But as we all know, someone might know what is right but not be able to act appropriately.

5.1 Competitive Edge

CompuDate's competitive edge is its sophisticated computer analysis program that is quite accurate, in choosing matches for people once the requisite information is entered. Having the right information to make the analysis is imperative in coming up with the right choice. Without the right information to analyze, there is no way to expect the computer to make the right match. This competitive edge is a sustainable competitive advantage because of the proprietary programming that was involved to allow the system to make the appropriate analysis. It is believed that this proprietary technology will give CompuDate better results than its competitors.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

As mentioned before, it is imperative that CompuDate market itself distinctively to the two different market segments. For the younger segment the service must be viewed as the hip choice. CompuDate will use advertisements to increase awareness of CompuDate's offered services. These ads will give off the impression that cool people use CompuDate, that it is not a last resort for singles, but a fun, helpful service to link up with like-minded people. The magazines that will be used for the advertisements will be hip, cool magazines, the trendy rags.

To appeal to the older crowd, CompuDate must come off as a logically rationed, effective system for choosing mates. CompuDate will emphasize the accuracy of their computer system. It will highlight the detailed information that is collected from the applicants, needed to make an informed choice. It will also be vocal about its success rate which is benchmarked at 45% for long-term relationships, well above the industry average.

5.3 Sales Strategy

CompuDate's sales strategy will be based on capturing a large number of first time users of this service. This is the goal because CompuDate is confident that it will be much easier (and less expensive) to grow the user base from existing clients than to build it from people that have no connection to CompuDate. This belief is held for two reasons, customers that try CompuDate will be impressed by the effectiveness, regardless if their first experience is a long-term relationship or not, they will see how the computer chooses the matches and that there is an underlying commonality between the choices. Additionally, if CompuDate is as effective as they believe it will be, the current customers will be quite vocal in telling their friends about CompuDate and that will be a strong source of referrals. Incentives for first time customers will at times be given out, applying this previously mentioned philosophy.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

Although CompuDate will be purchasing the assets from a pre-existing company, it believes that the first few months of operation will be relatively slow. This will be a function of the need to generate awareness about CompuDate and the fact that this takes time. Profitability will be reached by month 10 with splendiferous sales by year three.

Sales Forecast
2003 2004 2005
Sales
20-35 $26,924 $65,907 $84,379
36-60 $43,363 $75,755 $96,987
Total Sales $70,287 $141,662 $181,366
Direct Cost of Sales 2003 2004 2005
20-35 $1,885 $4,613 $5,907
36-60 $3,035 $5,303 $6,789
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $4,920 $9,916 $12,696

5.4 Milestones

  • Business plan completion
  • First 100 customers
  • Profitability
  • Sustainable revenue
Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2003 2/1/2003 $200 Suzie Operations
First 100 customers 1/1/2003 5/1/2003 $0 Suzie Sales
Profitability 1/1/2003 10/1/2003 $0 Suzie Accounting
Sustainable revenue 1/1/2003 4/1/2004 $0 Suzie Operations
Totals $200