One Week At A Time

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Educational Website Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

The strategy of One Week At A Time is to perform the following tasks to achieve our goals:

  • We aim to market the site using search engine placement, links, pay-per-click advertising, and word of mouth. All effective and cheap ways to build an audience.
  • We aim to build trust with our users so they will buy the products we recommend.
  • We aim to keep our expenses extremely low to make profitability easy to achieve.

5.1 Competitive Edge

The competitive edge of One Week At A Time is that we're providing our content in a fun format that allows people to accomplish tasks on a weekly basis that will show them progress towards making the world a better place. This kind of empowerment is very powerful. Other environmental education sites simply give out information and provide some tips in a list format, but very few sites give people actual tasks, and we haven't seen any sites that do what we will do with sending out a weekly email each week for a year with a task. This keeps our site within the visitor's thought process for a year. Which means they'll also be looking at the products we recommend for a year.

Another competitive edge we have is affiliate and online marketing experience from other websites Mr. Williams has been a part of. Other sites are usually just run by environmental organizations and are not using the Web to it's fullest potential.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

The key to our marketing strategy is search engine and directory placement. We plan on getting users in this manner because we know they're actively looking for information and tips in this area. Mr. Williams is an expert in this arena, and we've done extensive research on keywords that people use when looking for information and tips on environmental topics. We are building our site with these keywords built into the titles and site copy to get good placement in the search engines.

Our site is also a fun and interesting educational concept, so we will embark on a link-building strategy to garner hundreds of links to our site from other environmental and educational websites. Besides the direct traffic, this also increases our site's popularity in the search engines.

We will also use pay-per-click search engines to bid on terms for the types of products that we recommend to bring users looking for those products directly to our site first.

Our last and potentially most important strategy is word-of-mouth or viral marketing. We hope that our content is so compelling and fun for people that they'll enjoy sharing our email tips with their friends, family, class, classmates, co-workers, and anyone else who might be interested. In fact, one of our weekly tips in our 52-weeks of tips is to share our site with others!

5.3 Sales Strategy

The key to sales at One Week At A Time is to develop a level of trust with our visitors through our content. We must convince them we are knowledgeable, have their best interests in mind, and that we recommend products that will make their life better by helping the Earth.

After that is accomplished, we must "pre-sell" the product. Pre-selling is the key technique to successful affiliate sales on the Web. We can't simply place a link to a product and say "Buy This." We must pre-sell the product to the user by explaining to them why they need such a product, why that product is the right one, and why the retailer we're recommending is the right one to buy it from. Using things like our own personal experience with the product, examples of why it's good, and testimonials from other users will be keys to pre-selling our recommended products.

Another aspect of trust and the products is that we must recommend high-quality products that satisfy the buyer. If we recommend bad products, they will lose trust in us and the products we recommend. We must avoid this at all costs.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

Our sales forecast is very conservative because affiliate sales are usually worse than people initially expect.

We feel that we're experts in how to sell affiliate products, but we still want to keep things conservative.

Our only costs of sales are under $100/month spending on pay-per-click advertising.

Our initial sales levels are what we feel we can make on just a few sales of each type of product in the first month.

Since affiliate commissions range from 5-15%, we looked at the average price of the products in each category and came up with what our commission would be on just a few sales in that product category.

We then set our growth rates in the 10-20% rate based on how popular the category is and how fast we feel we can bring new visitors to the site.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Reusable/Paper Products $1,355 $1,491 $1,640
Appliances $2,710 $2,981 $3,280
Food $435 $479 $526
Clothes/Diapers $2,710 $2,981 $3,280
Books/Music $990 $1,088 $1,197
Kitchen/Cleaners $5,421 $5,963 $6,559
Total Sales $13,621 $14,983 $16,482
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Online Marketing $796 $0 $0
Other $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $796 $0 $0

5.4 Milestones

The Milestones table for One Week At A Time is very simple, but so is this business. Our development consists of a few major milestones:

  1. Completing the Business Plan: We feel an organized and good business plan is an essential key to success.
  2. Website Development: This includes creating the site design, database and email system, creating affiliate relationships, and writing all the content for the weekly tasks. This is obviously very important, because in a sense our website is our product.
  3. Search Engine Optimization and Submission: This step is crucial to generating traffic to our website. We must get in the search engines for the keyword terms our research has identified.
  4. Link Building Campaign: As crucial as the search engines, this is the key second step of our marketing by getting hundreds of links to our site from other environmental and educational sites.
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business Plan 10/1/2002 10/10/2002 $0 Frank Williams Management
Web Site 10/10/2002 12/1/2002 $0 Frank Williams Web
Search Engine/Directory Submissions 12/1/2002 12/10/2002 $500 Frank Williams Marketing
Link Campaign 12/1/2002 1/1/2003 $0 Frank Williams Web
Totals $500