Online College Bookstore Business Plan

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Product Summary

The College Cafe will offer college students a unique blend of products, services, and content that is not offered by any single company on the Internet.  The College Cafe will aggregate participants, products, services and content to create a student-to-student marketplace and retail website targeting 15.8 million college students.  The following describe The College Cafe's revenue models:

3.1 Textbook Exchange

The College Cafe will offer functionality to allow students to buy, sell and trade their used textbooks with other students.  Specifically, the Textbook Exchange functionality allows students to post their textbooks online for sale or trade, upload images, and indicate the condition of the book.  Students looking for used textbooks will be able to search for used textbooks for sale or trade in their local area or nationwide.  A fee will be charge for posting textbooks.  The fee may vary based on the asking price of the textbook.  Sample textbook categories include:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • History
  • Law
  • Physics
  • Political Science

3.2 Auctions

The College Cafe will offer a powerful auction package.  The Auction functionality will have many features such as Standard, Reverse, Multi Item, Dutch and Blind auctions; Flash Buy and Proxy Bidding.  A fee will be charged for posting items to be auctioned.  The posting fee structure will be similar to eBay's.  Sample auctions categories include:

  • Textbooks
  • Class Notes
  • Old Tests
  • Used CDs & DVDs
  • Computer Equipment
  • Tickets
  • Electronics
  • Games
  • Dorm Furnishing

3.3 Classifieds

The College Cafe will offer fee based, student targeted, classifieds ads.  Here many features such as image upload, Web links and nested categories will be offered.  A fee will be charged for posting a classified.  The amount charged will be based on the length of time the classified will be posted.  Sample classified categories include:

  • Textbooks
  • Class Notes
  • Tutors
  • Room Wanted
  • For Rent
  • For Sale
  • Tickets
  • Rides
  • Help Wanted
  • For Hire

3.4 Retail

The College Cafe will sell products targeted to college students.  Margins will range from 10% to 50% depending on the product.  Sample product categories include:

  • Textbooks
  • CDs & DVDs
  • Computer Equipment
  • Electronics
  • Games
  • Appliances
  • Dorm Furnishings
  • University Merchandise
  • Clothes
  • General Merchandise

3.5 Teacher Evaluations

The College Cafe will enable students to post and review teacher evaluations.  The teacher evaluation functionality will be a value added service encouraging students to visit the site each semester.  Revenue for teacher evaluations will be generated from the sale of banner ad space located within the teacher evaluation pages.  Banner ad sales will be targeted toward local businesses on or around campus.  The fee for banner ad space will be determined by the length of posting, number of users for teacher evaluations and demand.

3.6 Bloggers

The College Cafe will offer Weblogs (Bloggers) services with topics tailored toward students.  Weblog functionality will be a value added service to encourage students to return to the site.  Revenue for the Weblog will be generated from the sale of banner ad space located within the Weblog pages.  Depending on the Weblog topic, banner ad sales will be targeted toward either local businesses in or around campus or national companies.  The fees for banner ad space will be determined by the length of posting, number of users for the Weblog and demand.  Weblog topics will include: 

  • College Sports
  • Politics
  • Entertainment
  • Technology
  • News

3.7 Future Products

Overall, we conclude that our current products, services and banner ad strategy will ensure a strong market presence and continued revenue growth.  However as part of our growth model, we will regularly examine new services, products, categories and content to support demand.

Brick & Mortar Locations - The College Cafe will evaluate opening retail outlets in proximity to college campuses to support and complement the online presences.  Franchise rights may also be available.

Employment Opportunities - The College Cafe will offer a local and national job posting service so that students may search for new opportunities within the local community and nationwide.  A fee will be charged for posting jobs.

Apartment Finder - The College Cafe will offer a local and national apartment finder service so that students may search for apartments within the local community and nationwide.  A fee will be charged for postings.

Club & Organization Finder - The College Cafe will offer a local and national club and organization finder service so that students may search for clubs and organization within the local community and nationwide.  A fee will be charged for posting.

Targeted Content - The College Cafe will offer content.  Sample topics will include:

  • News
  • Wine & Dine
  • Weather
  • What's Happening
  • Best Of