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E-Z Charge Business Plan 1

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E-Z Charge Business Plan 1

  1. 1. Innovation One Challenge | Trey Calver and Eric Roldan E-Z CHARGE BUSINESS PLAN March 8th, 2014 EZCharge2014@gmail.com E-Z Charge
  2. 2. 1 Table of Contents Executive Summary............................................................................................2 Product Description ............................................................................................4 Product Development..........................................................................................5 Market Research.................................................................................................5 Marketing Plan ...................................................................................................6 Sales Strategy .....................................................................................................7 Sales Projections.................................................................................................8 Supply Chain......................................................................................................9 Alternative Products..........................................................................................10 Operations........................................................................................................11 Financial Planning ............................................................................................12 Timeline...........................................................................................................12
  3. 3. 2 Executive Summary E-Z Charge sets out to solve a very popular problem by providing the user with a very easily accessible yet safe place to set and charge their phone at night. Being the college students that we are, we see and encounter this problem first hand. Whether you are on the top bunk of a bunk bed running an extension chord up the wall and leaving your phone under your pillow while you sleep or your bed is on the floor and you do not have a nightstand, an E-Z Charge Shelf is the productfor you! The E-Z Charge shelf connects to the user’s bed frame giving them a place to set a book, remote, glasses, water bottle etc. while also giving them a place to set and charge their phone with the built-in USB ports placed directly on the tops of the shelves. Considering 96% of college students use their phone or tablet before going to bed, according to our data we collected, this producthas huge potential. Our biggest market is college students and us being college students and personally knowing college students around the country is one of our biggest strengths. Even though college students are our biggest market, our market expands really to anyone who has a phone, tablet, etc. making the E-Z Charge shelf a productwith tremendous potential. We know that anyone who sees our shelf in use will be interested in getting one of their own and we believe by our connects, use of social media and student promoters, we can make E-Z Charge and the E-Z Charge Shelf a household name!
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  5. 5. 4 Product Description The E-Z Charge Shelf is currently the only productoffer by E-Z Charge. The shelf is designed to accommodate anyone that uses a cell phone or tablet. Outlets dictate how most people arrange their room so there is easy access to the power. The E-Z Charge Shelf makes power more accessible no matter the location. With adjustable clamps, the shelf will attach to the side of any bed. The shelf can support up to 5 lbs which will allow for almost anything needed bedside to be easily accessible thanks to the shelf. The E-Z Charge Shelf will be made of plastic. The shelf is 18” x 12” providing plenty of room for a phone, glasses, drink, retainer, book, or anything else one may want to keep close by. It will be able to supportup to five pounds. There will be a wire that plugs into the outlet that goes into the shelf and connects to two USB ports where a phone or tablet can be charge. The wire will be between twelve and eighteen feet in length so users can easily access an outlet even in a lofted bed. The wire will be thin and light so it can be easily manipulated and take up minimal space. One version of the E-Z Charge Shelf may contain a rechargeable battery instead of a wire to be plugged into the outlet. This would require a compartment under the shelf to hold the battery. There would be an increase in price for a battery powered shelf. The clamps will be used to attach the shelf to the bed or other structure. The clamps are adjustable to fit beds with different widths. A universal mounting device is being researched that will be able to fit any bed or surface to accommodateevery customer regardless of location. The E-Z Charge Shelf will be offered in a variety of colors including black, blue, red and green. Any other color can be specially ordered but will require an additional fee. More colors and multi-colored shelves will be offered in the future.
  6. 6. 5 Product Development Research and development is ongoing as many more products are being designed and tested. The E-Z Charge Shelf is currently the only productoffered by E-Z Charge. However, possible products that may be offered in the future are the E-Z Charge Tray and the E-Z Charge Table. The main focus of the company is currently on the E-Z Charge shelf. The shelf is being tested and prepared for residential use. A working prototypeis being used by a college student, a member of the target market, and modifications are being made as seen necessary. This technology can be translated into other products. Peopleare always charging their phone and tablet. The outlet forces people to situate their furniture and themselves in certain ways. The E-Z Charge Tray would be beneficial to someone sitting on the couchwithout an outlet close by. A tray could be used to set a laptop on and work on homework or a project while relaxing on a couchor chair. One could also enjoy a meal in the living room by setting the food on the E-Z Charge Tray. This tray would allow people to easily charge their phone or tablet while sitting where they want to, not where they have to. More products are to be developed in the future. Patents are one area of concern that needs further attention as products are developed. As for now, the E-Z Charge Shelf is the main focus of the company with the E-Z Charge tray next in line. Market Research There is a large market for the E-Z Charge Shelf considering the living situations of most college students. A survey was conducted of 102 college students. Each student was asked: Do you use your phone or tablet in bed at night? Is your bed bunked/lofted? Do you use an extension cord to charge your phone or tablet overnight? The results are shown below in Figure 1.
  7. 7. 6 Figure 1 College student living conditions Over 96% of college students use their phone or tablet in bed before going to sleep. This is the target market for the E-Z Charge Shelf. With the percentage of students using their phone or tablet at night, this shelf would provide a place to set the phone or tablet as well as a way to charge it. Over 60% of students have a bed bunked or lofted. This means more than half of college students have their bed up in the air. Unless the student is going to by a seven foot tall nightstand, the E-Z Charge Shelf easily accommodates their problem. Phones, glasses, retainers, drinks, or anything needed close by are made available by the shelf. Half of the students surveyed said they use an extension cord to charge their phone or tablet at night. Many students use their phone as their alarm so the need it close by and charged. The E-Z Charge shelf allows students to set up their bed how they want without using an annoying extension cord that is always in the way. Marketing Plan The target market for E-Z Charge is college students. Social media and student promoters will be our main sourceof marketing. Nearly all college students have a Twitter, Facebook, orsome type of social media. This is the cheapest and easiest way to get the largest number of people to see our advertisements. 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Yes No Yes No Yes No Use Phone in Bed Bunked/Lofted Bed Use Extension Cord #ofStudents College Student Survey
  8. 8. 7 Twitter and Facebookaccounts have been created for E-Z Charge. The goal is to have fifty followers on Twitter and have ten likes on Facebookby within the first month. This will be achieved through promotions like free giveaways and other prizes to entice the followers and Facebooklikes. Two-hundred followers on Twitter and fifty likes on Facebook are expected by the second month. This will be achieved by promotions and the increased public knowledge of our brand and products. Students will be selected from various colleges in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other states to promote our products oncampus. Through social media and word of mouth, student promoters at smaller colleges will begin exposing the E-Z Charge. Student promoters at bigger schools will use social media, fliers, and local advertisements to get the brand recognized throughout the campus. A website will be built in the future. The website will be used to advertise E-Z Charge products and inform customers. It will explain the products and show different options and colors. Back-to-schoolcatalogs will be approached in hopes of adding the E-Z Charge Shelf to as many catalogs as possible. Most college students look through and purchase items from these catalogs. This is the easiest way to penetrate the target market. Sales Strategy Sales will be achieved several different ways. The E-Z Charge Shelf, along with future products, will be offered on Amazon.com. Also, student promoters will act as salesmen on their respective campuses throughout Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and other states. Student promoters are vital to the E-Z Charge Sales Strategy. We anticipate being in at least eighteen colleges and universities in Ohio in our first year. In Indiana, we anticipate being in at least fourteen colleges and universities. Over ten colleges and universities in Michigan will have student promoters for the E-Z Charge Shelf. Other colleges and universities that are expected to be utilized are Penn University,
  9. 9. 8 the University of Pittsburg, Southern New Hampshire University, Providence University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Texas A&M University. These are colleges that friends and family of E-Z Charge members attend. As the brand recognition strengthens and more people know of and use E-Z Charge products we will move into more colleges and universities. Student promoters will be supplied with a shelf to show to prospective customers. They will also postfliers throughout their respective campuses to improve recognition of the productand brand. Lastly, student promoters will use endorse the brand and productthrough social media in order to stimulate consumer interest. Sales Pyramid of Command Figure 2 Sales Pyramid of Command Sales Projections The sell price is anticipated to be about thirty dollars. Costof plastic will be between one and two dollars per shelf. The wiring and electronics will cost between five and ten dollars per shelf depending on decisions made over the next few weeks. Also, some indirect costs will be applied for packaging and printing directions and other paperwork. Owners Sales Managers Student Promoters
  10. 10. 9 The profit margin is hoped to be about ten dollars per shelf but more information is needed about the final design of the productand from suppliers before a valid estimate can be made. After researching colleges in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and other states, we have connections with students in at least fifty-one different colleges. Through searches down on Forbes.comand Bigfuture.collegeboard.org, there is an estimated undergraduate enrollment of over 645,000 students at these colleges. Undergraduate students were used to becausethere may be online students and many commuters. While we wish to sell the E-Z Charge Shelf to everyone, the target market of on-campus college students was the focus of this study. The goal is to sell a shelf to at least five percent of students on each of these fifty- one campuses. If this is accomplished, we will have sold a shelf to about 32,250 people. If the ten dollar profit margin is realized, this will translate into a profit of $322,500. If the price is kept at thirty dollars we will have sales of about $967,500. Considering the number of friends and family that have agreed to be student promoters and the need of this productby college students we believe these projections are attainable. Along with social media and other marketing plans, our brand will be exposed to hundreds of thousands, possible millions of people and we are confident 32,500 people will be interested in this product. Plastic will costabout seventy cents per shelf. Each battery will costbetween five and twelve dollars. Packaging will be about two dollars per shelf and shipping costs will be added to the sell price. Supply Chain E-Z Charge will have two suppliers, one for plastic and one for the electronics. The plastic will be supplied by Moore Industries. The electronics will be purchased from Newegg.com, Sparkfun Electronics, or Digi-Key Corporation depending on the circumstances.
  11. 11. 10 Moore Industries is located in Montpelier, Ohio. Moore Industries is a smaller company categorized under Primary Plastics. The Plastic shelves will be molded and shipped to the storage facility in Angola, Indiana. Newegg.com is an online retailer of computer hardware and software. This e- retailer is based in City of Industry, California, and has warehouses in various locations throughout the United States. Sparkfun Electronics is a retailer based in Boulder, Colorado. This company will be used as a supplier while we need a limited inventory. As the company grows and orders begin to increase Digi-Key Corporation will be utilized. Digi-Key Corporation is the fourth largest electronic componentdistributor in North America. The headquarters are located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. Digi-Key Corporation works with suppliers all over the United States to ship its products. This will provide E-Z Charge with a higher volume of batteries as orders increase in volume. Materials will be shipped to a storage facility. There the productwill be assembled and checked for quality. The productwill then be shipped through independent carriers to the customer. Alternative Products The E-Z Charge Shelf is a unique product. No other bedside shelf with a battery and USB portthat can be used to charge a phone or tablet has been found. However, there are alternative products. The extension cord can be run up to a bed to provide a place to charge a phone or tablet. This alternative productdoes not provide a shelf to place items like a phone, book, drink, alarm clock, etc. This power source is cheaper the E-Z Charge Shelf and would allow more accessibility to power despite having to run the cord up a wall or along a bed. The bunk bed shelf is another alternative productto the E-Z Charge Shelf. The average bunk bed shelf provides a place to set items like phones, drinks, books, etc. Many bunk bed shelves are cheaper than the E-Z Charge shelf. The main
  12. 12. 11 difference is the bunk bed shelf does not provide a power sourceto charge a phone or tablet while in bed. The average plastic bunk bed shelf costs ten to fifteen dollars while the average wooden bunk bed shelf costs between twenty-five and seventy-five dollars depending on quality and size. The E-Z Charge Shelf has a price range of forty to fifty dollars. This price will be very competitive with wooden bunk bed shelves. Operations E-Z Charge will not carry much inventory. A Just-In Time system (JIT) will be implemented to help in several areas. One benefit is it acts as a security measure to decrease the risk of productbeing stolen or damaged. Also, too much cash will not be tied up into inventory with a JIT system in place. However, inventory may be ordered at high volume if needed in order to drive down costof materials and to cause fewer deliveries and lower shipping costs. Microsoft Excel will be used to keep records oftransactions early on. Orders will be entered and payments will be recorded on Microsoft Excel. Both owners have already have excel and have experience with the program. Quickbooks and other programs may be used in the future. Customers can contact E-Z Charge in three ways. The first is through the already existing e-mail account which is EZCharge2014@gmail.com. The second is by calling the personal numbers of both owners. This will be temporary if a phone line is owned by the company. Lastly, a website will be created where customers can order E-Z Charge products. Most purchases will most likely be done online through Amazon.com. Payments will be accepted online through Amazon or PayPal. Credit can be accepted in personthrough The Square but will require an additional fee. Cash will be accepted if the purchase is made in person. Warranty and refund policies will be determined at a later date. It will be included in the packaging with the productalong with directions and any other warnings to avoid possible legal issues.
  13. 13. 12 Financial Planning E-Z Charge plans to do its financing through grants and private investors. Family and friends have shown interest in investing along with equity supplied by the owners. Grants and other scholarships will go towards start-up costs. Major start-up costs include the mold, patent, and initial purchase of inventory. The mold is estimated to be $15,000-20,000. A patent attorney will cost$2,000- 3,000, and a patent will costanywhere from $10,000-30,000. The initial purchase of inventory will vary depending on the size of the first order. There will be no salaries or wages payable in the first year. Commissions will be paid to salespersons if necessary, but no money will be withdrawn by the owners nor will any salary or wages be paid out. Retained earnings will be as large as possible to help grow the company. A bank account will be opened for E-Z Charge to ensure money is separated from personal accounts. Money not needed for operations will be placed in money- market accounts or other low risk and highly liquid investments. Timeline First Year: May 2014- E-Z Charge Shelves will be available on Amazon.com -Social Media will be in full effect gaining followers and interest July 2014- Continuing to sell E-Z Charge Shelves on Amazon.com -200-300 followers on Twitter and Facebook -Find 10-15 Student Promoters Aug. 2014- Market shelf as necessity for college students -Setup terms with Student Promoters Sept 2014-May 2015- Continually gain followers and interest -Continue sells through Amazon.com
  14. 14. 13 June-Aug. 2015- Contact college bookstores, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, etc. -Get E-Z Charge Shelves on store shelves

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