1. Executive Summary
2.1 The Company
2.1.1 Mission Statement
creatiNno sTUdio strives to produce its software 'CommuniCenter' or 'CC as a platform for students, professors, business officers, and workers etc to interact in an informal manner while maintaining the required distances on a social networking site within their individual networks. As the name suggested, it is anintegrated communication system and provides a centralized system for anorganization's internal network which can alsobe accessible from internet. The production team is committed to produce a product that guarantees to connect people and bridge communities in a network through forms of digital communication while making social networking an institutional or an essential tool for the users.
creatiNno sTUdio strives to become the market leader in producing an integrated communication system that provides an opportunity for networks like universities, firms, organizations, and groups etc to host and support all their services on one such interface.
Application for a trademark on the brand name and its logo has been filed with Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
18.104.22.168 Value Goals
- To demonstrate consistent dedication to high customer service resulting in valued consumer satisfaction both for users as well as organization.
- High loyalty to the team in terms of respecting human talent and capacity, the integration between departments and the acknowledgement of initiative.
- To promote the creation of stronger bonds amongst people in their networks and act as a medium of self-expression and individuality for those people.
- To develop high quality software that is unique and exemplifies human talent.
- To be conscious of environmental concerns and deliver a product and service which meets our corporate social responsibility.
22.214.171.124 Financial and Product Goals
- To obtain a real (inflation-adjusted) growth in earnings per share of 8 percent per year over time.
- To achieve a user interface which is user friendly and provides the user a rich experience.
- To have a public stock offering by the fifth year.
creatiNno sTUdio was established in February of 2010. Although capital was limited, creatiNno sTUdio takes pride in the potential of its software and the features and the value they radiate as they are customized and feasible for various target markets. The production is to begin by November 2010.
2.2 The Product
2.2.1 Product Description/Features
Our pioneer product is an integrated communication system which provides a centralized system for anorganization's internal network (alsoaccessible from internet).'CC' is the system's server which provides theessential services requested by our organization. It provides an interface for any network to allow its members to engage in an online social relationship whilecommunicating in educational and professional endeavors altogether. Computer mediated communication technologies have already made it necessary for academic and institutional faculty to modify or simply transfer traditional modes and norms of real-life pedagogical communication as online. Therefore in the era of social networking system(SNS), it will be a boost to the society if we start seeing SNS as a classroom or a conference room/workplace experience. This is what our product provides. Moreover we will be providing different customized software for each different network separately. This helps users as well as organization to use this software freely without any worries of privacy, security and different channels of information leakage as in the usual cases of common SNS like Facebook, Twitter etc. The success of this software and its value is estimated to double, across the world in the next 5 years because of its various advantages of customizing an integrated learning and social networking portal according to needs of a network while maintaining privacy issues and maintaining updates of the software.
2.2.2 Future Products
For our product, we wish to release more and more versions of our software so as to achieve our stated goals and aims. The following changes can be made or added in our
- For current products, continuous maintenance.
- New versions of current products will provide more features and functionalities.
- Improve user interface.
- Introduce new product in different areas.
2.2.3 Start-up Plan
The source of funding the establishment and operations of the business are as follows:
OWNER'S CAPITAL - 33% of the overall investment i.e. $16,500 will be brought in by the partners. Equal amount will be brought in by both the partners and the profit sharing ratio of the partners will be 1:1. The partners are entitled to no interest on the capital contributed by them.[Please refer to appendix C]
VENTURE CAPITAL - The rest two third (i.e. 66.67%) of the investment i.e. $33,500 will be borrowed from a venture capitalist as a part of the capital of the firm.
2.3 The Company's Resource Base
2.3.1 Structure Outline
The organizational structure and a short description of the management team are outlined in section under 'Organization and Management'. The structure is based on individual competencies. The management team intends to acquire professional expertise in areas in which it lacks proficiency.
2.3.2 Core Competency
creatiNno sTUdio seeks to achieve core competence with its first version of software by using the given resources or advantages(both tangible and intangible) :-
- Strategy of producing high quality low cost software initially for networks incorporating their choices and professionalism simultaneously.
- The cost factor will proportionally depend on the number of functionalities a network asks for and the total number of users present in the network that will be using our software.
- Strategy of providing regular maintenance and trainings sessions after the release of first version for achieving quality customer service within a given period of time.
- Company having a strong hold in its organization and management levels due to expert and proficient owners or leaders of the company.
creatiNno sTUdio hopes to translate these core competencies to ensure a sustainable competitive advantage over the other players in the industry. It aims to use the shared knowledge as an intangible resource for its company for attaining a higher but sustainable competitive advantage.
3. Market Analysis
3.1 Market Size and Trends
The target market for CommuniCenter are the youth demographic, ranging from 10-65 of age. This group comprises students as well as the working class. According to Singapore Statistics, there are 2.57 million in this category in Singapore. This is potentially our maximum target audience in Singapore.
Since our aim is to sell the product to the institutions and not the users directly, our potential customers can easily buy our products as the spending power of most of the institutions is high. Target institutions include educational institutions (schools and universities), corporate organizations (banks, MNCs etc.) and any other institution where there is scope for a potential network.
3.2 Target Customers
A characteristic of our target demographic according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore is that they are extremely tech-savvy, with about 92.8 percent very literate about use of computers, and over 72% are active users of social networking websites. In fact in a recently it was said that Facebook is the most visited website in Singapore, even more than Google, the leading search engine. IT literacy rate in Singapore has been on an upward trend, thanks to the Singapore Government's nationwide initiatives.
There has been an increased need of participation in Social Networking and leisure. Since CommuniCenter aims at combining the features of a social network like Facebook, with the attributes required for a work environment our product will be highly valued by the users and the institutions.
3.3 Market Readiness
A working portal is something necessary for a person, and a social network is something that every person necessarily wants to be a part of. Our product has the ability to merge these factors, thus combining necessity with leisure; hence anticipated result is that the market is willing to use this product, provided it can provide services as good as, if not better, than the existing educational portals and social networks in the market. 3.4 Strategic Opportunities
After identifying the characteristics of our target customer, this provides us with a clear target to focus our efforts on. We have a customer base of over 2.5 million with high spending power (of the institution), open to new experiences and highly responsive to exciting technology.
Leisure activities will be combined with professional activities to make working/learning more fun. Our basic aim will be to sustain the product usage among customers by providing an excellent interface in which communication with any other student/teacher/friend/professional with whom a customer is associated with, within the organization (same department/course etc.) Our software will link all educational details, emails, extracurricular activities and social networking together, work details/deadlines to facilitate high performance chatting/file sharing/e-learning and any other activities offered by social networks and a portal that defines the work portal of the organization. This will also prevent shifting focus to a different software/website, as all the features would be available within one package.
4. Development and Production Plan
This Communication and Management System (the System) will consist of 9 different product editions/packages (Appendix - Product Editions/Packages). The system will be divided into Essential Server, CommuniCenter, BizManager, CommuniCenter Client, BizManager Client and a website, total 5 components.
- Essential Server, this is a server provides database, sql handling, low level business logic. This server will receive and store raw data. It also will perform necessary data processing. The processed data also will be stored. This server will respond to client request to provide necessary raw data or processed data.
- CommuniCenter, serves as combination server. This server will provide Email services, Internal Social Network services and Instant Messenger services. This server also will perform user administration.
- BizManager, is a server provides business related services which include project management services, team management services, report management services, customer relationship management services, online meeting services.
- CommuniCenter Client, BizManager Client will deliver corresponding services to a computer desktop.
All the components will be divided into three stages and these stages will be the product editions which are Basic, Premium and Professional. Later stages will be developed based on the previous stages.
4.1.1 Key Features
- Web Services, all services are web based, therefore the customer can access the services anytime anywhere with an Internet connection.
- Web Browser based, reduce unnecessary software installation. Access from any computer with an Internet connection.
- Flexible client-side applications provide more functionality.
- Highly centralized system, minimize unnecessary redundancy.
- Rich user interface from both web-based services and desktop applications will allow the user have a excellent user experience.
- Different product editions/packages provide a wide range of options which will minimize the cost and optimize the performance.
- Customization packages are provided. Customer may also develop their own customization package through web services API.
Open sourced and platform independent technologies will be used to reduce the development cost. Suggest J2EE Web or PHP technology developed in NetBeans IDE, test and deploy the System on Apache web server with MySQL database which are hosted on Fedora system.
4.2 Detailed Development Plan
Development starts with Essential Server and CommuniCenter Basic. These two are the foundation of other product editions/packages' development. After the development of a lower stage for all components, a new higher stage will start. For every component's very stages will follow the software development life cycle as shown below.
At the end of each stage of each component is a milestone and this stage of this component may be released to the market.
4.3 Resource Requirements
4.3.1 Product Sourcing
A house will be rented as living place as well as workplace with Internet connection. Five computers with accessories is needed in the beginning of the setup. It will increase as the business starts experiencing profits.
4.3.2 Human and IT Resources
Four of the funders will be the initial manpower employed. As all of them have an IT background with different skill sets, further recruitment are not necessary at the beginning. As the development progress, each one of us will take the roles in software design, software engineering, marketing, maintenance, customer service.
Location is not crucial at this point, but it should be near to one shopping mall and have a low rental cost, estimated at 2000S$ per month.
4.3.4 Estimated Costs
Estimate that it will take 6 months for Product Edition 1.a to be released to the market. The production costs are listed below (computers used for development are not counted, as all of us possess one computer prior to the development).
6 Mouth total------------------19864.8
Therefore the total cost of Product Edition 1.a is 19864.8 S$.
Post development costs will be charged to the customers.
4.4 Quality Assurance
Before deployment, emphasize software engineer discipline, follow industry standard, provide detailed documentation, and get feedback from customer for Demo and Beta release.
After deployment, onsite services are provided, closely monitor system's performance, and provide maintenance.
5. Marketing Plan and Strategies
5.1 Marketing Plan
CommuniCenter distinguishes itself from its competitors by giving customers the freedom of choice to either do social networking or use files for professional requirements or do both together. Multitasking and diversity are what will attract the customers to use our product.
5.1.1 Company's Message
CommuniCenter plans to assimilate relationship and understanding of the customers in all the marketing efforts. We are emphasizing the need to have fun while working, so improve and enhance efficiency of the working class in Singapore. We have come up with a slogan "Enjoy your work", to reach out to the customers.
5.1.2 Sales Mechanism
CommuniCenter emphasizes in providing fun interactions through new technologies specializing in the user interface, thus promoting communication and networking with anyone for the purpose of meetings or other forms of work.
In order to sustain our product among the users, and also to ensure that the product is used for both the services it provides (networking and working), we will have a system which will keep a track of how efficiently the customers are using this education portal. For example, all posts/submissions made by users will earn points if approved by a supervisor, and the one with maximum points will be declared as the "top user". Such sort of rewards/recognition will be there on a weekly/monthly/annual basis for different classes/departments. This will instill a spirit of competition among students/employees and encourage them to keep using our software. Depending on our financial constraints, we will also consider giving out awards to top students. This will in addition provide an analysis of the better performing departments of an organization, thus giving the organization a very good reason to buy our services.
We have decided to give our products to smaller institutes for a short trial periods (eg. 30 days) to play around with this software, and to decide whether they'd be interested in using our services. By doing this, we may not only earn loyal customers among the smaller networks (Schools, small organizations), but also get publicity by word of mouth from reputed bodies. Also by doing this, we will get a chance to quickly barge into the market and get customers immediately, such that, even before we start our business we will have a share in the market.
5.1.3 Organization of Sales Team
All company personnel are considered members of the sales team initially. With growth, we will be hiring salesmen to handle the sales. But initially the 4 founders will do all the work. They would be the first to represent the company, thus leaving a good first impression is important in determining the customer's subsequent patronage. Employees would receive financial bonuses or incentive gifts if the company reaches overall sales goals.
If the company's sales goals are not reached, the director would review the situation on how to overcome it. Company personnel who did not performed well would be sent for trainings or the possibilities of dismissal. Each company personnel are important and play a part in determining the success of a company.
5.2 Marketing Strategies
5.2.1 Company Website
Our company will set up a website to promote our product. As the easiest source to get information about any software for any user is the internet, we are going to make a website that will provide all the detailed information about CommuniCenter. The website will contain intricate details of all the information provided and shared by the product when in use. A demo of how the software will look will be put up in the form of a video or in flash.
Since we are armed with computer programming knowledge, the website development and design can be done by ourselves. This will be helped by the fact that we will complete designing a fully functional website by May 15, 2010. Thus we will be armed with all the resources required for building our own website. The company would have to buy a domain to host the website.
5.2.2 Media Advertising
We will send all our potential clients a formal invitation to try out the CommuniCenter.As majority of the users are members of the leading social network, Facebook, we will try to popularize CommuniCenter among them by advertising on Facebook. Facebook advertisements cost 25USD per month to reach out to an audience of 100,000 users. Facebook has a vast database from which it can pin point the users who lie in our category of our target audience. We will give Facebook location as Singapore, and age from 15-60 as criteria for the advertisement.
Total cost for publicity in this form will be 70 %( Facebook users) * 2.5 million (total target audience) * 25USD *1.4(conversion rate)/100,000 = 612.5$ per month. Depending on Financial constraints and market response, we will decide in the future how long we would be interested in investing in Facebook advertisement.
We will also have weekly advertisements in the Straits Times 1 month before the launch of our product. The type of advertisements (full page/half page) will be dependent on the amount of money reserved for marketing by the board.
Another marketing strategy to be used is sending out flyers and leaflets. Information and images will be printed on these brochures to emphasize the revolutionary idea of combining networking with professional activities. These brochures will be given out in popular places in Singapore like Orchard, Raffles, City Hall, where the people from our target audience can be found in large numbers.
5.3 Cooperative Marketing Plan
- We will be looking for sponsorships for our maintenance costs. In return we will offer our potential sponsors with advertisement space on our website.
- In addition we will be looking for joint ventures with tech firms setting up promotional events, in which they will promote our services in return for funds provided for organizing their event.
- We will also try to enter the student market by sponsoring university activities. This will popularize our product among the students.
6. Financial Plan
*All numbers shown are before GST and TAX
6.1 Financial Statement
According to market projection, profit of 27567.2 S$ is expected in the first year. In the subsequent two years, this profit will increase to 77094.24 S$ and 170223.98 S$.
The profit graph suggested that the local market may reach its saturation in 6 years as the profit curve stats to drop. 30 months of development will be spent in the first series of products. We expect the development cycle for the second series will take 24 months with more experiences and more manpower. Therefore the development of second series should start from 4th year and accomplish by the end of 5th year and release before the demand of older version starts to decay.
We expect our company to break-even before the end of 12th month.
6.2 Financial Resources
This company is a corporation amongst 4 initiators as the founders. Salespersons and programmer will be recruited from year 2 based on the manpower requirement of that year.
An initial funding of 22000S$ is required to start the initial development. This initial funding will cover the daily spending of the 4 initiators and company's operations.
6.3 Financial Strategy
The initial funding of 22000S$ will risen by the 4 initiators. In the first year, 4 founders will not receive any salary but only 200 S$ per person each month as allowance to cover daily expenditures. In 8 months, this company should be self- sustain, additional investment will not be required.
Following list will provide a guideline for internal control and monitoring.
- The 4 founders make joint decisions regarding the company's future plan.
- Range of jurisdictions have been assigned to each 4 founders according to their expertise, no one should interfere other's jurisdiction unless another two founders agree to interfere.
- All products belong to the company. The company holds the copyright of all products.
- Any founder should not and cannot claim the ownership of products.
- Any expenditure and income needs to be recorded in a common database with an interface which allows staffs to access, review and comment. Any person, including the 4 funders, fails to record his/her expenditure or income will face demotion even employment termination.
- Any controversial expenditure need to be reviewed as soon as possible. After the review is announced, within 24 hours, the each involved personnel, including the 4 funders, needs to provide a written report, within 48 hours, the review should be executed.
- A normal review should be conducted monthly.
- If necessary, an external auditor will be employed to check financial records.
The company should ensure the transparency of company's finance invariably. All profits will be considered as company's asset and will be used for company's expending and growth.
7. Organization and Management
7.1 Organization and Management
7.1.1 Key Personnel Resource
126.96.36.199 Organization Chart
188.8.131.52 Profile of Owners (Key Executives)
- Head of Marketing and Sales (Mr. Doyen Sahoo) He will be responsible for overseeing all activities for marketing the company's products and services via creation of advertising and promotional materials, expanding the network of customers through research and forecast of market trends and conditions, and implementation of sales strategies.
- Head of Finance and Operations (Mr. Sidhant Jain) As creatiNno sTUdio Head of Finance and Operations, he will be responsible for overseeing all accounting activities, reporting of financial status as well as having the purchasing power for food and equipment for the company, he is required to oversee all administrative and logistics activities, working closely with the Finance department. He will also liaise with food and equipment suppliers as well as monitoring quality assurance through conformance of standards and procedures.
- Head of Product Development and Technology (Mr. Zhao Chuxin) Head of Development and Technology will be responsible for overseeing the product design and development. He will oversee all IT and technical issues pertaining to the products, its applications and hardware, and maintenance of the company's website.
- Head of Human Resource and Spokesperson (Ms. Pavani Gulati) The Head of Human resource and Spokesperson for creatiNno sTUdio will be responsible for overseeing all matters pertaining to representing the company in all dealings with the authorities and external parties. She will act as the medium of instruction between all workers. She will also be responsible for hiring and training new employees.
184.108.40.206 Consultants and Other Specialist
In addition to the key executives, creatiNno sTUdio requires Management and Marketing consultants such as Howard Marketing Services. We are also hiring Drew & Napier LLC as our attorney to represent us in any matters pertaining to legal issues.
7.2 Human Resource Management (HRM) Strategy
7.2.1 Basic HRM Philosophy
Employees are encouraged to be well-versed in all departments, upgrading their skills especially in the aspects of sales and IT. Incentives will act as an encouragement tool for them to work hard. Employees are also encouraged to take part in events organized within the company to build and foster healthy working relationships through networking, feedback sessions etc.
7.2.2 Employee and Key Positions Required
To start the new venture, we will require no new employees. But we plan on hiring employees in the 2nd and 3rd year of our running. creatiNno sTUdio will hire both sales persons and software engineers.
The Salespersons will be responsible for coordinating, supervising and directing all marketing and sales. He/she will report to the Head of sales and marketing. He/she will need to have at least 2 years of experience in either sales or marketing industry, preferably with management skills as well.
The Software Engineers will be the ones interacting directly with the product development. They will be the ones serving the software and setting it up for the customer. The engineers will attend to any customer enquiries especially with regards to usage and the repair services and should the need arise inform the managers of any critical situation. They will also serve up as IT technicians so as to be able respond accordingly whenever any technical problems arise. They will report to the managers as well as the Head of Technology. They must have at least 2 years working experience and IT degree.
7.2.3 Strategies for Staff
creatiNno sTUdio aims to adopt a cool, fun and happening environment for all employees, creating more flexibility by instilling interest and skills not only within their job scope but through other aspects as well. This in turn will encourage them to work and mingle together as a team so as to deliver good customer service and products to the customers.
To motivate and retain the employees, we will provide flexible working hours, free meals, paid time off and cash incentives.
8.1 Form of Business
creatiNno sTUdio will be set up as a form ofLimited Liability Partnership. As this is a legal entity under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Singapore, creatiNno sTUdio is subjected under the LLP Act. Thus each individual partner is considered to be liable for their individual decisions or debt amounts made by then on behalf of the company. This individual liability would not put other partners at risk, if say one partner decides to hold a bad debt on the company's name.. It is agreed that the profit or loss will be shared equally among the owners of the business.
8.2 Equity Position
Funding of the companymainly comes from the personal savings of the owners. Each partner is required to invest an initial minimum capital of SGD $5,500.
The following table shows the equity positions that the owners invest in the company.
Total Owner's Equity-------------$22,000
8.3 Deal Structure
Ultimately, the firm requires a total of $22,000 to start the business, entire amount is being sourced by the owners he owners hence, the stake in the company would also be divided among the owners equally.
9. Critical Risks and Contingencies
As we take our first step into this world of endless opportunities, we are bound to face a number of risks, which we hope to deal with effectively, as we move along. This section reveals material and relevant information in case of risks or emergencies for our product.
Access the probability of unforeseen occurrences and their potential impact
The operational skills in the company are of vital importance, they are one of the foundations to make the success. Listed are the associated risks along with the strategies to be used in case of occurrence of these risks:
* Lack of commitment and skills
Proper employee contracts and job descriptions from initially prevents such a behavior amongst employees. Interviews and HR department should work in choosing the best person for the job to rule out the bad crowd.
Breakdown of website
Break down of website, can lead to loss of orders and therefore sales and revenue. This can be prevented by regular maintenance of the website via our IT department.
Shortage and Damaged Products
The shortage of raw materials and man power can halt production and delay deliveries of software. The talent management and Human resource department helps in identifying competencies and abilities of its employees while recruiting sufficient people from time to time. Damage of published product due to unexpected reasons, can cause a lot of problems. The quality control department handles this issue to make sure the customer gets the finest quality goods without any errors possibilities. The maintenance department keeps a check on all their products present out there amongst networks in the market.
The production and design team are the backbone of creatiNno sTUdio and it is important to ensure they're satisfied and committed to the work. A skilled HR manager, with good inter personal skills is essential to have control over the employees.
One of the biggest worries for the launch is if the demand for the product fails to materialize. Good advertising can make big networks like universities, companies and societies to take more notice of the business, and make them more willing to try out our software. If the demand is too small there will be no income to the firm. This could in worst case leading to liquidation.
Also due to extreme competition present in the market, many competitors would rise during out time making it difficult for us and our stakeholders to achieve more profits. Using a policy of rapid application development and coming up with better interfaces and updates will give us more advantage over our competitors. Also despite acting all competitively and with an aim to go higher, Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability in terms of environment, resources and values should be upheld with extreme priority.
Red Tape Barriers by Universities and organizations is regarded as a newbie concept amongst these networks in which they might be reluctant to give space for our company to hold events or put up stalls. The required formalities may take a long time, which will put our plans on hold. Proper advertisements and marketing and branding of our product can help prevent such situations to arise.
The biggest financial problems could be lead from materials, demand and workforce. Because the demand can be very cyclic, downs during holiday seasons and so on, there can be a problem getting an even cash flow. This could also be a problem while employing and paying the workforce.
Economy ups/downs can also cause our company to suffer as the workers and market would adjust themselves to different expectations.
A First impression is the most important one, as they say. Therefore if the society or the government gets wrong misleading information about our company, it could very harmful for our reputation as well as profits. Have to make sure that the product mediates unique and environmental friendly. To be big, the company has to create a trend and maintain all its standards of being a CSR firm. To create the perfect connection to our customers, proper channels of publicity should be maintained
Let us ponder over a very famous quote that are business has been based on. "BUSINESS, MORE THAN ANY OTHER OCCUPATION, IS A CONTINUAL DEALING WITH THE FUTURE; IT IS A CONTINUAL CALCULATION, AN INSTINCTIVE EXERCISE IN FORESIGHT."[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/henryrluc120497.html] Our team strives to achieve through this business what others may not have been able to for the FUTURE. We aim to work together as a strong cohesive team, sharing information and a belief in a quality product. We believe that through our product, it will connect people and bridge communities in an organization through forms of digital communication while making social networking an institutional or an essential tool for everyone. We are in such an era where everyone has to catch up with fast rapid pace of technology or else we will be disembarked from the society. Its time those organizations should start understanding the fact that how better off they will be if everything they need is present on one software. Social Networking combined with all other services on one single interface could make life easier for the organization as well as for the users. Moreover it will also give these organizations an upper hand over others because of no bothering issues like privacy, security over internet, maintenance because it will be all handled by our company. We wish that people in an organization are connected together to discuss all their endeavors and instead of depending on separate random online software's or portals, it will be a boost for a company to have everything (all features) at one place customized according to their needs. Therefore to have the thing that other people do not have, we are trying to do what others are not even willing to look and we hope that even users are interested to use our product where others are not even caring to look.