Social Networking Site
Sample Business Plan
Success of TheHopeFarm depends on how well we accomplish the mission and attract more users to the site. In the beginning stages of the site, it is going to be difficult to generate revenue. We are going to have to build the site properly and focus on having a high quality, user friendly website.
TheHopeFarm will generate the largest portion of its revenue from selling advertising space on the website. In 2007, out of the top 13 pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson alone spent over 48 million dollars in online advertising (Martino). I think that with the Internet gaining popularity and adding more capabilities every day, there will be more money spent in online advertising every year. Overall, the top 13 drug companies spent nearly 220 million dollars in online advertising and over 13 billion in overall advertising expense (Martino).
Another source of revenue is going to be the “Find a Doctor” program. The purpose of this application is to encourage doctors to get involved with the site. We are going to offer doctors the chance to have their name and practice listed in our database for a monthly charge of ten dollars.
There has been some thought into adopting the strategy that Twitter.com is using. That is, create a loyal community of users and once it is in place, gradually start offering extra services at a small cost. Depending on how well the services sell, you can start charging for existing services. The number of users will almost certainly drop, but if you have affected someone in a positive way and they associate the site with any value, a small monthly fee does not seem unfair. TheHopeFarm will almost certainly try to avoid such a business model but it is a model that is working for other web companies.
We want to create good relationships with other sites devoted to cancer information. We want to have good relationships because then we can create partnerships with the other sites and we can place links on the website for their webpage and they can do the same for TheHopeFarm. If we could generate five positive relationships with major sites we would have a huge network of people that will be exposed to the link to TheHopeFarm. The American Cancer Society (Cancer.org) and Oprah Winfrey’s website (Oprah.com) are good examples of sites with large amounts of daily traffic.
Another way that we will promote the site is by asking oncologists all over the country if they will promote the site to their patients. We will also try to sign them up to be listed on the “Find a Doctor” application. Luke Blackburn plans on attending different seminars and conferences to promote the site. Events such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) annual conference will be a great place to advertise the site and try to talk to as many doctors as he can. If the doctor signs up and recommends that his patients do the same, then he could communicate with his patient through the website.
The biggest and hopefully the best way that the websites name gets exposed is by word of mouth advertising. We want people to have a positive experience when they visit the website. We want cancer patients to be able to go to the website and connect with cancer survivors that were in their similar situation. I want them to go online and have their questions answered and have some hope restored to their lives. If the management team can provide a website that is capable of performing these functions then people are going to share the website with others.
Another significant part of the marketing strategy is to create a network of doctors around the country that want to be apart of the site. We are going to try to create partnerships with a doctor from every city in America that has a population over 25,000 people. This application will be called the “Find a Doctor” program.
We will offer the doctors the ability to be the only one listed in their city for ten dollars per month. In larger metropolitan areas we will accept more doctors to be on the list. In these larger cities, we will tell the doctors that they will be the only one listed in a ten-mile radius. We will implement the system through a location finder program. Users can enter an address and the will be given a list of the top 10 closest doctors in their area. We will use an interactive map that will show the location of the doctor’s office from a satellite view. The users will also have the ability to get directions to and from the doctor’s office.
Often times there will be two doctors that are in the same area that will want to be listed on the site. Bidding wars is ensue and the doctor willing to pay the highest amount per month will be the one listed on the site for that area. This will be more prevalent in large metropolitan areas with populations over 100,000.
Another form of compensation that doctors could choose is to give a certain percentage of sales for the patients that were referred to them from the site. It would require the doctors to add a section in the pre-visit paperwork that details how the patient heard of the doctor.
The process that will be required for people to sign up for the website will be very simple. They will have to create a username and password to gain access to any of the information on the website. There is some personal information that will be required. They will need to provide their full name, sex, a valid email address, and date of birth. Once they have done this they will officially be registered for the site. From there they can customize their profile, look at other users profiles, or search for information about cancer in our database. Most people will want to create a profile page so that other people can know more about them. Some of the basic information that people can give is how they are connected to cancer, their interests, their favorite movies, and for those who have successfully battled cancer, they can give the date when their doctor confirmed they were free of cancer, and an automatic calendar will calculate how long they have been cancer free and post it to their main profile.
The production process will take place almost all online. Once we find a suitable web design firm, we will schedule a preliminary meeting to go over the basic idea and draw out some deadlines for when we want certain goals to be met. We expect to find a firm by the end of May 2009. When we get our schedule laid out, the design team will go to work to develop and create the physical website. Luke Blackburn will oversee the construction of the website. Innovation will not be a main focus during the construction phase. We want to get the physical site created so we can test all of the parameters and safeguard against malicious intent.
Once the site is online, we will open a beta trial for the site. We will open the site to beta testers to check the sites functionality and check for any compromises in security. When the design team and Luke Blackburn think the site is ready for launch we will launch the site to the general public. The goal is to have TheHopeFarm.com launch by the end of September 2009.