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Thoughts on the rollout of the company & timeline.
In order for a venture like this to succeed and achieve market dominance, a careful introduction is necessary. As well, supply, logistics and information all have to be well formed before we start doing business. I propose a carefully structured, and layered rollout of IES.
We begin with a stand-down. The initial purpose will not be to start selling, but to get our house in order, bring initial staff up to speed, start making overtures to other major players, and generate market awareness via our early advertising. The overhead during this time will essentially be personnel, routine office operations, and marketing. This phase will last 1-3 months, and we will gradually work our way into normal business. We should make our default (but not necessarily unbendable) plans for full operations to begin in winter/early spring of 2010. Our territory goal should be for now Central Ohio - with immediate allowances for expansion into all of Ohio. We must be ready to do the job before we get the order!
Training will be critical during this phase - especially with the marketing and sales staff. They need to be fully aware of the alternative energy paradigm, as well as their particular areas of interest. In order to get going, I propose the following layers. (in no particular order)
Initial Sales Focus
As the sales staff come up to speed, and start researching their areas of interest, they should start pursuing the following venues:
Vehicle Manufacturers - Plug In and EV's
This is going to be huge, and we should have a team focusing on this from day one. The team needs to be Auto Industry savvy. The auto manufacturers are very much concerned about the chicken & egg situation of selling plug-ins & EV's, and then having to install charging stations. They do not want to do this, and neither do they want to do it on a customer at a time basis. Here is where the sales staff can make or break us. We can offer regional contracts to install equipment as the cars are sold, and ESPECIALLY to service it (We need to have a mechanism in place for this, as time (and customer service) is critical.). With the blessing of the manufacturers, we can talk to large dealer networks to service their customer base. We should figure out a way to tie Alternative energy into this paradigm. We also need to have available the proper licensed staff - electricians - to cover these. Possibly sub-contracts with local electrical companies (keep them small and vet their technical, time, and customer skills carefully!). We should start a database and service tracking system just for this. We could also - with the agreement of dealers & manufacturers, offer services direct to customers. But, we have to respect the Auto industry's etiqette. Start at the top & go down.
We need to investigate and start offering Internships immediately. Contact colleges, trade schools, play up that their students can grow with us, and present the solid foundation that we are building off of. Especially in the creative arenas, they could be an invaluable resource, and a source of our own future in-house talent. The design, architecture and technical areas can especially benefit, as would marketing.
1 - Initially, we need an aggressive advertising campaign. Focused on awareness and education, what the possibilities are. The brand needs to be solidly presented, but it should not overwhelm. Convince people they need our solutions, then be there to answer the call.
2 - We should start with PSAs, and PSA inspired ads. Making the public aware of the need, that there are solutions, and hinting that 'there will soon be a new game in town'. Ala 'The Pickens Plan'.
Thoughts on Software
We should develop the following software for use by the enterprise
Some early thoughts on our offices
Thoughts on an office location. While it may seem too early to think about, our home office will be important.