We are planning an ambitious growth strategy at Back 40 Group and this strategy is being undertaken at a time of much uncertainty in the economic arena. I have been making business decisions since I was 11 years old and come from a long line of successful entrepreneurs. I have also worked as a business consultant preparing business plans for other start-ups.
My management style is conservative yet aggressive. I easily adapt to strong messages from our customers and seize upon opportunities that other companies have left un-filled. Here is our basic plan, as of this day, subject to fine tuning as we progress. I will also include some historical information for reference. We will go division by division.
Back40Books.com ( Back40Books.com ) Back 40 Books started out as a company that sold books at agricultural trade shows. We sold a lot of books and became the largest vendor at most events we attended. We traded speaking for free exhibit space. Our customers were sad to see us only once a year so we developed our web store. From 2000 through 2006 we viewed the web store as a secondary source of income and treated it as such. Our web ranking was around 4,000,000 out of 20,000,00 web sites in the world. As the web grew we decided to move to make our web store more profitable. By the time our new Chief Technology Officer arrived in February 2008 we had moved up to the 2,000,000 most popular store in the world. In the past three months we have advanced our web site to be the 247,000 most popular in the world and 49,324 in the U.S. We have done this though improving our search engine placement, adding interactive features and setting up a new forum site to drive traffic to our store. We will attract nearly 50,000 customers to our store this month alone; a year ago that would have been the yearly total. We also discovered a market for high-end greeting cards that has been ignored by Amazon and introduced a scroller to allow customers to see actual cards on the web before they buy. Our prices are better than Amazon and the cards are a high profit item with low stocking requirements and fast turnover. We are ready to turn Back 40 Books into Back 40 General Store as soon as sufficient funding is available. We have products in the pipeline and an improved store design completed and ready to implement. The 2008 Holiday season sales exceeded our projections in a very poor retailing environment and our 2009 sales continue briskly.
Back 40 Internet Innovators ( Back40InternetInnovators.com ) Now that we have the capability to produce world class web sites and the ability to drive traffic to them we are poised to begin offering these service to other e-commerce players. We already own the software required and need some folks to our lead to turn out the work we will generate. We plan to charge $85-$125 per hour for this work which would price us about 25% under the prices charged by our big-city competitors paying much higher rent and salaries. Our wages will be generous by local standards but far less than in the city. This division is poised to grow quickly using equipment and knowledge already on board.
Pleasant Valley Productions ( PleasantValleyProductions.com ) (site is under construction) Our media production division has four scripts ready to go that need to be completed before autumn. When these projects are completed we have commitments from chain stores to carry the products in over 1000 stores plus several commitments from catalogers. This is in addition to the 18 projects we have completed. Since we already own high definition production equipment and robotic manufacturing capabilities we expect good returns from products that cost us less than $4.00 per copy to produce yet sell from $12.50 - $17.00 wholesale and $24.95-$34.95 retail. Once again, we need personnel to man the production crew and edit the finished products. We have performed all the background work and are ready to produce.
Additionally Pleasant Valley provides media production services for outside clients. The division is fully equipped to produce audio and video for outside customers and to edit, master, record and manufacture CD's and DVD's for clients. Our robotic manufacturing equipment can produce up to 12,000 CDs or DVDs per week.
Fluffy Cat Records ( FluffyCatRecords.com ) Fluffy cat is a new generation record company. We will record our artists in our own studios and market their works on-line for instant down loads, by CD sales, and by selling rights for use in movies and tv productions. We have signed several artists but need to purchase additional recording equipment and have additional working capital to promote these artists to radio stations. We already operate two sites allowing stations to download music for air play and are finding an excellent market at NPR and college stations. Once again, the artist only receives pay based on sales after Fluffy Cat recoups production costs. Due to our vertical integration our production costs are extremely low. Eventually we will also operate an internet radio station featuring Fluffy Cat artists. The web site is already up and running.
Internet Radio Broadcast Services ( KWBC.FM ) Our first internet radio station, KWBC.FM, is complete and operational. Only 3 months into this new venture our current Audio Realm Country Music rank is 7th out of 125 stations; current Audio Realm Bluegrass rank is 3rd worldwide, current Audio Realm Gospel rank is 17th worldwide, current Audio Realm Americana rank is #1 worldwide. We are generating over 33,600 Listener Hours per month
Internet radio has a fantastic future with a world-wide audience. All songs played will run with purchase information on the screen at all times. This will probably be our slowest division to grow, but has enormous potential, especially since car makers are planning internet ready radios in their 2009 offerings. Operating costs will be low and we also want to offer local students a chance to learn broadcasting by apprenticing at our station.
Back 40 Forums ( Back40Forums.com ) This site is not considered an income producer per say, but consists of 15% directions to our stores and other web sites where particular items can be purchased. The other 85% is user generated content. Many times when someone posts a problem a Back 40 product is suggested as a cure. We are getting letters (e-mail) from folks all over the world thanking us for hosting the forum. Since it launched in March 2008 we have catapulted to #209,000 in the web ratings and increased our web store sales significantly.
We have now reached the point that we are receiving a significant amount of advertising revenue from the placement of "click-through" and banner advertising on our sites.
What all of this means is that we have products and services ready to go. We have a staff that loves to work here. We have a community that needs jobs and workers that want to work. We have a ready market for our products and services. Management and workers have an optimistic outlook and camaraderie next to the best.
For the Back 40 Group:
Chief Executive Officer - Herman P. Beck
Chief Operating Officer - Linda L. Lee
Chief Technology Officer - Maxim Petrov
For more information on investing in Back 40 Group, Incorporated e-mail CEO@Back40Group.com or call 866.284.9844