A one page strategy paper should include the following headings:
- The Core Proposition
- The First-Instance Application of Your Product
- Why is Your Offering Important?
- The Market Opportunity
- What You and Your Company Needs to Do to be Successful From This Year On
Below is a real example:
Strategy Paper - b-uncut
The Core Proposition
b-uncut (www.b-uncut.com) is a crowdsourcing platform for quality artists from around the world. It launched at the end of 2007 positioned as the crowd network for artists by artists and quickly started gathering momentum. Now over 400 artists from the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia use b-uncut.com as their virtual studio. Each of them have their own personal 'studio' space on b-uncut and they have loaded nearly 6,000 of their artworks. Artists are both involved with and active at b-uncut and the site generates around 50,000 page views per month.
b-uncut.com is benefiting from early viral effects and highly cost effective organic growth with between 30-40 new, quality artists joining every month from around the world. b-uncut's initial proof of concept was to crowdsource over 250 quality artists internationally at a very low cost, while maintaining a high standard of emerging talent combined with professional, top grade artists that not only signed up to the site, but also freely loaded their artworks and actively used the platform. With b-uncut.com now beyond proof of concept the business can expand. Expand by recruiting a larger number of artists. And expand by monetizing the outputs of those artists.
b-uncut have proven that they can rapidly build a scalable, quality roster of international artists and are now seeking to raise capital to build an e-gallery and online store for art merchandise in 2H 2009 and an online auction house to be launched during 2010.
The First-Instance Application of b-uncut
The first-instance, go-to-market application of b-uncut.com is that of providing artists with a Web platform which acts as a 'virtual studio' and a dynamic, user generated, media arts platform to garner information about the art universe, meet other artists and get advice and support in developing careers as artists.
This novel, Web 2.0 approach to supporting quality artists around the world has proven both effective and sought after. Artists regularly come to b-uncut.com to load their art, get it peer reviewed, chat and email each other and share blogs on their perspectives on the art world in general, their challenges and the opportunities that they face within it. They actively spark discussion topics in Forum's and set up niche groups from the Artist Cafe to the Artist Marketing Salon to Painters, Photographers and many more. b-uncut also acts as a mentoring and artist partnering platform and b-uncut artists visit each other and support each others shows and events on a regular basis.
Why is b-uncut Important?
b-uncut has managed to win the hearts and minds of a great number of quality artists. Many of them state that they have a presence at other online artist sites such as Saatchi Online or MyArtInfo, but that b-uncut.com is where they feel at home and at one. As a result b-uncut has rapidly and efficiently built a loyal and valuable following and a brand. Indeed b-uncut artists have, of their own initiative, asked b-uncut to do more for them over time. They would like b-uncut to help them sell their art, promote and develop their careers, produce their merchandise and publish books.
b-uncut was never confused about the need to build a scalable, loyal, online mechanism for developing a roster of international artists first and once that was cracked, which it has, then be in a position to monetize those artists more efficiently than other platforms. Given the Web 2.0, social media dimensions of b-uncut they have enjoyed viral network growth earlier than expected. b-uncut have an experienced team in place, led by Philip Letts, who is both a successful international artist in his own right as well as a highly skilled, serial Internet entrepreneur.
The Market Opportunity
The art market is vast, worth $10's of billions annually. The art market has become considerably more accessible to the middle classes in the last decade or so. Art is the worlds most international product and requires no translation whatsoever. And yet the art market is antiquated and inefficient. Dealers and gallerists are choke points in the system and all too often constraints to both artist and buyer - so too the auction houses. The Internet and the art fairs are beginning to disintermediate both.
b-uncut believe that the art world is ready to move online. The artists have led that trend over the last 2 years and now b-uncut believe that the buyers and suppliers will follow. It will start at the bottom of the art market with sub $1,000 art being marketed and sold online, then it will move to more expensive art initially in silent, online auctions. b-uncut believe that they have the best entry point, approach and brand to become a dominant player in the move to online art. If they do they can quickly build a scalable and valuable business.
What b-uncut Needs to do to be Successful from 2009 and beyond
b-uncut need to continue to recruit and manage the relationship with valuable artists from around the world whist developing the features and content at b-uncut.com. They expect to have 750 quality artists online by the end of 2009, 1,500 by end 2010, 2,500 by end 2011 and over 5,000 by 2014. Starting the second half of 2009 b-uncut will begin to monetize the outputs of their roster of artists. First they will publish an 'Artists Diary' featuring artworks and artists from b-uncut which the artists will promote and sell to their friends and followers. After the summer b-uncut will do their first show of b-uncut artists in London.
From the second half of 2009 b-uncut will launch an e-gallery and e-merchandising store for b-uncut artists and by the end of 2010 they plan to launch an online auction system. It will then become increasingly important that b-uncut not only continue to develop their roster of quality artists but that they also learn how to cost effectively and efficiently drive buyers to their sites and shows. This they will do through highly effective, targeted and innovative PR campaigns.
If b-uncut is successful at executing on their plans through 2011 we believe that they could become one of the dominant players and brands in the online art space and as a result drive a possible premium exit event as early as 2012.