The time is excellent to introduce non-prescription eyewear as a fashion statement. In a recent study 46% of Americans said that they would wear glasses as an accessory. No longer are glasses associated with being a “geek.” Consumers want to look more intelligent for a job interview, sexier for an outing, or more glamorous for a special occasion. All of these looks can easily be accomplished with Ebessnee eyewear.
There is no easier way to spruce up your appearance than to put on a pair of stylish glasses. Americans are aware of this fact, but up until now there have been few fashionable choices. The only option is to visit your optometrist and sort through hundreds of frames. Then you have to wait for your order to be processed, which can take up to a month.
At Ebessnee we want to change all of that. We want to allow consumers to make an easy stop at our website where they can view free video tutorials regarding fashion and how to select frame designs and colors based on their own physical features. Our glasses will be sold at market price and will include a stylish carrying case and will be shipped the same day. Our selection will be limited to 20 to 40 of the most current and fashionable styles which will ease the decision making process for consumers. Our glasses represent a great gift giving opportunity.
All of this will be supported by 1-800 customer service and a 30-day money back guarantee. Ebessnee ’s goal is to be the frontrunner in bringing fashionable non-prescription eyewear to America.
To provide stylish eyewear to consumers who want to enhance their appearance with glasses but do not need prescription lenses. We will not sacrifice on quality, and service to make sure that our product is top notch.
Keys to Success:
- Current, functional, and attractive ecommerce website
- Pervasive and memorable branding program
- Targeting women who are fashion conscious
- Building a strong association with fashion through social media, public relations, participation in events, viral marketing, and press coverage.
- Promptly shipping orders and processing returned products
We expect to reach over $380,000 in sales in the first year and around 1.7 million in the second year. Operations should be profitable within the first few months of start up. In year two we forecast operating income to exceed $430,000.
In order to fund the start up Ebessnee Eyewear needs a total capital investment of $165,000. We are seeking an equity investment from outside investors. In exchange they will receive a 65% ownership stake in the corporation. Investors should be able to liquidate their investments within a 2 to 3 year time with a share repurchase program or outright sale of the business. Projected return on investment ranges from 52% under the share repurchase program to 150% in an outright sale situation.
- General Business Description
Ebessnee Eyewear will be in the business of retailing non-prescription optical grade eyewear to consumers throughout the world. Our mission is to provide quality stylish eyewear to those consumers who desire to enhance their appearance with glasses but do not need prescription lenses. Initially we will market our products exclusively online through instagram and our website. In the future we plan to expand distribution to independent accessory shops and select national chains. Our products are designed to be a fashion statement rather than a medical device and will be priced to retail between $250 and $1500.
According to a recent study conducted by Essilor of America1 46% of Americans would consider wearing eyeglasses as an accessory even if they didn’t need them. Our goal is to provide this market with an easily accessible and quality product. Because this market is relatively undeveloped there is little evidence to support initial annual sales volumes. So far there has been no concerted attempt that we know of to market glasses solely as an accessory.
At Ebessnee our business philosophy will be to sell sexy. We want to breakaway our product from the traditional classification as a medical device and brand it in our customer’s minds as a cool and fashionable accessory. Our products will be designed so that customers can own a variety of styles and colors of frames to compliment their wardrobe and style.
Our target market will initially be limited to women, but may be extended to include men in the future as demand warrants. Customers will include individuals in any age bracket who desire to enhance their appearance with glasses. Our primary target market will be limited though to women ages 16 to 50.
In the long term we see this as a growth industry. Ebessnee Eyewear hopes to be the first major brand to market. Our goal is to define the market for fashion optical eyewear much like Fossil and fashion watches.
Our frame offerings will fall under three different categories: Bossy, Sexy, and Glamorous. Each category will contain five to ten different frame designs and each frame will be offered in a variety of different colors and finishes. Frames will be of high quality that consumers would expect to receive from a traditional optometrist. We will offer a variety of both metal and acetate (plastic) frames, which will all, come preinstalled with clear polycarbonate lenses.
In addition to the three frame categories listed above we will offer a “customizable” frame package that will include a basic plastic frame with a package of adornments such as jewels and crystals. Consumers will have the ability to create their own customized designs by affixing the jewels to the basic frame. This will make a great gift idea.
At Ebessnee we will focus on less than 50 of the most popular designs in order to make the frame selection process more fun and less stressful.
Each frame will carry an unconditional money back guarantee and will be offered in small, medium, and large sizes. If customers are unsatisfied with their glasses they will have the option returning them for a full refund or exchange.
Since our products are optical grade our customers will be able to have them adjusted at their local optometrist if needed.
Consumers will have the opportunity to select various style and color combinations from our website and place orders in real time. Due to compact packaging, shipping charges will be kept to a minimum. Glasses will ship with a very stylish case that will be embossed with various logos and designs.
III. Marketing Plan
Men and women alike are constantly looking for ways to make themselves look and feel better. Whether it’s working out at the gym, buying a new dress, or having a makeover there is no doubt that our generation places a high value on appearance. Whether or not you wear glasses plays a large role in ones appearance. In the past glasses were often associated with being overly brainy. Now though glasses have evolved into a fashion statement for those who need them. What about those who don’t? Based on our research there is a growing interest in using non-prescription glasses to alter your appearance. After all, what faster and easier way is there to alter your appearance than to put on a pair of glasses?
Despite the clear demand for this product there are few if any companies who are focusing on this market. These consumers could easily visit their local optometrist and purchase a pair of frames with non-prescription lenses, but choose not to for a variety of reasons. This is because the optometrists are not selling the right product, in the right place, with proper promotion and sales techniques.
At Ebessnee Eyewear our plan is to make non-prescription glasses available to everyone with viral advertising, cool styles, and ease of purchasing. Ebessnee will breakaway from the established norms of the current eyewear market and establish something that is altogether new, fresh, and appealing to consumers. Below are some interesting statistics regarding eyewear.
40% of respondents view people who wear glasses as smart .
22% of respondents stated that wearing out of date glasses would ruin your appearance
Consumers are not afraid of purchasing glasses online. Within one year of startup eyeglass.com was receiving over 6,000 hits per day.
Research conducted by eyeglass.com has revealed that the typical eyeglass wearer is dissatisfied with the current system of buying glasses.
There is a demand throughout many demographic groups for non-prescription eyewear that is worn for fashion. Interest is highest among a few select groups who place high importance on fashion and appearance. Because of this fact we feel it is prudent to begin by targeting these consumers before expanding our reach to less receptive demographics.
To begin with we will target females aged 16 to 50. Because our product will be sold through Ebessneeseyeware.com it will be available to anyone in the world, but we will be specifically targeting US residents. According to the Census Bureau there are approximately 51 million females aged 15 to 50 in the United States.
In the future we may expand our target demographic to include men.
It should be noted that the purchasers of our product would not always be the end consumer. One of our strategies will be to position Ebessnee Eyewear as a very “giftable” product. As such we will develop marketing strategies to target gift givers such as children and spouses.
At this time we have been unable to identify any direct competition to our planned business model although we will compete with other companies indirectly. We will compete indirectly with prescription frame manufacturers/wholesalers who distribute their products through optometrists and national chains. Examples of these indirect competitors include XXX and XXX. In reality few if any consumers will make a direct comparison between our products.
Ebessnee Eyewear is unique in that we do not seek to occupy a small niche within a larger market. Rather we seek to define the entire market for non-prescription eyewear. We will offer products delivered with a brand image that is so prevalent that Ebessnee and non-prescription eyewear will become synonymous.
The single most important aspect of Ebessnee Eyewear will be our promotional strategy. Our strategy is founded based on “Slay” positioning. The idea is to breakaway non-prescription glasses from their current association with medical devices and to reclassify them as a fashion statement. The essence of this strategy is based on building a very strong brand that consumers will associate exclusively with the non-prescription eyewear industry.
In order to accomplish this strategy you must alter the marketing mix as a way to distance the product from its old class and associate it with a new one in consumer’s minds. There are many tools that can be used in order to execute this strategy. Our plan will be focused around three main areas: brand building and protection, viral marketing, and providing value to our customers by offering tips, tutorials, and other fashion and beauty information.
Brand Building and Protection
One of our first tasks is to develop the logo and packaging that will be associated with Ebessnee Eyewear products, materials, and web content. Once we have the initial branding package completed we will develop awareness through selective online advertising. We will protect our images, and trademarks, by filing them with the appropriate legal authorities. Our unique brand will establish Ebessnee Eyewear as distinct in consumer’s minds from traditional eyewear.
Ebessnee will utilize online networks, blogs, and discussion groups in order to develop brand awareness. In addition we will offer free product samples to tastemakers, opinion leaders (actors, the media, etc.) who will present a positive image of our products in the community. We will seek to place our product in features or segments in mass media such as news shows and magazine articles. In addition, we will develop promotional videos which will draw attention to our brand through channels such as YouTube and our website Ebessneeseyewear.com
Once potential customers reach our website we don’t just want to sell them a product. Instead we want to offer our customers tips, advice, and information that will be of value to them in regards to fashion and beauty in general. Our information will emphasize how adding glasses to your wardrobe can dramatically enhance your appearance. Glasses can add style, sexy, or glamour to your look.
Our website will also have specific video tutorials that cover topics related to eyeglass selection. We will have tutorials to cover topics such as face shapes, eyeglass materials, and eyeglass colors. Consumers will have the opportunity to learn how our various products may suit their specific features.
Traditionally if you wanted to purchase a set of non-prescription eyeglasses you would visit an optometrist and place an order for prescription frames with non-prescription lenses. These frames are generally priced from $100 to $300 per pair with notion that most customers will be billing their insurance.
Our plan is to make non-prescription glasses available to fashion conscious individuals. Our products will be priced to retail between $250 and $1500 a pair, which will include a high quality case.
Another way for Ebessnee’s Eyewear to differentiate its products is with distribution. Traditionally non-prescription glasses have been distributed alongside prescription glasses in optometrist’s offices and national eyewear chains. This distribution method is outdated and inefficient. In this setting consumers often feel pressured by commissioned salespeople. In addition consumers don’t have a chance to fully consider how a specific frame or color may fit into their wardrobe leaving them with a pair of expensive frames that they later regret purchasing.
Ebessnee ’s products will be distributed entirely through our website. Our website will provide a rich shopping environment offering customers tips and advice on how to properly select glasses for fashion. Consumers can make their purchasing decisions based on what they like, not what a salesperson pushes to them. Our customers are invited to take as long as necessary to make their buying decisions and will be able to create and save shopping carts and wish lists so that they can return later to shop and complete their purchases.
Once the Ebessnee brand and customer base are developed (1 – 2 years) we plan to expand distribution to independently own and regional shops and boutiques. In the future we also may explore distribution with national chains that exemplify our dedication to affordable fashion.
The day-to-day operations of Ebessnee Eyewear will be eased through the use of technology. We will receive daily updates on customer inquiries from the call center. Upon receipt Ebessnee ’s management can respond as needed. Our website will handle the processing of customer transactions and we will receive placed orders each morning for the prior day. Orders will be processed and shipped immediately from our warehouse. We will hire part time employees to process outgoing orders and returns.
Other operational tasks involve marketing including making appearances at events, public relations, trade shows, and distributing samples. Management will execute these duties.
Third parties in other countries – primarily China, will manufacture our frames. Once we receive the finished frames we will send them out to our optician to have plastic lenses installed as necessary. After this process is complete we will package the products in our warehouse and prepare them for shipment.
Because our business will be conducted almost exclusively online warehouse location is not important. There is an abundant supply of cheap space available locally.
Ebessnee will include a disclaimer with each of its products that reminds consumers that our product is not designed for children and is solely for fashion – not to correct any vision problems. This should protect us from many legal issues.
We will not offer a warranty but rather a 30-day money back guarantee. Consumers must pay return shipping on their returns. Of course we will always have to deal with the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for use but we do not foresee significant legal issues arising as a result of consumers purchasing our products.
Once we have finalized our logo we will have it registered with the U.S. Patents and Trademarks office in Washington D.C.
Otherwise there are few licensing requirements for our business other than obtaining the general state business license, which is very simple and costs only $125.
Ebessnee ’s personnel requirements will be minimal to begin with. We will outsource call center functions which means that the only physical labor required will be to receive incoming inventory shipments, prepare orders for shipment, and actually shipping the orders. In addition we will need to process returns. Initially these functions will be done by management. As demand increases part time help will be hired at a rate of approximately $10 per hour with no benefits.
There is a large supply of available employees locally due to the fact that there are a lot colleges in NY area and other job opportunities are scarce.
In the future we may bring the call center function in house, which will require the hiring of numerous employees, and managers all of which can be procured locally. In addition we will likely hire an operations manager to oversee processing of orders and shipments once demand increases. This will free up the owners to be able to focus full time on marketing, public relations, and other promotional responsibilities. An operations manager can be hired locally for approximately $15 per hour with no benefits.
At Ebessnee Eyewear we will be selling a fashion product, which means that trends and tastes can easily render our inventory obsolete, which is why we will keep inventory to an absolute minimum. We will carefully monitor customer response and demand for various designs and adjust future inventory decisions accordingly.
Initial inventory levels are set at 3,500 units, which is enough to cover the first four months of projected sales. Initially we want to have some extra inventory on hand in order to accommodate for any unexpected spikes in sales.
The management at Ebessnee believes that in the fashion industry inventory is a liability rather than an asset. We must attempt to walk the fine line between being out of stock and having obsolete inventory sitting on the shelves because of ineffective ordering. We will target 10 to 12 inventory turns per year after operations get up and running.
Inventory lead times vary by model and supplier anywhere from one week to five months.
We plan to promote Ebessnee Eyewear as a great gift. As a result we expect inventory levels to increase during the holiday season from late October through year-end.
Payments will be accepted using PayPal or credit/debit cards only.
- Management and Organization
Ebessnee Eyewear will be managed and operated primarily by Anita Perry.
Ms. Perry has significant business as well as finance and accounting experience. Ms. Perry has experience and knowledge with all aspects of business operations and management including: accounting, purchasing, material control, information technology, legal contracts, and human resources.
Ms. Perry graduated from XXXX with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
Ms. Perry works a flexible schedule in the retail industry in NY. Initially she will maintain her day job until Ebessnee ’s business increases at which point she will transition to part time in her current position and ultimately quit in order to operate Ebessnee full time.
- Start up Expenses and Capitalization
|Estimated Start up Costs|
|3,500 units at average cost of $20
Design of our ecommerce website
6 months rent on warehouse space
Design of online advertisements
Search Engine Optimization of our website
Produce YouTube and Videos for website
State registration fees, etc.
Writing consumer product warnings N/A
Displays, tables for events and shows Shelving for warehouse
Tooling dies needed to make our packages
1 year Set up 1-800 number for customer service
Software 2 Months Operating Expenses To cover cost overruns, etc.
Show/Event Supplies Equipment
Tooling — Packaging
Call Center Set Up
The startup expenses will be funded by an investment from Ms. Perry as well as other equity investors.