Who we are...
Our team is BMS Media, and consists of Bob Schumann, Simon Hoffberger and Michael Calo, three senior, Management: Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship majors in the College of Business. Our primary ventures surrounded the creation of a small business media firm that provided several businesses with modern advertising methods that catered to their expansion of web-based material. Simon, from Atlantic City, NJ applied his previous knowledge and skills in software such as Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and Aperture. His previous ownership of the necessary resources including the Canon 7D camera, MacPro Desktop and required software, which enabled our team to address all customer needs without additional expenses. Bob, from Philadelphia, PA was responsible for networking, customer acquisition and the design and development of a Realty Staging website. Michael, our third and final member, was primarily responsible for coordinating the needs of the customer with the creation of the E-Card, as well as communicating and working with the customers included in our side ventures.
As our T-Shirt venture came to a close, our group found itself questioning the viability of slightly altering our Zane Showker T-Shirt design and placing another order. To gather more information on the interest of our market and the possibility of making a come back, we created surveys to collect data related to the color, sleeve length and price preferences related to our shirt. Despite our innovative attempts to change the design, we determined that the lack of interest for more of our shirts would cause the venture to end up unprofitable. From this point, we recognized the abundance of opportunities that were present outside of the JMU bubble and attempted to contact several previous employers to get the ball rolling.
Our first attempt outside JMU was to utilize Michael’s network in Northern Virginia, resulting in conversations with PR Newswire and Twin Contracting about the possibility of supplying them with promotional items for their clients. To get a better idea of their preferences, we administered several surveys relating to the frequency they use these items and the unit price they would support spending on such items. Despite their noticeable interest in the creation of promotional items, we acknowledged the implausibility of having substantial profits with this as our primary venture. For this reason, we added these projects as side ventures, creating additional revenue and rapport between BMS Media and both PR Newswire and Twin Contracting.
Once realizing we needed to find a more realistic primary venture, we advertised our knowledge and skills in creating websites and web-based media within each of our individual networks. The advertisement of our abilities put us in contact with upper management of PR Newswire and Deni Design and Detail, both of which were in search of more modern and digital ways to reach their clients. Once establishing the requirements of the job, we questioned how we could innovatively personalize and distinguish their content by asking them an array of questions. These questions were related to the duration of the E-Card, the content of each template as well as the display and design of content on the webpage. By customizing each of our products to the specifics delegated by our customer, we were able to create a product that innovatively appealed to their businesses by modernizing their interaction with their customers.
Big Idea Hypothesis:
“BMS Media is created to cater to the needs of small businesses for media creation and website development, in their attempt to interact with their consumers in an increasingly modernized, technological marketplace. Our ability to deliver a variety of media-related, web-based products provides both a breakthrough in new ways to interact with consumers as well as a better, faster, cheaper alternative for creating an interactive website.
Due to the nature of our product offerings, we were constantly incorporating the opinions of our customers into the development and final design of our products. Due to the intangibility of both the website and E-Card as well as its necessity for completion before market testing, we did not distribute our templates to a large amount of early adopters. We instead kept close communications with three members of management within PR Newswire and the owner of Deni Design and Detail in an attempt to fully replicate the ideas and designs that they visualized.
Our three most important innovations within our project included:
We were able to uncover and capitalize on a monetizable customer pain outside of the JMU Bubble. Our ability to establish a working relationship with PR Newswire and Deni Design and Detail, organizations outside of the area, gave us the opportunity to create ventures with substantial profitability in relation to our t-shirt venture.
Our second important innovation stemmed from our creation of a product that improved an existing under-utilized product offering. Hallmark.com and jibjab.com specialize in the creation of personalized greetings cards that only offer the inclusion of a customized message not the customization of the actual E-card’s appearance. By creating an E-Card completely from scratch using Final Cut Pro, that incorporated a personal message, customized graphics and animation, we were able to improve upon the more basic templates and offer PR Newswire a modernized channel of communication between them and their current and prospective clients
The most innovative asset that contributed to the profitability of our media ventures is due to our previous knowledge and skill sets relating to the use of Photoshop and Final Cut Pro as well as our previous ownership of resources including the needed camera, computer and software. By using all of our own resources, we were able to limit our expenses related to the creation of our products and ultimately maximize the profitability of our ventures.
· E-Card Template designed through Final Cut Pro, Photoshop and Aperture on Simon’s MacPro Desktop
· In the creation of our website, the expenses relating to the software and future maintenance of the website were covered by the client due to their reoccurrence
o PR Newswire: Amiee LaMont: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Deni Design and Detail: Deni Schumann:email@example.com
o ADR Software: Patrick Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org
o Sigal Construction: Patrick Thomas: email@example.com
Business Model Canvas: https://canvanizer.com/canvas/EdZtR09aVdE
Note: Successful (Green) , Failure (Red), In Progress (Blue)
Lessons Learned and Advice for Future Entrepreneurial Students:
1- Do your best to break out of the JMU bubble. Students are generally broke and establishing a target market outside of the University will most likely bring you more capable buyers and more profitability.
2- Obviously, don't procrastinate. The lack of exams tends to downplay the importance of staying ahead and being proactive in your ventures. Get started early will make the final deliverables much easier to complete as you have already done most of the work
3- Talk to as many people as possible. It is crucial to get constant feedback on new ideas and adjustments you plan on making. What sounds great to you might not be as appealing to potential buyers and your attempted target market. Weekly surveys helped us realize which ventures had potential to turn out profitable and had sustainable interest.
4- Try to enjoy the chaos. The whole project seems really stressful and unachievable at the start but your success is highly dependent on your attitude. If possible, start ventures that incorporate your skills, interests and hobbies, as this will allow you to become more engaged in the project and be more optimistic about the work that lies ahead. In combination with starting early, one’s attitude and positive outlook on project progression is a prominent component of team productivity and enjoyment with the semester.