...

Business & Technology Practicum Report

by user

on
Category: Documents
20

views

Report

Comments

Transcript

Business & Technology Practicum Report
MECB/MECT 2008
Business & Technology Practicum Report
2009-2011
M.Sc in E-Commerce
Dublin City University (DCU)
www.dcu.ie
By
Aodhagán Grisewood - 52857529
Paul McGowan - 53414868
Charilaos Sideris - 57210566
30/07/2008
Declaration:
We the undersigned declare that the project material, which we now submit, is our own
work. Any assistance received by way of borrowing from the work of others has been
cited and acknowledged within the work. We make this declaration in the knowledge that
a breach of the rules pertaining to project submission may carry serious consequences.
Acknowledgements
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Hyowon Lee, our technical advisor, for his
advice, time and support while developing our practicum report. His support and humour was
greatly appreciated. In addition we would also like to thank our business supervisor Des
McLaughlin for his guidance.
We are also grateful to Dr.Theo Lynn and Dr. Teresa Hogan who allocated time to discuss
issues with us at short notice. Last but not least, thanks must also be given to fellow class
mates and friends who made this experience enjoyable despite the long hours!
-1-
Table of contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
1
CONTENTS
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
2
LIST OF FIGURES
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
5
LIST OF APPENDICES
................................................................................................................
6
CHAPTER 1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY........................................................................
7
Introduction.............................................................................................
Company Offering...................................................................................
The Market..............................................................................................
Company Strategy..................................................................................
Staffing....................................................................................................
Financial Overview.................................................................................
7
7
7
8
8
8
BUSINESS STRATEGY.........................................................................
Vision......................................................................................................
Mission....................................................................................................
Values.....................................................................................................
Strategies................................................................................................
Strategic Model.......................................................................................
Short-Term Objectives............................................................................
Long-Term Objectives............................................................................
Customer Relationship Management.....................................................
Homefootprint S.W.O.T Analysis............................................................
9
9
9
10
10
10
10
11
12
13
14
SERVICE OVERVIEW............................................................................
15
General Description................................................................................
Key Features And Benefits.....................................................................
Products And Service Search And Comparison Facility.........................
Home Energy Audit/ Dashboard.............................................................
Building Energy Rating (BER) Facility....................................................
Targeted Advertising...............................................................................
Homefootprint Community Blog..............................................................
Informative Content................................................................................
15
15
15
16
16
17
17
18
BUSINESS MODEL...............................................................................
19
Advertising Model...................................................................................
Threats Of Using The Advertising Business Model................................
Advertising Banners................................................................................
Affiliate Model.........................................................................................
Advantages Of The Affiliate Pay Per Click (PPC) Model To Merchants..
Threats Of Using The Affiliate Business Model......................................
Community Model...................................................................................
Threats Of Using The Community Model...............................................
Pricing Plan.............................................................................................
Advertising Pricing Plan..........................................................................
Affiliate Pricing Plan................................................................................
Competitive Analysis..............................................................................
19
20
21
22
22
23
24
25
26
26
27
28
INDUSTRY OVERVIEW.........................................................................
38
Self-Developers Of New Homes.............................................................
Overview Of The Self-Developer Residential Construction Market........
38
38
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
CHAPTER 2
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
CHAPTER 3
3.1
3.2
3.2.1
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
CHAPTER 4
4.1
4.1.1
4.2
4.3
4.3.1
4.3.2
4.4
4.4.1
4.5
4.5.1
4.5.2
4.6
CHAPTER 5
5.1
5.1.1
-2-
5.1.2
5.1.3
5.2
5.2.1
5.2.2
5.2.3
5.3
5.4
5.4.1
5.4.2
5.4.3
5.4.4
5.5
5.5.1
5.5.2
5.5.3
5.5.4
5.5.5
CHAPTER 6
6.1
6.1.1
6.1.2
6.2
6.3
6.3.1
6.3.2
6.3.3
6.3.4
6.4
6.4.1
6.4.2
6.4.3
CHAPTER 7
7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.4.1
7.4.2
7.4.3
7.5
7.5.1
7.5.2
7.5.3
7.5.4
7.6
7.6.1
7.6.2
7.7
7.7.1
7.7.2
7.7.3
7.7.4
7.7.5
7.8
CHAPTER 8
8.1
Market Trends.........................................................................................
Estimated Market Size............................................................................
Home Owners.........................................................................................
Overview Of The Home Owners Market.................................................
Market Trends.........................................................................................
Estimated Home Owners Market Size....................................................
Home Owners And Self-Developers Estimated Target Market..............
External Environment Analysis...............................................................
Political And Legal Factors.....................................................................
Economic And Social Factors.................................................................
Technological Factors.............................................................................
Environmental Factors............................................................................
Industry Competitiveness.......................................................................
Rivalry Amongst Existing Competitors....................................................
Threat Of Substitute Products................................................................
Bargaining Power Of Byuers..................................................................
Bargaining Power Of Suppliers...............................................................
Threat Of New Entrants..........................................................................
39
40
41
41
41
42
43
44
44
46
48
49
50
50
50
51
52
52
MARKETING PLAN...............................................................................
53
Search Engine Optimization......................................................................
Internal Optimization.................................................................................
External Optimization................................................................................
Blog Marketing..........................................................................................
Advertising and promotion.........................................................................
Industry Related Conferences And Fairs..................................................
Banner Exchange......................................................................................
Implementations Of Word Of Mouth Marketing.........................................
Switching Costs.........................................................................................
Branding....................................................................................................
Homefootprint Brand Importance..............................................................
Why Homefootprint?.................................................................................
Brand Favicon...........................................................................................
53
53
53
54
56
56
56
56
57
58
58
58
59
TECHNOLOGY MAP.............................................................................
60
Overview Of IT Infrastructure..................................................................
System Development..............................................................................
System Architecture................................................................................
Development Toolkits Utilised................................................................
Presentation Tier....................................................................................
Logic Tier................................................................................................
Data Tier.................................................................................................
Technologies Utilised..............................................................................
Asp.Net Architecture...............................................................................
C#...........................................................................................................
MSSql (Microsoft Structured Query Language 2000)............................
My SQL...................................................................................................
Infrastructure Capacity............................................................................
Web Hosting...........................................................................................
Scalability...............................................................................................
Key System Features.............................................................................
Organization And Categorization Of Information....................................
Structuring Of Data.................................................................................
Personalization.......................................................................................
Blog Publishing System: Wordpress.......................................................
PHP.........................................................................................................
Security...................................................................................................
60
60
60
63
63
63
64
64
64
64
65
65
66
66
66
67
68
68
69
70
70
73
ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT...............................................
75
Legalities.................................................................................................
-3-
75
8.2
8.3
8.4
CHAPTER 9
9.1
9.2
9.3
9.3.1
9.3.2
9.3.3
9.3.4
9.3.5
9.3.6
9.3.7
9.3.8
9.3.9
9.4
9.4.1
9.4.2
9.4.3
CHAPTER 10
10.1
10.2
CHAPTER 11
11.1
11.2
CHAPTER 12
Virtual Office...........................................................................................
Management Structure...........................................................................
Board Of Directors And External Consultants........................................
76
77
78
FINANCIAL OVERVIEW........................................................................
79
Introduction................................................................................................
Funding Requirements..............................................................................
Financial Assumptions..............................................................................
Revenue Projections.................................................................................
Profit Projections.......................................................................................
Cost Of Sales............................................................................................
Salaries......................................................................................................
Rent, Rates, And Other Offices Costs.......................................................
Professional Fees......................................................................................
Marketing...................................................................................................
Bank Interest And Charges.......................................................................
Currency....................................................................................................
Financial Statements.................................................................................
Balance Sheet...........................................................................................
Profit And Loss Projection.........................................................................
Cash Flow Statements..............................................................................
79
79
80
80
80
80
81
81
81
81
81
81
82
82
83
84
FUTURE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES.........................
87
Building Energy Rating: Tender management service..............................
Data exploitation........................................................................................
87
87
FUTURE SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT POSSIBILITIES.............................
89
Cost per click billing...................................................................................
Maximum cost per day for listing merchants.............................................
89
89
APPENDICES........................................................................................
90
-4-
List of figures
FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 3 FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 FIGURE 6 FIGURE 7 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 9 FIGURE 10 FIGURE 11 FIGURE 12 -
Residential Construction In Ireland Since The Year 2000..............................................
New Houses Completed By Type 2000-2004................................................................
New Houses Completed By Type 2005-2008................................................................
Total Potential Target Market Of Home Owners In The Republic Of Ireland.................
Residential Sector Total Final Energy Consumption By Fuel; 1990 To 2006................
Homefootprint System Architecture................................................................................
Information Organisation User Case Example...............................................................
Example Of Organisation And Categorisation Of Information........................................
Personalisation Solution.................................................................................................
Wordpress Tables Created In My SQL Database..........................................................
Organisational Structure.................................................................................................
3 Year Revenue Breakdown..........................................................................................
-5-
39
39
40
42
47
61
67
68
69
72
77
80
List of Appendices
APPENDIX 1
APPENDIX 2
APPENDIX 3
APPENDIX 4
APPENDIX 5
APPENDIX 6
-
APPENDIX 7 APPENDIX 8 APPENDIX 9 APPENDIX 10 APPENDIX 11 APPENDIX 12 APPENDIX 13 APPENDIX 14 APPENDIX 15 APPENDIX 16 APPENDIX 17 APPENDIX 18 APPENDIX 19 APPENDIX 20 -
Advertising Solution User Case Diagram......................................................................
Google Estimated Average Cost Per Click...................................................................
Premium Advertising - Estimated Cost Of Reaching Users..........................................
Competitor Listing Rates...............................................................................................
Competitor Advertising Rates........................................................................................
List Of Companies Approached Regarding Listing Their Products With
Homefootprint.Info.........................................................................................................
Build.Ie Google Analytics Statistics (UK & Ireland)........................................................
Breakdown Of Irish Residences By Dwelling Type (2006)............................................
Breakdown Of Dwelling Construction Period.................................................................
Consumer Sentiment Index January 2000-January 2008.............................................
Index Of Current Economic Conditions January 2000- January 2008..........................
Index Of Consumer Expectations January 2000- January 2008...................................
Price Of Natural Gas......................................................................................................
Household Electricity Prices..........................................................................................
Price Of Gasoline...........................................................................................................
Broadband Penetration To December 2007..................................................................
Profit And Loss Account Year One................................................................................
Profit And Loss Account Year Two................................................................................
Profit And Loss Account Year Three.............................................................................
Example Of Building Energy Assessment Certificate....................................................
-6-
90
91
92
95
97
98
99
100
101
102
102
103
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
1. Executive summary
1.1 Introduction
Homefootprint is an online portal, providing a two sided network to consumers and merchants,
whereby users can avail of a product comparison facility, a service locator facility and
personalised information and tips regarding improving their residential energy efficiency.
Merchants will benefit from being able to utilise Homefootprint’s offering to target a specific
market grouping. Homefootprint will be founded as a business in the Republic of Ireland in
2009 and will operate from Dublin. Initially Homefootprint will concentrate on marketing the
services in Ireland while further possibilities for market expansion are investigated.
1.2 Company offering
Key features of the Homefootprint portal are:
• Product comparison facility
Site users will be capable of comparing a vast array of products based on different criteria.
Benefits to merchants from this service are that they will be provided with an efficient means of
uploading their products to the Homefootprint web application, while they will be able to target a
specific demographic of users.
•
Home energy audit
The home energy audit will add value for registered Homefootprint users by providing a
personalised tips and home energy efficiency monitoring facility. This facility will be
capable of gathering a vast amount of user data and will be utilised to make further site
improvements in the future.
•
Targeted advertising solution
Homefootprint will offer a highly targeted advertising solution to merchants. Data
gathered from users will be exploited to enable this. In addition, Homefootprint’s market
is very specific and will result in a well defined user demographic.
•
Service locator facility
Users will be able to utilise the Homefootprint portal to locate a registered building
energy assessor.
• Community facility
A dedicated community area will be included in Homefootprint’s offering where users can
discuss topics of interest. This community area will enable Homefootprint staff to monitor
popular topics and amend the main site content accordingly.
1.3 The market
There has been a growing trend towards home improvements and renovations in the area of
energy efficiency. This trend coincides with government regulation on the construction of new
homes and Building Energy Rating (BER) regulation on the sale or letting of homes. Operating
in the green residential industry, Homefootprint’s target market consists of two different market
-7-
segments: (1) existing home owners who reside in homes that are not energy efficient and (2)
self-developers of new homes. The overall total potential target market is equivalent to just over
one million total potential users.
Estimated three year market penetration
Year
One
Two
Three
% target market
2.56%
5.13%
7.69%
No. of site users
27,000
54,000
81,000
1.4 Company strategy
Homefootprint will penetrate the market and exploit untapped market space by offering a
solution that currently does not exist in the form of a residential energy efficiency product
comparison tool. Aggressive marketing strategies will be utilised to build a critical mass of both
users and merchants. Switching costs will be built with both merchants and users in order to
minimise the risk involved with running an online business.
1.5 Staffing
For the first three years of operations, Homefootprint will operate with its founding management
team of three employees. This will be possible as the company will be operating as a virtual
business and outsourcing many business support services.
1.6 Financial overview
In order to establish the business, funding of €100,000 will be necessary. It is envisaged that
this will be sourced in the form of a loan from Bank of Ireland. In addition, on overdraft facility
will also be necessary to ease cash flow difficulties in initial years of operation. A cash injection
could also suffice to stabilise the company during early growth.
Three year financial projections
Variable
Revenues
Net profit
Year end cash
Year one
€58,385
-€124,551
-€18,920
Year two
€181,548
-€23,293
-€51,076
-8-
Year three
€288,513
€75,131
-€3,030
2. Business strategy
2.1 Vision
Homefootprint’s vision is to become the leading online home energy product comparison portal
in the home improver and residential self-developer target markets. Homefootprint will provide
a two sided network online where users can locate products and services concerned with
energy efficiency in their home and where suppliers can locate their potential customers. The
portal will consist of a product and service comparison facility and user tools to enable
improved residential efficiency.
2.2 Mission
Homefootprint offers a unique online location for both home owners and new home developers,
where users can compare prices and characteristics of products and services concerning
energy efficiency in the home. Information on products and services provided by merchants
and service providers will be available in a central directory, thus reducing consumers’ online
browsing time. This central directory will provide an unbiased location for its users to locate and
gain information on residential products and services. Users will benefit from personalised tips
tailored to their home’s needs. Homefootprint’s community focus will enable users to view
ratings and comments on products from other community members. In addition the company
will provide a powerful targeted advertising medium online for merchants to pursue their
potential customers, while a service will be provided to Building Energy Rating (BER)
assessors whereby they can avail of an assessment service.
-9-
2.3 Values
Homefootprint is guided by values that represent the company as a whole and the company’s
founders. Company values will be leveraged to all dealings with both users and partner
merchants.
•
Passion: Staff members will be passionate about their work and passionate about
creating a more environmentally friendly situation in the residential sector.
•
Leadership: We aim to be the leaders at what we do.
•
Quality of our work: Whatever we do we will do it well.
2.4 Strategies
Homefootprint aims to penetrate and achieve growth in the marketplace by means of the
following strategies:
•
Exploit untapped market space online by providing a medium whereby both users and
suppliers can be located together in the form of Homefootprint’s portal.
•
Initiate business in the Republic of Ireland before investigating expansion in other markets.
•
Use aggressive online marketing and advertising in order to achieve a critical mass of
users.
•
Exploit the Homefootprint targeted advertising solution and attract a large number of
suppliers to utilise the website.
•
Build switching costs for both suppliers and site users to reduce the risk of future threats
from new market entrants.
2.5 Strategic model
Homefootprint will achieve competitive advantage in the marketplace by exploiting the current
market situation where a vast amount of home energy efficiency products and services are
offered, a high degree of competition exists, and buyer power is high. As there is currently no
resource to compare and contrast the products and services on offer, Homefootprint will offer a
unique location where home improvers and self-builders of new homes can benefit from such a
resource. In addition, by offering informative content and tips specific to individual users, it is
expected that Homefootprint will differentiate itself from other market players and build a critical
mass of users.
- 10 -
2.6 Short-term objectives
•
Gain first mover advantage
Although switching costs are low online, it may be possible to benefit from first mover
advantage if Homefootprint can become the first product and service comparison portal for
residential energy efficient products. Competitive advantage can be protected by building
switching costs amongst users and suppliers.
•
Target market penetration
Achieve market penetration of 2.5% in year one, equivalent to a user base of approximately
27,000 website users.
•
Achieve brand awareness and recognition
The importance of achieving brand awareness and recognition will be critical for the company
to build its user base and develop. Many techniques will be utilised to achieve this short-term
objective. These techniques are discussed in section 6.
•
Exploit a niche in the market-place
As there are few close competitors in the target market place of residential self-developers and
home improvers, it is a fundamental short-term objective to exploit this niche in the marketplace
and achieve rapid growth before new competitors enter the market place. While competitors
offer a very broad offering it is hoped that by focusing on a target niche within the overall
market Homefootprint will realise this goal.
- 11 -
2.7 Long-term objectives
•
Build on existing brand awareness
It is essential that the company continues to expand and enhance its brand awareness so as to
become a market leader. By ensuring that this is a long-term objective it will remain a major
focus of the company.
•
Exploitation of data gathered and development of new solutions
This objective will not be achieved in the short-term as data gathered initially will not be very
beneficial until a substantial user base has been established. As data is gathered from users, a
large collection of valuable information will be stored and mined. It is hoped that by utilising this
data, new and more attractive tools will be developed and provided to users. The majority of
data will be gathered from the interactive dashboard tool.
•
Market expansion: gain a global reach
Homefootprint will look to expand its market base in the long-term. After year three, if the
situation is viable, investments will be made in infrastructure, human resources and technology
so as to achieve this expansion. This will begin with expansion in both Northern Ireland and the
rest of the United Kingdom as they are the most similar market places to the Republic of
Ireland. Whilst expansion within different markets will require increased staffing levels, as
Homefootprint is an online company it will still be possible to be based in Ireland so as to
benefit from the low corporate tax level available. As long as market expansion is successful,
Homefootprint will continue to enter new markets provided that environmental conditions are
positive in this regard. The Homefootprint team benefits from having team members with
language skills in Greek, Spanish and French which will ease the market entry difficulties in
countries where these languages are the native tongue.
•
Return On Investment
It is a primary goal of the Homefootprint team to provide an excellent return on investment to its
investors in the long-term. As any profits will be reinvested in the short-term this is a long-term
objective.
- 12 -
2.8 Customer relationship management
Homefootprint’s customer service will be concerned with delivering a high quality of service to
both merchants (including BER assessors) and website users. Strategic concerns will relate to
both groupings:
Users:
•
Ensuring customer satisfaction with aspects of the site; monitor and respond to
customer comments.
•
Use of customer feedback to enhance website quality, content and offering.
Merchants:
•
Use of merchant feedback to enhance solutions provided.
•
Ensure establishment of excellent relationships with merchants and BER assessors.
- 13 -
External origin
Attributes of the environment
Internal origin
Attributes of the organisation
2.9 Homefootprint SWOT Analysis
Strengths
• Service available 24/7
• Many automated solutions on
the site means maintenance
is significantly lower than
other sites
• Substantially reduced initial
assets, personnel and
infrastructure costs and
requirements
• Passionate and enthusiastic
management team
• Language skills of team
members means that initial
costs of market research
regarding certain countries
will be substantially reduced.
Weaknesses
• Lack of significant start-up
business experience
• Will need to source funding
• Reliance on merchant partners
to provide accurate and up-todate records
• Must build brand awareness and
customer base from scratch
• Lack of large initial revenues
from advertising
• Necessity to achieve a critical
mass of users for the company
to be profitable
Opportunities
• Governmental incentives for
residential green products
are increasing public demand
• Increased public concern
regarding climate change has
resulted in consumers
making lifestyle changes with
an increasing trend towards
the usage of energy efficient
products and services
• Introduction of government
legislation regarding Building
Energy Regulations
• Build switching costs for our
users with the dashboard and
community aspects
• Target market remains a
niche market at present
• Strong ability to gather
valuable user data that will
enable the company to store
and mine user data to make
further developments within
the web application
• New technological advances
with API technology and XML
may allow the site to update
immediate price changes for
comparison
Threats
• Downturn in the Irish economy
(See industry overview: also
represents an opportunity as
consumers are becoming more
concerned with rising residential
energy costs)
• Possible reluctance of users to
share personal energy
consumption details through our
dashboard service
• Threat of new entrants to the
marketplace
• Threat of increased competition
from already established
competitors
• Significant developments by
competitors utilising a brokerage
business model forming discount
agreements may impact on
potential revenue
- 14 -
3. Service overview
3.1 General description
Homefootprint is a portal targeted at the market of self-builders of new homes and existing
home owners, offering a product and service comparison facility, enabling users to search
through an aggregated list of products and services concerned with energy efficiency in the
home. Users will benefit from the ability to search through an un-biased product directory, view
past customer ratings and reviews on products, and search for products based on their specific
requirements. Homefootprint will offer its users an environment whereby through information
gathering techniques, personalised tips regarding improvements will be directed at the
registered users. The site will also offer general informative content regarding specific to the
target market, such as information and details of BER (Building Energy Rating) assessors.
Furthermore the site will offer a community blogging facility where users can discuss topical
issues with resident energy efficiency experts.
3.2 Key features and benefits
3.2.1 Products and service search and comparison facility
Homefootprint will facilitate a two sided network for merchants and customers in its product
search and comparison facility. This facility offers potential benefits to both site users and
merchants.
•
Users: Site users will be able to compare different products and services and search for
products based on different criteria. In addition registered users will benefit from the ability
to rate and comment on products or services based on their past experience. The main
benefit to users is that the site will offer an unbiased location where products and services
can be contrasted against each other, whilst also benefiting from fellow community
member’s experiences with products.
•
Merchants: Suppliers of different products and services will be provided with an efficient
means of adding their product or service to our listing. Merchants will be able to upload
details including a detailed description of their product/service along with a product image
and company logo. Merchants will be provided with restricted access to our database
where they will remain responsible for the accurate display of their offerings (price,
description, etc). This removes a large degree of the content management responsibility.
Benefits to the merchants will potentially be increased sales leads.
- 15 -
3.3 Home energy audit/ Dashboard
The Home energy audit/ dashboard facility within the site will enable users to enter residential
information, details on energy usage, and appliance usage information. Registered users will
benefit from personalised tips specific to their home and behaviour. Tips will be targeted at
making improvements on their residential energy consumption and bettering their appliance
usage behaviour. The facility will be provided so that they can continuously monitor their energy
consumption. Data will be stored and anonymised with a view towards producing informative
content that could further enhance the existing dashboard.
The main benefits of the dashboard are:
•
Users will be able to monitor their energy consumption using a personalised graphical
interface (will be integrated in the future) and benefit from advice and tips to better their
energy efficiency.
•
Homefootprint will benefit from data gathered within the dashboard and can build targeted
content within the website accordingly.
•
Homefootprint will exploit the data it gathers from its dashboard facility to provide a facility
to merchants to direct extremely targeted advertising at Homefootprint’s users. In addition,
Homefootprint will investigate sources to whom the data gathered could be valuable.
3.4 Building Energy Rating (BER) facility
Since 2007, all newly constructed homes in Ireland require a BER. A BER provides a rating on
the overall energy efficiency of a home, taking into account all factors that contribute to the total
energy efficiency of the dwelling. This legislation applies to all new dwellings for which planning
permission was applied for since the 1st of January 2007. The legislation also applies to nondomestic buildings for which planning permission was applied for after the 1st of July 2008. In
addition, from 1st January 2009 all properties (residential and commercial) will have to obtain a
BER when being offered for sale or for rent.
•
Homefootprint will offer a quick, easy and efficient way for users to locate a BER assessor
based on the location of their home. Revenue will be derived from each lead provided from
the Homefootprint webpage.
•
In addition a further service will be offered to the assessors whereby they can avail of an
assessment. This service, offered at a premium, will entail random sampling of past building
energy assessment projects. The benefit to assessors from this service is that they will
profit from an additional rating and comments section within both the assessor search and
assessor details page within the website, whilst also building up a trust and performance
rating. The rating would consist of ratings and reviews from past home owners. There is
currently no transparency when comparing assessors and it is extremely difficult for home
owners or developers to know which assessor is reliable or not. This additional service
- 16 -
would also provide further income to Homefootprint and would enable the company to build
switching costs for assessors. Switching costs could be built as assessors with good ratings
would be keen not to lose their position and would thus be tied to Homefootprint. It will be
necessary for assessors to ask for permission from home owners to pass their details to
Homefootprint for assessment.
3.5 Targeted advertising
Homefootprint will benefit from being able to offer a highly targeted advertising solution to
merchant partners. This will be possible for two main reasons:
(1)
Homefootprint’s target market is very specific.
(2)
The home energy audit facility will gather a vast amount of data on registered users.
This data will be exploited to offer an advertising solution capable of directly targeting
specific users.
3.6 Homefootprint community blog
A community blog area within the website will enable users to contribute to the already existing
content and discuss topics of interest. Guest contributors will be invited to post content on the
blog whilst users will be able to discuss areas of interest. The facility to monitor discussions will
be enabled so as to prevent abusive content appearing whilst also enabling Homefootprint staff
to conduct market research on topical issues. Postings on issues regarding residential energy
consumption and energy efficient home development techniques will be conducted on a regular
basis. Blog marketing techniques will be utilised in tandem with other search engine
optimisation techniques to increase the visibility of the site.
Major benefits are:
•
Provision of a community area for members to access and discuss topics of concern.
•
Content within the blog can be monitored enabling identification of potential niche areas or
growth opportunities.
•
By using the blog as a marketing tool Homefootprint can draw users to the main site.
•
By using guest experts to contribute to the community blog this will add a level of prestige,
differentiate the Homefootprint brand from potential competitors, whilst also increasing
brand awareness.
•
Increased search engine optimisation.
- 17 -
3.7 Informative content
Homefootprint will also offer information on issues specific to its target audience.
This information will include:
•
Content concerning the benefits of renewable energy to existing and newly constructed
homes.
•
Information relating to each different form of renewable energy for residential usage and
information on the different products available.
•
Information regarding the different grants available to home owners and new home
developers will be provided.
•
Information on potential improvements that can be easily made in the home.
- 18 -
4. Business model
As Homefootprint is an online company it is possible to operate utilising an amalgamation of
different business models. A combination of the online advertising, affiliate, and community
business models will be used.
•
Both the advertising and affiliate models will contribute to revenue generated.
•
The community aspect of the overall model will be geared towards ensuring a critical mass
of loyal users is built and that many of these users contribute to the overall value of the site.
4.1 Advertising model
A website advertising model is an extension of the traditional media advertisement model.
Usually, websites provide a mixture of content and services to attract users to a website and
monetise these users by means of selling web advertisements. There are a number of reasons
as to why the advertising business model is suitable to Homefootprint:
•
Specific target market: Homefootprint’s target market consists of a specific grouping
within the overall residential construction and home improvement industry which will result
in a well defined user demographic. The possibility of reaching users will prove attractive for
potential advertisers.
•
Targeted advertising medium: Homefootprint will gather a considerable amount of data
on its registered users by means of registration information, the dashboard/home energy
audit facility and monitoring of user behaviour. This dashboard facility will gather user
details, detailed residential information, energy expenditure information, appliance usage
information and changes to this data over time. In addition registered user behaviour within
Homefootprint will be monitored. This will result in a detailed profile on each registered
user. This will enable merchants to benefit from extremely targeted advertising, rather than
utilising broad advertising as is used in many competitors’ web sites (See appendix 1).
•
Advertising space: Advertising space is an easy addition to web pages and in the context
of Homefootprint’s offering it may add value to the users’ overall experience.
•
Competitiveness of the marketplace: The competitiveness of the marketplace for
merchants selling products and services at present contributes to the potential of the
targeted advertising solution. Merchants will be attracted by a solution that offers a direct
medium where they can advertise to potential customers.
•
Source of revenue: The value to merchants of advertising on Homefootprint will increase
in tandem with increases in the number of site users (both once off and recurring). In this
regard, the advertising revenue generated will be correlated to the ability of the site to build
a mass of users.
- 19 -
4.1.1 Threats of using the advertising business model
While the advertising model will be incorporated into the overall business model it is also
accepted that there will be a number of threats to using this model.
•
Critical mass: In order for the advertising business model to provide a substantial stream
of revenue, it will be necessary to build a critical mass of users. If there are few site users it
will be very difficult to attract advertisers.
•
Increasing threat of ad blocking software: With recent developments of plug-ins from
web browser developers, web surfers have the ability to download browser software plugins which prevents many banner advertisements from appearing. While this does not pose
a great threat at present, should wide spread adoption of ad blocking software occur then
this would pose a substantial threat to Homefootprint’s advertising business model. Firefox
Ad block Plus is an example of one such ad blocking software plug-in.
•
Negative effect on user experience: The use of an online advertising business model
incurs the risk that ads will have a negative effect on user experience. This is especially the
case with heavy banner advertisements. Despite this threat however, it is envisaged that
advertisements will contribute to the overall user experience as advertisements will be
customised for registered users.
•
Low advertising fees: As Homefootprint is a start-up, the company cannot expect to
command very high advertising fees initially. The threat in this regard is that the company
may not achieve the critical mass of users it needs to acquire high revenues from
advertising fees as soon as expected.
- 20 -
4.2 Advertising banners
Homefootprint will provide banner advertising space to advertisers. Two main options will exist
throughout the Homefootprint website. A premium banner of 602x100 pixels size will be
available throughout out the website, except on the homepage. A template of the banner size is
depicted below.
Premium banner template (602x100 pixels)
In addition a smaller rectangular banner of 130x70 pixels will be available to advertisers
throughout Homefootprint’s website.
Rectangular banner template (130x70 pixels)
- 21 -
4.3 Affiliate model
The online affiliate business model is concerned with gaining revenue by means of driving
traffic from one site to another for a financial incentive. Homefootprint will gain revenue in the
form of listing fees and revenue derived from the pay per click solution. There are a number of
reasons why this model applies to Homefootprint’s offering:
•
Pay-per-click: Until Homefootprint gains a large user base it will be difficult to ensure
streams of revenue derived from advertisements. The affiliate system of pay-per-click will
enable merchants to advertise with Homefootprint without risking poor return on investment
in advertising banners or advertising space while there is a small user base. Merchants will
only be charged based on traffic directed to their website.
•
Additional revenue source: As Homefootprint does not act as a reseller or online shop,
revenue derived from listing fees and driving traffic to external sites will offer an extra
source of revenue.
•
Value added: As the affiliate model drives potential customers to the merchant websites
this adds value to affiliate partners. Furthermore, value will be created for users as they will
not have to search for the merchant website should they wish to examine a product or
service. Rather, they can be directed to the specific page from the Homefootprint website.
4.3.1 Advantages of the affiliate pay per click (PPC) model to merchants
Major advantages to merchants and BER assessors:
•
A low fee of €0.25 will be charged for click through. This is a significantly lower price
than the average cost per click by means of search engine advertising, e.g. Google
Adwords, (SEE Appendix 2).
•
Merchants and assessors will only have to pay when users click through on their listing
and not when users view their listing.
•
Total cost control with PPC: Merchants and assessors will be able to track the exact
amount spent each month
•
Easily track which products or services attracted the highest traffic
- 22 -
4.3.2 Threats of using the affiliate business model
Similar to the advertising business model, while the affiliate model will be incorporated into the
overall business model, it is also accepted that there are a number of threats:
•
Click fraud: Affiliate websites run the risk of click fraud. While it is evident that this occurs,
it is extremely difficult to prevent.
•
Threat of poor click-through rates: While the service is offered to draw users to affiliate
partners websites, the threat remains that there could be a poor click-through rate.
•
Threat of poor conversion rate: If leads generated from Homefootprint do not result in a
substantial percentage of converted sales for merchant partners, then the attractiveness of
the model will be reduced.
•
Business model easily copied: There are numerous companies operating utilising an
online affiliate model. The business model is easily copied.
- 23 -
4.4 Community model
The community business model is concerned with building user loyalty whilst generating
revenue by means of ancillary services. In the case of Homefootprint, revenue generating
ancillary services will consist of advertising and affiliate linking. In addition the community
model is connected with bringing people together with a common set of interests; this is
intrinsic to what Homefootprint will do. As Homefootprint will differentiate itself from other
competitors in the marketplace and bring users with similar requirements together in its two
sided network; the community model is suited and will play an important role in developing a
critical mass of users. There are many aspects as to why the community business model will be
adopted by Homefootprint:
•
Contribution of users: Users will play an important role in enhancing the product and
service search and comparison facility. By benefiting from user feedback and contribution,
the overall value to users will be enhanced.
Examples of benefits to the site from user contributions are:
o
A user feedback rating will be enabled for all products. User ratings and comments
will be displayed so that other members of the community will be able to gauge the
perception of the community towards products and services.
o
Addition of a ‘user favourites section’ which will list the most popular products.
o
Users will be able to enhance their search by searching for a product based on user
rating.
o
User contribution to the blog aspect of the website will enhance the content whilst
also enabling Homefootprint staff to conduct market research by means of
observation. This could potentially lead to improvement of content in the
Homefootprint webpage.
•
Word of mouth: The community business model is associated with the word of mouth
effect. If consumers feel that they are part of a community then it is likely that the word of
mouth effect will apply.
•
Building of switching costs: As the community business model provides a user with a
sense of importance, should Homefootprint be able to build trust with the user then it is
likely that the community business model will succeed in building switching costs with those
users.
- 24 -
4.4.1 Threats of using the community model
•
Spamming: While use of community aspects such as a blog or community board can
increase the level of interactivity for users, it can also lead to spamming of the blog by
outside parties. This threat has been taken into consideration as a filter facility whereby all
blog activity will be monitored will be utilised to prevent such occurrences.
•
Negative comments on merchant products/ service providers: While a goal of
Homefootprint is to enhance product and service comparison for users, the fact that
registered users are able to comment could have certain negative effects. This could be the
case were a user to post a negative rating or comment about a product or service, thus
reducing the credibility of that merchant. This is a risk that merchants will take when listing
their products or services with Homefootprint.
•
Difficulties in building a successful community: Establishing a community is not a
simple task. In order to attract users Homefootprint must ensure that value is created for
users.
- 25 -
4.5 Pricing plan
4.5.1 Advertising pricing plan
Premium advertising pricing
The premium solution is targeted at companies who are not concerned with the geographic
location of their prospective customer. The solution will consist of prominent banner adverts
shown throughout Homefootprint’s website. The banner advertisement will be linked to the
merchant’s dedicated webpage. In addition, smaller banner advertisements will also be
displayed on the right side of each webpage. By means of Homefootprint’s targeted advertising
capability, companies availing of the premium solution will be able to define their customer
demographic. Based on this, specific advertisements will be automatically shown when this
selected demographic is logged in to the site.
•
Year one cost of € 800 per month which represents an estimated average cost of €0.09
to reach customers.
•
Year two and three cost of € 1000 per month representing an estimated average cost of
€0.02 and €0.01 respectively to reach customers
(See appendix 3)
Bundle advertising pricing
The bundle offering will entail the display of advertisements throughout the website on the left
side of each webpage. This advertising bundle will also allow advertisers to define their specific
customer demographic; thus while registered users are logged into the Homefootprint website
specific advertisements will only be displayed if registered users meet the advertisers
requirements.
•
Year one cost of € 200 per month.
•
Year two and three price of € 250 per month.
- 26 -
4.5.2 Affiliate pricing plan
Merchant Listing fees
Yearly listing fees will apply for companies to register their products or services with
Homefootprint. This listing fee will enable companies to add as many products as they desire.
In addition companies will benefit from a dedicated page for each product.
•
Yearly listing fee of € 50 per company
Merchant Listing: Cost Per Click pricing
Companies listing their products with Homefootprint will be charged € 0.25 for each click
through from Homefootprint to their website.
Building Energy Assessors
Building Energy Assessors can avail of two different pricing plans:
Premium listing
Premium listing is charged at € 15 per month. The following will be included in the premium
listing facility:
•
Impartial assessment by Homefootprint of the assessors past home energy
assessments. This will be done by means of random customer sampling and gathering
of customer ratings.
•
Additional rating and comments section display, based on Homefootprint’s impartial
assessment. This will differentiate these assessors and increase transparency.
•
Premium location within the assessor search facility.
•
Users will be able to search by “rated assessors” in the future.
Standard listing
•
While standard listing is free, each request sent through Homefootprint to the assessor
or each click through from Homefootprint to the assessor’s homepage will be charged at
€0.25 per click or request for information. Assessors availing of the standard listing will
not benefit from an additional comment and rating section in the display.
The pricing plan was developed based on analysis of competitor offerings and takes into
account expected site user statistics. Appendix 4 and 5 demonstrate the listing and
advertisement pricing plans of Homefootprint’s main rivals. CPC pricing takes into account
competition from Search Engine advertising and offers a very competitive alternative.
- 27 -
4.6. Competitive analysis
There are a vast amount of companies providing different home energy efficiency related
products and services online; however, not all of these companies are viewed as being direct
competitors. Rather, it is hoped that many of these companies will become advertising partners
or merchant affiliates by enabling their products and services to be added to the Homefootprint
database so that their products or service offering could be searched for through
Homefootprint’s website. Feedback from a number of merchants was very positive in this
regard (See Appendix 6).
Homefootprint’s main competitors are companies currently operating online in the green
business sector and the home improvement sector. There are a number of companies that
compete directly with Homefootprint.
- 28 -
4.6.1 Enerfina:
www.enerfina.com
Enerfina operates as an independent green energy broker for green technology products to
both the residential and commercial markets. Enerfina is a primary competitor as they offer
many of the offerings Homefootprint hopes to provide.
Strengths
Internal origin
Attributes of the organisation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Weaknesses
The website provides strong
informative content
Energy audit services are available
A savings calculator tool is offered that
enables users to calculate potential
savings from changes they may make.
Operating as a broker, Enerfina
enables site users to apply for a
quotation for a product
Ratings for products exist and are
based on feedback from suppliers,
installers and customers and they take
into account discount levels.
Installation of products is arranged with
Enerfina partners.
Separate domestic and commercial
sites are offered.
•
•
•
•
Opportunities
External origin
Attributes of the environment
•
•
•
•
•
Limited list of products and partner
merchants. Enerfina is largely
limited in this regard due to its
brokerage business model by
which it forms agreements with
different merchants.
Biased product advice as the
company has vested interest with
its suppliers.
Recent entrant to the market so as
yet has relatively poor brand
awareness and a weak foothold in
the marketplace.
Poor search engine optimisation.
Threats
Increased number of people concerned
with environmental issues.
Growing trend towards usage of energy
saving products in the residential
sector.
Relatively few competitors in the
marketplace. Can grow while there are
few market entrants.
Political incentives such as renewable
product grants for residential use are
causing an increase in demand for
renewable products.
Can increase its product offering as the
discount incentive offered may prove a
differentiating factor to the competition.
- 29 -
•
•
•
•
The downturn in the Irish economy
may contribute to less consumer
spending.
Very low barriers to enter the
marketplace mean the threat of
new entrants is high
Established competitors and new
entrants compete in the
marketplace. The recent migration
of greenpages online could pose a
large threat
Business model could easily be
copied and a competitor could
outperform by having a better
marketing strategy.
Competitive assessment
Differences in Enerfina’s offer from Homefootprint’s is that they install products through their
partners, they incorporate financing packages by partnering with Permanent TSB and they offer
discounts on specific products by means of pre-arranged agreements with their partner
merchants.
Homefootprint significantly differentiates itself from Enerfina by incorporating:
•
Unbiased comparison facility for products and services
•
Personalised environment through the dashboard facility
•
Ability to offer a highly targeted advertising facility to merchants
•
Community aspect: Ability for registered users to comment on products and services,
visit the blogging facility and discuss issues with our resident experts
•
Target market consists only of the residential market
•
Clear and consistent webpage layout for users to navigate
•
Business model is primarily advertising, affiliate and community based in comparison to
a brokerage model
•
Homefootprint will strive to build a large product listing and will not be restricted by
agreements formed with suppliers in this regard.
- 30 -
4.6.2 National Green Pages:
www.greenpages.ie
National Green Pages is a close competitor. At present they are the only national directory of
verifiably green products and services and in 2009 will distribute over 450,000 copies of their
printed directory to homes nationwide. However, their online presence, Greenpages.ie is a very
recent entrant to the marketplace having been launched as an online version of their printed
directory in June of 2008. Their business model is primarily advertising based while they have
also incorporated a shop facility into their online presence.
Strengths
Internal origin
Attributes of the organization
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
External origin
Attributes of the
environment
•
•
•
•
Weaknesses
Green Pages offers both a printed book
(similar to yellow pages) and an online
version of their directory. The printed
version of the product is widely
distributed with 250,000 copies
distributed nationwide in 2008.
Vast amount of product suppliers/
services listed in the directory
Good categorisation of products
Enables ratings and reviews of
products by registered users
Professional appearance of web page
Informative content: Offers articles,
videos, pod casts, news, and upcoming
events
Online shop and carbon calculator
facility
Some community aspects: can become
a member and gain discounts, add
ratings and gain a free printed directory
Strength of the brand name is growing
in the marketplace
Opportunities
•
Can offer a more attractive option to
merchants for the online listing of their
products
Can develop strong brand awareness
in the marketplace before similar new
entrants appear
Can increase its online shop facility to
incorporate a vast amount of products
(it currently only sells a few devices)
Improve on current poor web heuristic
issues and enhance its search engine
optimisation
•
- 31 -
•
•
•
•
•
•
Doesn’t offer a comparison facility
between products
High cost to merchants for the
listing of products and services
Some minor web design heuristic
issues with listings
Listings are by suppliers rather
than by product type
Online directory is poor in
comparison to the magazine, e.g.
description of products and listing
display/ lack of images for
numerous products
Cannot directly contact the service
providers by means of web forms
(something that we are capable of
doing).
Poor search engine optimisation
Threats
•
•
•
Weakness in their business model
leaves them exposed to new
entrants into the market.
Business model can be easily
copied
Threat of a competitor offering a
more competitive pricing scheme
is high
Increasing number of competitors
in the online market
Competitive assessment
A major differentiating factor between Greenpages and Homefootprint is their offer of a printed
directory. In addition they also incorporate an online shop facility. Greenpages has an
established brand name in the green marketplace from their extensive delivery of their printing
edition catalog. Recent radio advertisements have also been produced in order to drive their
online campaign and to encourage new users to visit their website. Despite Greenpages
obvious strengths it is expected that Homefootprint could easily compete. While Greenpages is
focused on a very broad target market, Homefootprint focus on a specific grouping within the
overall market and offer services that are geared at building switching costs for both customers
and merchants alike.
Homefootprint differentiates its offering from Greenpages by:
•
Offering an extensive product and service comparison facility
•
Offering an interactive community aspect through the dashboard facility and blog
•
Personalised tips based on information gathered in the dashboard facility and the ability
to monitor energy efficiency performance over time
•
Focusing on a narrow target market as opposed to the whole green market
•
Offers the facility for extremely targeted advertising for merchants to display their
adverts
•
Offers a more user friendly website
•
Homefootprint builds switching costs for both merchants and site users
- 32 -
4.6.3 Allaboutenergy.ie:
www.allaboutenergy.ie
Established in 2007, Allaboutenergy defines itself as being Ireland’s newest and most effective
one-stop-shop energy related portal. The company follows an advertising business model,
targeting the residential and commercial industry. Their target customers of home owners,
apartment owners, business owners, public building owners, and developers are directed to the
merchant sites of green products and services. They offer an additional educational
environment which is targeted at young internet users providing information, resources and
links related to energy efficiency and green product usage. Furthermore, the company offers a
recruitment section within the website where companies can search for employees interested in
positions in an energy related career.
Strengths
Internal origin
Attributes of the organization
•
•
•
•
•
•
Weaknesses
Consistent webpage layout with clear
web page navigation
Strong tips through use of articles.
Developing a strong brand name
Clearly defined target market (home
owners, apartment owners, business
owners and developers)
Excellent branding scheme
Large breakdown of product and
service categories
•
•
•
•
•
Opportunities
External origin
Attributes of the
environment
•
•
•
•
•
Poor community aspect where
users can state their opinion and
communicate with other users.
No product or service comparison
facility.
Poor search engine optimisation
Their products and services are
listed according to supplier, rather
than by product type, price and
other characteristics offering the
user a poor search interface
No ability for registered users to
rate specific products, or for new
users to search for products
based on rating
Threats
Can integrate a community aspect to
the webpage in the future.
Can offer price comparison facility.
Consumer trends towards energy
saving products and environmental
issues is increasing
The company could improve on its
product and service search facility
The company could integrate a product
and service rating facility
- 33 -
•
•
•
•
The company business model is
very easy to copy
No real distinctive features to the
website that differentiate it from its
competition
There are no facilities that build
switching costs.
The company is recently
established has no means of
preventing the threat of new
entrants to the market is high
Competitive Assessment
Allaboutenergy tries to differentiate their offer from that of their competitors by offering an
additional educational web site specifically addressed to the young population and students.
While many aspects of their website are impressive, Homefootprint significantly differentiates
its offer from allaboutenergy:
•
Focus on a clear target market of home developers and home improvers rather than
targeting a broad target market
•
The blogging facility offers a community aspect to increase the loyalty of users and to
encourage higher website traffic.
•
Homefootprint also offers a far superior advertising medium due to the ability to offer
extremely targeted advertising solutions.
•
Homefootprint builds switching costs for both users and merchants through its BER
premium service, the product rating facility, the dashboard facility and through the
personalised tips provided to users.
- 34 -
4.6.4 Build.ie:
www.build.ie
Build.ie offers a directory and search engine for all products and services specific to the
construction industry. While they are not in direct competition with Homefootprint they advertise
many of the products and services that Homefootprint also hopes to offer. Build.ie follows an
advertising business model. They offer their services in Ireland and the whole U.K. region.
Inclusive in their offering is industry news, a recruitment section and a vast breakdown of
product and service categories. They offer a dedicated directory for self-builders within which
certain product and service offerings will fall into competition with Homefootprint. See appendix
7 for site traffic).
S.W.O.T ANALYSIS (build.ie)
Internal origin
Attributes of the organization
Strengths
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Weaknesses
Extensive list of companies registered
and advertised in their website
Low cost structure of the site
Specialisation on building companies,
products and services
Premium construction directory in
Ireland
Offers daily updated information, jobs,
company, and product and service
information.
Well established website
Strong brand reputation and
recognition
•
•
•
•
Opportunities
External origin
Attributes of the
environment
•
•
•
•
Poor user interactivity: no reviews
or comments section means that
users can only browse by name
and cannot know whether a
supplier/merchant is reputable or
not
No community aspect
incorporated into the site
Reliance on advertising and
revenue from recruitment alone
Poor search engine optimisation
Threats
Incorporate a community aspect on
their site
The company could optimise product
search so that products could be listed
rather than just their suppliers
Introduction of a rating system could tie
merchants to the system
The company could expand their focus
to niche markets.
- 35 -
•
•
•
•
•
Low barriers for possible
competitors to enter the market
Easily copied business model
Company has built few switching
costs with its users and merchants
A more user friendly search facility
or product comparison facility
could pose a threat
Downturn in construction will
greatly affect site profitability.
Competitive assessment
While Build.ie is considered a competitor, they are not a major threat to Homefootprint.
Homefootprint’s offering could represent a potential threat to Build.ie’s category of self-builders.
It is believed that by focusing on community issues and trust issues that Homefootprint’s
offering could eat into Build.ie’s market share in this regard. In addition, build.ie does not have
switching costs built up that could prevent this migration of both users and merchants.
Homefootprint is differentiated from build.ie by means of:
•
Engagement of users: personalised information/tips based on every individual needs.
•
Community aspects: Blog, dashboard and ratings engage users and encourage users to
return and contribute to the site
•
Targeted advertising solution: While build.ie offers an attractive advertising medium to
merchants operating in the construction industry they do not offer as highly targeted a
solution as that which will be offered by Homefootprint.
•
Products comparison: Build.ie only offers a listing of companies that offer a specific
product without any reviews or recommendations about the quality of the product or the
service of the supplier.
- 36 -
4.6.5 Google AdWords:
www. adwords.google.com
Google’s advertising program “AdWords” is considered to be a major competitor for
Homefootprint since it offers a pay per click model and a targeted advertising solution to its
users based on queries and keywords used. In addition, based on Alexa1 statistics Google is
the most popular search engine in Ireland. Therefore, a significant amount of residential users
searching for energy efficiency related products or services will initially use Google for their
searches, unless they know about or are drawn to Homefootprint when browsing.
Major advantages of Google’s Adwords program:
•
Pay per click: Merchants pay only when a users click on their ad. They do not pay
when a user only views an ad (unless the Cost Per Impressions model is used). Pay per
click is considered a cost-effective and efficient way to reach users online.
•
Bid for placement and per keyword: AdWords allows merchants to specify the
amount of money they want to bid for a keyword based on cost per keyword. Thus,
when a merchant bids for a term or phrase, the Adwords tool is notified of the maximum
amount he/she is willing to pay per click against other merchants who have bid on that
term. The higher the bid for a term or phrase the higher the positioning of merchants ad
in the sponsored links will be.
•
Maximum cost per day: Merchants can specify an amount of money they are willing to
pay per day for their campaign. After a lot of activity Google may not display merchant’s
ads until the following day.
•
Protection against multiple clicks from the same user: Google’s system offers
protection against multiple clicks from the same user.
•
Targeted advertising for specific keywords used: Ads are highly targeted to users.
Keywords and phrases used result in higher conversion rate of displayed ads.
•
Fast and easy implementation: Merchants can quickly set up their own AdWords
campaign.
•
AdWords offers geographically based advertising: Merchants are able to specify
that their ad appears only to users from a specific geographic region. Geotargeting
significantly helps local, small businesses to reach only their specific area.
1
http://www.alexa.com/site/ds/top_sites?cc=IE&ts_mode=country&lang=none, 18/07/2008
- 37 -
5. Industry overview
Homefootprint essentially operates online in a market segment of the overall ‘Green residential’
industry. Within this industry, Homefootprint’s target market consists of two groupings:
(5.1)
Self-developers of new homes
(5.2)
Existing home owners living in residences that are not energy efficient, which were
constructed before stringent building regulations regarding energy efficiency came into
place in 1996.
5.1 Self-developers of new homes
5.1.1 Overview of the self-developer residential construction market
The self-developers market refers to developers of a once off residence; that is people who are
building their own home or have contracted the building of their home to a developer.
There are a number of assumptions made about this segment of the market:
•
Self-developers conduct research over the internet when considering the construction of
a self-built home.
•
Self-developers will search for advice on green products, services and information
before they set about building their own home.
The current outlook in Ireland for the self-developer target market is not as attractive as
previous years due to an unpleasant cocktail of different factors including rising energy costs,
constant inflation pressures, currency appreciation and rising interest rates amongst other
factors. Presently the construction industry in Ireland finds itself experiencing a downturn in
residential construction. 2007 National Accounts data demonstrated an 18.3% contraction in
overall residential construction2. This downturn which has been evident since the middle of
2007 has led to the first decline in residential construction since 1993. Estimates by Davy
stockbrokers demonstrate that housing starts fell by 70% year on year in March, resulting in the
largest annual decline on record. They also estimate that there will be approximately 45,000
homes constructed by the end of 2008. This slump in construction is expected to continue
through to 20093. Figure 1 demonstrates the performance of the residential construction
industry since the year 2000.
2
2008 construction index, Construction policy and NDP coordination unit, Department of the environment heritage
and local government, DKM economic consultants.
3
Economic Indicators, May-June 2008, Bizplus Magazine.
- 38 -
Figure 1: Residential construction in Ireland since the year 2000*
No. of homes constructed
Homes constructed since the year 2000
100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
Year
Total home completions
Private house completion
Source: Department of the environment housing statistics, 2008.
* Total home completions are inclusive of local authority housing and voluntary non-profit
homes developed.
5.1.2 Market trends
• Downturn in residential construction
Figures 2 and 3 demonstrate the number and types of home constructed since the year 2000
and also reveal the downturn in construction since 2006. In 2007 the number of private homes
completed was 71,356, down from the peak of 88,211 the previous year. Statistics from the first
five months of 2008 demonstrate that only 23,569 private homes have been constructed and
this slump in residential construction is expected to continue4|5.
Figure 2: New houses completed by type 2000-2004
New houses completed by type 2000-2004
40,000
No.of houses
35,000
30,000
Bungalow
25,000
Detached
20,000
Semi detached
15,000
House terraced
10,000
Flat/apartemnt
5,000
0
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Year
Source: Department of the environment housing statistics, 2008.
4
5
Prelim Construction forecast for 2008, Department of the environment, heritage and local government
Department of the environment; housing statistics 2008
- 39 -
Figure 3: New houses completed by type 2005-2008*
New houses completed by type 2005-2008
No.of houses completed
60,000
50,000
40,000
Idividual house
Scheme house
30,000
Apartments
20,000
10,000
0
2005 *
2006 *
2007 *
5 mths 2008 *
Year
Source: Department of the environment housing statistics, 2008.
* The classification used for the type of dwelling used up to 2004 was no longer available.
* Data sourced from the ESB:
•
Individual house refers to a new connection being established to a new detached
house.
•
•
Scheme house is where a new connection was provided to two or more houses.
Greener home construction by self-developers
There has been a growing trend in recent years towards the construction of more energy
efficient homes by self-developers. This is primarily due to EU and local government legislation
such as the EU sustainable development strategy, Building Energy Ratings (BER) and the
building regulations (2000). However, there are other external factors that are driving the trend
towards energy efficiency in the home. The rising fuel costs are a major contributing factor
towards this trend along with developments in home building techniques that can also greatly
improve the energy efficiency of a home.
5.1.3 Estimated market size
While national data on residential construction is available, available data concerning the
number of homes that are developed does not elaborate on the number of homes that fall into
the category of self-developed residences. Information in such detail is not freely accessible.
Despite this difficulty it was possible to source 2007 information from Cork County Council and
Meath County Council.
- 40 -
For the purpose of estimating the market size it is assumed that this data is representative of
the whole country. Based upon that assumption the potential target market of self-developers
was equivalent to approximately 18,700 in 2007.
It is difficult to estimate the market size in 2008 due to the residential downturn. However, it is
assumed that the market size would have substantially decreased since 2007.
2007 Market size
2007
Meath
Cork
Ireland (estimated)
Self-built homes
1,076
1,763
18,687
Total population
162,831
481,295
4,239,848
Data was sourced from discussions with county planning officials. Population data is based on
6
the 2006 census .
5.2 Home owners
5.2.1 Overview of the home owners market
The home owners segment of the target market refers to the grouping living in residences that
are not sufficiently energy efficient, built before the stringent building energy efficiency
regulations came into place in 2006, who are looking to making improvements to their home so
as to reduce their home energy consumption. A number of assumptions are made:
•
This grouping will conduct initial searches over the internet with regard to different
improvements that they can make to their home.
•
This grouping will utilise the internet to locate providers of products and services that may
improve their home.
5.2.2 Market Trends
There has been a growing tendency towards home improvements and renovations in the area
of home energy efficiency. This trend is based on numerous factors7:
•
Increasing costs of home heating fuels
•
Increasing cost of electricity
•
Growth in awareness of green issues and eco-friendly issues
•
Developments in home insulation and energy efficient products for the home
•
Government legislation
6
7
http://www.cso.ie/statistics/popofeachprovcountycity2006.htm : Accessed 15/07/2008
Speech by Duncan Stewart and Minister Eamonn Ryan, Green Energy Fair, 18/07/2008.
- 41 -
5.2.3 Estimated home owners market size
The most recent housing census which was conducted in April 2006 determined that there
were 1,462,296 private households in permanent housing units in Ireland (See Appendix 8 for a
breakdown of housing by type). An important factor for Homefootprint is that approximately
50% of these homes were built before the initial thermal energy insulation requirements were
formally introduced in 1979. In addition only dwellings constructed since 1996 (28% of the total
residences) have been subject to stringent building regulations regarding energy efficiency
(See appendix 9 for a breakdown of construction periods). This suggests that the total potential
target market of existing home owners is 72% of all homes, as it is assumed that these homes
can make a substantial improvement in their energy efficiency (unless homes have already
made such adjustments). This results in a total potential market size of over 1 million homes.
This estimation of potential market size is supported by the energy minister Eamonn Ryan’s
assessment of homes in need of investment in energy efficiency8.
Figure 4:
Total potential target market of home owners in the Republic of Ireland
Total potential target market
409,443
1,052,853
Available target market
Unavailable target market
Based on 2006 CSO residential data and SEI 2008 report: Energy in the residential sector
8
http://www.dcmnr.gov.ie/Press+Releases/New+Home+Energy+Saving+Scheme+launched+by+Minister+Ryan.ht
m
- 42 -
5.3 Home owners and self-developers estimated target market
Based on analysis of the market and assumptions on potential market reach, the table below
demonstrates the potential revenue, estimated target market reach and value of a user for year
one. This is inclusive of users from both the self-developer and home owner groupings.
Estimated target market: Year one
Variable
Estimated number of likely prospects
Value of a typical prospect
Estimated revenue
Pessimistic
Optimistic
Most likely
24,000
30,000
27,000
€1.53
€2.72
€2.16
€36,810
€81,580
€58,384
- 43 -
5.4 External environment analysis
5.4.1 Political and Legal factors
Analysis of the present political and legal environment demonstrates that the current scope for
Homefootprint’s prospective offering is very positive. There are numerous political and legal
factors that contribute to a potentially positive business environment:
•
Local and international agenda
There has been a noted increase in both local and international agenda pushing greener
behaviour. This agenda has been enforced on governments due to the due to the increasing
pressures derived from climate change, global warming, pollution and the rapidly increasing
energy prices. The following are examples of such political agenda: The Kyoto protocol
(Ireland has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 13% over 1990 baseline
emissions by 2012), the 2008 EU sustainable development strategy (renewed on the 2001
strategy), the EU 2020 framework (geared towards ensuring that 20% of energy comes from
renewable sources by 2020), the 2003 EU Energy Taxation directive (discourages energy
pollutant behaviour), the 2005 EU biomass action plan and Building Energy Rating legislation
coming into place within numerous European countries (inclusive of Ireland). These positive
agenda all contribute to the increased acceptance of green issues and tendency towards
greener thinking.
•
Government funded residential grants and subsidies (Ireland)
The Irish government has encouraged the use of renewable energy products for the home
through the allocation of grants and subsidies. There are numerous grants available through
the greener homes scheme. These grants are mainly heating related and are available for the
purchase of wood pellet burners and stoves, solar heating products, heat pumps (soil), biomass
boilers and possibly wind turbines in the future as these are also grant funded in Northern
Ireland. The Pilot home energy saving scheme introduced by Minister Ryan in April 2008 is
another example of encouragement for improvements on the estimated one million homes in
Ireland that would greatly benefit from investment in their energy efficiency.
•
Green party election to government
The election of the green party to government in 2007 has greatly contributed to the overall
positivity of government decisions regarding the environment. The party’s election to
government has meant that there has been an increased focus on environmental issues with
an increasing demand for renewable development and encouragement to the residential sector
to better their home energy efficiency evident.
- 44 -
•
Building Energy Rating (BER) legislation
BER legislation has come into place that ensures a high degree of energy efficiency in the
residential sector. A BER provides a rating on the overall energy efficiency of a home, taking
into account all factors that contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the dwelling. This
legislation applies to all new dwellings for which planning permission was applied for since the
1st of January 2007. The legislation also applies to non-domestic buildings for which planning
permission was applied for after the 1st of July 2008. In addition, from 1st January 2009 all
properties (residential and commercial) will have to obtain a BER when being offered for sale or
for rent. A major benefit of the BER legislation is that it places an emphasis on the development
of new energy efficient homes. This legislation comes into place from the EU Directive on the
energy performance of buildings and was adopted into Irish law in 2006.
•
Building Control Act 2007 (Updated on 1990 Act)
The Building Control Act passed in 2007 is concerned with ensuring that a high degree of
standards are followed in constructing new buildings in Ireland. The act takes into account
issues concerning energy efficiency.
•
SEI.ie / Change.ie/ Powerofone.ie
The Irish government has established three main online presences focused at informing Irish
consumers about important environmental issues that concern them. Change.ie is the
government’s web presence representing the government plan on climate change. The site is
concerned with informing consumers about the issue of climate change and greenhouse gas
emissions and encouraging greener behaviour. Poweofone.ie is concerned with providing tips
and suggestions to consumers about changes they can make to improve their energy
efficiency. Sei.ie is the government energy agency concerned with promoting and assisting the
development of sustainable energy resources in Ireland and assisting the deployment of
superior energy technologies in each sector as required. SEI is funded by the National
Development plan and the European Union. The establishment of these different mediums
demonstrates the increasing importance the government is placing on environmental issues.
- 45 -
5.4.2 Economic and social factors
Despite the recent downturn in the economy, the economic scope for Homefootprint’s offering
remains positive. It is evident that there is an increasing social trend towards the greener
consumption of products and services. While the economic factors discussed represent major
concerns for consumers they may present an opportunity to Homefootprint. As consumers look
to tighten their belts on home heating, fuel and other energy costs, they may be drawn to
Homefootprint as an information source on how to reduce their energy costs whilst benefiting
from the product price comparison outlet. Economic and social factors of interest are:
•
Current recession: Drop in Irish consumer sentiment
The latest consumer sentiment report produced by the Irish Economic and Social Research
Institute (ESRI) demonstrated that Irish consumer sentiment continues to drop. The index
demonstrates that in June of 2008 the index was at 42.2. The corresponding figure for the
same month in 2007 was 83.2. The index of consumer expectations also demonstrated that
consumers are not expecting their future financial situation to be too bright with a drop to 26.4
in June from 32.6 in May. These drops in consumer confidence have largely been brought
about by the increases in fuel, food and borrowing costs as well as the drop in employment.
Despite the current recession however, the ERSI forecast a growth in consumption by 1% in
2008 and 2% in 2009 9 (See appendices 10, 11 & 12).
In its Quarterly Economic Commentary, the ERSI is also forecasting a contraction in the
economy to continue through to 2009. With both GDP and GNP down by 0.4% in real terms,
the ERSI forecast that Ireland will experience a recession for the first time since 1983. This is
reflected in their forecast for an increase in both emigration and unemployment in 200910.
•
Residential construction downturn
(Discussed in section 5.1.2)
•
Increasing energy costs
The rising energy costs represent a major challenge to the Irish economy. With the price of oil
having reached $145 for the first time and current oil prices fluctuating between $140 and $145
there is increased pressure on consumers and businesses alike11. Appendices 13, 14 and 15
demonstrate the increasing energy costs in recent years. While the increasing energy costs
indicate a major threat to businesses and residential consumers alike; this threat can be
transformed into an opportunity for Homefootprint. As consumers become more concerned with
the rising energy costs it is likely that they will try to reduce their energy consumption. This is
9
Economic and Social Research Institute, June 2008 Consumer Sentiment Index report.
Quarterly Economic Commentary, Summer 2008, ERSI.
11
Yahoo finance: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080703/oil_prices.html : Accessed 09/07/2008
RTÉ Business: http://www.rte.ie/business/2008/0709/oil.html : Accessed 09/07/2008
- 46 10
especially important when the current trends for home energy expenditure are taken into
consideration.
Figure 5 demonstrates 2006 consumption patterns for home energy and illustrates the
increasing usage of oil, electricity and gas. Derived from these increased patterns of
consumption and increasing fuel costs it is clear why the increase in energy costs (especially
oil, electricity and gas) is of major concern. Based on current evidence it is likely that
consumers will begin to focus on making changes in their behaviour and residential energy
consumption. This represents a substantial opportunity for Homefootprint.
Figure 5: Residential sector total final energy consumption by fuel; 1990 to 2006
Source: SEI, Energy in the residential sector, 2008 report
•
Increase in public concerns regarding environmental issues
There has been an evident increase in public concern regarding environmental issues. This
growth in concern has been mainly due to scientific evidence of the effect of global warming. As
people become more aware of environmental issues a new industry centred on energy efficient
products and renewable products has emerged and grown at a rapid rate. The growing
acceptance and willingness to make changes with regard to energy efficient products,
especially with regard to energy efficiency in the home represents a positive opportunity for
Homefootprint.
- 47 -
5.4.3 Technological factors
Technological factors are very positive. As Homefootprint will operate as an internet based
company the issue of internet access is very important. Despite the fact that Ireland has a
relatively low broadband penetration in comparison to other OECD countries the internet is
widely used with an overall penetration rate of 50.1% of the population in 2007 12 (See
appendix 16). Whilst the issue of broadband uptake in Ireland remains important,
Homefootprint will operate utilising a relatively static website so broadband will not be
necessary and dial-up internet access will suffice.
With regard to other technological factors there have been great improvements in the
technologies being used in the ‘green industry’. Technological developments have enabled
innovative products to be developed ranging from environmentally efficient cars, advanced
solar panel technologies and other renewable energy products, to building materials and bio
fuel products. Of major interest to Homefootprint are the technological advances in residential
construction.
The continuously developing technology advances are an aspect that Homefootprint will benefit
from. It is envisaged that a vast array of products and services will be aggregated into category
groupings within the site which will enable users to search for products based on their category.
12
Internet world statistics, Usage and population statistics: http://www.internetworldstats.com/top25.htm, Accessed
10/07/2008.
- 48 -
5.4.4 Environmental factors
Scientific evidence of deteriorating environmental conditions worldwide has led to changes in
behaviour both by governments and consumers. Issues such as climate change, greenhouse
gases, global warming, energy efficiency and environmentally friendly human activity are all
growing in importance and becoming daily issues both for governments and individuals. There
has been an increasing tendency towards the greener consumption of products and services, in
tandem with an improved awareness regarding the environment. While environmental
conditions have been deteriorating globally, this places pressure on both consumers and
governments to make changes. With regard to Homefootprint’s proposed offering, this bodes
well as it provides an opportunity to the company; a paradoxical situation whereby global
overuse and waste of limited energy resources has led to a focus on environmental issues
augurs well for companies operating in the “green sector”. This is especially true in the
residential construction and residential improvement industries as home owners move towards
becoming more energy efficient and dwellers move towards the consumption of renewable and
more eco-friendly products.
- 49 -
5.5 Industry competitiveness
5.5.1 Rivalry amongst existing competitors:
Rivalry amongst existing competitors is high:
•
Industry becoming saturated with merchants: A significant number of merchants
offering products or services relating to residential energy efficiency are currently operating
in the industry. Many of these companies are competing for the same customers. However,
there are not many direct competitors for Homefootprint.
•
Fast market growth: The market for residential energy products and services is expanding
greatly. This is extremely important for Homefootprint since it can aspire to rapid growth
because of the expanding market.
•
Relatively low fixed costs: For companies operating online there are relatively low fixed
costs. This can lead to an increase in rivalry amongst competitors as the low fixed costs
may lead to competition by price. As Homefootprint will not sell products and will offer a
product and price comparison solution, the company will not be affected by this issue.
•
Low switching costs: Customers can easily switch from the one company to another. This
significantly intensifies competition and can diminish their percentage of market share
rapidly. Homefootprint will try to counter this industry trait by building switching costs with
both merchants and customers.
•
Low levels of product differentiation: Active competitors in the market offer similar
products, services and offerings, thus rivalry is intense. Homefootprint will avoid this intense
competition by focusing on a specific niche within the market and by trying to create
uncontested market space.
5.5.2 Threat of substitute products
The threat of substitute products is high:
•
Numerous products and services: The industry is saturated with a wide range of
products and services. While this is unattractive for some companies it is attractive for
Homefootprint as this provides a wide range of merchants to approach regarding
advertising and/or listing their products or services on the website.
•
Low switching costs exist in the industry: As low switching costs exist online, the
threat from substitute products is greater than in other industries. Homefootprint will try
to counter this trait by building switching costs and ensuring that users are satisfied with
the web offering. The community aspect of the web offering has been incorporated to
increase the likelihood of this.
•
Increasing demand for home energy products: Increasing demand combined with
the wide availability of substitute products increases customers’ alternatives. This adds
to the degree of rivalry in the industry.
- 50 -
•
Competition by price: The advent of the internet has made information regarding
products widely available. This has led to competition by price. Competition by price
increases rivalry within the industry. However, this is beneficial to Homefootprint as the
product comparison facility will enable a vast range of products and services to be
compared by price and other factors.
As the threat of substitutes is high, this increases rivalry in the industry. Despite this, as
Homefootprint gathers all competitors together, the company can benefit from the increased
rivalry, while its differentiated status means it is concerned only with its own industry niche.
5.5.3 Bargaining power of buyers
Due to the ever increasing number of products and services being offered, the bargaining
power of buyers within the industry is high.
•
Similar products and services offered: There are an increasing number of products
and services being offered to the green construction industry. This greater selection to
choose from results in increased bargaining buyer power.
•
Low switching costs for buyers: Low switching costs in the industry increases buyer
bargaining power.
•
Little differentiation between products: As there is little differentiation between
products and services offered, this greatly increases the bargaining power of buyers.
•
Buyer incentives: Competition by price and increased rivalry has led to greater buyer
power in the industry.
•
Substitute availability: The easy availability of substitute products and services in the
industry has greatly increased buyer power in the industry.
While the bargaining power of buyers is high in the industry, this is advantageous to
Homefootprint as users will take advantage of a solution that enables product and service
comparison, thereby increasing their buying power further. In addition, buyers will want to
supply their products in a location used by users.
- 51 -
5.5.4 Bargaining power of suppliers
Bargaining power of suppliers in the industry is low due to the following reasons:
•
Standardised range of products and services: Many suppliers are offering similar
products with limited differentiation between them. This reduces their bargaining power
over buyers.
•
Increasing number of suppliers: A vast amount of suppliers continue to enter the
market. While the market is expanding this is understandable, however as more
suppliers enter the market this will reduce their overall bargaining power.
While supplier bargaining power is relatively low, this represents an opportunity to
Homefootprint as it will ease attraction of suppliers (merchants) to offer their goods and
services on the product comparison section of the website.
5.5.5 Threat of new entrants
The threat of new entrants to the industry remains very high:
•
No government barriers: The government does not impose any barriers to interested
parties wishing to enter the industry. Rather, the encouragement by the government for
home owners and building developers to use energy efficient products and services has
resulted in an increased amount of companies entering the marketplace.
•
Growing market: The growing market has enticed numerous new entrants and new
business start-ups to enter the market. The continued growth leaves the industry open
to further new entrants.
•
Low barriers to entry: There are relatively low barriers to entry in the industry,
depending on the type of business model companies choose, the products and services
they offer, and the infrastructure they utilise. In addition, for online companies similar to
Homefootprint, the barriers to entry are minimal.
•
Easy to copy business models: Many companies operating in the industry have a
business model that is easily copied.
•
Low switching costs: As switching costs are low, this increases the threat of new
entrants to the market place.
•
Internet effect: The internet provides easy access to customers. Companies that
choose an internet based approach have easy access to the marketplace.
The threat of new entrants poses a threat to Homefootprint. This is difficult to prevent, however
measures regarding the building of switching costs amongst suppliers and customers will be
utilised so as to minimise this threat.
- 52 -
6. Marketing plan
Building a critical mass of users will be critical to Homefootprint’s success. In order to achieve
this mass of users many different techniques will be utilised:
6.1 Search engine optimisation
With a low initial budget, a high ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) of search
engines is important, since traffic from organic search results is free. There are a number of
techniques to improve the ranking of a website, called search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic
to a web site from search engines via organic search results. Usually, the earlier a site is
presented in the search results or the higher it "ranks", the more the site will be visited by
users. Homefootprint will focus on SEO both internally as externally.
6.1.1 Internal optimisation
Using a number of HTML tags, the internal structure of Homefootprint’s website will be
optimised, making it easier for search engines to scan the content of the website, thereby
improving relevance of search results for search queries. The three most important HTML tags
are meta keywords, meta description and meta title.Meta keywords are keywords relevant for
the webpage. The meta description provides search engines and searching users with a quick
summary of the webpage. The title tag is important for SEO, since the information contained in
the tag is displayed in both the browser as on the SERP. Internal linking is another way to
optimise a website. For this reason, clear category names, listed on every page of the website,
will be implemented.
6.1.2 External optimisation
An initial stage of Homefootprint’s marketing campaign will be concerned with mailing a number
of ‘green’ web sites, construction sites and other relevant blogs. By delivering an attractive,
optimised, pre-formatted and relevant press release to these websites, it is hoped that
publication of an article on the websites targeted will be achieved. The publication of the article
will also mean inclusion of a link to Homefootprint’s web site. This will potentially increase traffic
from external websites and will also benefit the Page Rank of our domain. Page Rank is one of
the methods Google uses to determine the relevance or importance of a Web page. Page Rank
is a vote, by all the other web pages on the Internet, about how important a Web page is. Any
incoming links to Homefootprint’s webpage will count as a vote of support in this regard.
- 53 -
6.2 Blog Marketing
Homefootprint will implement a blogging section to its website where staff, resident guests or
community members will discuss issues of concern, post their ideas and comments and avail of
information relating to home development and improvement. The blog publishing system being
used is “Wordpress”. A major factor behind the decision to avail of this publishing tool was the
fact that Wordpress is already optimised for search engines. This means that its features and
functions guide search engine spiders through the posts, categories and pages, ensuring that
search engines can effectively ‘crawl’ through Homefootprint’s blog and gather the required
information in order to be included in their databases.
Major search engine optimisation tools that are included in Wordpress are:
•
Use of permalinks: The permanent urls of blog posts
•
Blogroll: List of links to various green energy and building blogs.
•
Pinging: Ping back will enable notification if someone linked to an article within the blog. If
a user includes a link from blog posts to their posts then a notification in the form of a ping
back will be received stating that someone was linked to a Homefootprint post. This will
help linking to other people, thus connecting the links and increasing search engine
favoritism. The more relevant and important the site that links to the Homefootprint page,
the more the Homefootprint Page Rank will be increased.
•
SEO plugins: A SEO plugin will be utilised. This includes some important ranking factors
like titles, descriptions and keywords for the blog. Relevant keyword optimisation
techniques will be ensured so as to increase the likelihood of Homefootprint’s website
appearing for specific keyword searches through search engines.
Homefootprint’s blog will be an integral part of the marketing mix strategy. The blog will not be
a replacement of traditional media in reaching our target market. It is considered to be an
additional medium to reach potential new users and a community building mechanism. Major
advantages of blog usage are considered to be:
•
Relationship building tool: The blogging section will enable the establishment of
relationships through the use of informative and useful content whilst encouraging users to
visit the company website.
•
Two way medium: Blogs are conversational mediums. Unlike traditional media (print,
billboards, etc) blogs enable feedback, thus allowing immediacy of dialogue among online
users. This can potentially add value to the users’ experience.
- 54 -
•
Market research: The blogging facility will facilitate monitoring of public opinion,
observation of brand image and recognition of potential growth areas. This will be an
important tool for content development within the main site.
•
Search engine optimisation: Blogging will further improve Homefootprint’s search engine
ranking with use of keywords rich text.
•
Inexpensive channel: While costs of online marketing can be expensive, the use of a blog
will provide an inexpensive medium to reach Homefootprint’s target market.
•
Additional revenue: The blogging tool will add an extra location for further advertising or
affiliate revenues.
Included in Homefootprint’s blog marketing strategy are:
•
RSS subscription options: Users will be able to avail of immediately updated blog
content. This will encourage repeated usage of Homefootprint’s blog and increase brand
awareness.
•
Social bookmark links: The Homefootprint blog will be tagged in specific social book
marking sites (e.g. delicio). This can potentially increase traffic to the main website.
•
Submission of sitemap to search engines: This will provide Homefootprint with better
statistical information and will further help search engines to crawl our site, potentially
resulting in a better search engine ranking.
•
Use of keyword rich text: Homefootprint will further research valuable keywords and
develop a glossary using tools like SEOBook Keyword Research, Keyword Discovery and
Google AdWords Keyword tool.
•
Guest bloggers: Homefootprint will invite topic experts to write on our blog. These guest
bloggers will range from architects and building energy assessors to construction experts. It
is envisaged that this tactic will significantly help to draw people to visit Homefootprint’s
main site whilst further differentiating the brand from competitors.
- 55 -
6.3 Advertising and promotion
Advertising will play an important role in Homefootprint’s promotional mix and will be critical in
ensuring that Homefootprint reaches its target market. Many different promotional techniques
will be utilised.
6.3.1 Industry related conferences and fairs
Participation in industry related conferences will further increase brand awareness and
knowledge of the market at the same time. Fairs like the “Green Energy Fair”, “Building
exhibition 2008” or “Irish Sustainable building show” are extremely targeted way of advertising
in the industry.
6.3.2 Banner exchange
Exchange of banners with industry related sites will be considered. By exchanging banners,
links or further promotional materials with industry specific blogs and websites, the potential to
attract users to the website increases.
6.3.3 Implementations of Word of mouth marketing
Word of mouth marketing, also known as viral or buzz marketing is a reference to passing on
information by verbal means, especially recommendations but also more general information.
One individual is always the sender of this information; receivers are friends, colleagues, family,
relatives or other acquaintances. Research has proven that this is one of the most attractive
ways of online marketing today13. As the information or recommendations come from a trusted
source, receivers of the information are more likely to believe the outspoken message. Based
on this credibility, it is believed that this is a very powerful and effective marketing method.
Word of mouth is traditionally considered to be a face-to-face spoken form of communication.
However, with the world wide adaptation of the internet, word of mouth has also transformed to
a more digital environment. Nowadays phone conversations, instant messages, texts sent
via sms or email and web dialogues existing on online communities, profile pages, blogs and
message boards can be used as new communication media transferring word of mouth.
This most attractive marketing technique is used to promote the Homefootprint concept. Word
of mouth marketing will be implemented both internally (on the domain) as externally (on other
domains).
13
Using online conversations to study word of mouth communication, David Godes, Harvard Business Review,
May 2002.
- 56 -
•
Internal implementations to encourage word of mouth
The community blogging aspect of Homefootprint’s website will be used to further create a
positive brand image, spreading the word about the Homefootprint brand. Comment forms are
offered to the visitors, enabling them to respond to submitted posts easily. Interesting posts can
be shared easily with friends, family, colleagues and relatives using the “Recommend” function
offered on the blog. This feature enables viral marketing with little effort required.
•
External implementations to encourage word of mouth.
As mentioned previously, the blogs of relevant external parties will be used to promote the
Homefootprint concept.
6.3.4 Switching costs
• Users
By means of the blogging and dashboard facility, Homefootprint will try to build up a trust
community with subsequent switching costs for users. The switching costs that Homefootprint
will build will not be monetary in nature. Users will not be charged or loose money if they switch
to a competitors web site; rather the switching costs are psychological in nature.
By providing a tool for registered users where they can monitor their energy consumption over
a period of time, it is envisaged that switching costs can be built due to user information
storage. Users will primarily have to register in our web site. By monitoring their energy
consumption regularly a substantial amount of data will be collected on each registered user. It
is expected that by storing the users’ data and providing a useful tool, switching costs can be
built.
• Merchants and BER assessors
The building of switching costs is significantly important to the Homefootprint business model.
The tool whereby registered users can comment and rate on products will create loyalty
amongst companies who achieve a good rating. In addition, the same effect will also apply to
BER assessors should they avail of the premium service, thereby building switching costs to
both groups. This will increase the potential for Homefootprint to modify its pricing plan.
- 57 -
6.4 Branding
Branding is considered to be highly important for Homefootprint as it will differentiate the web
site from the competition.
6.4.1 Homefootprint brand importance
A well established trustworthy brand in the market place means significantly lower risk for
users. Therefore, by building up a strong brand image focused on quality and professionalism,
Homefootprint will further establish itself in the marketplace. Strong brand recognition and
image will reduce the need for costly marketing and promotional costs.
Branding may also help Homefootprint to further segment their market in the future. The
Homefootprint brand name points the focus of the company towards the residential market. In
the future the company can potentially leverage its brand to the corporate market (or other
industry segments) by extending the brand, for example: “Corporatefootprint”. In such a case
the credibility and quality of the company’s existing brand image could be transferred to the
new market segment.
6.4.2 Why Homefootprint?
The Homefootprint brand name was developed taking into account the company vision to
become the leading online home energy product comparison portal in the home improver and
residential self-developer target markets. Homefootprint is wordplay on “carbon footprint” and
our target market of home users. Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of human
activities in the environment in terms of greenhouse gases produced. Therefore, the brand
name is targeted at residential users with the goal of reducing their carbon footprint by
benefiting from Homefootprint’s offering.
The Homefootprint brand logo
A professional looking logo may be a reason that a user will decide to visit the Homefootprint
web site, thus it was important to create an attractive brand logo. Several different logos were
tested that incorporated in a clear and dynamic way the Homefootprint company values.
Finally, the brand logo above was chosen. The clear, professional font used depicts the
professionalism of the company. The word home is in bold in order to depict the company’s
focus on residential users. The brand logo represents the different steps users need to take in
order to improve their home energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.
- 58 -
This 2-color corporate logo is suitable for any promotional material. In addition, the logo is
distinctive and will stand out.
6.4.3 Brand favicon
A segment of the brand logo has been translated and used as a favicon. A favicon is a minilogo that helps users to remember and return to a website. It is a visual branding shortcut.
Benefits of the favicon are:
•
Quickly identify and distinguish Homefootprint’s website in browser tabs. Users do not
have to read the URLs address to identify our site
•
If a user bookmarks Homefootprint’s web site the unique favicon will help the website to
stand out in their favourites list
•
Increases professional appearance of Homefootprint’s website.
- 59 -
7. Technology map
7.1 Overview of IT infrastructure
The objective of this system is to provide a fully functional interactive web application platform
that enables site users to interact with the website. As Homefootprint’s main business revenue
will be derived from advertisements, the web application will be capable of gathering,
organising and categorising data provided by users so that a tailored advertising solution can
be offered to merchants. Other aspects of note are that the web application platform will enable
merchants to seamlessly upload product and company details to the website. Based on this,
the application will enable site users to search for and compare different products and services.
Registered users will be able to further interact and will be able to comment on and rate
products, while they will also benefit from personalised tips generated automatically by the
system based on each specific user’s stored details. Users will also be capable of searching for
service providers based on location.
7.2 System development
Due to the fact that there was a limited timeframe for the development of the web application
the development of the system was divided into three stages.
System development
Initial Stage
Development stage
System testing
Identification of system requirements
User scenario evaluation
Establishment of core functionalities
Identification of system ad-ons
System coding
User interface design
Content development
User case scenario testing
Usability tests
7.3 System architecture
Homefootprint will be an interactive web application portal, meaning it will follow the three tiered
web application architecture. Use of the three tiered architecture will enable the website to
gather information from users, manage this data and display information based on data
collected.
- 60 -
Figure 6: Homefootprint system architecture
Presentation tier: The front end of our application is the user interface. This is the only tier that
the user actually sees and as far as they are concerned about, it is the only tier. The primary
function of the presentation tier is to decipher tasks requested by the user and display
information to the user in a manner that they will understand. Users will navigate through the
first tier by clicking on various hyperlinks and buttons. Unbeknownst to them, the logic tier is
activated each time they click a button or click or a hyperlink.
Logic tier: The logic tier is concerned with processing commands, calculations, and data. This
tier also makes evaluations and processes data between the user interface layer and the
database layer. This tier sits in-between the user interface and the database. Whenever a user
enters information, uploads information or clicks on an image map or a button, this action will
invoke the middle tier. Sometimes a method to go to a new page is carried out, other times a
complex method to connect to the database and update or remove information is carried out.
- 61 -
The information that is retrieved from the database is stored in temporary variables and then
displayed in tables or menus in the presentation tier. When a user enters in new details upon
registration or carries out the home energy audit on the Homefootprint web page, all the values
and details are stored in a string and then sent to the database for storage.
Data tier: The third and final tier of the web application is the database, where all information is
stored. All user details, building energy assessor details, product details and other information
are gathered in our database. When information is requested it is passed from the data tier
back to the logic tier for processing before appearing to the user in the user interface. Along
with the many tables containing a wide range of data, there is also a large group of store
procedures. These can be thought of in much the same way as a ‘method’ in JAVA or C# store
procedures for carrying out a complex SQL statement or to retrieve a large amount of data.
- 62 -
7.4 Development toolkits utilised
7.4.1 Presentation tier
•
Microsoft Visual Studio 2005: Visual Studio 2005 is very dynamic and allowed more
freedom than other web design platforms such as Dreamweaver or Microsoft
FrontPage. This tool was used for the development of the vast majority of the user
interface.
The
application
is
Microsoft’s
main
IDE
(Integrated
Development
Environment) and is not solely used for the development of websites but also used for
GUI (Graphical User Interface) Design. The main advantage that Visual Studio provided
for the design of the user interface was that it provided a multitude of tools to ease the
design process. Visual Studio incorporates a very useful component, ASP.NET (Active
Server Pages) framework. This allowed creation of web pages using the ASPX file
extension, much the same as the HTML extension. This enabled creation of dynamic
pages using the ASPX language. The .NET framework was central to the overall aim for
the application.
•
Dreamweaver MX: It was necessary to avail of an image mapping tool in Dreamweaver
as Visual Studio 2005 did not offer this application. The image mapping tool enables
creation of a coordinate map over a normal picture. Visual studio only allowed you to
type in the coordinates where as Dreamweaver permits you to click on the image and
trace the outline of the shape or object you wanted to be clickable. Once these
coordinates were obtained they were imported to Visual Studio. Image maps were
incorporated in order to increase the level of user interactivity in the user interface.
•
Adobe Photoshop: Photoshop was used for image editing purposes and creation of
images for use in the website.
7.4.2 Logic tier
• Microsoft Visual Studio 2005: The logic tier was designed through C# programming
language to allow communication to and from the presentation tier to the back end
database. Visual Studio 2005 was ideal for this as it provided full compatibility with the
front and back end of the Web Application. The built in code editor in Visual Studio has
an inbuilt syntax-highlighting tool that enabled easier coding of the middle tier of the
application. This tool greatly reduced the number of human errors made.
- 63 -
7.4.3 Data tier
• Microsoft SQL server Management Studio: The data tier was designed through
Microsoft Structured Query Language (MS SQL 2000). The management studio is a tool
that enables access, configuration, administration, and development of all components
of a SQL server. The studio was used for the creation of tables and store procedures.
7.5 Technologies utilised
7.5.1 Asp.net architecture
ASP.NET is the programming framework utilised for the development of our application.
ASP.NET enables development of powerful enterprise class web applications. Benefits of using
ASP.NET for the application development included:
•
Code requirement: ASP.NET greatly reduced the quantity of code required for the
application.
•
Server side: As source code is executed on the server side this increased the flexibility
of pages. Source code is compiled when the webpage is requested and the server
stores the compiled page version for use on the next occasion that the page is
requested.
•
Security: As the web server monitors the web pages, applications and components
running on the pages, should any illegal software or other strange activities be noticed,
it executes those activities and restarts.
•
Information validation: Information provided by users is validated without the
production of code.
•
Scalability: ASP.Net applications allow excellent scalability, enabling large numbers of
users to utilise the web application at the same time without a decrease in
performance14/15. This was important for the scope of the application.
7.5.2 (C#)
C# is a programming language utilised for the purpose of building applications to run on the
.NET framework. The main reason for coding in C# was its compatibility with the Visual Studio
package. In additional its human readable format was also a contributing factor. C# was used
for the entire coding of the middle tier, which connected both the presentation and data tiers.
14
.NET framework developers guide, Microsoft Development Network library, http://msdn.microsoft.com/enus/library/xyahd8wh(VS.71).aspx , accessed: 20/07/2008
15
http://www.startvbdotnet.com/aspsite/asp/ , (ASP.NET), accessed: 20/07/2008
- 64 -
7.5.3 MS SQL (Microsoft Structured Query Language 2000)
MS SQL is a relational database management system that is widely used. While MS SQL is not
an open source database management system like MySQL, it was very reliable, provided
excellent performance and allowed flexibility in the structure and design of the Homefootprint
database. The high degree of compatibility between MS SQL and Visual studio allowed
information to be fed to the database through store procedures that could be accessed from
visual studio. This made maintenance and organisation of the database much easier as it was
possible to work on the web application from one program, Visual Studio.
7.5.4 My SQL
My SQL is a relational database management system (RDMS) written in C and C++. Usage of
My SQL database was essential for installation and running of Homefootprint’s blog publishing
system, Wordpress. My SQL is run on the Homefootprint hosting company’s server.
The main advantages of using My SQL were:
•
Free open source software
•
Fast relational database management system.
•
Works on many different platforms (e.g. Linux, Mac OS X, Windows etc.)
•
Independency of application and data
•
Increased level of security: the administrator of the blog can easily limit the privileges
and attributes of groups or individual roles.
- 65 -
7.6 Infrastructure capacity
7.6.1 Web Hosting
Hosting requirements for the Homefootprint web application consisted of the following:
•
ASP.NET support
•
MS SQL support
•
My SQL support
•
SMPT support
(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
•
Live change facility
•
Storage scalability
•
Technical support
•
Web based file management
•
Blogging software support
•
Security: anti-virus protection
and anti-spam protection
Netcetera was chosen as a hosting company for the Homefootprint application as they offered
support and met our requirements. In addition Netcetera offered 99.9% network uptime which
was a final and critical requirement.
7.6.2 Scalability
As Netcetera offered ASP.NET support this meant that our application scalability of our
application would be possible. This was an important factor to consider based on projections for
user growth. Netcetera also offered extra storage and support facilities.
- 66 -
7.7 Key system features
As Homefootprint was to be an interactive web application, this increased the importance of the
MS SQL database. The reason for this increased role of the database is that users would be
contributing data to the site in the form of personal information, housing information, appliance
usage information, comments and ratings on different products and services; thus the ability to
enable users to read from and write to the database was essential.
Figure 7: Information organisation user case example
- 67 -
7.7.1 Organisation and categorisation of information
To support user interactivity, this required specific slots to be created in the presentation tier
into which the user would place their data. This was necessary as otherwise users would have
to upload HTML to be able to interact with the website, which was not a viable option.
Categorisation of specific types of information provided an efficient means of operating and
enabled sections of the website to be automated. This required users to make precise
selections of the type of input that unbeknownst to them was being written to the database. In
the presentation layer this categorisation of information was done by means of drop-down
boxes, web forms and radio buttons. Each selection by the user related to a pre-defined
information category. In addition, this also benefited the user by clarifying their thoughts and
providing structure to the information provided.
Figure 8: Example of organisation and categorisation of information
7.7.2 Structuring of data
Structuring of data enabled specific types of requests to be made by users, thereby displaying
only the information that they desire in a sorted and structured manner. Structuring of data in
the database enabled functions to be built into the database queries enabling this to happen.
- 68 -
7.7.3 Personalisation
Homefootprint will offer a personalised solution to its registered users. Registered users will be
able to receive personalised tips and advertising based on data that they provide upon
registration, or from data gathered from the home energy audit. User details will be stored in
Homefootprint’s MS SQL database and each time a registered logs-in, a unique user interface
will be generated.
The personalised aspect of Homefootprint’s website will enable:
•
Highly targeted advertising solution for merchants
•
Personalised interaction for Homefootprint’s users geared at building higher levels of
user loyalty since content will be relevant to each user
•
Data storage and a facility for users to update their stored details
Figure 9: Personalisation solution
- 69 -
7.7.4 Blog publishing system: Wordpress
In order to increase the interactivity level of the Homefootprint offering a blog publishing system
was utilised. This system will be used for creating a brand community, while it will also be used
for marketing purposes. The blog publishing system being used is Wordpress.
(Due to technical issues with the hosting provider Netcetera, for the purpose of the practicum
this blog is being hosted on an external website and not the web space purchased. Using the
frameset element it was possible to make the blog appear part of the Homefootprint website).
Wordpress is an open source, completely web based blog publishing system built on the
scripting language PHP. Wordpress requires use of MySQL, therefore further to the MSSQL
database; a separate MySQL database was required for management of Homefootprint’s
community blog. This also necessitated support for PHP by the web server.
7.7.5 PHP
PHP is a server-side scripting language specifically suited for web development. PHP was
designed to create dynamic web pages. PHP code is taken as input and HTML web pages are
created as an output. PHP runs on most web-servers, operating systems and platforms.
Major advantages of using the Wordpress Content Management System:
•
The templating system: Wordpress software has been designed to be combined with
templates. That means web pages are created in a formatted output ready to be used.
This was extremely helpful for development of the Homefootprint community blog. A
ready made template was chosen and adapted to suit Homefootprint’s needs (change
of colors, logos, content, etc). CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) were amended so that the
appearance of the blog would be similar to the main website.
•
Dynamic changes: Changes in content and template are immediately reflected in the
blog without any need to regenerate static pages.
•
Integrated link management. Usage of blogrolling and pinging will further help to link
with other people. Thus, the number of incoming links into our blog can be recognised
by search engines. The more relevant the linking site, the highest the favoritism will be
for the blog.
- 70 -
•
Support for several plugins. Wordpress is supported by a huge database of plugins.
Plugins are small files of code that add useful features to a blog. Homefootprint used
three important plugins in order to further optimise and secure the blog. Plugins used
were: “All in one SEO16”, an effective plugin that further increases search engine
optimisation,“Akismet17”, a plugin that eliminates spamming, and Contactform-Akismet18
plugin. Contact form-Akismet is a “Contact Me” form that means that all received
messages will be checked for spam before reaching the blog administrator, thereby
effectively reducing spam messages.
•
Spam protection: Wordpress comes with an integrated blacklist and open proxy
checker to manage and eliminate spam comments..
•
Tag support: Several important keywords and terms have been used in our posts. This
type of metadata will help draw users to the Homefootprint brand through the blog.
Wordpress is widely used nowadays from either personal homepages to Fortune 5 blogs such
as New York Times or eBay. Wordpress mainly focuses on aesthetics, web standards (W3C),
and usability.
16
http://wp.uberdose.com/2007/03/24/all-in-one-seo-pack/, 11/07/2008
http://akismet.com/download/, 11/07/2008
18
http://www.bloggingexpertise.com/plugins/wp-contactform-akismet/, 11/07/2008
- 71 17
Figure 10: Wordpress tables created in My SQL database
Source: Wordpress.org
- 72 -
7.8 Security
Security was critically important when considering the overall system design. Bringing together
two different categories of users in the interactive web application (users and merchants)
required numerous security measures to be implemented.
• Authentication
Authentication on the web is concerned with knowing who you are dealing with. With the range
of sensitive information being stored in the MS SQL database, it was necessary to incorporate
a solid security foundation into the Homefootprint application.
• User roles
Through visual studio, it was possible to assign different roles to users allowing different
privileges to each user group. This allowed restrictions to be placed on specific applications
within the application. Identification of different user groupings would occur upon login.
• Administrative User
Administrative users are allowed full access to information stored in the database. By
empowering administrative users with the ability to read and write to the database, they can
amend other user grouping details, delete and add different user groupings or remove other
user grouping details. This provided an additional security feature to the application as it
enabled administrators to ensure all content provided by other user groupings was correct and
un-offensive.
• Company User
Company users have the ability to change and modify the product listings that are relevant to
their company. They can change their company’s details, upload new products, remove product
offerings or amend existing product details. The company user has full control over what
content is displayed regarding their products as they are the ones who supply all the
information.
• Standard user
A standard user has basic rights to the web application and to the material contained within.
They are allowed to browse all the web pages. Standard users are not permitted to alter,
remove or update information that does not belong to them. Each standard user is granted their
own user home page upon registration. Users can modify all information that is stored
(personal, residential and appliance usage information).
- 73 -
•
Passwords
Passwords enable user authentication within the application. When standard users register with
Homefootprint they are required to provide a password for future reference. Merchants are also
required to login using a password and user email address. The password provides access to
the user’s data, thus it is used as a measure for authenticating that a user is who they say they
are and allowing privileges based on user type.
• Access
Access controls enable minimisation of the threat that unauthorised users will gain access to
certain areas of the website that they should not be able to view. Different sections of the
website are limited to specific users. Once authentication has been achieved, access controls
are enabled thereby reducing the threat of unauthorised users accessing certain areas within
the site.
• Data management
As Homefootprint will be gathering confidential user data and company data the need to
manage this data in a secure environment is important. While data within the company’s
databases will be stored on the Netcetera server, regular backups of this data will need to
occur. Netcetera provide this facility which will be availed of. This will ensure that a regular back
up of data is stored in a secure location.
•
Three tier architecture
Use of a three tiered architecture for the system ensured a greater degree of security. This was
possible as security could be defined at each level. This result of this is that even if the
presentation tier is compromised, the data tier will not be.
•
Information protection
While information needed to be protected by controlling access, it was also important to
consider issues that prevent the website from becoming an outlet for inappropriate material.
Within the community blog this is prevented by providing access to the administrator to monitor
all comments that are posted. If the content provided by users is inappropriate, then it will not
be posted to the community board and it will be deleted. Within the main website the main area
where abuse could occur is the product rating section of the website. In order to minimise this
threat only registered users will be able to comment on products. If abuse is observed then the
user will be removed.
- 74 -
8. Organisation and management
8.1 Legalities
• Company registration
Homefootprint will be established as a private limited liability company (LTD) in January of
2009. The necessary registration fees of € 70 have been incorporated into the company
financials19.
•
Trademark registration
Homefootprint will register its brand name and logo as trademarks before initiation of business.
This will provide the company will legal standing for ten years and will prevent the threat of
impostors registering similar domain names and copying the branding scheme. Registering of
these trademarks will ensure that the branding scheme can be used in company
advertisements and dealings with merchants and customers. This will cost € 317 and has been
covered in the company financials20.
•
Domain name registration
Management currently hold the domain name rights to the www.homefootprint.info domain
name. This domain name will be renewed annually for a fee of €10.
•
Virtual organisation and staffing
Homefootprint will operate as a virtual organisation. This will enable staff to concentrate on the
core aspects of the company’s development while support facilities are outsourced. Due to the
automated nature of much of the online business, there will be little need for increases in staff
numbers during early years. Use of virtual office service facilities will mean that the company
will not need to extend its sales force or acquire additional customer service staff in the initial 3
years. In addition, Homefootprint will outsource the management of customer service and
accounting services (call management, payroll, bookkeeping and auditing) which will enable
management to concentrate on core competencies. It is estimated that staff numbers will
remain at three persons until the end of year three when management will reconsider staffing
levels based on potential for market expansion.
19
20
http://www.cro.ie/ena/downloads-fees.aspx: accessed 15/07/2008
http://www.patentsoffice.ie/en/trademark.aspx : accessed 15/07/2008
- 75 -
8.2 Virtual office
Homefootprint will operate using a virtual office facility. This solution will be provided by
Kendlebell virtual office solutions, located in Kandoy House, Dublin 3. Use of virtual office
solutions will be provided for a fee of 130 per month21. Utilisation of a virtual office will allow
Homefootprint the following benefits:
Benefits from operating by means of a virtual office are:
•
Automated nature of much of the Homefootprint start-up means the business is suited to
operating in a virtual environment.
•
Benefit from having a business address where business mail can be collected or forwarded
from. This will increase trust levels which is important for online businesses.
•
Professional call handling system for effective merchant call management.
•
Monetary savings will be made at a time when cost minimisation is crucial.
•
Much communication between staff will be by means of telephone, email and
teleconferencing. There is little need for an office environment during the initial business
stages due to the automated nature of much of the business.
•
Employees will work from their homes during initial start-up and growth years.
•
A board room rental facility will enable business meetings to be conducted in a comfortable
and professional location.
•
21
Outsourcing aspects of customer relationship handling will be possible.
http://www.kbell.ie/kendlebell/Main/Home.htm : accessed 20/07/2008
- 76 -
8.3 Management structure
Figure 11: Organisational structure
All Homefootprint founders are qualified with Masters of Science in Electronic Commerce from
Dublin City University. Work experience to date amongst team members is in sales, account
management and administration. All members of the management team are passionate about
environmental issues and are keen to establish an online business.
•
Aodhagán Grisewood holds a B.Sc in International Business from DCU. He will hold
overall responsibility for the successful running of the company. He will report to the
board of directors and will contribute to business development. Aodhagán speaks
Spanish and French and will investigate the potential for market expansion within
countries of these native tongues.
•
Paul McGowan holds a B.Sc in Computer Science from DCU. He will be responsible
for continuous development, management and maintenance of the website. He will be
accountable for analysing all information and data gathered from the interactive tools on
the website and will investigate the potential of new technologies to advance
Homefootprint’s offering. Paul will be in charge of all IT personnel in the future.
- 77 -
•
Charilaos Sideris will manage Marketing and Sales for the company. He holds a
Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Administration from Northumbria University,
Newcastle. In addition he has experience in account management for Chorus-Call
Hellas, a multi-national teleconferencing and video conferencing solutions provider.
Charilaos is a Greek national and will investigate the potential for expansion in Greece.
8.4 Board of directors and external consultants
The board of directors will consist of the Homefootprint founder members and two additional
members. In addition, the team will avail of technical advice relating to the development of the
website from an expert in user interface design.
•
Des McLaughlin holds a B.SC and an M.Sc in physics from University College Dublin
and has also qualified with an MBA from Fordham University in New York. Previously
Des worked as the research affiliate for Eircom at MIT Media Lab in Boston and Dublin.
He has also held roles including: Head of Business Planning in Eircom Multimedia;
Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Eircom USA; Change Manager in Eircom’s
Business Process Re-engineering unit; and Head of Product Development. Des also
managed the implementation of the Eircom’s Information Age project in Ennis and
Eircom’s Information Age Schools project. Des will provide invaluable support and
advice to the management team.
•
Additional member to be named
An additional member of the board of directors will be named. The team hope to name a
board member with previous expertise in the management of a web-based enterprise.
•
Technical advisor: Dr. Hyowon Lee
Dr Hyowon Lee holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Soong Sil
University in Seoul, an M.Sc in Information and Library Studies from Robert Gordon
University in Scotland and a PhD in Computer Science from Dublin City University
where he is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher since 2001. Dr. Lee is an
expert in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and User-Interface Design. His
expertise in this area will provide critical advice on technical and User-Interface design
issues.
- 78 -
9. Financial overview
9.1 Introduction
In order to evaluate the potential of Homefootprint’s business model, financial projections were
made for the first three years of company operations. The financial statements were developed
to give an indication of areas where difficulties may arise and to demonstrate the financial
requirements of the Homefootprint business model. They do not represent a prediction of
Homefootprint’s future performance but rather demonstrate how the company could perform
should a certain set of assumptions be reached.
Revenue projections were made based upon competitor analysis, web statistics and
assumptions of market reach. Expenditure was derived from expected costs of operating by
means of the Homefootprint business model. It is evident that a major challenge for
Homefootprint is the management of cash, as profitability will not be reached until year three of
operations, thus necessitating an overdraft facility. This was a major contributing factor to the
decision to operate as a ‘virtual’ business so as to minimise further expenditure.
9.2 Funding requirements
In order to support cash flow requirements and finance the business during its initial
development, funding of €100,000 will need to be obtained. It is envisaged that this will be
gained by means of a loan which would be repaid over a five year period. Investigation
demonstrated that this would result in monthly repayments of € 1,961.93, based on a current
variable rate of interest of 6.65% offered by Bank of Ireland for business loans22. The
company’s shares will be distributed equally amongst the management team.
22
http://www.bankofireland.ie/html/gws/business/finance_your_business/quick_quote/ : Accessed 25/07/2008
- 79 -
9.3 Financial assumptions
9.3.1 Revenue projections
Company revenues will be derived from three main sources: (1) Listing fees and click throughs;
(2) Advertising; and (3) BER Assessors. The first two sources will provide the vast majority of
income to Homefootprint, while revenue from BER assessors is seen as a potential growth area
in the future. Revenue projections demonstrated below are based upon market research by the
management team.
Revenue projections
Total revenue from listings and CPC
Total revenue from advertising
Total revenue from BER
Year one
19,388
37,250
1,747
Year two
42,488
134,063
4,995
Year three
56,588
221,625
10,294
Revenues from premium advertising, bundle advertising, and click throughs will be recognised
on a monthly basis over the specific terms of the contracts signed with clients.
Figure 12: 3 year revenue breakdown
9.3.2 Profit projections
It is forecast that Homefootprint will achieve profit by year three when the company will reach
profit of seventy five thousand euros. Losses would be incurred in the first and second year of
€124,551 and €23,293 respectively. The cumulative Profit and Loss statement below
demonstrates the projections for the three year period.
9.3.3 Cost of sales
Cost of sales consists of the hosting services Homefootprint will use. Netcetera, an external
hosting provider will be used for the primary operations period. A monthly cost of €17 is
anticipated.
- 80 -
9.3.4 Salaries
Salary expenses represent total compensation for each anticipated employee. A total amount
of €90,000 per year for the first three years is anticipated for the senior management team.
After the three year period a substantial increase is anticipated.
9.3.5 Rent, rates and other offices costs
The company anticipates using a virtual office for the first three years of its operations. The
amount of €1,560 per year includes administration work. Other costs include,
telecommunications, Internet, printing and stationery.
9.3.6 Professional fees
Certain business services will be outsourced. In the accounting statements these are
represented as professional fees. Professional fees include outsourcing of accounting, payroll
and legal support services to 24/7 solutions. Initial investigation estimated €24,000 to be spent
per year for the first three years on outsourcing professional services.
9.3.7 Marketing
Marketing activities include, online and offline advertising, direct mail, participation in industry
related exhibitions and travelling expenses associated with sales and marketing. Moreover,
subscription to industry organisations (e.g. SEI), publications and other miscellaneous
expenditures are included. The majority of the marketing budget will be spent on electronic
marketing. Furthermore, the company will focus on building strong relationships with its
merchant clients in order to develop its sales pipeline.
9.3.8 Bank interest and charges
The bank interest and charges Homefootprint will have to pay for a period of 5 years, 12
monthly repayments per year is in the level of 6.65% (Bank of Ireland rates).
9.3.9 Currency
The currency is in Euros (€)
- 81 -
9.4 Financial statements
9.4.1 Balance Sheet
Balance Sheet
Homefootprint
Year 1
Projected
as of 12/31/2009
Year 2
Projected
as of
12/31/2009
Assets
Current Assets
Cash in bank
Accounts receivable
Total Current Assets
€0
€7,495
€7,495
€0
€18,641
€18,641
€0
€26,537
€26,537
Fixed Assets
Machinery & equipment
Total Fixed Assets
€4,445
€4,445
€4,445
€4,445
€4,445
€4,445
€11,940
€23,086
€30,982
€15,515
€18,920
€17,931
€51,076
€18,389
€3,030
€94,468
€128,903
€70,925
€139,932
€47,382
€68,801
€0
-€124,551
-€116,963
€11,940
€0
-€23,293
-€116,846
€23,086
€0
€75,131
-€37,819
€30,982
TOTAL Assets
Year 3
Projected
as of
12/31/2009
Liabilities and Equity
Current Liabilities
Accounts payable
Bank Overdraft
Long-term Debt
Bank loan payable
Total liabilities
Capital Reserves
Invested capital
Profit/loss A/C
Total Owners' Equity
- 82 -
9.4.2 Profit and Loss Projection
Profit and Loss Projection (12 Months)
Homefootprint
Revenue (Sales)
Total revenue from listings and CPC
Premium Advertising revenue
Revenue from bundle advertising €
Estimated revenue from BER CPC €
Premium BER fees @ €15 monthly per reg assessor
Total Revenue (Sales)
Cost of Sales
Hosting
Total Cost of Sales
Gross Profit
Expenses
Salary expenses
Payroll expenses
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
Supplies (office and operating)
Web maintenance and repairs
Advertising
Car, delivery and travel
Telephone
Insurance
Taxes (real estate, etc.)
loan Interest
Loan repayments
Internet
Initial advertising extras
Exhibitions
IT
Rent
Total Expenses
Net Profit
- 83 -
Year one
Year two
Year three
€19,388
€8,000
€29,250
€1,097
€650
€58,385
€42,489
€30,000
€104,064
€3,121
€1,874
€181,548
€56,589
€72,000
€149,628
€5,148
€5,148
€288,513
€200
€200
€58,184
€200
€200
€181,348
€200
€200
€288,313
€90,000
€9,675
€24,000
€1,080
€300
€14,596
€4,800
€900
€0
€0
€3,543
€20,000
€396
€6,000
€3,000
€90,000
€9,675
€24,000
€1,080
€300
€45,387
€4,800
€900
€0
€0
€3,543
€20,000
€396
€0
€3,000
€90,000
€9,675
€24,000
€1,080
€300
€72,128
€4,800
€900
€0
€0
€3,543
€0
€396
€0
€4,800
€4,445
€1,560
€182,735
-€124,551
€0
€1,560
€204,641
-€23,293
€1,560
€0
€213,182
€75,131
€0
€0
€0
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS
Total Cash Available (before cash out)
€0
€0
€0
Rent
Telephone
Interest
€4,845
€4,845
€327
€327
-€327
SUBTOTAL
TOTAL CASH PAID OUT
Cash Position (end of month)
€94,828
€0
€0
€0
€0
€400
€0
€0
€0
€0
€0
€0
€0
€4,445
€0
Exhibitions
€327
Initial advertising extras
Other startup costs (registration, Name, legal
fees)
€0
€0
Internet
Loan repayments
€0
€0
Web maintenance & repairs
Car, delivery & travel
€0
Supplies (office and operating)
Advertising
€0
€0
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
€0
€0
Payroll expenses (taxes, etc.)
€0
Purchases (hosting)
Salary expenses
€0
Purchases (IT hardware & software)
CASH PAID OUT
€0
€0
Loan/ other cash inj.
€99,673
€0
€0
€82,561
€13,962
€13,962
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€424
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€96,523
€1,695
€0
€0
€1,695
€94,828
€99,673
€0
Feb-09
Jan-09
Collections fm CR accounts
PreStartup
EST
Cash Sales
CASH RECEIPTS
Cash on Hand (beginning of month)
Year One: Cash Flow Statement
9.4.3 Cash flow statements
€70,642
€14,077
€14,077
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€539
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€84,719
€2,158
€0
€0
€2,158
€82,561
Mar-09
84
€59,662
€14,391
€14,391
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€853
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€74,053
€3,411
€0
€0
€3,411
€70,642
Apr-09
€49,024
€14,504
€14,504
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€966
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€63,527
€3,865
€0
€0
€3,865
€59,662
May-09
€37,224
€16,118
€16,118
€1,500
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,080
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€53,342
€4,318
€0
€0
€4,318
€49,024
Jun-09
€27,266
€14,731
€14,731
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,193
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€41,997
€4,773
€0
€0
€4,773
€37,224
Jul-09
€17,648
€14,844
€14,844
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,306
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€32,492
€5,226
€0
€0
€5,226
€27,266
Aug-09
€8,371
€14,958
€14,958
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,420
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€23,329
€5,681
€0
€0
€5,681
€17,648
Sep-09
-€567
€15,072
€15,072
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,534
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€14,505
€6,134
€0
€0
€6,134
€8,371
Oct-09
-€10,664
€16,685
€16,685
€1,500
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,647
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€6,021
€6,588
€0
€0
€6,588
-€567
Nov-09
-€18,920
€15,298
€15,298
€0
€0
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€1,760
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
-€3,622
€7,042
€0
€0
€7,042
-€10,664
Dec-09
€0
€25
€15,412
€26,837
TOTAL CASH PAID OUT
Cash Position (end of month)
€0
€15,412
SUBTOTAL
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
Exhibitions
Other startup costs (registration, Name, legal fees)
Initial advertising extras
Internet
Loan repayments
Interest
€75
€130
Rent
Telephone
€400
Car, delivery & travel
€1,874
Web maintenance & repairs
Advertising
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
Supplies (office and operating)
Prof. Services (legal, accounting)
Payroll expenses (taxes, etc.)
Salary expenses
Purchases (hosting)
Purchases (IT hardware & software)
CASH PAID OUT
Total Cash Available (before cash out)
€7,495
€11,425
€0
Loan/ other cash inj.
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS
€0
€7,495
Jan-10
€18,920
Collections fm CR accounts
Cash Sales
CASH RECEIPTS
Cash on Hand (beginning of month)
Year Two: Cash Flow Statement
€15,943
€31,162
€15,943
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€2,905
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€11,618
€15,219
€0
€0
€11,618
Feb-10
€26,837
€16,080
€35,076
€16,080
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,042
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€12,166
€18,996
€0
€0
€12,166
Mar-10
€31,162
85
€16,216
€38,579
€16,216
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,178
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€12,713
€22,363
€0
€0
€12,713
Apr-10
€35,076
€16,353
€41,672
€16,353
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,315
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€13,260
€25,319
€0
€0
€13,260
May-10
€38,579
€17,990
€45,855
€17,990
€1,500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,452
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€13,807
€27,865
€0
€0
€13,807
Jun-10
€41,672
€16,627
€48,125
€16,627
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,589
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€14,356
€31,499
€0
€0
€14,356
€45,855
Jul-10
€17,014
€49,237
€17,014
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€3,976
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€15,902
€32,223
€0
€0
€15,902
Aug-10
€48,125
€17,151
€49,938
€17,151
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€4,113
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€16,450
€32,787
€0
€0
€16,450
Sep-10
€49,237
€17,287
€50,228
€17,287
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€4,249
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€16,997
€32,941
€0
€0
€16,997
Oct-10
€49,938
€18,925
€51,607
€18,925
€1,500
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€4,387
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€17,546
€32,682
€0
€0
€17,546
Nov-10
€50,228
€17,561
€51,076
€17,561
€0
€33
€1,667
€295
€75
€130
€400
€4,523
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€0
€18,092
€33,515
€0
€0
€18,092
Dec-10
€51,607
Total Cash Available (before cash out)
€0
€17,698
€17,698
-€50,133
Other startup costs (registration, Name, legal fees)
Exhibitions
SUBTOTAL
TOTAL CASH PAID OUT
Cash Position (end of month)
€0
€17
€7,500
€806
€2,000
€90
€25
€4,660
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
€18,641
-€32,435
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS
CASH PAID OUT
Purchases (IT hardware & software)
Purchases (hosting)
Salary expenses
Payroll expenses (taxes, etc.)
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
Supplies (office and operating)
Web maintenance & repairs
Advertising
Car, delivery & travel
Rent
Telephone
Interest
Loan repayments
Internet
Initial advertising extras
€18,641
€0
€0
Jan-11
-€51,076
CASH RECEIPTS
Cash Sales
Collections fm CR accounts
Loan/ other cash inj.
Cash on Hand (beginning of month)
Year Three: Cash Flow Statement
-€47,279
€18,694
€0
€18,694
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,387
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€28,585
€21,548
€21,548
€0
€0
Feb-11
-€50,133
-€44,221
€18,762
€0
€18,762
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,455
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€25,459
€21,820
€21,820
€0
€0
Mar-11
-€47,279
-€40,959
€18,830
€0
€18,830
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,523
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€22,129
€22,092
€22,092
€0
€0
Apr-11
-€44,221
86
-€37,494
€18,898
€0
€18,898
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,591
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€18,596
€22,363
€22,363
€0
€0
May-11
-€40,959
-€35,325
€20,466
€1,500
€20,466
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,659
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€14,859
€22,635
€22,635
€0
€0
Jun-11
-€37,494
-€31,452
€19,034
€0
€19,034
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€5,727
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€12,418
€22,907
€22,907
€0
€0
Jul-11
-€35,325
-€25,875
€19,602
€0
€19,602
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€6,295
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€6,273
€25,179
€25,179
€0
€0
Aug-11
-€31,452
-€20,094
€19,670
€0
€19,670
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€6,363
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
-€425
€25,450
€25,450
€0
€0
Sep-11
-€25,875
-€14,110
€19,738
€0
€19,738
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€6,431
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
€5,628
€25,722
€25,722
€0
€0
Oct-11
-€20,094
-€9,422
€21,306
€1,500
€21,306
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€6,499
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
€11,884
€25,994
€25,994
€0
€0
Nov-11
-€14,110
-€3,030
€19,874
€0
€19,874
€0
€17
€7,500
€1,075
€2,000
€90
€25
€6,567
€400
€130
€75
€295
€1,667
€33
€16,844
€26,266
€26,266
€0
€0
Dec-11
-€9,422
10. Future business development possibilities
10.1 Building Energy Rating: Tender management service
In addition to the existing BER search function and assessment service already offered by
Homefootprint, the possibility of offering a further tender management service will be
investigated.
Currently, once a building energy rating assessment has been conducted, home owners are
provided with an energy rating of their property, which in turn is registered with Sustainable
Energy Ireland, the state body that manages the national register of BER assessed residences
(See appendix 20 for an example of a building energy rating certificate). In most cases an
overview of the assessment is also provided to the homeowner by the BER assessor. It is then
up to the home owner to make contact with individuals in the construction industry to ask for
quotations and investigate the cost to improve the residence (if necessary). Based on
assessment of the current process it appears that there is room in the market place for an
intermediary which would link the two issues. The additional tender management service could
potentially be offered by Homefootprint and would supplement the existing offering.
•
Proposed extension of service: Tender management
Homefootprint could potentially offer an additional service whereby post BER assessment;
individuals could post electronic copies of their home rating assessment and overview reports
to the tender management system. This would then enable construction companies to provide
quotations and make bids for tenders based on the reports provided. Homefootprint would act
as an intermediary in this regard. A benefit of this additional service is that it would likely lead to
increased revenue from both users and construction companies. Furthermore, the additional
service could lead to a migration of users from competitors to Homefootprint.
Further investigation will be necessary to determine whether the tender management service
would be suitable as buy-in would be critical from the three core groupings of (1) home owners,
(2) BER assessors and (3) construction companies.
10.2 Data exploitation
Homefootprint benefits from the ability to gather and store vast amounts of data on registered
users. It is envisaged that this data could be valuable when mined. If anonymised and legal
position was gained, this could enable anonymised, sorted and specific data to be passed to
external parties. Homefootprint will seek legal advice on this position in the future as it is likely
that exploitation of such data will be subject to the EU Directive 95/46/EC- The data protection
directive, as article three of the directive states that:
87
‘This Directive shall apply to the processing of personal data wholly or partly by automatic
means’23.
•
Potential partner for data
Further to brief discussions with the Royal Irish Architect Institute (RIAI- the representative
body for qualified architects in Ireland)24, the Institute Director, Mr. John Graby expressed that
the RIAI would be ‘extremely interested’ in obtaining information specific to residential
construction as currently, information is not readily available and existing sources of information
do not provide a substantial degree of information regarding self-built homes, the degree of
energy efficiency in homes, or the degree of sustainability.
Homefootprint will investigate this issue further to determine the legal issues and potential
monetary value that could be derived from forming agreements to provide data to third parties.
23
24
http://www.dataprotection.ie/viewdoc.asp?m=&fn=/documents/legal/6aii-1c.htm#1 : Accessed 28/07/2008
Brief communications over the period July 7th-July 28th.
88
11. Future system development possibilities
11.1 Cost per click billing
Currently the system does not provide for measuring transactions on a cost-per-click basis.
This functionality will be necessary in order to record the number of click-throughs for each
listed company. In addition, a billing system will have to be developed whereby merchants or
service providers can be billed on a monthly basis, either to a company credit card or by means
of direct debit. This would require the development of a very secure system. It will be necessary
for this system to be capable of exporting data in a human readable format as bookkeeping will
be outsourced.
11.2 Maximum cost per day for listing merchants
An important add-on to the system would be the added functionality which would enable
merchants to set a maximum cost per day for click throughs from Homefootprint. This facility is
offered by Google Adwords.
89
Appendices
Appendix 1: Advertising solution user case diagram
1. Registration
User
registration
User details gathered:
o Name
o Email address
o Ph.no (voluntary)
o County of residence
Possibility to have location based targeted advertising.
2. Home energy audit
Home energy
audit
User details gathered:
o Residence type
o No. inhabitants
o Heating system
o Urban/country
o Lighting
o
o
o
o
o
o
Water heating
Glazing
Roof type
Insulation
Ventilation
Appliance usage
Possibility to have very specific advertisements, directly targeted at the registered user.
3. Example of display for registered user
4. Non registered user advertisements
The difference for non-registered users would be that advertisements would be generic and
content based, rather than specifically targeted at their profile (i.e. stage 1& 2 would not apply).
90
Appendix 2: Google estimated average Cost Per Click
Keywords
wall insulation
house insulation
how to save energy
energy assessors
save energy
home energy audit
ways to save energy
save on energy
domestic energy assessors
heat pumps
home audit
home water purification
air to water heat pumps
cavity wall insulation
geothermal heat pumps
ground source heat pumps
water heat pumps
air source heat pumps
external wall insulation
ground heat pumps
central air heat pumps
install heat pumps
exterior wall insulation
Average CPC
Estimated Avg.
CPC
€1.10
€1.08
€1.23
€1.50
€1.33
€1.18
€1.10
€1.53
€1.66
€1.66
€1.32
€3.27
€0.55
€1.07
€0.85
€0.77
€0.77
€0.68
€1.11
€1.05
€0.05
€0.94
€0.96
€1.16
Based on Google’s keyword cost estimation tool. Keywords chosen relate to Homefootprint’s
offering, 25/07/2008.
91
Jan
Feb
Mar
Estimated
total site
Users
2250 4500 6750
Per
month
premium
pricing
plan €
800
800
800
Average
cost to
reach
individual
user €
Month
Year one
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
End
of
year
800
800
€0.06
800
€0.07
€0.05
800
92
€0.04
800
€0.04
800
€0.04
800
€0.03
800
€0.03
800
€0.09
9600
9000 11250 13500 15750 18000 20250 22500 24750 27000 27000
Apr
Appendix 3: Premium advertising - estimated cost of reaching users
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
93
Estimated
total site
Users
29250 31500 33750 36000 38250 40500 42750 45000 47250 49500 51750
Per
month
premium
pricing
plan €
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
Average
cost to
reach
individual
user €
€0.03 €0.03 €0.03 €0.03 €0.03 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02
Month
Year Two (Increase in price based on estimated increase in user base)
€0.02
€0.02
1000 12000
54000 54000
Dec
End
of
year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
End
of
year
94
Estimated
total site
Users
56250 58500 60750 63000 65250 67500 69750 72000 74250 76500 78750 81000 81,000
Per
month
premium
pricing
plan €
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
1000
Average
cost to
reach
individual
€0.01
€0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.02 €0.01 €0.01 €0.01 €0.01 €0.01 €0.01 €0.01
user €
Month
Year Three
Appendix 4: Competitor Listing Rates
Company
www.greenpages.ie
Type of
listing
Directory
listing
Annual
fee €
199
www.greenpages.ie
Premium
listing
299
www.build.ie
Directory
listing
180
www.build.ie
Search
optimised
listing
375
www.build.ie
By
position
1,2,3:
750,
600,
Category
sponsorship 450
95
Included in listing
Title, address, Phone
no, Fax no, web link,
email link, summary
description, send to a
friend, add to
favourites,
designation icon,
ratings and reviews.
Title, logo image,
Address, Phone no.
,Fax no, web link,
email link, summary
description, detailed
description, send to a
friend, add to
favourites, print, map,
designation icon,
coupon, ratings and
reviews, photo
gallery, contact form,
video snippet.
Single category
listing with address
and contact details
with hyperlink.
Multiple category
listing with embedded
logo adjacent to
company listing
serving as a
hyperlink, up to 4,000
character search
engine linked
description fully
enabling search
facilities throughout
the site.
Category
Sponsorship
guarantees a Top
Three Position* in a
category. This
ensures maximum
visibility of listings.
The category
sponsorship will
include Sponsored
Link Logo and text or
bullet points.
Additional information
Rates are only available
to customers who are also
booking a 2009 National
Green Pages Directory
advert or listing, i.e. a
minimum extra of €250. A
number of discounts are
also offered for early
booking and multiple
bookings.
Rates are only available
to customers who are also
booking a 2009 National
Green Pages Directory
advert or listing, i.e. a
minimum extra of €250. A
number of discounts are
also offered for early
booking and multiple
bookings.
www.allaboutenergy.ie Basic listing
Company
www.allaboutenergy.ie listing
200
Detailed
company
www.allaboutenergy.ie profile
www.enerfina.com
N/A
400
N/A
Company and
product name and
location.
Weblink, logo and list
of services displayed.
All company details,
product details,
product photos and a
detailed company
description section.
N/A
100
96
Brokerage model
Appendix 5: Competitor Advertising Rates
Company
www.greenpages.ie
www.greenpages.ie
www.greenpages.ie
Type of advert
Top Banner
Content banner
Buttons
monthly
fee €
2000
850
400
CPM
18
12
8
www.build.ie
Revolving
button
www.build.ie
Revolving
banner
1500
No
www.build.ie
Featured
company
1485
No
www.build.ie
Featured
product
1485
No
www.build.ie
News
sponsorship
1345
No
www.allaboutenergy.ie Button advert
116
No
www.enerfina.com
N/A
N/A
N/A
360
97
No
Additional information
Displayed 22 per page on 40+
different sections comprising of
1000’s of web pages
Displayed 2 per page, on 40+
different sections comprising of
1000’s of web pages
Prominent home page advert
which links to a dedicated page
devoted to your company,
including photographs and
editorial, hyper links, logo and
contact details. After your
display period, content is
archived and displayed
permanently on the site in the
featured companies directory.
Prominent home page advert
which links to a dedicated page
devoted to your company,
including photographs and
editorial, hyper links, logo and
contact details. After your
display period, content is
archived and displayed
permanently on the site in the
featured products directory.
News Sponsorship will give your
company branding of a news
column, along with 200pixels x
200pixels advert within news
stories. A text link advert will
also appear within the daily
news feed sent out from Build
(18.5K subscribers).
Button advert with link to
homepage.
Enerfina operates as a
brokerage thus all details are not
available. Adverts from external
companies are not evident on
the site.
45 Johnstown Road, Dun Laoghaire
Tom Meacle
Manolo Demery
Dryzone Ltd
Renewable Energy
Systems Ltd.
Irish Eco Heat
Active Thermal
Building Services
Mark Lowen
Glenn Ryan
Robert
Steininger
Patrick Dyer
Alan Mangan
Medicos Ltd.
Discreet heat Ireland
Killure Eco Fuels
Tim Cooper
Michael
Prendergast
59a Baldoyle, Dublin 13
5 Aston Quay, Dublin 2
Unit 5, Europark, Lathaleere,
Baltinglass Co.
Sandyford Road, Dublin 16
Cambridge Mews, Sandycove
Avenue East, Dun Laoire.
Killure House Goresbridge Co.
Kilkenny
Garden Pavilion, Powerscourt,
Enniskerry
Rathwire Killucan Westmeath
Dale Roberts
Pat McClean
Address
19 Westmoreland park, ranelagh,
Dublin 6
Contact
Eoin McKiernan
BE (Mech)
David Tyrrell
Coolpower products
Eirenew
Quinns of Baltiglan
Keltic Water
Systems
Mecon water
management Ltd.
Clean Timber
products
Supplier name
98
059 64 51865
086 260 6803
00353 1 839
3918
059 977 5567
00353 294
1895
086 8472659
00353
16708922
872202000
353599157628
35312852332
044 9376797
087 0505 969
phone
www.activethermal.ie
www.res.ie
www.eco-heat.net
www.dryzone.ie
www.medicos.ie
www.homewise.ie
www.killure.ie
www.coolpower.ie
www.meconwml.com
www.kelticwatersystems.com
www.eirenew.ie
www.quinns.ie
website
Appendix 6: List of companies approached regarding listing their products with Homefootprint.info
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
-
[email protected]
[email protected]
e-mail
Appendix 7: Build.ie Google Analytics statistics (UK & Ireland)
99
Appendix 8: Breakdown of Irish residences by dwelling type (2006)
Dwelling type
2006 no.
2006% of total
Detached House
625,988
42.8
Semi-Detached house
398,360
27.2
Terraced House
257,522
17.6
Flat/Apartment
139,872
9.6
Bed-Sit
8,751
0.6
Not stated
31,803
2.2
Total
1,462,296
100
Source: Department of the environment housing statistics, 2008.
100
Appendix 9: Breakdown of dwelling construction period
Source: SEI 2008, Energy in the residential sector
101
Appendix 10: Consumer Sentiment Index January 2000-January 2008
Source: ERSI, Consumer Sentiment Report, June 2008
Appendix 11: Index of current economic conditions January 2000- January 2008
Source: ERSI, Consumer Sentiment Report, June 2008
102
Appendix 12: Index of consumer expectations January 2000- January 2008
Source: ERSI, Consumer Sentiment Report, June 2008
Appendix 13: Price of natural gas
Natural Gas price (excluding taxes)
16
€ per Gigajoule
14
12
10
Euro 15
8
Ireland
6
United Kingdom
4
2
0
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Year
Source: Eurostat Energy database, Accessed 09/07/2008
103
Appendix 14: Household electricity prices
Household electricity prices: Euro per Kilowatt hr
(excluding taxes)
0.16
€
0.14
0.12
0.1
0.08
Euro 15
0.06
0.04
United Kingdom
Ireland
0.02
0
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Year
st
Source: Eurostat Energy database, Accessed 09/07/2008. (Prices applicable on 1 of January
each year)
104
Appendix 15: Price of Gasoline
Price of premium unleaded gasoline per 1,000 litres
(inclusive of taxes)
1600
€ Price
1400
1200
1000
800
Ireland
United Kingdom
600
400
200
0
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Year
Source: Eurostat Energy database, Accessed 09/07/2008. The prices supplied to the DirectorateGeneral of Transport and Energy of the Commission by the Member States are those most
frequently encountered at the 15th of each month.
105
Broadband penetration, Dec 2007
GDP per capita (USD P P P, 2006)
B ro adband penetratio n (subscribers per 100 inhabitants, Dec 2007)
Source: OECD Broadband Statistics
106
l
k
c
d
s
y
d
c
d
y
n
a r nds land ay and l an rea d en urg ada dom iu m nce an ate ali a pa tria and lan pa in Ital bli uga ary e ce l an ub li rkey x ic o
w
r
s
o
g
o
g
t
m
l
u
a
t
a
l
n
e
o
e
r
u
J Au ea Ire S
r l Ic e or er Fin K we mb Ca i ng Bel Fra erm S ust
en
ep Po Hun G r P Rep T
M
N i tz
d A
K
Z
S xe
D the
R
G
e
t
k
d
i
h
a
te
ew
Ne
Sw
Lu
ec
Un
N
ov
ni
z
U
C
Sl
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
OECD broadband penetration and GDP per capita
Appendix 16: Broadband penetration to December 2007
0
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
50,000
60,000
70,000
80,000
90,000
€0
Taxes (real estate, etc.)
Net Profit
Total Expenses
Rent
€18,510
€16,831
€130
€4,445
€250
Exhibitions
IT
€500
€33
€1,667
Initial advertising extras
Internet
Loan payments
€295
€0
Insurance
loan Interest
€75
€400
Car, delivery and travel
Telephone
€424
€25
Web maintenance and repairs
Advertising
€90
Supplies (office and operating)
€2,000
€806
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
€7,500
€14,181
€12,040
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€539
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€2,141
Payroll expenses
€17
€17
€1,679
€2,158
€17
€28
€750
€0
€1,363
Feb-09
€17
€1,695
Salary expenses
Expenses
Total Cost of Sales
Gross Profit
Hosting
Cost of Sales
Total Revenue (Sales)
€0
€14
Premium BER fees @ €15 monthly per reg assessor
€375
Estimated revenue from BER CPC €
€0
€1,306
Jan-09
Revenue from bundle advertising €
Premium Advertising revenue
Total revenue from listings and CPC
Revenue (Sales)
Year one: Profit and loss
Appendix 17: Profit and loss account year one
€14,494
€11,100
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€853
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€3,394
€17
€3,411
€25
€42
€1,125
€800
€1,419
Mar-09
€14,607
€10,759
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€966
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€3,848
€17
€3,865
€34
€56
€1,500
€800
€1,475
Apr-09
107
€14,721
€10,419
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,080
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€4,302
€17
€4,318
€42
€70
€1,875
€800
€1,531
May-09
€14,834
€10,078
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,193
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€4,756
€17
€4,773
€51
€84
€2,250
€800
€1,588
Jun-09
-€9,739
€14,948
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,306
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€5,209
€17
€5,226
€59
€98
€2,625
€800
€1,644
Jul-09
-€9,397
€15,061
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,420
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€5,664
€17
€5,681
€68
€113
€3,000
€800
€1,700
Aug-09
-€9,057
€15,175
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,534
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€6,118
€17
€6,134
€76
€127
€3,375
€800
€1,756
Sep-09
-€8,717
€15,288
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,647
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€6,571
€17
€6,588
€84
€141
€3,750
€800
€1,813
Oct-09
-€8,377
€15,402
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,760
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€7,025
€17
€7,042
€93
€155
€4,125
€800
€1,869
Nov-09
-€8,037
€15,515
€130
€0
€250
€500
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€1,874
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€7,478
€17
€7,495
€101
€169
€4,500
€800
€1,925
Dec-09
€182,735
€124,551
€1,560
€4,445
€3,000
€6,000
€396
€20,000
€3,543
€0
€0
€900
€4,800
€14,596
€300
€1,080
€24,000
€9,675
€90,000
€200
€58,184
€200
€58,385
€650
€1,097
€29,250
€8,000
€19,388
YEARLY
€6,094
€183
€110
Revenue from bundle advertising €
Estimated revenue from BER CPC €
Premium BER fees @ €15 monthly per reg assessor
€0
Taxes (real estate, etc.)
€16,176
-€4,574
Net Profit
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
Total Expenses
Rent
IT
Exhibitions
Initial advertising extras
Internet
Loan payments
€295
€0
Insurance
Interest
€75
€400
Telephone
Car, delivery and travel
€2,905
€25
Repairs and maintenance
Advertising
€90
Supplies (office and operating)
€2,000
€806
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
€7,500
-€4,163
€16,313
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,042
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€12,149
Payroll expenses
€17
€17
€11,602
€12,166
€118
€197
€6,563
€2,000
€3,288
Feb-10
€17
Salary expenses
Expenses
Total Cost of Sales
Gross Profit
Hosting
Cost of Sales
€11,618
€2,000
Total Revenue (Sales)
€3,231
Premium Advertising revenue
Jan-10
Total revenue from listings and CPC
Revenue (Sales)
Year two: Profit and loss
Appendix 18: Profit and loss account year two
-€3,753
€16,449
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,178
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€12,696
€17
€12,713
€127
€211
€7,031
€2,000
€3,344
Mar-10
108
-€3,343
€16,586
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,315
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€13,243
€17
€13,260
€135
€225
€7,500
€2,000
€3,400
Apr-10
-€2,933
€16,723
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,452
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€13,790
€17
€13,807
€143
€239
€7,969
€2,000
€3,456
May-10
-€2,521
€16,860
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,589
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€14,339
€17
€14,356
€152
€253
€8,438
€2,000
€3,513
Jun-10
-€1,361
€17,247
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€3,976
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€15,885
€17
€15,902
€160
€267
€8,906
€3,000
€3,569
Jul-10
-€950
€17,384
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€4,113
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€16,433
€17
€16,450
€169
€281
€9,375
€3,000
€3,625
Aug-10
-€540
€17,520
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€4,249
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€16,980
€17
€16,997
€177
€295
€9,844
€3,000
€3,681
Sep-10
-€128
€17,658
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€4,387
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€17,529
€17
€17,546
€186
€309
€10,313
€3,000
€3,738
Oct-10
€281
€17,794
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€4,523
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€18,075
€17
€18,092
€194
€323
€10,781
€3,000
€3,794
Nov-10
€693
€17,931
€130
€250
€33
€1,667
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€4,660
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€18,624
€17
€18,641
€203
€338
€11,250
€3,000
€3,850
Dec-10
-€23,293
€204,641
€1,560
€3,000
€396
€20,000
€3,543
€0
€0
€900
€4,800
€45,387
€300
€1,080
€24,000
€9,675
€90,000
€200
€181,348
€200
€181,548
€1,874
€3,121
€104,064
€30,000
€42,489
YEARLY
€21,803
€21,531
Net Profit
Total Expenses
€4,390
€17,142
€130
Rent
IT
€400
Exhibitions
Initial advertising extras
€33
€0
Internet
€295
€0
Taxes (real estate, etc.)
Loan payments
€0
Insurance
Interest (6.65%)
€75
€400
Telephone
Car, delivery and travel
€5,387
€25
Repairs and maintenance
Advertising
€90
Supplies (office and operating)
€2,000
€806
Payroll expenses
Prof. services (legal, accounting)
€7,500
Salary expenses
Expenses
€4,594
€17,210
€130
€400
€33
€0
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€5,455
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€17
€17
Gross Profit
€17
€17
Total Cost of Sales
€21,820
€366
€366
€11,625
€5,000
€4,463
Feb-11
Hosting
Cost of Sales
€21,548
Premium BER fees @ €15 monthly per reg assessor
Total Revenue (Sales)
€352
€352
Estimated revenue from BER CPC €
€11,438
€5,000
Revenue from bundle advertising €
€4,406
Premium Advertising revenue
Jan-11
Total revenue from listings and CPC
Revenue (Sales)
Year three: Profit and loss
Appendix 19: Profit and loss account year three
109
€4,798
€17,278
€130
€400
€33
€0
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€5,523
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€22,075
€17
€17
€22,092
€380
€380
€11,813
€5,000
€4,519
Mar-11
€5,001
€17,345
€130
€400
€33
€0
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€5,591
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€22,346
€17
€17
€22,363
€394
€394
€12,000
€5,000
€4,575
Apr-11
€5,205
€17,413
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€5,659
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€22,618
€17
€17
€22,635
€408
€408
€12,188
€5,000
€4,631
May-11
€5,409
€17,481
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€5,727
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€22,890
€17
€17
€22,907
€422
€422
€12,375
€5,000
€4,688
Jun-11
€7,113
€18,049
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,295
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€25,162
€17
€17
€25,179
€436
€436
€12,563
€7,000
€4,744
Jul-11
€7,316
€18,117
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,363
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€25,433
€17
€17
€25,450
€450
€450
€12,750
€7,000
€4,800
Aug-11
€7,520
€18,185
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,431
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€25,705
€17
€17
€25,722
€464
€464
€12,938
€7,000
€4,856
Sep-11
€7,724
€18,253
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,499
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€25,977
€17
€17
€25,994
€478
€478
€13,125
€7,000
€4,913
Oct-11
€7,928
€18,321
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,567
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€26,249
€17
€17
€26,266
€492
€492
€13,313
€7,000
€4,969
Nov-11
€8,132
€18,389
€130
€400
€33
€295
€0
€0
€75
€400
€6,634
€25
€90
€2,000
€806
€7,500
€26,520
€17
€17
€26,537
€506
€506
€13,500
€7,000
€5,025
Dec-11
€75,131
€213,182
€0
€1,560
€4,800
€396
€0
€3,543
€0
€0
€900
€4,800
€72,128
€300
€1,080
€24,000
€9,675
€90,000
€288,313
€200
€200
€288,513
€5,148
€5,148
€149,628
€72,000
€56,589
YEARLY
Appendix 20: Example of building energy assessment certificate
Source: Sustainable Energy Ireland (www.sei.ie)
110
111
Fly UP