1. Business Summary
Key Objectives and Financial Overview
2. Detailed Plan
3. Final Point
1. Business Summary
1.1. Business Overview
My name is Albert Dalen and I have an idea of turning a game named "Costume Quest" into an animated series for kids between the age 3-12. The business consist of me being the only member as of this date, but hoping to recruit others with the intention of making this animated series real.
I can see this company being successful in the next two to five years or even more as I am quite sure this product idea will be successful in the market with kids all around the world. I can imagine other countries being interested in this product and dub it to their own language. Countries like France, Germany, China and so on.
1.2. Product Features
As mentioned I will be turning a game called "Costume Quest" into an animated series. Which will definitely be aired on television and eventually on the internet. Other features that generally follows when the popularity of a series increases will be to produce merchandise related to the series and sell dolls, books and other similar products.
This is the kind of animated series that would make kids jump out of excitement and joy. They would want to play along with the characters of the series. Quoting their favourite characters lines making a hit for a generation and becoming a classic in the next 10 years. It has the charm to be recognised when that generation grows up.
1.3. Market Analysis
The audience for this product is aimed at children at the age 3-12. For me and my business to succeed I have to acquire the right customers and those are the television channels. For Norway we have channels like Tv2, Tv3 and NRK.
For each of them I then have to acquire a spot to when this animated series will air. Obviously I want the best airtime for each channel. For Tv2 that would be on Sunday morning where all the kids are free from school. Much like when the anime Pokémon aired when I was younger.
As mentioned the reason this product will be successful is that it will have a lot of charm. Also it has the potential to educate children about morals and etiquettes on how the world functions. This is why this product will be succeed.
1.4. Market Strategy
For starters I would like to get in contact with Tasha Harris who is the creator of the game to seek out a contract of co-operations. So that we do have the permission to reproduce the game into a animated series and have the sole rights to create the series. I got in contact with her after her talk at the Animex Festival here at Teesside.
This is so that when I start to contact the television channels I have something to back my plan up with. Removing the danger of copyright. This will make the customer more at ease hearing I have a contract with the creator.
So basically my market strategy will be to contact television channels from all over to see if there are anyone interested in buying this product. For me to sell this idea I would have to get into meetings with all kinds of channels bringing along storyboard, concept art, script and plans of development.
Another part of the strategy is to create a website since the internet is quite resourceful these days. This will mean that other businesses and channels can enter the website and look at the information provided for the product. This also mean more work in sending out e-mails all around to hook someone to bait.
1.5. Key Objectives and Financial Overview
Get in contact with Tasha Harris and Double Fine Productions to get an agreement of producing an animated series of their game.
Be persistent in trying to get clients needed for this product to succeed.
Also have a good relations with the ones while communicating.
To be recognised as a professional businessman.
To acquire money to pay for the expenses. For workspace, staff and equipment.
Recruit a small team. For modelling, texturing, rigging, animating and post-production. Also a script writer will be needed.
As soon as the production gets started produce 15 minutes for each episode in a bundle. Before releasing having a season ready for the audience.
While season one is airing, work on season two.
Now as for starters it will be wise to start off by limiting the software to be accounted for. Meaning one license for Photoshop and After Effects as well, but a few more for 3ds Max since it is the primary software that will be used constantly for modellers, textureres, riggers and animators. With this in mind the start up for the business expenses will be less.
2. Detailed Plan
2.1. Market Analysis
The product will be aimed at the television channels such as the Norwegian channels, Tv2, Tv3, NRK. Also there is no restrictions to where I will sell my product. So channels like Cartoon Network or even Sky channel will be a target as well.
I would like to set up base in Bergen in Norway. The reason for that is to give Norway more attention to that area saying that we are capable of producing great animated cartoons. Lately we have a company named BUG which is based in Bergen, that launched a cartoon named "City of Friends". Which is doing quite well. Quote from their website (http://www.cityoffriends.tv/#/about), "Sold to more than 125 Countries".
Being based in Bergen means that I will be close by to other huge companies. Like Tv2 and also a lot more within entertainment like the cinema. Creating opportunities to create short commercials or even animate an event for the news report. Or even get the product on air more easily.
It is evident that the market of animation industry is having difficulties due to the recession. Making companies wake up from their slumber and smell the coffee. Some companies were made to go bankrupt or lay of their workers to survive in the animation industry. But recently the sudden popularity for stereoscopic has helped companies to survive and get them work. Recently the market has been slowly stabilising. Technologies are being improved for the easier and the better. Referring to the article on http://www.squidoo.com/3D-Animation-Industry . A little outdated, but still relevant.
Reaching the customers
Whenever there is an event for a channel I will be there and try to get in contact by communicating and dealing out business cards with contact information.
Also there will be a time for calling companies up by phone. Try to set up a meeting with the headboard and tell them about the product. This might seem a bit odd at first since I will be a student fresh out of school. Might not be heard at first due to the lack of experience. But being persistent will show in the end.
What competitive edge do you have?
For starters I think I have an excellent product idea which I strongly believe will be quite popular with children. I can really see children play along with the characters saying their catchphrases and movement.
Also having been in contact with Double Fine's Tasha Harris who is the creator of Costume Quest. Exchanging contact information and having talked a bit about the idea I have for the game to become an animation.
I do know quite a lot of artist out there who would love to work with me. Artists who are quite skilled and does have a job within the field I want to venture in myself. And if this goes the way I want it to go I would gladly recruit them.
I believe my competition is all the cartoon in the world not just other businesses. I want my product to be as successful as theirs or even more. So cartoons like SpongeBob, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, City of Friends and so on. And as far I can see my product will be among them if I get it to start.
As for companies as my competitor I would definitely say that BUG. Since they are currently in charge of producing the animated series, City of Friends. As mention earlier they are based in Bergen, Norway. Being successful with not just the series, but by a lot of other things like commercials on televisions, in cinemas, magazines. They were established in 1995 and has been through a lot of changes since their beginning.
As of today they offer a wide range of services. Which at this point will be difficult for me to go against. But the fact of me having this product in mind will help greatly to improve my status among the newcomers in the industry in Norway and as well internationally.
I will do anything that is required of promoting the product like any other would do. By promoting through the website in various means. A show reel, still images, concept and so forth. Just get the attention of others making a name of the company well-known.
As mentioned several times, the product is turning a game called "Costume Quest" into an animated series. Just by the looks of the game gives of the feeling that it can succeed being turned into a cartoon aimed for children at the age 3-12. Now there are a few things that needs to be processed before starting. The plot, the storyline needs to be adjusted so that we can have a full and rich story filled with morals that will teach children. So it's not just entertainment it's also a educational program.
The sequence when the characters in the game switches form from their natural costume into becoming the costume got me the most. I think there are a lot of children out there who fantasises about that sort of thing. And just by showing them a cartoon that does that will make this product pretty popular.
http://www.costumequestgame.com/ To view the trailer of the game.
2.4. Marketing Strategy
Promotions - Since it already exists as a game I will use that with the help of Double Fine to promote that there is going to be an animated series about it. This will also help sales for the game. Also showing the new contents of the product on the website. I will be active promoting online on the forums. 3dtotal, Cgtalk, 3dhue, also general forums. Creating a Facebook page for the business and product.
Advertisement - Will be done through magazines, newspapers, radio, online ads and also among other businesses. If some are willing to accept our advert. Just by having the name of the company or product among their advertisement.
2.5. SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
Strengths - Vision a product that can be very popular. Passion for the product is also a fuel to my engine.
Weaknesses - Having no experience in the industry due to being a student up until now. Due to being a student.
Opportunities - In the future there will be work dropping in due to the contacts that will be gathered by time. Meeting high society people that will be the deciding factor to my success.
Threats - Losing the product idea to another business. Getting outsourced by an existing business.
2.6. Key Objectives
The main objective is to get the funding for the entire operation. Without it there would not be anything to get the product out there.
Getting an agreement with Double Fine. Fixing a partnership as well as getting contacts.
As soon as the funding is in place I will be assembling a small staff to begin with. Also getting the necessary equipment along with a workspace.
Plan the product meaning adapt it into an animated series.
Start producing the product.
Doing promotions and advertise frequently.
2.7. Financial Information
2.8. Action Plan
This will be based on starting from January 2012. It will all start with me and later on divide certain tasks to the other staff members.
Key Objectives | Task | By When
Funding | Get into discussion with either investors or a bank for the entire operation. | Early January 2012 |
Agree on the best offer. | Late January 2012
Staff, Location and Equipment | Recruit staff members. | Early February 2012 |
Rent workspace. | Mid February 2012 |
Get all the equipment in place. | March 2012
Create Website and Business Card | Create concepts | Early March 2012 |
Agree on concepts | Mid March 2012 |
Buy web space | Mid March 2012 |
Reveal product online | Late March 2012 |
Production | Create script | Late March 2012 |
Agree on script | April 2012 |
Divide the script into episodes. | April 2012 |
Create and Animate | May-June 2012 |
Reveal the final product | August 2012 |
Marketing | Promote and Advertise | January-September 2012 |
3. Final Point
Now this action plan is kind of vague, but as soon as this is being realised a more detailed schedule will be made. Writing this Business Plan has made me more aware of how important it is to promote and advertise the product. That is why marketing is from the start to the end in this action plan.
I really think this product will be successful. I feel as it can become reality within a year. Just to stress out the points. This product is for children to be entertained and while being entertained they will learn the values of all kinds of different morals and etiquette.
For something this ambitious you need a lot of passion for your work and really think it will succeed. Eventually it will.