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executive summary
 
Introduction:
 

Gdsyn was registered as a domain with ZA Registry in 2006 and has since then gone on to become a stable and consistent service provider to its client base.


Gdsyn is a company that has grown slowly but surely due to the proven skills of its founder to take advantage of the growing need for website design, online marketing, and photography.  Greg Groenewald, who brings fifteen years’ web design experience and 26 years of professional photographic experience to the business, will lead the company as it establishes itself as a high quality internet service provider. 


Constantly evolving technologies and software offer small businesses an opportunity to work smarter.  But the increased opportunity comes at the expense of increased complexity.  Substantial market research establishes that website design is one of the world’s fastest growing service industries. Gdsyn is fast establishing itself as a serious contender targeting several markets in order to raise the service and standard bar significantly high enough to provide the service of choice.


Gdsyn was able   to return a profit in its very first year of operations, due in large part to the size of the market and the relatively low investment required to begin operations. 


Gdsyn has differentiated itself from other traditional ISP’s through aggressive sales techniques and the development of essential services such as social media marketing, search engine optimization and establishing visible platforms for online advertising. 

 

The Service
 

Gdsyn is now becoming a dynamic online company that is poised to capture substantial market share in one of the fastest growing service industries in the country; social media marketing and online advertising.


This would include establishing online profiles on social media platforms such as;

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Linked In.
Facebook
 

Facebook business solutions allows the business owner to set up a professional profile that details the business category along with its particular services, products as well as contact information. The profile allows the business owner to upload regular updates to their “wall” as well as allowing the creation of photo albums of their products, facilities, and functions to keep their online audience interested.


This profile also allows the business owner to ‘boost’ their post to a given audience according to geographic location, interest group(s) and age group as well. This also allows the business owner to send out regular announcements to a selected audience for a budget per day as low as R10.00, which makes it very affordable.


Gdsyn has training sessions on a regular basis to educate its consultants to pass this service onto their clients. In this way, the client can increase awareness of their business to a selected audience exponentially.
Gdsyn also has established the following Facebook profiles:

Each of the above profile are well visited and have a wide audience, KZNDURBAN has well over 8000 ‘likes’ and in one advertising campaign reached over 200 000 viewers in one week. These profiles are used to good effect in promoting clients of Gdsyn on a regular basis especially when clients have promotions and specials that they need to market.


This particular service is performed at no extra cost. It is used as a marketing tool in order to make the sale more attractive to the prospective client

However, a paid advertising campaign is also offered to the client in order to reach a specific audience according to the following;

  • Age group
  • Geographical Location
  • Interests
Key Services
 
  • Hosting
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Mailbox accounts
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Online advertising through established portals.
  • Video presentation of the client’s business
  • Brochure and business card design
  • Stationary design
  • Logo design.
  • Monthly details statistic report analysis of the website for the client.
website design & development
 

One method that Gdsyn uses to distinguish its websites from those offered by other companies is through the use of photographic techniques developed over two decades of professional work.  The photos are taken using the latest in digital cameras and wide angle lenses as well as by utilizing a pano head in order to take panoramic photos which will get the whole image in context. If the room has a view that would sell a booking, it will be included in the overall photo. If needed, the image can be taken in a 360-degree image although 180 degree images more than suffice. Ultra-wide angle images are also utilized where the rooms are too small to be done in a panoramic format. 

The photography is also done in the early evening when the ambience is at its optimum. Guests usually check in during the early evening so the images taken at that time will be conducive to what they can expect when they arrive.
The websites are marketed in three packages;

  • Entry Level
  • Classic Solution
  • Premium Solution.


Each solution can be located and downloaded off this website complete with pricelist and content.

A more cost effective template driven solution has been developed for small business to gain an electronic foothold on the internet. This is in the form of a one page business profile outlining the following:

  • List of services
  • Page header with co logo.
  • Contact details and contact form
  • Photos of the premises
  • Virtual tour of the premises
  • Banner advert
  • Google map plugin
  • SEO- (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Links to Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

The above package has been extended to micro and small businesses in order for them to establish an initial online presence. Once business trust and relations have been established this is then escalated into a website with more information and details of the client’s products and services.

Key Personel
 

Greg Groenewald is the owner and manager of Gdsyn.  He has significant photographic and design experience and sales skills developed as the regional sales executive for Canon SA.  This experience in sales and customer care has been utilized to make Gdsyn the success story Canon SA became for KwaZulu-Natal.


Greg Groenewald was a regional sales executive and mass store training instructor for three years and then resigning and starting up his own internet design company in 2001.  Since then Greg Groenewald has been involved with website design for The Pavilion Shopping Mall in Westville, the design and maintenance as well as the sales side of the portal for KwaZulu-Natal. This developed into a product that caters mainly for guest houses as well as bed and breakfasts.


In order to up the ante insofar as turnover goes, Gdsyn has embarked on employing consultants who are trained by Greg Groenewald in order to use the Gdsyn concept to market website development using their own resources and receiving a commission on sales.


The sales course PERFECT PITCH was written to educate the consultant to sell the internet to his or her clients. This course was written and developed by Greg Groenewald. The course’s main emphasis is on customer care and retention as well as sales techniques that has been most effective in expanding the client base.


The training is ongoing in order to keep the Gdsyn consultants up to date with current trends in the industry.
Gdsyn has in order to keep up with demand, discontinued the outsourcing of work to freelancers and larger IT companies and does all the design work in-house.

Consultants
 

In order to widen out in its operation, consultants are being recruited to sell ‘ad-space’ on its two portals,sm.co.za

  • ww.kzndurban.co.za
  • www.pietermaritzburgtourism.co.za

The other services such as website design, development and hosting to small businesses and establishments in the hospitality trade will also be on offer to those businesses needing assistance in establishing and increasing an online presence.
The consultants will be trained on a regular basis which includes all the content of the sales course Perfect Pitch as well as current online marketing trends in order to pass this onto their clients.
There are currently two teams of consultants in operation:

  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Western Cape.

The consultants:

The typical profile of the consultant that is required would be a person who is mature, consistent, self-starter, self-motivated, has their own reliable transport, able to access the internet using their own resources, responsible and ambitious. The consultant would have to have an outgoing personality and able to relate to business owners on multiple levels. Consultants would also have the experience to deal with clients who can be difficult and demanding in a way that would be of benefit to both parties.
A considerable responsibility rests with the consultant as he or she would represent the image of Gdsyn. With this in mind the sales course Perfect Pitch covers the issues of decorum and attitude with regards to customer relations, each consultant has this in PDF format in their online profile which can be downloaded and referred to.
Each consultant has an online profile which is linked via a QR Code on their business cards, this allows their clients to visit their profile via their mobile devices, this profile in turn links to their professional LinkedIn and Facebook profiles which is important to confirm the validity of the consultant bearing in mind how much fraud and deception exists in the IT industry. The consultant also has access to their stationary which includes the following:

  • Business cards
  • Fliers
  • Proposals
  • Legal agreements
  • Order forms
  • Invoices

This is tailored to the consultant’s details. The stationary is available in PDF and can be downloaded and printed anywhere and anytime by the consultant.
The consultants will be able to establish their own client-base to be services according to the standard practice of Gdsyn thus ensuring that the consultant can, as time goes on, establish his or her accruing passive income based on the clients on his or her listing.

market analysis
 

Greg Groenewald undertook substantial research prior to forming Gdsyn.

There are literally website development companies for every street corner and the idea was to offer a level of service that is lacking as a whole in the industry along with innovative and cutting edge products and service that would establish Gdsyn as a viable market contender.

The focus of this research was on the level of service of Internet Service Providers in general and on the geographic market he plans to serve. 

The research results were quite encouraging. 

The hospitality industry and particularly the Guest House and bed and breakfast market is at the beginning of a period of great expansion, according to the findings of several respected industry trade journals. 

Because of the great support the tourism industry enjoys from local government, many individuals and businesses are finding themselves inundated with bookings and have had to expand their operations with extra rooms and sometimes adding conference facilities, this in turn has necessitated the upgrades of their websites. Also, with the possibilities that these new business tools offer more and more operators are seeing the advantages of a professionally photographed website done of their guest house.

 

small to medium enterprises (sme)
 

This by far is where the greatest potential market for affordable website design and online advertising lies. Most small to medium size business owners have little or no knowledge of the potential of an online presence, they know that they should have a website, but budgetary constraints and a lack of understanding often prejudice the decision to have at least an advertorial. Gdsyn has seen this as a niche market and has developed various products to cater to this need.

Multichannelmerchant.com/ecommerce has this to say on an up to date and informative website: “a couple of years ago simply having a Website was a sign of being a progressive organization, today a site that is outdated or lacks polish can be perceived in a very negative manner. You will get out of your Website what you put into it.
Scrutinize your site as often as possible to make sure that it is presenting the image, content, accuracy, and recency that your customers and prospects expect. The costs associated with this effort are different from those of other marketing media, but the significance should not be underestimated.”

With the above in mind, Gdsyn has a policy of aggressively following up with existing clients in order to keep their sites current and up to date in terms of information and photographs, of their facilities and services. This extra service has a twofold benefit;

  • Customer retention
  • Extra revenue.

Most service providers never see their clients, preferring to rather communicate with their client base via email, telephone or skype. Studies show that people are wired to be more receptive to face to face meetings, exceptions can be made due to distance which is why Gdsyn has based its target market within geographic confines in order to periodically meet with its customers face to face. This has a twofold benefit;

  • The client feels like they are more than just a number, personal attention goes a long way to instilling stable and loyal clients.
  • The supplier (Gdsyn) can ascertain if any changes are required to the website by just being observant and listening to what the client has to say, as well as showcase visually any more services that has been developed.

One cannot underestimate the power of the personal touch and it is with this in mind that the sales course written and developed by Greg Groenewald, the founding member of Gdsyn has actively advocated it as being the backbone of customer retention policy.

 

business model
 

The business model is based on accrual. Clients who have their sites hosted by Gdsyn pay an annual fee, renewable on the anniversary of the contract.

The contract typically runs for a year.


The above formula also applies to any business who purchases a banner advert on any of our portals, this is paid for in advance for the year. Most clients allow us to also take over their hosting during that year, so year after year, as the client base increases so the annual and monthly revenue doubles and triples.


During this time the client might need updates and additions to their website, this is costed out separately which increased the annual revenue from that client.

marketing strategy
 

It is with this in mind that Gdsyn advocates having an up to date and professional looking website. All too often Guest House operators employ designers who produce substandard work which in turn reflects poorly on the guest house itself. The owners have spent a lot of money on the upgrading of their facilities and if the website does not reflect this in the way of the design and photos then the potential to convert this into bookings will be impaired.


Essentially, Gdsyn will market itself as offering the same or higher quality website designs than its larger competitors, but at a more reasonable price.  Gdsyn will forego many of the trappings of higher priced competitors, such as fancy imprinted folders, complimentary mouse pads, etc.  Instead, Gdsyn will sell to the small business market by emphasizing value and by identifying with their information, time, and budgetary needs. 

  • Giving talks at the various guest house and business associations, often is the best way to establish qualified leads. The preferred mode of advertising is one on one appointment setting as it is only in this way that we can ascertain the needs and requirements of the client in questions and forward a proposal based on that.
  • Cold calling, using a knock and drop method. Leaving literature behind at the business and leaving with the business card or brochure to call back.
  • Vising Business Expo’s and Shows is a very effective way to mine for potential clients. Visiting their stalls and taking as much literature as possible to call back at a later stage to set up a meeting to go over what we can offer the potential client.
  • Referrals from existing clients.

 

 

pricing structure
 

Typically, there are pricing packages from which a client can choose to fit their budget, however the costing has been structured around a very basic formula:

  • R350.00 per hour, 2 hours minimum.
  • R1500,00 for half a day. (IE, 6 hours design time)
  • R2500.00 for a full day (IE, up to 8 hours’ design time)
  • Advertorials: R1500.00 annually
  • Hosting: R1500.00 per annum
  • Domain renewal: R250.00 per annum
new models & developments
 

Gdsyn has undertaken to adopt a marketing strategy specifically targeted at the exclusive Boutique Hotel market. This adaptation is discussed at greater length and detail in the appropriate documents.

closing comment
 
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