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Student Services Consulting Firm Business Plan


BUSINESS PLAN     GRAD STUDENT EXCHANGECONSULTANTS INTERNATIONAL

46705 Northwest BoulevardSeattle, Washington 98121

Grad Student Exchange Consultants International is a professional consulting firm specializing in providing placement information for prospective graduate students interested in attending colleges and universities in the United States. Our goal is to assist overseas students in their search for graduate programs designed to meet their individual needs. We are committed to providing honest and accurate information in accordance with the admission standards of each institution.

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
  • PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES
  • FINANCIALS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Mission and Vision Statement

Grad Student Exchange Consultants International (GSECI) is a professional consulting firm specializing in providing placement information for prospective graduate students interested in attending colleges and universities in the United States. Our goal is to adequately and successfully perform our services to overseas students, assisting them in their search for graduate programs designed to meet their individual needs. We are committed to providing honest and accurate information in accordance with the admission standards of each institution.

The Nature of the Business and Services Provided

Each year thousands of students from Japan, Taiwan, China, and other Pacific Rim countries seek information regarding admissions to graduate programs in the United States. Because there are a multitude of programs available across the world, the task of finding a suitable institution can be overwhelming and time-consuming for the student. The institution's academic reputation is not the only factor in deciding which program would meet the needs of the student, but also the environment of the institution, such as the population, the cost of living, and the very process for applying to become a member of that community. GSECI would be able to provide adequate information the student would need to ensure an effortless arrival of a decision binding and successful application acceptance for the future.

GSECI's major focus is in providing higher education in the United States with limited reach into the adjacent Canadian market. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Research Facilities and Database Services

Our research capabilities include a complete database of the thousands of graduate programs and their admissions standards currently available in the United States. Depending upon the type of services the client desires, we will provide up-to-the-minute, accurate background information on the institution(s) of their choice. Included in the research process are enrollment information, criteria for admissions, and a thorough explanation of the program(s) offered through each institution. This information can be transmitted to the student either via telefax, traditional hardcopy, or electronic personal mail, or a 1-800-customer support number. The extent of our research is left up to the decision of the client. GSECI is committed to serving the client by assisting them in this arduous process.

2. Application Process

GSECI will assist students with the application process, including how to obtain the necessary documents, such as entrance Visas and financial statements, which are required by each institution. Upon completion of the application, GSECI can provide additional assistance by reviewing the application and, if necessary, make appropriate suggestions and recommendations to ensure a polished, professional application is received by the institution. In addition, also included in the application process, GSECI will assure that all applications and the accompanying documents are promptly forwarded to the appropriate institution.

3. Customer Support

There will be a continuous follow-up to facilitate communication between our staff, agent, and the client base. Overseas agents/representatives will be available to answer questions and to provide clients with on-site support. An 800-customer support number with a VRU voice response unit with integrated database connectivity will be provided so the client can be kept up-to-date with the progress of their application.

Our dedication to our clients does not stop when clients are accepted by their desired institutions; we offer the client a three-month period of support in which they can call our 800 number in the event they have questions about their initial months in the United States.

BUSINESS OBJECTIVES

Once the GSECI North American business office has been established, and China, Japan, and Taiwan resources are scouted and staffed, we will be expanding both the countries served and the services available. Future business objectives include:

  1. GSECI will look to expand to other countries of the Pacific Rim, such as Korea and the Southeast Asia countries.
  2. GSECI will afford students in the United States the same opportunity to access institutions within the United States.
  3. GSECI will also expand services to include assistance in locating suitable housing.
  4. GSECI also seeks to introduce students in United States graduate exchange programs to programs in Pacific Rim countries.

Services Offered

GSECI offers a wide array of service packages (all fees in U.S. currency and exclude international trade tariffs, etc.) GSECI will not selectively source which colleges and/or universities are represented. The intent of GSECI business plan will include all accredited colleges, universities, and technical institutions.

#1 Basic Package:

  • 3 school searches
  • Application forms requested and sent to the client by GSECI

Fee: $75.00 - $100.0$25.00 per additional school

#2 Basic Plus Package:

  • 3-5 school searches
  • Application forms requested and sent to the client by GSECI
  • 1/2 hour consultative session with agent/consultant

Fee: $150.00$20.00 per additional school

#3 Deluxe Package:

  • 3-5 school searches
  • Application forms requested and sent to the client by GSECI. Consultations on applications and appropriate suggestions and guidance.
  • Complete consultant follow-up with the institution, including status of application, such as deadlines.

Fee: $200.00$40.00 per additional school

Note: Included with all packages is an additional three months of limited customer support. GSECI will also offer special incentives for referrals.

PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES

1. Advertising and Brand Communications

GSECI believes that college and localized educational newspapers will provide our firm with the best source of advertising because it is inexpensive and accessible to most of our target audience, which are prospective and current college students. We will also make use of bulletin boards, department offices, career centers, educational online communities, and Internet relationship marketing programs.

2. Other Strategies

GSECI will offer one free search with each contact made for the first three months of operation, saving each of our prospective clients anywhere between $20.00 and $40.00.

Place

GSECI is a Limited Liability Partnership with its central office located in Seattle, Washington. An existing office is ready for immediate occupancy, which is owned by one of the partners. The cost to start GSECI is moderate for an international start-up. A partner-owner office facility will contribute the main office facilities for a one-year time period. These facilities currently have existing phone lines and other office equipment, such as computers, fax machines, and various office furniture. The cost of these facilities will be contributed for a one-year start-up period by a limited partner holding an 1/8 share in GSECI future profits. Ongoing costs for facilities management and basic business tools, including but not limited to the above mentioned items, will be negotiated one year from the date of GSECI incorporation. Leveraging these facilities will allow us to begin start-up operations very quickly and enable our initial run at client acquisition and revenue generation process.

GSECI's overseas representatives will work from their own home office facilities and be paid a commission according to each account acquired. This arrangement is seen as "agent" framework and each "agent" will negotiate commission rates independently with an Officer of GSECI.

Potential Liabilities/ Barriers to Success

While the market for our services is burgeoning, GSECI cannot ignore potential pitfalls of operating an international business. The following short list of issues may have impact on our ability to compete:

  • Economic environment in United States and Pacific Rim countries
  • Political environment in United States in relationship to trade with Asia
  • United States Immigration and Naturalization policies
  • United States federal investment in student transfer and endowment policies

Conclusion

GSECI is devoted to promoting cultural diversity and breaking down the barriers of international education. Because the demand for higher education is apparent worldwide, the services offered by GSECI will benefit many students from many countries. Through the introduction of the United States to other countries, and vice versa, cultural differences can one day be accepted worldwide. Through education, GSECI will pave the way toward heightened communication between students of an international and national exchange.

FINANCIALS

Business Start-up and Expected Business Costs

OPERATING MANAGEMENT 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 TOTAL
Founder and President
[Salary] $35,000 $75,000 $82,000 $85,000 $90,000 $397,000
OPERATIONS
Legal counsel $5,000 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $2,500 $15,000
5 sales agents
(training, travel, etc.) $50,000 $35,000 $35,000 $35,000 $35,000 $190,000
Marketing/PR/Adv/
1-800# (w/salary) $75,000 $60,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $285,000
Clerical support
(shared resource) $20,000 $22,000 $24,000 $32,000 $35,000 $133,000
Computers, phones,
desks, etc. $0 $15,000 $16,050 $17,174 $18,376 $66,599
Office space
rental/insurance $0 $10,000 $12,000 $14,000 $16,000 $52,000
OTHER
Business insurance $1,000 $1,000 $1,250 $1,250 $1,500 $5,000
Health insurance
(2 persons) $10,000 $12,000 $14,000 $15,000 $15,000 $96,000
TOTAL $196,000 $232,500 $236,800 $251,924 $263,376 $1,180,599

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