Get Your Green: Business Plan for a Plant-Lover Website

What was delivered?

 

We "built" a company running the website "Get Your Green" for gardeners and plant lovers to communicate, learn and buy. Leading a team of 6, I conducted user research, functionality design, market analysis and built a wireframe.

 

Current Features:

 
  • A unique idea of focusing on helping people grow their be loved plants better;
  • A start-up company business plan with:
    • Market segmentation investigation: office workers and students
    • Target user interview
    • SWOT analysis
    • Task and general environment analysis
    • Overall strategy
    • Structure of company and motivation
    • Financial plans

How was it achieved?

Ideation: What should we create?
Ideation | Brainstorming
 

After defining our problem space and did some user research, we brainstormed 15 ideas each and picked 4 most promising ones. We did some research on the business modes of each idea as well as their competitive websites, and the "green idea" got very positive results.

Moved to detailed website functions, we came up with more than 30 functions. A card sorting method was used to classify the functions into groups: Introduction to different plants, methods to grow and take care of the plants, forums to communicate experience, online stores of plants seeds, soil, flowerpot and other related things.

 

Market segmentation: Who will use our websites?
Survey | info Graphic
 

With basic understanding of our potential users who are: 1) able to get online and 2) with some interests in plants growing, we did an extensive investigation by questionnaire, to learn more about our target users, do market segmentation, and revise our functional sections.

 

Infographic made on easel.ly

 

Office workers and students were two of the target users. A new section of seasonal campaign was added, while the introduction section was eliminated.

 

More analysis, more business
SWOT analysis | Task environment analysis

A SWOT Analysis was conducted to find out the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats of the website.

In order to take advantages of the strengths and opportunities,  as well as avoid risks, four strategies were set:

  • SO: to add online social factors to attract active users;
  • WO: build up specialized delivery team and network;
  • ST: decrease inventory level to get a lower cost
  • WT: Research on new, particular product lines

 

 

Another Task Environment Analysis was conducted including parts of suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors and barriers to entry.

New profitable offering was found: specialized logistics in plants and flowers will occupy the market for further development. And this was determined to be the second-round strategy for the website.

Main problems for Get Your Green landed on the fact that on the first stage of website, it would be hard to make people know our product. Ads and on-campus promotion plans were set for making people know our website.

Other analysis conducted included Plans &Strategies, Organization Structure, Motivation Plan and Financial Planning done by my teammates.


Wireframes for basic features - how it will look like?
Wireframing | functionality design
 

Limited with time, I was only able to make the wireframe of the main page and four key functions:


My Contribution & Insight:

 
  • Organized discussions, attribute tasks to the whole team
  • Set overall directions, design and distribute questionnaires (in the crowded subway in Beijing!), then analyze data in detail
  • Determine user profile and market segmentation, choose students and office workers as our main customers, analyze task environment
  • Design wireframe in Moqups, settle detailed functions and future strategy of the website

There are more and more start-up companies related to Internet and E-business. However, during the project, it gradually came to me that starting a business small like a "hobby community" is extremely difficult if we want to make money! It was certainly a challenge for me to lead our team to bring something new to the world, especially to market in China. I was trained from broad perspectives from this project: from user study, market segmentation, environment analysis, financial planning, to wireframes.


What's more, I was really surprised that here in China, we have so few companies that serves particularly in the delivery of flowers and plants. High requirement for timing, refrigerators to keep plants fresh in vehicles and warehouses, and packaging are all external constraints for companies to step into this new area. Great market place with great challenges! I am really happy to find this new need for our Chinese customers:D