Welcome to Sienna, Sienna is software, a baby that will evolve from an
idea into networking business software the likes of which have not yet
been imagined. My peers describe Sienna as” Face Book for business”
I like to consider her “The Global Distribution System”
In Experience Africa.com I have created a website where the content contained
within its database can be shared with other companies.
For Sotheby’s Realtors Cape Town we have created the website Africa
Concierge, when a Sotheby’s client enquires for accommodation, Experience
Africa receive the enquiry and make the booking tacking a healthy margin.
We have approached other companies all of whom like the concept, if we
had enough programmers the project would snowball but in truth the current
website and database are only a demonstration. A more stable database
needs to be created integrating the duplication technique and adding financial,
shopping and CRM modules from the core.
It will take about 5 months to recreate database connectivity after which
we will be integrating companies on mass, all of whom will be encouraged
to upload or link their portfolios to Sienna’s database, Leo Trippi
for instance will be uploading there, Ski Chalets in Europe. If say Sotheby’s
were to book a skiing chalet from Leo Trippi, we do not get involved other
than to take a percentage of the commissions earned, automatically collected
Example a ski Chalet costs $10,000 to book, Leo Trippi give us a trade
price of $7,000 Sotheby’s buy for $8,000 and sell too their client
for $10,000 or $9,500 offering their client a discount
It is important to link with a GDS (Global Distribution System) as quickly
as possible, Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Holiday already have a significant
relationship with a GDS probably Galileo or Amadeus. Connection to the
GDS will give us the main foundations of a global offering not just an
African portfolio. Travel partners will sign up a lot quicker if they
were given the ability to make online booking for flights, hotels &
Consumer relationship management (CRM) systems are difficult to customize,
Sienna will create one that works for the travel industry integrated into
the booking procedure, this software will dramatically improve our affiliates
customer relations and efficiency,and hence their bookings will increase
as will Sienna’s profit. It will also encourage them to book Sienna’s
venues as opposed to others and further encourage them to upload their
own stock into Sienna’s database. Business using Sienna CRM will
love it and word of mouth will attract new businesses to use the software.
By linking financial software to the CRM and booking databases, inter
office financial and administrative details will be vastly improved and
mistakes far less likely. At first simply integrating into the CRM and
keep track of all bookings credits and payments will be incredibly useful,
later we will integrate the booking system directly into banks or more
to the point Virgin Money. It’s been done in South Africa by First
National Bank so it definitely possible.
One key to Sienna’s success will be the creation of fun user friendly
software, I’ve mentioned customizing it to a particular industry
but the real key comes from ease of use. All interfaces will be based
on management games for children over 12’s. If a 12 year old can
use it, even the most math struck book keeper, admin lacking sales person
or time strapped COE will really appreciate even love the ease of use,
usefulness, accuracy and enjoyment of the software. I estimate it will
take 9 months of development for the main website, CRM and the financial
module to be complete at which time we can launch a beta version (beta
versions are working software that are still being tested for bugs and
Once the beta version is complete we can launch the stand-alone product
for people to download. As word spreads clients will be introduced to
the system not only for trade agreements and cross selling but for its
business functionality. Whilst initial inroads are geared towards the
travel industry Sienna will branch out to other industries, fashion, wholesale
foods, Chinese exports, precious metals even oil. It’s all about
connecting the databases, which has only recently been possible as more
companies are now ordering their databases in the correct way for an API
interface to translate the data.
When we brand the product Sienna by Virgin is a matter for consideration,
the Virgin association will make more people trust the system, but it
will take some time for the beta version to be fully tested and stable.
As soon as it is stable, a public use version can be giving license free
to computer manufacturers like Dell to include the software with their
new computers, an excellent form of free distribution and product awareness.
As the software becomes more popular we can start to charge for licenses,
support and upgrades,much like Outlook Express comes free with Windows,
but to use Word you need to buy Office. This will be a lucrative source
of residual income.
All this time Sienna will be gaining inventory in many forms of business
and in many cases, like Gucci, Jimmy Choo are resold at trade prices by
Net A Porter, we will be able to offer trade prices to the public. With
Virgin consisting of 300 or so companies, adapting the software to big
business will dramatically increase stock levels and internet shop fronts.
Putting it all together and including e-mail we aim to be the preferred
browser for e-mail and daily life, running your finance, improving your
business and organizing your social life. And so I present Sienna and
provide a marketing plan to turn her into Facebook for business. After
Sienna becomes successful, I intent to give the vast majority of my profit
to good causes and I will encourage you to do the same. Such selfless
acts will boost Sienna’s brand love, which will be a big link in
the chain in gaining significant market share in connecting the world’s
I have chosen to present this proposal to Virgin as opposed to Microsoft,
Google or Expedia for personal ambition reasons and for purpose, this
software’s prolific earning potential is from sales not licensing.
As important are Virgin Money, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays will
be extremely beneficial to its cause.
Before we get to Face Book for business, Global commodity distribution,
financial and CRM software, bank and big business integration, I will
focus this business plan simply on phase 1, money generated from business
to business bookings in the mid to high end boutique travel industry.
When this is achieved the rest will follow.
I have created a detailed spreadsheet that tracks the first 30 months
of business and factors profit to 60 Months
This is a low forecast; Expenses are higher than necessary to allow for
research and expansion in other sectors. For the sake of caution, profits
are lower that I expect, as will be illustrated soon.
Before I get into specifics I’d like you to consider Amex, merchants
pay Amex about 3.5% every time they make a sale. Like Amex, Sienna will
have many merchants that pay about 10% each time they provide goods or
accommodation to their clients
The basics of what we are doing are finding areas where travel companies
have client interest but no website presence and little experience.
Once we have identified a suitable company we offer to expand their website,so
offering a comprehensive selection of venues and peripherals at discounted
rates for them to offer to their clients.
Whist we are targeting tour operators not travel agents, an example you
may equate to would be to for us to add a South American section to the
Virgin Holidays website, under the presumption that some virgin clients
would be interested in going to Rio.
Now I’m sure there’s a list of reasons why this would not
appeal to Virgin Holidays but to tour operators that do not have $100,000’s
of dollars to spend on the research, development and representation, the
concept has seen a 100% approval rate from our polls in the industry.
At a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars I have developed this concept
made the demo, the concept works, now we need to make the real thing,
this will take about 5 months, then we will start linking to websites.
With a five months heads up, our team of reps will generate a queue of
interested companies. Once linked these companies will make online bookings,
get direct enquiries, and will include there new venues or flights in
multi leg holidays, either way each time a booking is made we get paid,
a lot... on average 10% of the value of the entire booking.
So how many extra bookings will these companies make each year? How did
I reach the figure that is the pillar of the expected $150,000,000 5 year
return? A hundred, a thousand maybe, well actually for the sake of caution
I have estimated only 3 holiday bookings a year!
At the begging of the 2009/2010 South African holiday season, I instructed
my Cape Villas sales staff simply to ask their clients if they would also
like to book a Game Lodge. Three clients said yes and we made about $10,000
each, we found when we booked a game lodge we also booked their connecting
flights and connecting hotels, instead of just accommodation provider
we became a tour operator. This was achieved without any web presence
It goes to pass that surely if we had a large web presence we would have
done better, our website visitors would enquire directly for new offerings,
and our existing clients will consider us more experienced and knowledgeable.
Cape Villas is not a big company, barley turning $500,000 a year. In the
immediate catchment group of companies we would like to integrate with
there must be at least 5,000 that make greater turnover.
Given the tools Sienna provides, to think these companies would not equal
Cape Villas 09/01 performance seems ridiculous and I’m sure it is,
they will do better for sure, some much better.... but for the sake of
under promising and over delivering this is the figure we have used.
Just to clarify, we are not relying on these companies making safari holiday
bookings; this is just the working demo that we have created. Given, our
data in putters, researchers, consultants, a GDS feed and data contributing
affiliates we will within a year have a concise global portfolio.
Example, by tacking Sienna’s feed an Ibiza based villa rental company
could now offer Ibiza hotels, flights and Car Hire and a comprehensive
presence in Majorca, Tenerife and Spain.
I hope I have made my point, and I hope you feel that my baseline per
company earnings figure of $30,000 a year is achievable. If you do then
this should be a no brainer, the rest of the math is sound. The only question
you should be asking is “how seriously do we take this” with
300 Virgin companies, many worth billions $150,000,000 is a mere pittance,
a drop in the ocean.
Read the rest of my proposal and I hope you can believe, as I do that
the mid to high end boutique tour operator market is only a 100th maybe
just a 1000th of Sienna’s potential, and that’s a lot of money,
an evolution in economics even, so please I’d appreciate Virgins
Would more money and a team of Virgin’s best and brightest speed
things up, sure it will and of course I’d like that, but good management
and HR aside, we can do this for $3,000,000
The first phase of development is complete. Experience Africa is an accredited
tour operator, operating in the mid to high end sector, generating revenue
by earning commission when booking travel arrangements for their clients.
Commission received is from 25% to 50%, and so a 2 week holiday including
a safari would generate from $5,000 to $25,000
Now that the research has been done, the website launched, and staff trained
it’s time to get some clients. Rather than advertise in print media
or on Google, creating an affiliate network is without cost. There are
literally hundreds maybe thousands of international tour operators who
do not specialize in Africa, but have repeat clients that would like to
go. A good example would be Leo Trippi pictured bottom right. When Leo
Trippi gets an enquiry they contact Experience Africa (or another) and
ask them to put the holiday together for them.
As Experience Africa book accommodation directly with the Villas, Hotels
& Safaris and have developed a relationship they receive from 25%
to 50% discount. Experience Africa will offer Leo Trippi venues that offer
a 35% discount or more and pass on a 20% discount. Financially it works
for both parties.
Not being a specialist in Africa, Leo Trippi’s website has a couple
of villas and safari’s and small write up on Africa, enough to convince
a loyal client that they have some knowledge but when it comes to putting
a package together, a broader range of venues is needed. So photographs
and descriptions are emailed back and forth from Experience Africa to
Leo Trippi to the client, the last thing Leo Trippi are going to do is
to introduce their client to their supplier. The email sending process
is slow, can be confusing and lacking professionalism, thus decreasing
the likelihood of the client booking.
Leo Trippi with a comprehensive website benefits them in many ways, there
agents will have greater product knowledge, communication with their clients
will be seamless and immediate, plus their clients will have more options
to browse through. Also their website visitors are more likely to enquire
in the first place, a win, win situation.
To avoid confusion please understand Experience Africa is just the demo
model. In reality Leo Trippi given their new website will be able to put
the holiday together themselves and book venues directly through Sienna.
Another think to consider is that the knife cuts both ways. Not only will
Leo Trippi book Sienna’s venues, Leo Trippi will also upload their
exclusive portfolio of Ski Chalets for other affiliates to book. Streaming
the Experience Africa data to the Leo Trippi website and changing the
layout to Match Leo Trippi’s design was too time consuming for our
demo model, so for our first test example we teamed up with Sotheby’s.
Our first duplicate site is finishedwww.AfricaConsierge.com for Sotheby’s
Realty CT (pictured left). It’s not just tour operators that have
clients that wish to travel to Africa, many businesses will benefit, concierge
companies, villa rental companies, Estate Agents, even the venues themselves
will benefit for offering additional venues in a multi leg holiday.
The Africa Concierge website is near an exact duplicate of the Experience
Africa website save company details, but it’s not linked to the
Sotheby’s main site, if it were it would be very successful.
Look at the two websites below, identical layouts so you believe it’s
the same website. Look at the tabs inside the pink circles, which are
how one navigates between the two different website. The DG Rentals site
was created in 2003 by my then employee Will Mellor, now it now contributes
significant income and brings new core business to D G’s property
sales site. D&G like Leo Trippi are very keen for us to provide them
a travel site. Denise Dogon (CEO) further mentioned that she was looking
to overhaul all of her websites, as our website templates are totally
adaptable and easy to customize in time she will consider transferring
all her property data to our template, I expect this to happen often,
people will start using our additions but then integrate their own stock
Group Property Sales
Group Property Rentals
There are 4 GDS’s specific to the travel industry; Galileo, Amadeus,
World Span and Sabre. Originally Galileo was created to store the airline
reservations information for 11 of the world’s largest airlines
so interconnecting flights could be made. Now Galileo and the other 3
GD’s store the majority of the world flight, hotel and car hire
Virgin Airways flight information will be processed by one of the GDS’s
probably Galileo but maybe Amadeus. I expect the majority of Virgin Holidays
bookings will be made with assistance from the GDS again probably Galileo
but maybe Amadeus.
Either way, Galileo, Amadeus, Saber or World Span. Virgin already has
a significant relationship with a GDS.
My first dealings with the GDS’s were in 2002, much like now, I
wished to draw availability information from the GDS into a database and
present it to the public via a website.
In those days Galileo had a product called Kick Start or was it Jump start,
This product was specifically designed to offer on line booking to SME’s
websites, it was still in the development stage and its costs were about
$10,000 a year plus set up.
We had meetings with Galileo SA’s management and found an excellent
XML programmer that could make it happen, the trouble was I did not have
the money at the time.
Not to give up we teamed up with a Galileo rebel and South African royalty
Dumani Mandela, Moyikwaand Shaka Sisulurepresenting their fathers BEE
(Black Economic Empowerment) companies in an audacious bid to bring Sabre
to Africa, but Sabre had no plans to go in to Africa at that time. Disappointed
I closed down my South African Hotel websites and concentrated on Villas
rentals. Without a GDS link hotel bookings created far too much admin.
Anyway skip 9 years, I’m back again and It baffles me why an out
the box GDS solution does not exist. Anyway this is no longer my concern,
Virgin will I’m sure be able to get a GDS feed one way or the other.
Expedia has it, Hotels.com had it we need it, maybe we can piggy back
of them, I think they are actually owned by one of the GDS’s alternately
you can bet one of the others would like to compete.
What will a GDS link give us?
For a start its gives us a completely global booking capacity for car
hire, flights and Hotels, not the information and media that has to be
researched or provided and rates need to me negotiated, but Virgin Holidays
will have already done this for most destinations in the world so were
off to a flying start.
Let’s look at the Ibiza based Villa company example made in the
“Example, by tacking Sienna’s feed an Ibiza based villa rental
company could now offer Ibiza hotels, flights and Car Hire and a comprehensive
presence in Majorca, Tenerife and Spain.”
The availability information for hotels, Car hire and flights comes from
Give a tour operator or Villa specialist preferential rates, the power
to reserve flights, hotels and car hire at the touch of a button and a
website to show these products to their clients and they will have the
power of a Travel Agent.
I know by having and using the tools provided in the Sienna package if
I were to carry on with Cape Villas or Experience Africa I’d have
the power to take them a long way, really compete on the world stage.
The GDS is a great tool, as is the customizable website, combine them
with the customer relationship and accounting tools, and it’s an
even playing field. A one man show could be as effective as a Travel Agent.
Eventually linking to Sienna will become essential for the industry.
ADS – Alternate Distribution System
As best I remember 2009 saw ADS’s overtake GDS’s in volume
of tourism bookings, There are thousand maybe hundreds or thousands of
ADS. Sienna is and ADS.
The difference between Siena and a normal ADS is Sienna main task is to
connect to other ADS’s The companies we wish to interact with such
as Leo Trippi have small portfolios maybe 50 venues to which they control
the reservations, by tapping into their databases we add unique inventory
to our portfolio. If we look at field AB “Outsourced” in the
financial spreadsheet, this money has been set aside solely for the purpose
of creating such integrations. By month thirty I have targeted 1730 companies
to be linked in this way and set aside +/-$600,000 in programmers to do
this maybe we need more maybe less but add the portfolios of 1730 or so
independents to the GDS portfolio and we will store more travel reservation
information than any other company. We will ourselves be considered a
like linking to the GDS, a good CRM will also benefit our affiliate companies.
By making this for them we increase their efficiency, productivity so
increasing our turnover.
But also via the back door, we are making it easier for them to work with
our stock than that of others. Plus if they have their own stock they
will see more value to allowing us to tap into their databases.
The bottom line is the more efficient we can make our partners the more
market share they will gain against their current and future competitors,
the more turnover they will generate and the more profit we make.
Traditional CRM software is designed to increase productivity and brand
love. An organizer of client’s information diarized to keep the
sales staff admin efficient and increase customer interaction, by forms
or reminders and auto functions like a thank you email after their clients
have finished their holiday. Sienna will go a lot further.
If we look at the example on the right where one is reminded of a client’s
birthday and at a touch or a button a list of gifts to send is presented.
This example is just one of many functions that will be available from
the organizer, all of which will be as simple to use.
I have used the two market leading CRM programs in South Africa. The trouble
with them is they are multipurpose, made to be used by all industries
which make them hard to program to your specific industry’s needs,
they have minimal financial integration, need a dedicated server to run
and email tracking is manual. I battled with both of them, hiring consultants
and dedicating senior staff to implementation but to no avail, eventually
after thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours we gave up. Our affiliate
targets will have had the same problems and I’m sure they will warm
to Sienna’s CRM very quickly.
For Management and Customer Services,
Once the sales personal has made the booking someone needs to look after
the clients, we could not find any software anywhere that kept a management
overview of client’s payments and movements.
Using the information put into the CRM by the Sales Persons we can construct
an easy to use calendar view of all clients movements arrivals and departures
by linking to the financial system covered next all their payment information
will be available as well. A perfect overview for Management and Clients
When we branch into other industries, say fashion we can customize it
to the trade. Eventually when we offer the Sienna Software to the public,
they too will find the organizer tab as I have called it very useful,
like Face book it will remind you of your friends and relatives birthdays,
but with the advanced option of offing to send cards and presents.
above is the screen from the CRM or Organizer. Like in other areas you
can choose what is to be displayed on your home page, I have chosen “Workflow”,
“Sales overview “and “Sales Targets” but a host
of other widgets could be alternatively displayed.
Below highlights the detail and simplicity of use of the “Client
relations” application Good client relations are key to gaining
repeat business and building your brand. By sending flowers to very important
clients on their birthday they are reminded of your company with love,
making your client more likely to re book and talk to friends and family
about your company. Options to auto send, cards, welcomes, thank you’s,
special offers, newsletters and gifts are available. Every gift sent will
make residual income.
In the same
way that a connection to the GDS and a good CRM Organizer will be of benefit
to our affiliates so would a dedicated finance program
If it’s going to fall apart 9 out of 10 times is due to poor financial
management and controls. I have given this much thought over the last
10 years the accountants kept saying use Pastel, use Pastel, so after
many years of trying in 2010 I bit the bullet and spent ¼ of my
turnover, $150,000 implementing pastel accounting, once complete it was
of no use and the staff needed to run it a wasted expense.
I know what I wanted, baseline monthly costs and expenses and more importantly
a standstill of my net worth if all debts were paid and all credits accrued.
Pastel and SA 5th biggest accounting company given an unlimited budget
could not provide the latter.
Fortunately to program software specific to the travel industry that can
provide these statistics track bookings and payments and create management
reports is pretty easy if you give the users the ability to load all their
day to day expenses alongside their booking information we create a complete
accounting tool. Other time consuming and labor intensive tasks such as
calculating salaries, PAYE , VAT and yearend tax returns are easy to include.
As the financial modal is directly linked to the Consumer Relationship
Management software accuracy is assured. The sales person inputs the request,
makes the booking, the client checks it and then it goes seamlessly into
the financial application for payment or process. No need for any administrative
or financial staff and no errors.
So like the CRM the Sienna financial offering will increase our partner’s
efficiency submerging them deeper into Sienna’s care.
And again like the CRM we can customize its use to other industries and
the public will find it most useful, especially if we can integrate in
to a bank or banks.
I don’t expect this to be in place before beta launch in 11 months
but direct bank integration would make this system universally popular.
(First National Bank, South Africa) approached me a few years back with
their beta version of software that could directly link there bank to
reservation software, I’m not sure what happened there but it obviously
can be done, linking a bank to financial software is brilliant, no mistakes,
no fraud, no data captures, I’m sure virgin money would do well
by making this connection or “switch” as I believe it is known.
At a later stage and I suppose the end game of Sienna Finance is to be
trusted to submit audited financial accounts for PTY companies and have
complete export function to down load to Pastel and other accounting software.
Again like the CRM, this functionality will be of use in other industries
and to the public.
the bank switch to Virgin Money is an idea that would be useful; I have
some other functional and marketing plans to be implemented when phase
1 is complete.
The principal being creating a website for travel companies to sell our
goods from can be replicated across many industries, as can the specifics
of the financial and CRM applications. Fashion seems like an obvious choice,
Everyone keeps fling to the Far East to do their shopping, If we tapped
in to the manufacturers inventory databases and negotiated a bulk trade
discount we could offer the west hundreds of manufacturers products, in
turn we will build or add to their existing sites to offer consumables
in keeping with the core stock represented by the company.
Budding dress designing could make their own site, put their own inventory
on and add accessories as they chose whilst at the same time making all
there dresses and suits available for other Sienna Users to look at and
I have not thought about this a lot but it’s defiantly possible
given planning. And for that matter just about every commodity one can
buy will be tradable in the same way, it’s really all about connecting
all the databases and now is the time, and others will have similar ideas.
Maybe in different industries but the battle for database connectivity
will start soon.
Once we have made all the modules, we will make a public version, that
contains all the bells and whistles of the business version but has a
few other useful functions as well, To give it value we will put in a
box a maybe sell a few copies in South Africa, does not matter if anyone
buys it, It gives it a value. Then if we were to approach the worlds computer
manufactures like Dell, HP, Acer etc. and offer the software license fee
to insert as startup software with their computers I’m sure most
Our research in South Africa has been met with one obstacle that is the
Microsoft have to give permission, maybe they will, that's really more
for you than me to do but if there is a problem Microsoft have been in
trouble with monopolies before and so they may be an angle there, another
thought I have on this matter is if all powerful Virgin asked computer
manufacturers it would be very different to our technical staff.
I’m not sure how many computers are sold in a year but it’s
a lot, and that’s a lot of exposure to our business options and
in future our shopping options.
Eventually we can offer computer companies light versions and charge for
Once Sienna is introduced to the general public by my means of direct
purchase, download or inclusion in new computers via pre-installed software,we
can switch the business to business connectivity to business to customer.
Some business will be opposed to this concept as they will not wish us
to undercut their existing outlets, but as Sienna is business orientated
software not an e-commerce website the line as to whether ordering from
Sienna is direct to customer or business is defiantly blurred and few
will fuss unless pressured from suppliers and then it comes down to volume,
if we are doing more volume than their current complaining supplier they
will not interfere.
Many companies will not mind regardless, Gucci, Jimmy Choo and many other
brands are represented by Net a Porter who sells items at trade prices
direct to the public.
In my home industry of Tourism 80% of suppliers will not complaint, most
won’t give it a second thought the last thing they want to do is
The one thing I know about big business is the wheels usually turn slowly,
change is often feared. My examples with introducing big business to this
concept come from Pam Golding, maybe not big business in Virgin teems
but big enough, having approached the Cape Town MD who loved it and wanted
it, feeding it up the chain saw it in the hands of the Media department
and an objection about keeping things in house. Of course this is media
and their jobs are threatened by such an advent, I did not bother perusing
them, my approach was only to test the market, but lesson learnt, big
business are not as easily persuaded to evolve.
My financials do not account for big business, but I’m sure there
plenty of business to be made. If I reproached Pam Golding with the same
product associated with Virgin then I’m sure it would be a different
If Pam Golding were to add a travel section to their website or Marks
and Spenser’s or any other brand loved company a lot of profit would
Last time I read Virgin consisted of 300 or so companies, I’m sure
many of these would benefit from using various aspects of Sienna, we will
tailor make big business solutions and implement the same core software
structure though many of your companies. Once it’s good enough to
run a fleet of Virgin companies it will be by far the most concise big
business software available and Other Big business will integrate.
Google & Facebook
The advantages of integrating into both Google and Face book are numerous,
Google could adapt our code (or more to the point stop blocking it) to
make our affiliates websites appear closer to the top of their search
results and Face Book could integrate our CRM financial and shopping solutions,
as far as I can see it this can be done in one of 3 ways, an alliance,
profit share or some other incentive for Google to promote our software.
If this is not possible they would certainly want to buy Sienna, but preferable
Sienna will buy Google, we will see.
These future ideas have come to me over the last month, I am an ideas
man, and people say a visionary and they will not stop I constantly analyze
everything often finding solutions, a curse a school but useful now although
my head is often overloaded. My point is this is not the entire concept,
this is just the first chapter, by the time you read this there will be
more, and by the time we reach phase 2 there will be many more ideas.
In the end it’s just about connecting the databases, the technology
via API has only been possible for a short while, for me the end game
is to connect all the databases though Sienna so crating THE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION
SYSTEM for all business. I will be giving near all my money to charity
so I feel it’s something I need to do not want to do.
Thank you, Nick Ray Ball, Father of Sienna Skye Ball: November 24, 2009
- August 01 2010
This spreadsheet is contains sample data of the project costs, the main
spreadsheet (provided) details each month. The important factor is the
total pound amount which carries to the profit and loss financiall forecast.
The income calculations, take into consideration, the amount of users,
and the speed it will take the users to use the system to its fullpotential
(This data is found on the provided spreadsheet.
user types are identifies. I: Data feed, where users share their inventory.
II: Web Feed, where users draw content from the system. III: Out The Box,
where users have downloaded the software or received it for free with
their computer, this income stream provides a lot more users, however
said users will rarely use the system to its fullest.
(c) Profit & Loss”
Here we see
a basic profit and loss forecast using the figures created from the two
precious sections, the project first coming into the black after 28 Months.
(c) Profit & Loss”
the Month 30, profits increase dramatically as both more users use the
software and initial users use the software more effectively.
the 60th month a pretax profit of £122,936,828 is forecast, and
one can see incremental growth in cash flow vs. slow increases in spending.
This is due to the project being affiliate based; there are plenty of
support staff, developers and researchers. However the majority of the
work is none by the software and networks, and the majority on the data
and venues that appear on the websites inputted by companies within the
network, with the network tacking a fee for connecting agent to supplier.
(c) Profit & Loss”
At the time
of pretention to Virgin, I had not looked at the following 60 months,
however by calculation the average increase in income from Months 60 to
120 at 10% every 2 months, then deducting the pro rate increase in cost
at1%, the applying a 9% increase each year the 12 year forecast comes
(d) Financial Analysis”
For the first
12 months we are looking at a cost of about £200,000 a month. Whilst
a lot of thought has gone into calculating this figure, please allow a
25% margin for unknown complications. This does not include VIRGIN’s
By 12 months Sienna will be fully released and we will have 135 partners
integrated to the network. It will take new partners about 10 months to
reach potential each has been recorded as earning £2,000 a month,
an easily achievable target. When partners make £2,000 a month we
Partners start generating income in month 8.
Please note that the financials do not factor VAT or TAX, this aside....
At month 17 Sienna becomes profitable, at this time an investment of around
£3,350,000 will have been made.
At Month 28 Sienna is in the black
At Month 60 Sienna’s pretax profits for the niche travel industries
The above calculates the growth of new business who connect to the network
by sales people and researchers, who will be contacting the companies
that we feel would most benefit from connecting to Sienna.
It does not account for residual money made by the Flagship websites we
create for VIRGIN HOLIDAY’s or the Condé Nast Traveller magazine
distribution promoting these Flagship websites. It’s quite possible
this will make VIRGIN HOLIDAY’s similar figures.
Sienna can be easily adapted to other industries. Within the VIRGIN family
alone there are over 300 companies specializing in different industries.
Not all industries will be as successful as the travel industry but many
will. I’m sure given a think tank we could come up with 100 other
suitable business types. If all performed as well as the travel industry
we would be looking at £12,000,000,000 for other small and medium
The Financial Forecast only accounts for small and small to medium business,
but as the network grows we can offer existing brands completely new wings
to their company MARKS & SPENSOR TRAVEL for interest.
Big Business and known brands will generate similar, if not greater revenue.
When the time is right and suppliers entrenched in Sienna it will be time
to open Sienna to the public, this may take 18 months maybe 3 years, either
way it’s difficult for me to estimate profit but I’d hope
for a similar figure as Big Business.
told Sienna’s 6 years profits should reach: £36,900,000,000.
After thought, considering the 120 month figures:
All told Sienna’s 12 years profits should
History – 2000 - 2011”
I Visited Cape Town, South Africa, purchased property and decided to immigrate
and create an internet tourism company.
2000. Back in London I purchased many “.com”
domain names including www.CapeVillas.com.
Launched my first Cape Town tourism website www.CapeTownHoliday.com (now
I Moved from Epsom, Surrey, England to Cape Town, South Africa
under a 2 year Work Visa to start my internet business “CAPE GO”
Developed the world’s first Virtual Tour created in Adobe
Read the words by Search Engine Guru Michael Campbell “Why
bother with Search Engine optimization at all. Just create an affiliate
program and let others do the marketing for you”. Started
to research affiliate marketing programs, the key was exclusive stock
I combined my Virtual Tour technology with a web development company’s
content management database and created Cape Villas.com
South African international business VISA’s rules change, from a
minimum investment of R1,000,000 to R3,000,000. I met with the Department
of Trade and Industry and an exception was made. It was stated, “The
DTI believe that Cape Go will be future leaders in the emerging internet
Approached Multi Choice, South Africa’s only Satellite network and
asked if they would air our product on their new digital channel, we got
the green light. I considered how to make revenue and researched on line
bookings, my findings showed we needed to be connected to a GDS (Global
Distribution System). Galileo were biggest in South Africa and they provided
a Systems Architect that could make the link.
Teamed up with Dumani Mandela, Shaka and Moweaqua Sisulu, together we
made an approach to attract Sabre (Another GDS) to come to Africa.
2004. Cape Villas emerges as the leading Villa Rental
Agency in Africa.
begin to introduce the Pastel Accounting software.
our first affiliate programmer; I took long leases on 5 Cape Town Villas
& Mansions and offered them to international tour operators and local
Finished development of the CAPE VILLAS open source line open
access calendar and booking system, linking property owners, property
managers, Tour Operators, Film Production Companies and Villa Rental Agencies.
This was the first version of SIENNA’s affiliate marketing software.
Our booking system holds the availability information of over 50 venues.
Turnover increases, and the affiliate marketing starts paying off, with
about 40% of bookings made my by Travel agents and Tour operators.
to customize and programmer PASTEL’s” ACT” CRM (Consumer
Relationship Management) software.
2008. Attended 3 day South Africa tourism conference
and had the idea for a pan African villa company “The Leading Villas
of Africa” or LV Africa
2008. Decided to approach VIRGIN as partner and wrote the first draught
of what is now this business plan addressed to Sir Richard.The first draught
detailedcombining my current company’s technology and affiliate
marketing with a computer game based on becoming a villa rental giant.
Combining our Virtual Tour Technology to add excellent graphics to a normal
turn based management game would be appealing. Interviewing and offering
the best players global franchises would make the Game unique
Wrote a script about a TV reality show based around our business, celebrities
that and the world cup.
2009. Launched the 140 page CAPE VILLAS glossy coffee
table magazine, with 28,000 copies distributed with Condé Nast
Traveller. Soon after Bulgari contacted us offering around £100,000
sponsors of our next publication.
on the “Leading Villas of Africa” Coffee table book, after
due consideration we decided to add hotels and safaris, we continued working
whist we looked for a more appropriate brand name.
Read about Virgin’s new businesses committee in Sir Richards’s
En Lighten customer service and branding lecture, VIRGIN were championed
as the best example of branding. An interesting lecturer described the
4 evolutions of economics that lead to the current Experience Economy.
I wanted to use the word experience in my new brand. I purchased the web
www.ExperienceAfrica.com and change LV Africa’s trading name to
Experience Africa and registered with the Tourism office. We started constructing
the lecture once more, with most of my Staff, and then started twice monthly
workshops with En Lighten.
During these workshops we brainstormed how to improve customer service,
promote our brand and improve customer retention.Many of the original
CRM (Consumer Relations Management) functions I want to incorporate into
SIENNA were conceptualized during this process. We tried to incorporate
these into the ACT CRM software but it became obvious we would have to
programmer our own CRM from scratch, started creating advanced CRM specifications.
2010. We realized installing the Pastel Software would
take specialist programming. We asked BDO Accounting firm to properly
install and customize PASTEL into my companies, this went way over budget
at around £130,000. When installed PASTEL gave bottom line cost
and turnover stats, which were useful but it could not give me my profit
and loss standstill, which was vital. I realized like the CRM the only
way to get the software to do what I wanted was to program it myself;
I started working on the specifications which were the foundation for
the financial module.
In July the beta (test) version of the Experience Africa website was finished.
At the same time Sotheby’s Realty Cape Town approached Cape Villas
for a closer working partnership, they wished to offer their portfolio
of properties to our clients and wished to capitalize on their clients
that wanted to book holiday villas. I suggested we made an exact duplicate
of the Experience Africa website for them to use, they were ecstatic and
so AFRICA CONSIERGE was created, and soon enquiries started to roll in,
when a bookings was made, we split the income. The knife cut both ways,
we gave SOUTHEBY’s the functionality to upload their properties
onto the system to appear on our Experience Africa website, If we had
a client for their property we pass the client on and split the income
On August the 1st personal tragedy saw me leaving South Africa to spend
time with my parents in England and travel to Thailand. This was a time
of contemplation and soul searching. During my travels I had time to contemplate
the effects of creating more duplicate websites for other companies and
combing the various other modules and marketing methods.
I arrived back in South Africa and after a few weeks of settling I wrote
up a proposal and approached various companies asking them if they would
like a website similar to SOTHEBY’s all were excited and we agreed
to start work when the tourism season slowed down.
issues regarding duplicating websites sites and in internal bust up within
the outsourced Experience Africa website developers saw the decision to
restart the website with the web duplicating process central to its programming
plus the addition of the CRM and Financial modules plus a link to the
At this point
I knew I had the complete package and it was time to complete my proposal
Started work on Final proposal to VIRGIN
2011. Continue to work on proposal, which starts to develop
into a business plan.
I add some of the marketing ideas previously considered such as the Magazine,
Game and TV reality show.
Considered a connection with VIRGIN MONEY’s database
Consider free distribution of the software with new computers.
Start to work on Financial Forecast
Change the name from NRBS (Nick Ray Ball Systems) to SIENNA (Super Intelligent
Engine for New Network Access)
Created Executive Summary
March 18th 2011: Sent Executive Summary to Fiona Ross, Head of Brand Virgin