Bonnenote is an alternative to the private tutoring industry in French speaking countries.
Bonnenote is one of the first websites to our knowledge that aims to provide a custom and unique editorial support service for assignments targeting the French-speaking student community, starting from middle school all the way to Master’s. Through this platform, we provide our users with the best and most extensive resources to write high quality assignments in a period of time they consider optimal.
We give these students access to a simple and intuitive interface where they are able to find writers with a particular skillset in order to help them write quality assignments on request at a competitive and transparent price. Through our platform, students facing difficulties in any subject can request that an experienced writer supports them in writing an assignment as they would with a private tutor. The benefit for these students is having access to a wide database of writers that have been meticulously selected and without being imposed time or location constraints.
Our goal is to make students understand what they did not fully comprehend in class by sending them the “perfect” example of what is expected of them.
The writers that we have selected to work on our platform will be given the opportunity to earn an additional revenue stream while enjoying the benefits of working from home and deciding how long they wish to work by freely choosing their own assignments at a pre-determined price.
Bonnenote also intends to focus its efforts on continuously adding new services to help students gain a better education. In addition to writing assignments, we intend to expand our offering to allow our clients to purchase documents such as book summaries, flash cards for subjects of the baccalaureat, preparation for exams and even online tutoring. Bonnenote, which means “good grade” in French, should be the main destination for every student wishing to strengthen his academic knowledge.
Substantial accomplishments to date
First, we deployed resources to build the technological infrastructure behind our platform and the website Bonnenote.fr is now fully operational and accessible from a computer or a smartphone. The interface has been designed to facilitate the best ease of use for our clients and we continue to test and optimise the services we offer at every level.
The second milestone we achieved was to recruit talented professors, tutors, and students at the end of their curriculum to be writers at Bonnenote. We have been carefully analysing their resumes in order to select only the best from the initial applications we have received. We are continuously training them to use our website in a way that is optimal for our clients.
Furthermore, we have worked on several documents and tutorial videos that help our users, both students and writers, understand how the website operates and how to best take advantage of the services we offer. We also help our users on a daily basis to better understand our products and special offers by communicating directly with them through our chat system, available 24/7. Additionally, we have partnered with the website Plag.fr in order to check the plagiarism rate of every document that our writers send to students, which should not exceed 5%.
Our company generates revenue by collecting a fee on the price our clients pay to their tutors. The price that is charged to the student is calculated by our software and does not vary once an order is submitted. Further details on pricing are given below. However, the commission we charge, which corresponds to the difference between what the client pays and what the writer gets, is variable and depends on the satisfaction rating given by the student. Writers see the range (minimum to maximum) of the remuneration they will be paid before accepting an order from a client. It is then up to them to provide a top quality assignment to get the highest remuneration possible.
The quoted price for an order depends on the following three parameters:
1. The academic level.
2. The deadline from 12 hours to 1 month.
3. The number of pages.
We are targeting an average spend by a student to be €60 per assignment and an average fee Bonnenote retains on each assignment to be 23.2%.
Use of proceeds
The company intends to repay an outstanding directors loan of £60,000 with the funds raised as part of this investment round. This loan was originally put in place so Bonnenote would have sufficient funds to make the website operational prior to the Seedrs campaign.
As the website is now fully operational and the bulk of inception costs to build the platform have been covered, the remainder of funds raised through Seedrs will be used primarily for marketing purposes to strengthen our brand awareness and generate substantial order volumes for the future. Marketing expenses should represent roughly half our budget for the coming months. The remaining part of the proceeds will be used for improvements and maintenance of the website as well as paying salaries (although Bonnenote’s CEO will not be earning a salary until June 2017 at the earliest). The forecasted breakdown of our operating expenses is shown in the graph below:
Bonnenote positions itself in the sphere of educational assistance and tutoring. The private education market is broken down into several sub-segments but is now mostly dominated by private tuition. In 2016 the private tuition market in France stood at an estimated 2.5 billion euros. However, this number does not account for independent tutors that operate without declaring their revenues. French is also an official language in 29 countries around the world. According to our estimations, there is a total of 5.5 million potential customers in the countries we target.
Characteristics of target market
Our target clients are students, studying in French, who wish to enhance their knowledge in some subjects with the help of a professional writer. They are autonomous individuals who usually prefer working with concrete examples of high standard material. They may not be fully independent financially or have little purchasing power and thus would favour our services rather than paying for an expensive private tutor.
Parents who are not be able to help their children with their assignments (because they lack time, qualifications, or simply don’t speak French) also constitute a part of our potential clients as they may enjoy having this solution available to them. Qualified French speaking private tutors can also be hard to reach in some locations, especially outside of France.
In order for our marketing strategy to have the maximum impact on our clients, we have identified two distinctive deployment channels. We will first allocate most of our marketing resources to Digital Marketing, while the remaining part will go to Direct marketing which will allow us to get face-to-face interactions with our potential clients. The long-term breakdown of our expected marketing expenses is shown below:
To our knowledge, as of December 2016, Bonnenote has no direct competitor in this specific market. We are competing against a group of participants that offer private tuition services, but we believe we are the first to offer clients the possibility to order custom assignments. We are aware of existing companies allowing students to purchase assignments that have already been written by other students in the past but we have the conviction that our customers are looking for a superior offer, which we are providing to them.
Despite having what we perceive as an advantage of being an early mover in this market, future competitors may arise with services that resemble what Bonnenote provides to its clients. Our team has put in place what we believe to be the most rational strategy in terms of pricing and for attracting and retaining the best writers available, such that we stand fully prepared to face such competition if and when the time comes.
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