Litigation Services Company Business Plan
ACME LITIGATION COMPANY
4700 11 Mile Road
Royal Oak, Michigan 48067
ALC provides general and specialized business support and process services for the legal and engineering business community. ALC's services are centered on the need for clear, concise communication and research needs legal and engineering firms face when experiencing and/or responding to litigation in relation to employee performance, injury, or product safety and use.
- COMPANY OVERVIEW
- BUSINESS MODEL & SERVICE DELIVERY PRACTICES
- PRICING STRATEGY
- BUSINESS CHALLENGES
- SALES & MARKETING PLAN
Acme Litigation Company is an independently operated company located in Southeastern Michigan, founded by Mrs. Lyn Kondrako in the summer of 1999, and is now entering its third year of profitability. ALC provides general and specialized business support and process services for the legal and engineering business community. ALC's services are centered on the need for clear, concise communication and research needs legal and engineering firms face when experiencing and/or responding to litigation in relation to employee performance, injury, or product safety and use.
This business summary does not go into detail of all of ALC's individual capabilities and services provided, but they are described categorically in the following three areas:
Providing clients with deposition summarization services and legal support for expert witness testimony. These clients include cases and development for plaintiff, defendant, and expert witness clients. Thus providing the greatest value for ALC's current client base. This service set makes up ALC's largest client base and revenue stream.
Ergonomic and product use compliance
Providing clients with analysis and data study services for ergonomic issues including injury data, product effectiveness, and common use serves clients with specialized information in support of product development and litigation support documentation.
Product safety and product use research
Providing clients with product safety compliance and regulation research and litigation trend data brings value to clients in the form of real-world intelligence on common use of products, product effects on common consumer and industrial users, as well as providing a "window" into alternative uses for products initially intended for another use.
ALC's typical client is specialized, by profile and historical industry capability, particularly the industrial and transportation industries. Our target client profile is primarily expert witnesses and leaders in the engineering and ergonomic/human factors business community with considerable emphasis on those also servicing individual law firms, attorney groups, and to a lesser extent, product manufacturers and service providers. Our client profile is a dynamic driven by market forces and client need. We do not have a "specific" client profile other than the loose framework mentioned above. Our services and capabilities, although concentrated at times to a specific industry, are leveragable across multiple industries and legal communities.
ALC's employees are its strength. ALC's business is all about employee experiences, education, flexibility, and relationships. ALC's employees are handpicked by the owner and are experienced in a wide breadth of legal and business areas. Our employees bring industry relationships and the opportunity to leverage those relationships to bring growth to the company. First and foremost, the legal community builds its business on relationships and trust. We must operate successfully within those relationships to maintain a successful enterprise.
BUSINESS MODEL & SERVICE DELIVERY PRACTICES
ALC's business and service delivery model can be summed up in one sentence. We are a small company operating on a contractor-type operating model. We manage and leverage a network of subcontractors across the continental U.S. to provide a suite of services at the project level for immediate and longer-term client support. Our services and relationships to clients results in an environment of mutual trust for on-time delivery and client satisfaction. We are only as good as our employees can deliver on a day-to-day basis. Each project must exceed client expectations.
ALC provides services to its clients on a per hour, per project basis. The constant flow of growing client requests enables us to manage our growth as desired and as we choose to manage. Our business model is based on leveraging a closely held network of individuals, all acting in a subcontractor business capacity to the enterprise with direct responsibility to meeting client expectations and direct responsibility to ALC for business management. ALC retains the responsibility for payment for hours worked and employee training and development needs.
We make extensive use of client based pass-through billing practices. It is our belief that the fewer the amount of line item expenses and unnecessary complexity in our accounting and business processes the smoother our operations will run. We establish trust-based relationships with our clients to leverage THEIR organization and operational business processes to pass through the largest percentage of cost and operating expenses without directly impacting our accounting and business procedures. For example, by leveraging client administrative resources, communications, package shipping, and sundry practices, our expense line grows "thinner," thus avoiding additional cost structure for an internal administrative support structure.
Our pricing strategy is based on competitive, market-oriented pricing models for a nationally blended, non-city, industry or client specific rate. We use services industry norms in establishing our strategies and policies. Our basic rate structure is outlined below:
|• Per hour based on level of experience and pages per hour||$30-40.00/hour|
|• Per hour based on expectations of project completion date, i.e. rush||$37.50-45.00/hour [variable to schedule]|
|• Per hour based on specialized client requirements||$40-55.00/hour [variable to client and project]|
The average blend of hourly revenue is $35-$45.00 for deposition summarization and rush services. Special rates are developed at a higher level on a project-by-project basis for advanced service offering sets, typically $40-$50.00/hour. While our pricing norms are highly competitive, we are not considered the low-cost provider on an actual rate-basis, nor on a service-delivery basis. Our service pricing is squarely positioned in the "middle" amongst our competitors.
Preferred clients may receive blended rates and/or negotiated discounts off market rack rates. Typically, discounts on hourly rates result in a discount of 10 to 15 percent. More often than not, when discounts are given they are in the form of negotiating rush deadlines and/or accommodating specialized or advanced client requirements, i.e. using basic rate range for expert opinion summary requirements in exchange for first right of refusal on larger upcoming project or agreeing to extended completion timeline.
In summary, our business challenges are similar to all people/hour based businesses, particularly the legal industry. In this summary plan I have provided a list of challenges that have significant positive impact if overcome but also carry the ability to cripple our long-term growth and success if unchecked.
- Maintaining employee/subcontractor network
- Flexibility to client demands (projects and dates are always changing)
- Revenue growth
- Managing cash-flow for short and long-term investment/expense requirements
- Managing growth to delivery capability
SALES & MARKETING PLAN
ALC intends to grow for the next two years at a growth rate conservatively estimated at 30 to 40 percent. Current market conditions relating to client demand and work availability will enable us to achieve this goal with moderate effort. However, we will only be able to achieve this by sticking to what we do best and enabling the employee network to grow and flourish. This creates some unique situations for managing growth within our current business and revenue model. To get there we must stick to the basics and be successful at the following three marketing principles:
- Establish a position within target market as a trusted partner to provide process outsourcing and supplemental legal and research services.
- Use a highly focused, targeting strategy based on existing relationships in region, industry, and national level.
- Experiment and innovate to acquire clients, but stick to what works. Things change, but not that much.
Employee Operating and Pay Policies
Each subcontract employee is expected to and/or has signed a nondisclosure agreement intended to protect ALC and its clients from public discussion and negative exposure of previous and pending business.
Each employee provides services to ALC on a subcontract basis and will be issued pay per hours worked, per project basis. Frequency of project payment for hours worked is without established frequency. Each employee is paid within 7-10 business days of ALC receiving payment from client for each completed project.
ALC's Financial Request
It is my intent in submitting this business plan to attain a commercial transaction account with Second Bank of America and establish a credit transaction facility in support of Acme Litigation Company's operations.
The following table illustrates a financial summary of 2001 operations.
|Total billed revenue||$84,700.00||2,420 billed hours—estimate based on conservative assumption of $35.00/hour billing average|
|Summary MarginEst. 26-28%|
|Accounting, legal, misc.||$1,000.00||Per year estimate|
|Delivery/Package shipment services||$900.00||$75.00/month|
|Communications and equipment||$1,320.00||Includes cell phone and e-mail [$110.00/month]|
|Facilities||$1,620.00||Includes utilities and space in home office [electricity $25/month, gas $10/month, space $100/month]|
|Office Equipment||$750.00||Per year [software upgrades, computer hardware maintenance expense]|
|Fuel, maintenance, etc.||$750.00||Per year|
|Client entertainment/out-of-office business discussions||$1,250.00 Per year|
|Partner One||$30.00/hour||$21,600.00||Average of 15 billable hours/week x 48 weeks/year [720 hrs/year]|
|Northeast resource||$18.00/hour||$12,960.00||Average of 15 billable hours/week x 48 weeks/year [720 hrs/year]|
|Pacific Northwest resource||$16.00/hour||$7,680.00||Average of 10 billable hours/week x 48 weeks/year [480 hrs/year]|
|Midwest resource||$15.00/hour||$7,500.00||Average of 10 billable hours/week x 50 weeks/year [500 hrs/year]|
|Total Summary Costs||$57,440.00|