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CONFIDENTIAL

EXPLORE AMERICA, LLC

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Prepared August 2018


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OPPORTUNITY PROBLEM Major US cities, much like the early 1900s, are an initial stopping ground for young professionals prior to family planning and international immigrants. However supply chain, communication, transportation, food, real estate, and medical technologies have progressed much more rapidly than US social migration patterns over the past 100 years. Pew Research has found the US domestic migration from 2010-2018 has been driven primarily by the largest current generational demographic, the Millennials (73 million population vs 72 million population of Baby Boomers currently alive in 2018). The Millennial generation is not migrating to major metropolitan areas like past generational cohorts have and they cannot afford to live in major metros as long as their predecessors due to increased cost of living, lack of available space for families, and decreased job growth opportunities. Prior to our current global economy, major metros were largely attractive to residents due to job availability and the vast amount of products, entertainment, and social events readily available in a close proximity. Millennials are the first generation to know a world brought together by global supply chains which, coupled with digital communication, have created an on-demand economy for jobs (Indeed), dating (Bumble/Tinder), dining (Yelp), entertainment (Netflix), retail shopping (Amazon), and residential real estate (Zillow Buy/Sell). In 2018, the Apple iPhone turned 10 years old, Facebook turned 14, Google turned 19, and Amazon turned 24. For the first time in history, consumer proximity to the best shopping, dining, and jobs belongs to internet, not physical geography. The rate of domestic migration away from major metros to suburbs and rural America has been growing at an alarming rate since the 2010 US census. The need for reliable and accurate information across the internet is more paramount than ever for geographically dispersed consumers in suburbs and rural America. Google is primarily an advertising company. Facebook is primarily an advertising company. Yelp is primarily an advertising company. 96% of Americans, 18-29, access Google and Facebook on a regular daily basis from a smartphone. The world of advertising is extremely competitive and the digital consumer landscape is constrained to few digital avenues, like Google and Facebook.

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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In 2018, the smartphone is king of communication. It is the portal through which consumers access the world. The smartphone is used for navigating, streaming videos, first dates, and asking important questions like “What is bitcoin?”. In fact, Forrester’s 2018 Retail Best Practices: Mobile Web study found smartphones will be used in over one-third—or more than $1 trillion—of total U.S. retail sales at some point in the process of buying something in 2018, including research, price comparisons and purchases. The smartphone is the most quickly adapted technology in recent history. Pew research reports 35% of adults owned smartphones in 2011. 77% of adults own smartphones in 2018. That number leaps to 92% for consumers ages 18-29. The barrier to entry for many digital attention markets is rising; the average cost for a small business to develop an organic search presence on the first page of Google and drive traffic on social is over $6,500 per month for the first 18 months. Activities and costs associated with competing for digital attention include: • digital market keyword research • digital advertising campaign design, development, & management • landing page design and coding • customer relationship management • content production and distribution • social engagement strategy and execution • automated text, email, and social media marketing • professional media production - video, animation, photo, & graphic Many business owners do not have access to the resources, skills, and knowledge necessary to compete for digital attention and miss potential in-store sales revenue.

SOLUTION Explore.US arms business owners with business listings on vendor-managed, high-quality landing pages specifically designed to reflect the personality of the city in which the businesses exist. All Explore.US pages are Search Engine Optimized, house top rated articles and videos, and look beautiful on smartphones. The Explore.US national digital structure is quick for users to navigate and simple to find a local business that matches their needs on mobile and desktop. It is the mission of Explore.US to enhance the in-store shopping experience of local businesses by reaching local audiences on their smartphones with attractive and relevant content. Explore.US has budgeted more than $100 million dollars for content creation and marketing to launch the national network over the course of the first five years. The largest privately-held advertising agency in the United State, The Richards Group, has been tasked to establish and guide the Explore.US content distribution strategy and advertising campaigns. At no cost, business owners can join Explore.US as Basic Members to receive the following package: • Explore.US business listing on a search engine optimized page • Information only shows up • Free email tips and tricks to increase sales from local digital audience engagement Business owners can upgrade to a Premier Member to receive: • Prime business listing page placement - Top 1/3 of page • Attractive business listing design • One-Click connect business listing • Paid members receive the ability for mobile and desktop users to contact them directly from their Explore.US business listing - links phone, email, website, social media • Explore.US-managed outbound email, social, push, in-app, and text marketing • Explore.US Native content advertising opportunities • Free email tips and tricks to increase sales from local digital audience engagement • Free email business listing and Explore.US performance reports • Ability to opt-in for additional services such as data management and outbound marketing tools

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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Explore.US primarily provides an affinity program to participating Chambers of Commerce. Over the course of five years, Explore.US will contribute more than $72 million back to Chambers in the form of royalties in order to help Chambers increase non-dues revenue and assist with recruitment and retention. Explore.US is a simple supplemental digital resource for Chambers of Commerce and relevant source of local information for consumers throughout America.

MARKET Explore.US’s general market is small business owners who generate over 60% of their gross revenue from in-store sales with annual gross revenue of less than $2.5 million. Explore.US will leverage existing relationships between our Regional Directors and Chambers of Commerce to establish presales channels throughout the United States. We estimate an upwards of 30 million small businesses in the US and of those, conservatively a third fit the Explore.US general target market. We estimate between 1 and 2 million chamber members exist in the United States. Explore.US views Chamber Members in the following general business categories: • Advertising & Media • Arts, Culture & Entertainment • Business & Professional Services • Automotive, Aviation & Marine • Communication Services • Employment & Staffing • Family, Community & Non-Profit • Computers, IT & Technology • Finance & Insurance • Government & Insurance • Health Care • Home and Garden • Industrial and Manufacturing • Lodging, Travel and Tourism • Personal Services & Care • Public Utilities and Environment • Restaurants, Food and Beverage • Shopping and Specialty Retail • Sports and Recreation • Other Explore.US internally sorts general business categories into subcategories in order to organize large pools of data. The number of category and subcategory pages for business listings are directly correlated to the volume of businesses active on Explore. US in a given city.

COMPETITION Explore.US features two distinct business departments; digital business directory and digital publications and media. Each business department faces competition at the local, state, and national level. • DIGITAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY - Competes for community digital attention • Local Level - Local government websites, Chamber Masters, local publications • State Level - Secretary of State website, various state-level commercial sites • National Level - Yp.com, local.com, mapquest.com, expedia.com, citysearch.com; the two majors are: • YELP • Pros: • Established brand for consumers to connect with local businesses • Simple, easy user experience • Mobile friendly and integrates well with social media and most other digital marketing • ability for businesses to pay for higher business listing ranking

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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• Cons: • Every page looks the same, no ability for local page ownership • Businesses can pay for advertising placement within a competitors business listing page • Business listings are sorted with paid advertising on top spots • Yelp has largely become a business review resource, not a simple directory • National, multi-national, and franchises have the ability to pay for increased market share due to advertising bid pricing model (ad space scarcity drives up bid price for space) • GOOGLE SEARCH, INCLUDING MAPS RESULTS • Pros: • The primary starting place for anyone in Western Culture to find information • Simple and easy user experience • Consistent information listing information • Limited ability for digital asset owners to customize their search result listing • Ability to pay for higher SERP • Ability to engineer higher SERP • Cons: • National, multi-national, and franchises have the ability to pay for increased market share due to advertising bid pricing model (ad space scarcity drives up bid price for space) • Google SERP engineering can take years to develop and over $6,500/month to manage • DIGITAL PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA - Competes for niche digital attention • Local Level - Local newspaper, magazine, radio, television, local websites that focus on niches and events • State Level - Niche and event magazines, radio programs, television shows, and statewide websites such as Texas Farm & Ranch and University Publications • National Level - ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX, Time Warner, Comcast, Amazon, Google, Disney, Yahoo, NY Times, Houston Chronicle, Podcasts, Spotify, Sony; the two most similar competitors to Explore.US are: • YOUTUBE • Pros: • Anyone can upload a video from a smartphone anywhere in the world with a Google account • Widely accepted video distribution/display platform for everything from professional news, film/tv, music production to Do It Yourself tutorials and Video Blogs (VLOGS) • Just launched Digital TV Subscription service • Member of Alphabet family (Google) • Easy to share content across many platforms - makes for high-viralability • Cons: • Videos only • Plays advertising within video content • Ability to pay for video placement on-site • Must pay subscription fee to remove advertising • Heavily populated with videos - 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute • Marketing can be expensive - professional video production, pay for placement • FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM • Pros: • Most users of any social platform worldwide • Free to use for all consumers • Easy to upload and share content as professional business and personal consumer • Easy to share content with friends and public - highest viralability of all digital platforms • Simple to navigate the endless scroll and behavioral science naturally built into the platforms highly addictive • Cons: • Both are primarily advertising platforms • Professionally produced content and social media influencers (famous/infamous) dominate the landscape • Can be information overload and highly addictive • Ability to sell user information without user’s explicit consent • Paid advertisers gain exclusive content placement, therefore companies with biggest marketing budget have advantage

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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WHY US? Explore.US delivers a unique experience for users (visitors) and business owners. Explore.US reaches new users by producing news articles, streaming videos, and podcasts which accompany information about relevant Explore.US businesses in the form of backlinks, meta-data, and native content advertising. Our Basic business listings gain extra exposure to potential in-store shoppers. Our Premier business listings gain the ability to connect directly with the users who are consuming the stories about them and their community. Our Basic business listing is free for all business owners with physical addresses in the US. Business listings will only appear within the ExploreCity domain in which the business listing address exists. BASIC BUSINESS LISTING INCLUDES: 1. An easy-to-read and clickable business listing on an optimized landing page for that city and business category. 2. Weekly e-newsletter of best practices for growing local digital audiences • Latest trends, tools, and information to keep our members on the cutting edge of local digital marketing • automated email drip campaign to join Premier and/or Chamber of Commerce account 3. Access to national network of business owners within the Explore.US system • All members have the ability to connect and share best practices, comarket, and help drive traffic to the community Basic business listings have the opportunity to upgrade to Premier listings starting at $25 per month, retail. Basic business listings can join a Chamber of Commerce and receive Premier listing. PREMIER LISTING INCLUDES: 1. Big, bright, and colorful business listing with customizable background color, logo upload, border thickness, and font selections. • users connect with business in one click from landing page and other purchased ad space on/off Explore.US 2. Explore.US promotes landing page directly from digital campaigns 3. Listings receive top space on Explore.US pages 4. Increased analytics and business intelligence reporting 5. Vendor-managed outbound mobile marketing (social, text, ads, and email) 6. Ability to purchase add-on services like Vendor-managed CRM, outbound marketing campaigns, and professional content creation 7. Weekly e-newsletter of best practices for growing local digital audiences • Latest trends, tools, and information to keep our members on the cutting edge of local digital marketing To the right is a landing page mock up. The basic business listings are in black and white on the bottom half of the screen. The Premier, paid, business listings are on top in color. Users will need to scroll through the Premier listings to view the Basic listings. Premier listings may show up in other places on Explore.US where Basic listings will only appear on their category pages within their respective towns.

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BENEFITS INCLUDE: All members receive Premier listing benefits plus: 1. Special pricing structure when more than 50% of members sign up: • $10 per month • $100 per year • $250 for 3 years 2. Member management system included 3. Chamber of Commerce directory page added to selected cities 1. example: ExploreFulshear.com/Chamber_of_Commerce 4. Weekly e-newsletter of best practices for growing local digital audiences • Latest trends, tools, and information to keep our members on the cutting edge of local digital marketing ADVERTISER BENEFITS: Explore.US reaches all corners of the United States and services local business owners, their community members, and surrounding communities with relevant and timely content to include written articles, podcasts, and streaming video. Advertisers have the ability to reach community members by niche and geographic preference. The Richard’s Group will develop a full media kit to accompany the launch of Explore.US.

EXPECTATIONS FORECAST We project net profits will remain between 41% and 52% of Gross Sales. The first year will see the lowest net profit margin as Explore.US launches and ramps up operations to compete nationally. The board’s digital asset investment model allows Explore.US to achieve large profit margins at moderate growth rates. Direct and overhead expenses are minimal due to contract special labor, low-skill labor, and market dynamics. Exponential growth is achieved when 80% of our monthly visitors are repeat mobile users before, during, and after making an in-store purchase at a business with a Premier Listing; estimated between 2020 and 2021.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS BY YEAR

CONFIDENTIAL - DO NOT DISSEMINATE. This business plan contains confidential, trade-secret information and is shared only with the understanding that you will not share its contents or ideas with third parties without the express written consent of the plan author.

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W W W. E X P L O R E . U S

Explore.US Business Plan  

www.Explore.US

Explore.US Business Plan  

www.Explore.US