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Spot Brooklyn, LLC
Completed 9/08/2014

Joey Azoulai
(908) 216-7604
1043 East 14th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11230

Jonathan Azoulai
(908) 216-7606
1043 East 14th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11230













Spot Brooklyn, LLC


Spot Brooklyn, LLC was created by us, brothers Joey and Jonathan Azoulai. The idea to start
our company had been conceived along a family car ride through Brooklyn with our parentsa
tour of our roots. Standing in front of our old first-floor apartment on Avenue U, we reflected
on how much Brooklyn has changed since my brother and I shared a bedroom (now we only
share an apartment).
Our childhood selves would hardly recognize the Brooklyn we live in today. We have our
own basketball team now! City government and real estate developers are investing in our
waterfront: building parks, sports fields, and high-rises. Neighborhoods that were once known
for warehouses and heavy industry are now home to New York Citys tech sector. Web
developers walk the same cobblestone roads that were built for horses. Thats the beauty of
Brooklynthe old and the new co-existing side-by-side, each making the other appear all the
more distinct.
Its these layers of old and new that we hope to capture with our online publication about
Brooklyn. We will share stories about the people and places who, even today, exemplify the
diversity and creative spirit that has defined Brooklyn since it was settled by the Dutch. To best
tell our stories, we have created an editorial format based around an interactive map.
We will introduce our format over the next few pages of this business plan. We will explain
how our editorial format lends itself to a lucrative advertising-based revenue model. We
will demonstrate a need for our advertising product in our local market, as well as how our
company is well-timed to take advantage of larger trends in our industry. We understand that
attracting thousands of users to our website wont be easy, so we have a strong marketing and
sales strategy in place. Finally, we will prove that we are prepared to execute on our concept
with a solid plan of operations.
We are excited to share our plan with you today!

Spot Brooklyn, LLC



Spot Brooklyn is an online publication about Brooklyn for the local

community. Every day, we will publish multiple spots, which are bite-sized
articles about a place or event in the borough. We will also publish weekly
stories, which tie several spots into a broader exploration of the culture,
history, and inner workings of our community.
Our website will center around an interactive map that will guide users through our stories, and
enable self-guided exploration of our spots. The map will also be part of our websites locationbased advertising platform. Our company will generate revenue by creating advertising for
local businesses and charging each business 99-cents for each user who clicks on their ad.
Our website will be available on desktop computers, but designed specifically for the growing
mobile device market. We launch on November 3rd, but you can view our teaser page right
now at


With the widespread adoption of mobile devices, location-based advertising (defined as

mobile ads combined with location-based services like GPS) has become a valuable new
product for the online publishing industry. This type of advertising is especially effective for
local businesses because they sell primarily to nearby customers. Well-known technology
companies like Yelp, who offer location-based advertising to local businesses, have captured
only a small percentage of each market they serve. We will be profitable because of our
exclusive focus on serving Brooklyn, a largely untapped market of 18,100 businesses who
spend an estimated $310 million a year on advertising [a] [1].

Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Our company has two products: editorial content and business advertising. Both
products work together to create a rich experience for our users and effectively promote local
Editorial Content: On our homepage, you will find an interactive map of Brooklyn and a
scrolling list of headlines. Tap or click on a headline to view a story, which includes a collection
of spots and an introduction that ties the spots together under a single topic. Each spot
features its own content, including text, photographs, occasional videos, and links to additional
content on other websites. The location of each spot is displayed on the map with a spot pin.
As you progress from one spot to the next, the map automatically pans and zooms to the
appropriate pin. You can also find spots (which may or may not be associated with a story) by
exploring the map directly or by using the filters. Save your favorite spots to your user account
so theyre always a tap away.

Upcoming Stories

A Journey from the

Mountains to Our Faucets

Can You Keep Up With

These Pigeon Champs?

Meet Your Neighborhood

Beer Brewers

Upcoming Spots

Walk The Planks To

Squibb Park

Hip-Hop Festival Under the

Brooklyn Bridge

Farm Fresh Veggies Are

Growing in the Navy Yard

Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Business Advertising: Our unique publishing format enables us to offer more ad-viewing
opportunities to our users than a traditional blog format. Alongside each spot pin, the map will
display several business icons. Users may tap on a business icon to view a business ad, which
will feature store description, hours, contact information, and photos of the store and products.
Business pages will also include to the business website and social media accounts. Business
ad content will be created by Spot Brooklyn as a free service to our customers.
Our business ads will be effective because they provide the same value to users as our
editorial content: well-researched information about Brooklyn in a fun and inviting format. Users
only see the ads they want to see and businesses only pay for measurable results. We project
to earn $54,214 in Year 1 and $295,113 in Year 2.

When users taps on a

business icon, the icon
increases in size and
centers on the map

Business page increases

to 75% the height of the
screen when a user clicks
on the icon.

We write short and inviting

business descriptions as
a courtesy to each of our

Scroll for more photos,

plus share buttons
to recommend this
business page to your
friends an followers!


Spot Brooklyn is a two-member limited liability company registered in the state of New York.
Our company has submitted SPOT BROOKLYN for a standard character trademark with the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under Class 35 and Class 41.

Spot Brooklyn, LLC


Raised $25,095
in startup capital

Registered business and


Completed launch day

version of our website

Released teaser website


FEB 14

AUG 14

Reach profitability
Launch website

Secure dedicated
office space
MAY 15

NOV 14

Fundraising campaign

Hire first full-time

AUG 15


Of the $25,095 we have raised from personal savings and a loan from our parents, we have
spent $19,114 on camera equipment, legal fees, software, and other startup expenses. We
will need an additional $25,000 to hire our first Story Editor, who will create editorial content
and business ad content. The Story Editor will help us increase our publishing frequency and
the variety of topics we cover, which will increase website traffic and ultimately increase the
revenue we earn from our advertising product.
We hope to secure this additional financing from the following sources:
$10,000 fundraiser on Kickstarter (a crowdfunding website operating in Brooklyn).
$15,000 prize as the winner of the PowerUp! Business Plan competition (an initiative by
the Brooklyn Public Library and their sole sponsor, Citi Foundation).
$15,000 business loan from a traditional bank or small business lender (as a back-up plan
if we do not win the PowerUp! award).

Spot Brooklyn, LLC


The success of our company rests on two target customer segments:
Target Business Owners: People who own brick-and-mortar stores located in Brooklyn
in the following three categories: (1) Retail Trade (2) Accommodations and Food (3) Arts,
Entertainment and Recreation[b]. Our target business owners operate a total of 18,100
establishments (23% of the 79,200 total Brooklyn businesses).
Target Users: People between the ages of 18 to 64 who reside in Brooklyna target user
base of 1.66 million residents (65% of total Brooklyn residents)[c] [2].


Are ready to adopt new technology. 73% believe that technology will help them increase
sales. 83% say they are ready to adopt more technology. Location-based advertising products
like ours are proven to increase sales in brick-and-mortar stores[d].
Spend money on advertising. Target businesses spend an estimated $310 million a year on
advertising, however 47% of our target business owners spend less than $10,000 a year[a]. Our
business ads are cost efficient with an average monthly cost of $227[3], compared to $849 for
competing local publications[4] [e].
Advertise regardless of season. We surveyed 28 target business (members of the Brooklyn
Chamber of Commerce) owners to find out how seasonality affects their ad-buying decisions.
Each business owner rated every month according to the likelihood they would spend money
on advertising on a scale of 1 to 5. From the results of this survey, we conclude that target
business owners are about equally likely to advertise any month of the year [5]. At least 85%
of target businesses could advertise all year on Spot Brooklyn, with room in their budget to
Are very busy. With 92% of target businesses having less than 20 employees, business
owners must juggle many day-to-day responsibilities[f]. Effective use of free marketing tools,
such as Google Business Listings and Yelp Business Pages, require business owners to
manage accounts, update content, and seek out potential customers. Our product requires no
time commitmentsimply sign- up and let us do the rest!

Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Operate in a competitive market. The number of establishments operated by our target
business owners are growing faster than the Brooklyn population. Between 2007 and 2012,
the number of establishments grew 28%[f], while the population only grew 1.5%[g]. Our product
helps target business owners compete for customers in an increasingly crowded field.

r of Ta




Brooklyn Population


We plan to convert 13 target business owners into customers each month, and retain 69%
as customers from one month to the next. Based on these assumptions, we will convert 139
target business owners (0.77%) of our total target business owners by October 2016[3]. As a
point of comparison, Yelp, the business review website, has converted 4% of their total free
business listings into paying customers as of 2013.







Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Use the internet daily. 776,000 (46.8%) of our target users get their news and information on
the web daily[i] [6].
Search for local business online. 709,000 (46.9%) of target users search for local
businesses on their smartphone[j] [7].
Visit online publications about Brooklyn. The website traffic of seven online publications
about Brooklyn totals 797,000 unique visitors in the month of August 2014[k]. With the traffic
statistics of at least 10 other publications unavailable, we estimate the actual monthly website
traffic of all online publications about Brooklyn could be closer to 1.5 million visitors per month.
Brooklyn Magazine
Brooklyn Based
Fd in Park Slope
Dumbo NYC
Explore Brooklyn


Spot Brooklyn

(projected by Nov 16)


We project website traffic of 22,000 unique monthly visitors in October 2015, and 37,000
unique monthly visitors in October 2016. Our projections calculate each months traffic based
on the following variables: press, advertising, social media, search engine traffic, monthly user
trends across our industry[k][8], our publishing frequency, and our viral quotient (the number of
new users invited to our site by previous users).

(Oct 16)

(Nov 14)


(Nov 15)

(March 16)




Spot Brooklyn, LLC



Spot Brooklyn is part of the online publishing industry. A more specific definition of our
industry includes our official designation by the US Census Bureau and our own market
The U.S. Census Bureau designates our company in the Internet Publishing and Broadcasting
and Web Search Portal industry, which includes, advertising periodical publishers, business
directory publishers, and guide and map publishers. In Brooklyn, this industry grew from 22
to 57 companies between 2008 and 2012[f].
We most closely identify our company with other online publications about Brooklyn (66) as of
August 2014, including 21 publications that cover Brooklyn and the rest of New York City, 17
publications that cover Brooklyn exclusively, and 28 publications that cover specific Brooklyn

As consumers spend less time
with print media and more time
online, advertisers have followed


suit. However, the online publishing

industry has only gained a fraction of
the advertising revenue lost by the
print publishing industry. Between
2007 and 2013, print advertising

Print A


ing Re

revenue dropped $25 billion[L]; more

than half of its total value. During
the same period, online advertising
revenue grew by only $200 million.
Advertisers were getting a cheap
deal online, and spending less

Online Advertising Revenue


money on advertising as a whole.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC

As advertisers spend more money online, they often make a trade-off between cost and
effectiveness. Banner ads and text ads have taught consumers to ignore online advertising
as obtrusive or irrelevant. Of the websites surveyed by comScore, 31% of ads were delivered
but never seen, up to 15% of ads were delivered outside the intended geography, and 72%
of websites had at least one ad that ran alongside content considered inappropriate by the

The online publishing
industry will capture a greater

PROJECTIONS (2012-2018)

portion of the revenue once

generated by print publishing,
as advertisers embrace new,







more effective forms of online

advertising. For instance,
marketing professionals rate
location-based advertising as

Print Advertisin

g Revenue

more effective than any other

form of advertising[n]. According to projections by eMarketer, 1 out of every 4 ad dollars will
go to mobile advertising by 2018[o].

Attracting users to a new website is difficult because there is a wealth of content on the
internet and users tend to visit a limited number of websites habitually.
Managing relationships with many small customers is labor intensive, as opposed to
serving fewer large clients.
Publishing is also a labor-intensive business that requires a significant creative staff in order
to reach scale.

Spot Brooklyn, LLC


We have identified our four key competitors and assessed their strengths and weaknesses (as
they relate to selling advertising products to businesses in Brooklyn).

Blankslate is a Brooklyn-based digital advertising agency that builds websites and sells ad
space for local publishers in seven metropolitan areas, including eleven publishers in Brooklyn.
Blankslate also creates and sells advertising products like sponsored blog posts, business
pages, business listings, and real estate listings. Their overlap with our product and target
customer means that Blankslate will be our biggest competitoror valued partner.



A partnership with publishers provides

highly targeted audiences for advertisers.
A large network of websites offers
advertisers greater reach for their

They have no sales force and rely on

referrals from publisher websites to initiate
ad sales (according to a conversation we
had with a Blankslate account executive).
They show many of the same

Business listings provide a free or lowcost online presence for businesses.

advertisements across their network,

creating a monotonous experience for

Corner Media
Corner Media is the publisher of seven Brooklyn neighborhood blogs. Corner Medias target
user and target business owner overlaps with ours, however our products are very different.
Hyperlocal editorial content provides

Crowded pages feature 18 display ads

highly relevant news to a targeted

per article on desktop, and no ads on



Network of seven blogs allows greater

reach for advertisers.

Not yet profitable according to an August

2014 article by the New York Times[p].

Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Yelp is a multinational corporation that operates a business review site primarily for
metropolitan regions. Yelps advertising products differ from ours and, although they target
similar customers, Brooklyn represents a small fraction of their target market.
A popular brand whose red People
Love Us On Yelp stickers appear on
storefronts all over Brooklyn.
Over 120,000 business listings in

Cost of advertising is $300 to $2,200 a
monthpricey for most small businesses[q].
Aggressive business tactics have lead to
distrust between Yelp and many business

Brooklyn alone offers a comprehensive

owners, resulting in a class-action lawsuit[r],

free service to users, while enabling Yelp

and 2,046 complaints filed with the Federal

to sell their advertising products.

Trade Commission[s].

Yelp reviewers provide free content,

Delivers irrelevant ads. In August 2014, we

allowing Yelp to focus almost all of their

searched for burgers in Brooklyn and Yelp

resources on selling ads.

delivered an ad for a tavern in Queens[9].

Google Business Listings is a free service that enables a business owners to provide their
business information to Google Search, Maps, and the Google+ social media platform.
Googles business listings are a small component of a much larger company strategy, rather
than a primary product.

Trusted brand whose name has become
the stand-in verb for internet search:
Google it.
Free services help make them the most

Recommendations are more effectively
made by people than a computer algorithm.
Face-to-face customer relationships are not
possible given Googles worldwide market.

visited site on the internet, and enables

them to sell their advertising products.

Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Spot Brooklyn
We have analyzed the internal strengths and weakness of our company, the opportunities in
our market, and the threats posed by our competitors.

Our unique editorial format is designed

Our lack of previous experience

for internet behavior by offering bite-

running a business. We will hedge

sized content that encourages frequent

against rookie mistakes by seeking

visits and binge consumption.

frequent advice from trusted advisors

Our map-based website provides our

users with an interactive experience
and geographic context.
Our proximity to our customers
enables us to create face-to-face
relationships and react quickly to our
local market.

The emerging mobile device industry
creates opportunities for startups like
ours to create new types of editorial
and advertising products.
Low-cost distribution and production

and constant feedback from our users

and business owners.
Our limited startup resources
precludes us from hiring staff in the
early stages of our business. However,
we have the skills and experience to
run a complete small-scale publishing
operation during that time.

Local competitors have a head-start in
reaching our target customers.
Large competitors have already
developed significant brand awareness
as a provider of business advertising.

are made available by the internet and

software-based content creation tools.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC


To differentiate our company from our competitors, we will communicate the following benefits
of our product to each target business owner and user.



Sign up for our FREE TRIAL to place

Discover fun and fascinating spots all over

a custom-made advertisement for your

Brooklyn with our interactive map and

business on our website. We create and

locally-made content. Spot Brooklyn from

manage the ad, so you can spend more

the comfort of your couch, or take Spot

time doing what you do bestrunning

Brooklyn on the go for recommendations

your business. After 30-days you pay

based on your location. Save favorite spots

99 cents for each potential customer

to your account so theyre always a tap away.

who clicks on your ad. You only pay

Share favorite spots with friendseven

when we deliver results.

curate entire maps for every mood and any

type of adventure.


Email is the most personal form of marketing on the internet, and most marketers agree that
it is still the most effective of all forms of marketing[t]. We use to manage our
subscriptions and email lists, which is free for up to 2,000 subscribers per month.

Social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, are great for driving traffic to our
website through frequent tweets and posts announcing new content. We will encourage our
connections to share our website with their friends and followers.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Social media advertising enables us to target users of social media platforms according
to the accounts they follow. (For example, in August of 2014 we spent $100 on Twitters
Sponsored Tweet. Measured against our campaign goals, this Sponsored Tweet cost $2.33 for
each Twitter user who visited our site, and $9.09 for each who submitted their email.) We will
continue to monitor the return on investment for this advertising medium

Events hosted by the Brooklyn Startups Meetup, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the
Brooklyn Historical Society will help us make face-to-face connections with business owners
and other involved members of the community. Associated annual costs include $520 for
membership dues and and business cards[10].

Direct mail is a great way to reach target business owners. We can access the address of
every target business through the ReferenceUSA database services available at the Brooklyn
Public Library. We will create and mail 4x6 postcards to 500 businesses at a cost of $528.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software provided by enables

us to store information about our target users and business owners, track our correspondance,
and prioritize them as sales leads ($300/annually).


New hires including Story Editors, Photographers, and Web Developers enables us to spend
more of our time on marketing and sales.
A Kickstarter campaign, in addition to helping us reach our financing goals, will also help us
reach new users through Kickstarters Brooklyn-based crowdfunding website. In exchange for
donations, we will offer the Kickstarter community handdrawn maps by local artists, and other
unique gifts to thank them for their support.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Our sales force will be structured along our two customer segments: target users and target
business owners. (For a step-by-step demonstration of our sales process, please refer to the
Customer Lifecycle in the appendix)[11].
Joey, User Relations
Joeys main priority will be to drive target users to our website. He will identify and contact
reporters, community and cultural leaders, city officials, and other publicly active individuals in
Brooklyn. Joey will build brand awareness and trust among these targeted individuals through
ongoing communication, then encourage them to help us reach the wider community by
sharing our site with their personal contacts and social media connections.
Jonathan, Sales Operations
Jonathans main priority will be to convert target businesses into customers. He will identify
and contact business owners in 15 key areas[12], before expanding his efforts to all of Brooklyn.
Jonathan will encourage target business owners to sign up for a free trial of our advertising
product using our online signup page, schedule in-store visits, and send simple reports to each
business owner about the performance of their ad.

Business Improvement Districts


BID directors want to promote businesses

We believe Blankslate business listings and

in their districts and Spot Brooklyn wants

real estate listings would be an especially

to help! We could offer special product

good fit for our map-based publishing

features and bulk discounts to all of our BID



30-day Trial

Business Icon


99 per click +

no commitment or credit card required

your FREE custom business page


Spot Brooklyn, LLC

Our main output as a company is online content. Labor costs related to content creation and
web development will be our single greatest operating expense at 49% in Year 1 and 87% in
Year 2. Other significant operating expenses include software tools for content quality control,
content creation, content distribution, and business administration. We will only list paid
services, and omit services mentioned in previous sections. A step-by-step production cycle for
content creation[14] and web development[15] is available in the appendix.

Hire Dates



Paid Interns

May 2015, February 2016, May 2016

(Year 1)

(Year 2)

Story Editors

August 2015, May 2016, August 2016



Field Photographer

July 2015 (part-time)



Web Developer

May 2016



We are currently working from a home office. We will relocate in
April 2015 to a private office in a coworking space, which provides



(Year 1)

(Year 2)

shared amenities and day-to-day contact with other small companies

and creative professionals. Potential locations include Downtown



Brooklyn, Greenwood Heights, and Gowanus .


GitHub provides tools for us to keep track of website bugs and


manage bug fixes of new features.

PenFlip provides collaborative writing tools that enable us to


request feedback, corrections, and direct edits of our website

copy from collaborators or the public by simply sending a link.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC

The following key paid services are an integral part in the day-to-day operations.
Evernote provides software and cloud storage for creating and


organizing web clippings (our primary tool for managing our

Adobe Creative Cloud provides software for creating and editing


images, photos, web layouts, video effects, as well as storing and

organizing media.
iStock Photography is an image-licensing service to supplement the


photos we will take in-house.

Quickbooks provides accounting software for printing checks,


tracking expenses, and creating budgets.

Our website is served from several different hosting services. Each service is optimized for a
specific feature of our website.
Bluehost stores and distributes the code for our website and is the


first server accessed by visitors to our site.

Mapbox stores and distributes thousands of small images that are


stitched together in order to create our interactive map.

Brombone creates, stores, and distributes images of our web pages


that are more readable by search engines in order optimize our

rankings in search results.
Amazon Web Services stores and distributes media files like photos


and videos to increase speed and performance for users.


Spot Brooklyn, LLC


Joey and Jonathan Azoulai each own 50% of Spot Brooklyn, LLC and are entitled to 50%
of earnings. Joey will receive 51% of the decision-making rights because of his previous
experience in our industry, and to avoid deadlocks. By November 2014, we will draft and sign
a complete operating agreement, defining each owners rights, powers, entitlements, as well as
key provisions.
Joey Azoulai graduated in 2002 from Brooklyns Pratt Institute with a BFA in
Writing for Performance, Publication and Media. He has experience as an
independent Film Producer, and as a Video Producer & Marketing Writer
for childrens publishing. Joey also has experience and contacts in the New
York City restaurant industry. Joey will be responsible for web development,
content creation, and marketing.
Jonathan Azoulai graduated in 2006 from University of Connecticut with a BS
in Business Administration. He went on to work as a Manager for a national
retailer, and in production accounting for film and television. Jonathan is a
self-taught photographer and videographer. Jonathan will be responsible for
editorial research, businesses administration, and sales.
During the first two years of operation we will not take a regular salary. Instead, we will take an
owners draw only when the business can sustain a loss of cash flow. In Year 1 we take a total
draw of $12,000, and $74,000 in Year 2.

Lawyer: Brian Igel

Accountant: Jerry Hillman

Web Consultant: John Krauss


Spot Brooklyn, LLC


Our parents play an integral role in starting our company, and will continue to advise us on key
matters as well as contribute to our overall company strategy.
Judy Azoulai graduated from Kean University with a BFA in Visual
Communication, and is an accomplished graphic designer, jewelry designer,
painter, and potter. Judy will use her visual arts experience as she advises our
company on product design.

Moshe Azoulai graduated from Brooklyn College with a BS in Computer

Science and has 24 years of experience managing technology and data for
large-scale corporate litigation. Moshe will use his technology experience as
he advises our company on web development.

Paid Interns ($10/hour)
Story Editors will go through a 3-month paid training period in our content creation workflow
before we will consider them for the position.
Story Editors ($16.83/hour)
We intend to hire three story editors by August 2016. Each Story Editor will be responsible for
pitching, researching, and copywriting our stories and spots, as well as writing descriptions for
our business ads. Joey will serve as editor-in-chief.
Field Photographer ($31.25/hour)
We will hire one part-time photographer who will travel Brooklyn taking photos for our stories,
spots and business pages.
Developer ($36.06/hour)
We will hire one part-time developer who will take over Joeys day-to-day web development
responsibilities. Joey and Jonathan will set development priorities.