Our client is a startup that can deliver broadband internet aboard commercial flights.The company owns a patent on a necessary technology. They want to know whether their current business model is valid.
Competitors could enter the market with a newer technology that provides faster connection speeds.
To compete, the startup must invest in the newer technology, thus increasing fixed costs. If these costs are passed on to customers, the startup is at a competitive disadvantage.
If airlines agree to work with the startup, licensing fees will probably be proportional to the startup’s revenue. Thus, as revenue rises, licensing fees also rise.
When renegotiating the contract, the satellite company could demandhigher fees due to reasons such as higher utilization of capacity. This would also decrease the startup’s competitiveadvantage.
If the initial service does not work well due to severe connection problems or network failures, the startup could gain a badreputation and lose customers. The airline could also argue that since the startup failed to provide service as promised, the airline can cancel the contract and search for another in-flight broadband partner.
Since this service relies on cutting-edge technology, the hardware probably needs to be frequently replaced in order to keep up with market trends. Old hardware could lead to competitive disadvantages that can reduce the startup’s market share.
The business model does NOT seem promising because the number of customers required to break even is above the current marketpotential.
The startup should try to limit fixed costs increases because such increases will negatively affect their current business model.
If the startup could request that the airline be responsible for investing in, operating and maintaining the equipment, the startup reduces their risk of forced unplanned hardware investments.
To test the calculated market size and current business model, the startup should roll out the business on a small scale.
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Examples of market barriers to entry include economies of scale, technology patents, and government regulations. The startup’s patented technology could be a good barrier to entry.
As soon as the startup has reached a certain size, the startup could use economies of scale to obtain discounts from Internet providers or satellite companies. They can also reduce hardwarecosts by ordering in bulk.
The startup could also invest in R&D to develop new technologies that render the use of satellites unnecessary.
The startup has first-mover advantage.
To increase customer loyalty, it could provide incentives such as long-term subscriptions for frequent flyers.
It could also provide perks for loyal clients such as faster connection speeds.
Branding and advertising can help increase customer loyalty. This might allow the company to charge higher prices without losing customers.
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