Project #76318 - Principles Web Development



Sunholm Solar Inc. is a startup company that intends to design, finance, install, and maintain residential solar power systems for homeowners across the United States. Sunholm Solar was founded 3 months ago by a group of executives from established solar companies who decided to strike out on their own. The new company has been refining its business plan, securing financing, hiring staff, and preparing to launch operations about 2 months from now. Sunholm’s next priority is to begin work on a company website, a key element of the firm’s aggressive marketing plan. To keep their internal staff to a minimum, Sunholm executives wish to contract with an independent web developer to create their site. They are now interviewing candidates and gathering ideas about how to proceed.




You are an independent web developer being considered by Sunholm Systems for the job of designing and building its new website. The initial interviews went well; company executives are impressed with your background and qualifications. You are now meeting with some of the company’s key personnel to learn more about their goals and plans for the site. On the basis of what you learn in this meeting, you will prepare a general specification memo that outlines your initial ideas for the site. You hope this memo will convince the Sunholm executives that you are the best developer for the job.




Hugh Holben (President and CEO)


"Hello, and welcome back to Sunholm! Thanks for meeting with us again on short notice. This website project is on our critical path to market launch, so we need to get it going right away.
Let me start by telling you about our business and how we see the website fitting into it. We plan to be the one-stop solution provider for every homeowner in the United States who wants to save on the electric bill by putting in a residential solar system. At no charge, we’ll send a trained sales rep to the customer’s home to determine whether solar will work for them, what kind of system they need, and how much they can save. After they sign our contract, we’ll design and install their system, and we’ll also maintain it for an ongoing annual fee.
The website is going to be one of our main lead generation tools for the sales reps. Obviously, we can’t sell a solar power system over the Web. We want homeowners to visit our site, learn about what we do , and then contact us to schedule an appointment with a sales rep. The rep will take it from there. Once customers see how advanced our technology is, how easy it is to do business with us, and best of all, how much money they can save, closing the deal will be a slam dunk!”




Susan Dalton (VP of Marketing)


“Slow down, Hugh! I have to keep reminding you, nothing’s a slam dunk in a market with this much competition! There are lots of local and regional solar installers but no really big national players in the residential market yet. We plan to be the first and grab the lion’s share of the market, but we have to get everything right the first time, especially the website. We’re asking customers to sign a contract for as much as $50,000 for something they don’t know much about and to do it with a brand-new company they haven’t dealt with before. The website needs to educate people about solar power, give them an overview of the process, and also make them feel comfortable that Sunholm Solar is a company they can trust.
We want to go live with the website nationwide and start collecting leads from everywhere, but at launch we will only have reps on the ground in the 10 largest solar markets: the big cities in the South and Southwest. We’ll roll out new locations at a rate of about one a month, based partly on where we get the largest volume of leads.”


Janet Mclane (CFO)


“Don’t forget to highlight the financing deals we offer! No money down with good credit, low interest rates, and easy monthly payments they can make out of their electricity savings. We make better margins on the financing than we do on the hardware, so we really want the customers to finance through us.<br><br> Oh, and don’t go crazy with this website. We want it to be modern but nothing too fancy. The IT director at my last company told me that all this video and Flash stuff uses a lot of bandwidth, and bandwidth costs money. We’re a start-up company on a tight budget.”


Steve Garry (VP of Operations)


“Look, I’ve got a million things to do to get ready for our launch, so let’s wrap this up. One more thing: After we throw these panels on all those rooftops, we’re gonna have to go back and maintain them, and in the first year we’ll be stretched pretty thin. I don’t wanna send a crew out every time the sky clouds up or somebody pops a breaker. Maybe we could have something on this site for folks with installed systems, to answer common questions and tell them how to fix simple stuff themselves.
Anyway, gotta go; just send us a memo with your ideas, OK? Can’t wait to see what you come up with!”




Write a one- to two-page, well-written business memo as if you were writing directly to the client. Submit your assignment to this week's assignment Dropbox.


Include the following.


  • Identify the client’s website needs.
  • How you would propose that they go about creating a new website to help them achieve their goals.
  • What features should the site have?
  • Who is the audience of the site, and how would you address their particular needs?
  • What should be included and excluded from the site?


Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/12/2015 12:00 am
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