We have set Goals and selected strategic Operational Choices that will help to meet those goals, while keeping everything as simple as possible.
GOALS of the EOXoils for Member Benefits
1. To create a platform that supports those who need or desire to be able to safely and affordably obtain 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oils.
2. To make Member fees reasonable enough that all Members can derive benefit, since some Members will buy more product than others, while at the same time acknowledging that the membership fee must be sufficient to cover exchange operations and monthly overhead expenses.
3. To cover the continual expense of purity testing for each batch of essential oils received from distillers, and to make the GCMS and Certificates of Analysis available to exchange Members, along with MSDS sheets which will be available to all customers.
4. To have an accredited staff aromatherapist to answer questions for Members about the proper use and application of essential oils.
5. To provide an online Member Directory listing for any Member that wishes to have their essential oil-related business (natural products, beauty products, day spas, health products) or practice (massage therapist, naturopath, acupuncturist, alternative modalities, etc.) listed online. Listings will be maintained as long as Member status continues.
6. To create a Forum for Members to interact and network, if there are enough Members that want that benefit.
These are some of the stated, envisioned, official goals of the EOXoils, some of which will require time and continual progress towards them until they are attained.
These are the initial strategic choices that we have made in order to keep operating costs, and thus material prices, as low as possible so that we can achieve our marketplace goals for all Members.
1. To be completely internet-based. To eliminate higher personnel costs for the EOXoils, all transactions and communications will be done through the internet.
As personnel increase we will probably use Skype or VoIP solution to answer questions when available.
2. All payments will be made through PayPal until we have a strategic reason to do otherwise.
Through PayPal, anyone can pay with their credit card even if they don’t have a PayPal account, and through their checking account if they do. The overall fees are significantly less allowing more savings to be passed on to Members by avoiding the following:
- No Monthly Processing Gateway Fees
- No Incremental Multi-tier Assessment Fees
- No Monthly Merchant Account Statement Fees
- No SSL Certificate Fees
(We do not store personal payment data at all by leveraging PayPal Express)
3. All shipping will be initially through USPS. As we add larger bulk sizes (5, 10, 25 lbs.) we will add FedEx Ground/Home Delivery as an additional shipping option.
USPS is definitely less expensive on smaller packages and highly competitive on medium-sized packages. FedEx only makes sense on larger, heavy orders. So this will keep the shipping processes streamlined with one service until it makes sense to add another one.
4. We will use only Open-Source platforms such as WordPress and will support those who make components for open-source systems. We will not engage in expensive, high cost, proprietary systems to run the EOX.
This will save THOUSANDS of dollars in annual operating expenses. The open-source programming is simpler to maintain, to upgrade, and to support… not to mention usually much more logical.