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Business Development Sample Business Plan

Using this sample business plan will allow you to successfully take the first steps in starting a business development company.

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Business Development Business Plan

Executive Summary

We are currently in a highly lucrative market in a rapidly growing economy. The current trend towards an increase in the number of entrepreneurs and competition amongst existing companies presents an opportunity for an increased demand for market information and services that will enable companies to stay ahead of the pack.

Our services will be positioned very carefully: they will be of extremely high quality, relevant, timely and accurate, tailored to the clients’ needs so as to enable them to make the right decisions, in turn leading towards growth of their companies, benefiting the overall economy.

Palms and Bonds offers the expertise that a proactive-oriented and market-opportunity seeking company needs to develop and enter new product distribution and new market segments in new markets. We intend to provide a number of necessary services to the business community and to the public. These can be summed up in two main divisions — Business and Training Services. Our business services can be taken as marketing research, market research reports, project-based consulting, business and marketing plans, plan consulting and writing, high-level retainer consulting and company registration. Our training services include workshops and seminars on such topics as sales and marketing, as well as in-house training of receptionists, secretaries, and sales and marketing personnel.

Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on ensuring that customers know what needs the services are able to fulfill, and making the right information available to the right target customer. We intend to implement a market penetration strategy that will ensure that we are well known and respected in our respective industry. We will ensure that our services’ prices take into consideration people’s budgets, and that these people appreciate the services, know that it exists, and where to find it. The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication. Our promotional strategy will involve integrating advertising, events, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing and Internet marketing, details of which are provided in the marketing section of this plan.

Our target markets will range from persons in the corporate towers, small or medium businesses, to home institutions needing information on their particular area of concern. The common bond will be the appreciation of the importance of quality information that will enable correct decisions to be made, holding all things equal. Palms and Bonds prides itself on its analytical ability, its value-added service, competitive fees, its high standards of quality and its adaptability to changes in the market and in the method of its practice.

Palms and Bonds intends to provide the client with more than just information and planning tools. We intend to provide quality information that is customized to the client’s needs, in the process assisting them on how best to use the available information. By employing our services, our clients are assured of consultants dedicated to finding the right answers for their business and enabling them to benefit long after we have finished our work. We are in this line of work because we like efficiency and because we understand and believe in problem solving and market/marketing research.

As we grow we want to grow right. For example we recognize that we have to be in constant touch with our stakeholders to ensure market knowledge at all times. This is the nature of the channels we deal with. Also, we intend to build our management team correctly. We need the right people in the right place at the right time if we are to ensure optimum growth. We intend to develop our team so that our people can grow as the company grows — a mutually beneficial relationship.

In a nutshell, we don’t just intend to market and sell our service, but to market and sell customized information, solutions and a total-quality environment. This will ensure we establish a reputable corporate image.

1.1 Objectives

Our business strategy will revolve around the need to provide quality information to our various target clients/customers, in the process fully satisfying their needs. This shall be undertaken through recruitment of a professional marketing research and business consultancy team and the production of good quality reports designed to cater to the client’s needs. These reports/proposals shall be professionally done so as to be reflective of our intended image and reputation. We shall position ourselves as a quality service provider that strives to provide accuracy, relevancy and specific information. We intend to establish a good rapport with all the relevant government agencies and private institutions that may in turn refer us to aspiring entrepreneurs.

With time our presence on the World Wide Web will increase the knowledge of our services to the various market segments we shall be targeting. This is particularly so with foreign firms looking at establishing themselves in Botswana, hence providing them easy access to local information. In such a case Web presence is a natural objective in reaching the appropriate potential customers. We also intend to have brochures that will enable clients to have an understanding of the types of services we offer and advantages of doing so. In addition to well-done brochures, company profiles and business cards often have a triggering effect on clients contemplating investing in Botswana. These will undoubtedly generate increased sales of our products.

1.2 Keys to Success

The keys to Palms and Bonds success will undoubtedly be effective market segmentation through identification of several niche markets and implementation strategies. Along these lines the company intends to implement personal selling and direct marketing strategies to the target markets. Our personal selling marketing strategies will rotate around keeping in touch with investment and finance bodies for major clients and word-of-mouth for more individual investors. our key success factors will include the following:

  • Excellence in fulfilling the promise: completely confidential, reliable, trustworthy expertise and information. This dictates that we have the latest technology and software.
  • Uncompromising commitment to the quality of the work: that is, quality data, information and solutions.
  • Developing visibility to generate new business leads.
  • Leveraging from a single pool of expertise into multiple revenue generation opportunities: retainer consulting, project consulting, market research, and market research published reports.
  • Successful niche marketing: we intend to find and target the quality-conscious customer in the right channels, making sure that the customer will find us through aggressive marketing.
  • Timeous response to clients orders: we cannot afford to delay the client’s order for whatever reason as this will have a negative bearing on our image and reputation, including future business. We need to be continually communicating with the client.
  • Marketing know-how: in an increasingly competitive market there is need to aggressively market our business and the services we provide so as to be continuously at the top of our prospective and current clients minds.
  • Entrepreneurial Flair: market volatility and increasing duplication of business ideas advocates that we continuously keep abreast of new trends and our competitors.

1.3 Mission

Palms and Bonds offers clients reliable, quality information and proposals for business development, market development, and channel development that will maximize business development. A true alternative to in-house resources we offer a very high level of practical experience, know-how, contacts, and confidentiality. At Palms and Bonds we are able to provide comprehensive solutions to our clients’ problems that will foster business development. Clients must know that working with Palms and Bonds is a more professional, less risky way to develop new areas even than working completely in-house with their own people. Palms and Bonds must also be able to maintain financial balance, charging a competitive and realistic value for its services, and delivering an even higher value to its clients. Initial focus will be development of the local market clientele.

Our mission statement is:
“We endeavor to understand our customers’ business so well as to be able to offer comprehensive solutions to their problems.”

Company Summary

Palms and Bonds is a relatively new company providing high-level expertise in local business development, market identification and development, channel development, distribution strategies, and marketing strategies for all types of products and services. It will focus initially on providing and satisfying two kinds of markets:

  1. Providing market research to local clients looking at developing their businesses for the increasingly competitive markets, be they new or established.
  2. Providing market research services to foreign investors looking at investing in the local markets.

As it grows it will take on people and consulting work in related markets. It will also look for additional leverage by establishing relationships and representations with international market research organizations.

2.1 Company Ownership

Palms and Bonds is a Private Limited company. Its fiscal year is the calendar year. Messrs. TTT. and SSS. equally own the company.

2.2 Start-up Summary

Total start-up capital and expenses covered (including legal costs, logo design, stationery and related expenses) came to approximately P49,600. Start-up assets required and utilized included personal computers, vehicles, office furniture, and other office equipment.

Services

Palms and Bonds offers expertise in market research, channel distribution, channel development, and market development that allow clients to choose their preferred relationship: these include retainer consulting relationships, project-based consulting, sales representation and market representation, project-based market research, published market research, information forum events, business plans, and marketing plans.

Palms and Bonds offers the expertise a proactive-oriented and market-opportunity seeking company needs to develop and enter new product distribution and new market segments in new markets. We intend to provide a number of necessary services to the business community and to the public. These can be summed up in two areas — Business and Training Services. Our business services can be taken as high-level retainer consulting, market research reports, project-based consulting, business and marketing plans, plan consulting and writing, and company registration. Our training services include workshops and seminars on such topics as sales and marketing, as well as in-house training of receptionists, secretaries, and sales and marketing personnel.

3.1 Service Description

Our business planning services include: assisting companies with the research and structuring of comprehensive, written business and marketing plans; providing a written business plan package, which delivers a complete, detailed business plan to the client, specifically designed to meet their needs, that is, FAP applications, bank loans, NDB loans, restructuring, new product development, market expansion, etc.

In many cases, small businesses often consider next year’s budget an acceptable business plan. Any investor or banker will disagree and insist on much more information prior to making a financial decision regarding funding a business. We want to provide the opportunity for businesses, which have potential to receive the funding that would help them become solid employers.

Market research:  (Discussion omitted in this sample business plan)
Retainer consulting: (Discussion omitted)
Cash Flow Analysis: (Discussion omitted)
Project consulting: (Discussion omitted)

3.2 Sales Literature

The business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing the positioning. This brochure was developed as part of the start-up expenses including the business cards and Company Profile, mainly for the large organizations that often recommend services to potential investors. Compliment slips are also on the cards so as to raise awareness of the company and its services.

Literature and mailings for the initial market forums will be very important.

3.3 Technology

Palms and Bonds will maintain the latest market research software and Windows capabilities including:

  • Complete email facilities on the Internet for working with clients directly through email delivery of drafts and information.
  • Complete presentation facilities for preparation and delivery of multimedia presentations on Windows machines, in formats including on-disk presentation, live presentation, or video presentation.
  • Complete desktop publishing facilities for delivery of regular retainer reports, project output reports, marketing materials, and market research reports.

3.4 Future Services

In putting the company together we have attempted to offer enough services to allow us to always be in demand by our clients. However, economics has provided us with a new era of opportunities for the small business in which we can only guess at the needs. The most important factor in developing future services is market need. Our understanding of the needs of our target market segments is one of our competitive advantages. It is critical to our effort to develop the right new services. We also have what we call a “core service engine” (market research) that will be the foundation of future products. In the future, Palms and Bonds will broaden its coverage by expanding into additional markets (e.g., the whole of southern Africa) and additional product areas. However in doing so we will strive to ensure that it is compatible with the existing services.

Now we have the possibility of new money being loosened for entrepreneurs and that means there will be a substantial increase in the number of feasibility studies and business plans. This provides additional business for virtually every area of business service we provide.

We are also studying the possibility of newsletter or electronic newsletter services (for the international market), or perhaps special on-topic reports, pending further research on client needs.

Market Analysis Summary

We are today experiencing a rapid growth in the economy of unsurpassed nature. This has been brought about by amongst other things, the relaxation of foreign exchange policies and macro economic policies geared towards attracting foreign investors into the country. The fiscal and monetary policies of the government geared towards maintaining growth with social justice have largely contributed towards this, evidenced by our economy averaging a growth rate of 7% since 1990 — very high by international standards.

The current drive and emphasis by the government on diversification of the industrial base away from the minerals sector presents an opportunity for Palms and Bonds to make a valuable contribution towards achieving this goal. This will result in implementation of modern market research techniques and transfer of knowledge. Having undertaken a thorough and comprehensive research of the market we realized that there was a need for a specialized market research firm that focuses on producing market research reports that are tailored to the clients needs. Though there are business consultancy firms currently on the market, some of whom have been in existence for a relatively long period of time, we believe that there is a market need for one (ourselves in this instance) that particularly focuses on market research. We intend to provide services of extremely high quality — something that cannot be over-emphasized in the international arena with the current drive towards globalization.

We appreciate that entering such a market is not a bed of roses and intend to implement an aggressive marketing strategy, well supported by the other business functions. The above prognosis influenced our decision to enter the business consultancy industry.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Palms and Bonds will be focusing on local businesses and foreign investors looking at investing in the country. These will be small, medium, and large-sized companies looking for a total service and quality work.

Our most important group of potential customers are foreign investors. These are potential investors who want to have a feel and understanding of the local markets and the opportunities, and constraints they present to them. They do not want to waste their time or risk their money looking for bargain information or questionable expertise. As they go into markets looking at new opportunities, they are very sensitive to risking their company’s name and reputation.

Large corporations: one of our most important market segment is the large organization looking at penetrating new or existing markets. These companies will be calling on Palms and Bonds for development functions that are better spun off than managed in-house, for market research, and feasibility studies.

Medium-sized growth companies: particularly in rapidly expanding markets, Palms and Bonds will offer an attractive development alternative to the company that is management constrained and unable to address opportunities in new markets and new market segments.

Small-sized companies: in an increasingly competitive environment entrepreneurs are becoming more cautious in the markets they seek to enter and on establishing new market opportunities. They are often seeking for prior research to be done to identify possible markets that are suited to their resources and capabilities.

Hence the most likely types of businesses to require our services would include:

  • New businesses seeking investment or start-up capital
  • New firms looking at investing in the country
  • Existing companies which are expanding or introducing a new product/ service.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on making the right information available to the right target customer. We will ensure that our services’ prices take into consideration people’s budgets, and that these people appreciate the service and know that it exists, including where to find it. The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication. There is already a sense of segment strategy in the way we define our target market. We are choosing to compete in areas that lend themselves to local competition, service and channel areas that match our strengths, and avoid our weaknesses.

Our strategy calls for the development of relationships with investment bodies, attorneys, accountants and financial institutions to support our business with referrals. Interviews with commercial loan officers have indicated that there is a serious need for a professional firm like ours to help their clients in market/marketing research, and development of comprehensive and concise business and marketing plans.

4.2.1 Market Needs

Palms and Bonds intends to provide the client with more than general market information. We intend to provide accurate, relevant, specific and timely information that will enable our clients to make more accurate decisions. This information we intend to be available to our clients at competitive rates.

We understand that our target markets need more than just information but information that will enable them to make more informed decisions. Our target client wants information that is relevant to their needs and easily understandable so as to make the right decisions. We don’t just intend to provide a service, but to provide one of unparalleled nature relative to the market.

4.2.2 Market Trends

Our intended markets are increasingly growing towards recognizing the difference between poor quality business consultancy service and that of high quality. This development is an important trend for us as it represents our target market, and hence opportunity. We now are having an increasing number of people who appreciate quality information and the importance of having comprehensive and concise market and business plans undertaken.

Another trend is the one toward greater use of specialized and focused consultants, instead of in-house resources. Companies are looking for out-sourcing (but unfortunately few offer such a service) and, in general, a preference for variable costs instead of fixed costs.

4.3 Positioning Statement

Although there are a number of attorneys and accountants who write or assist in writing a business plan, the reality is that these professionals provide invaluable services in the areas in which they specialize, but lack the imagination to write a comprehensive and effective business plan. The attorneys tend to dwell on the legal aspects and contractual arrangements while accountants sweat over the balance sheets, cash flow statements, product costs and income statements. Additionally, these vitally necessary professionals cannot afford to spend the many hours necessary to work on a business plan when they could be earning much more per hour concentrating on their particular field of expertise.

Our expertise lies in the ability to listen to a business owner and perceive their vision for their company over the next few years. We can envision what the business person is looking for in the future, then put it in writing and at a cost they can live with.

4.4 Service Business Analysis

The consulting “industry” is pulverized and disorganized, with many smaller consulting organizations and individual consultants for every one of the few dozen well-known companies. These other organizations often offer a service, which is not to the client’s satisfaction. In addition they often claim to offer a service, which they are not fully capable of providing satisfactorily.

Consulting participants range from major international name-brand consultants to hundreds of individuals. One of Palms and Bonds’ challenges will be establishing itself as a real consulting company, specializing in market research, positioned as a relatively risk-free corporate purchase. The business consulting industry may be segmented by economics and needs patterns. This incorporates some of the service type differences, but in a more practical sense:

Mainline Services: these include marketing/market research undertaken through advertising, direct mail, referrals and sales literature. Essentially these will be customized to the client’s needs.

Ancillary Services: these include services such as trading licenses and company formation, which tend to be similar with not much to differentiate amongst providers except speed of execution. We intend to have an extremely efficient and ‘state-of-the-art’ business centre that will cater to our clients’ needs. Service provider decisions don’t tend to be major decisions/events covering relatively insignificant amounts.

4.4.1 Distributing a Service

Consulting is sold and purchased mainly on a word-of-mouth basis, with relationships and previous experience being, by far, the most important factor.

The major name-brand houses have locations in the main mall, and executive-level managers or partners develop new business through industry associations, business associations, chambers of commerce and industry, etc., and in some cases social associations such as country clubs.

The medium-level houses tend to be general in terms of services and specific in terms of target market — targeting FAP seeking clients/individuals. They are not easily able to leverage their business through distribution, which we intend to be one of our competitive advantages.

4.4.2 Competition and Buying Patterns

The key element in purchase decisions made at the Palms and Bonds client level is trust in the professional reputation and reliability of the consulting firm. The most important factor in this market is the quality of the service. The majority of the investment referrals said they were not satisfied with the current plans often submitted for their approval as they were of poor quality.

4.4.3 Main Competitors

There are numerous companies operating in Gaborone who classify themselves as “business consultants”. However, upon contacting these, it appears that the vast majority of these companies are bookkeeping and secretarial services companies. There are some companies that provide services similar to those offered by us and that is good, but none of them specialize in market/marketing research. The following are some of our main competitors:

The high-level prestige management consulting firms

Strengths: Prime locations managed by owner-partners with a high level of presentation and understanding of general business. Enviable reputations, which make purchase of consulting an easy decision for a manager, despite the very high prices.

Weaknesses: General business knowledge doesn’t substitute for the specific market, channel, and distribution expertise of Palms and Bonds, focusing on local markets and products/services. Also, fees are extremely expensive, and work is generally done by very junior-level consultants, even though sold by high-level partners.

General Business Consultancy firms

Strengths: Expertise in certain functional areas particularly bookkeeping. Palms and Bonds intends not to compete with general business consultancy firms in these  markets.

Weaknesses: The inability to spread beyond a specific focus, or to rise above a specific focus, to provide actual marketing and market research expertise, experience, and wisdom beyond the specifics.

The most significant competition is no consulting at all, companies choosing to do market research, business development and channel development in-house.

Strengths: No incremental cost except travel; also, the general work is done by the people who are entirely responsible, the planning is done by those who will implement it.

Weaknesses: Most managers are terribly overburdened already, unable to find incremental resources in time and people to apply to incremental opportunities. Also, there is a lot of additional risk in market and channel development done in-house from the ground up. Finally, retainer-based antenna consultants can greatly enhance a company’s reach and extend its position into conversations that might otherwise never have taken place.

Attorneys and Accounting firms

Strengths: Able to provide sound accounting or legal advice and services with the plans being done by the partners.

Weaknesses: They often lack the imagination to write a comprehensive and effective business plan. The attorneys tend to dwell on the legal aspects and contractual arrangements while accountants sweat over the balance sheets, cash flow statements, product costs and income statements. Very little market research, if any, is often undertaken, and often ineffectively.

4.4.4 Business Participants

At the highest level are the few well-established major names in management consulting. Most of these are organized as partnerships established in major markets around the world, linked together by interconnecting directors and sharing the name and corporate wisdom. Some evolved from accounting companies and some from management consulting. These companies charge very high rates for consulting, and maintain relatively high overhead structures and fulfillment structures based on partners selling and junior associates fulfilling.

4.4.5 Competitive Comparison

We have sought to identify competition in terms of companies that satisfy the same client needs that we intend to. Our competitors are few in our main service, and, including Government agencies, numerous in our ancillary services. There will be a need to strongly differentiate ourselves from these other businesses. However on a broader scale our competition comes in several forms:

The most significant competition is no market research consulting at all, companies choosing to do market research, business development and channel development in-house. Their own managers do this on their own, as part of their regular business functions. Our key advantage in competition with in-house development is that managers are already overloaded with responsibilities, they don’t have time for additional responsibilities in new market development or new channel development. Also, Palms and Bonds can approach alliances, investment bodies, and channels on a confidential basis, gathering information and making initial contacts in ways that the corporate managers can’t.
The high-level prestige management consulting: XXX and international firms. These are essentially generalists who take their name-brand management consulting into specialty areas. Their other very important weakness is the management structure that has the partners selling new jobs, and inexperienced associates delivering the work. We compete against them as experts in our specific fields, and with the guarantee that our clients will have the top-level people doing the actual work.

The third general kind of competitors are the various trading and Investment bodies. These companies are formidable competitors for published market research and market forums, but cannot provide the kind of high-level customized consulting that Palms and Bonds will provide.
The fourth kind of competition are the business consultancy firms, which undertake business plans for various organizations. For example: LLL, MMM, NNN, and OOO Consultancy.
The fifth kind of competition are the numerous “fly-by-night” business consultants that claim to offer the same services as we do. Often they offer a below par service with no qualified personnel.

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Professional Services

Security Guard Business Plan Sample

Protect your community by starting a security business using a security guard business plan similar to this one.

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Protect your community by starting a security business using a security guard business plan similar to this one to compile your own.

1. Executive Summary

Batten-Hatchez Security is a start-up security company founded by Chindit Batten, an experienced former police sergeant and security company manager.

Located in Coastalburg at its launch, the business will provide security guards, security audits, and referrals to equipment providers to commercial buildings, retail businesses, and, eventually special event venues and other clients.

The business seeks to acquire capital from an angel investor and will expand to additional cities in our state and beyond if successful.

Related: Free Business Plan Template Download

In the current political climate, with increasing fears of terrorist activity, and the current economic climate, which promises an upswing in general and in outsourced services especially, this business is launching at the right time.

The business will target large retail stores and building management companies first in order to establish a strong base of clients in Coastalburg.

Batten-Hatchez will grow its employee base of security guards carefully, based on client contracts, and use both full-time and part-time guards. The business expects respectable sales of in the first year, almost doubling by the end of the third year. Gross margins will be similar to the industry average, based on guard labor costs vs. billings.

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After the initial investment and launch, a lean first year, and the establishment of an office and training space in the second year, the business will be poised to expand through its own financing after three years. After the business is proved replicable in additional cities, the business may be sold to provide an exit for the initial investor and founders.

Objectives

Batten-Hatchez Security will base its success on meeting the following objectives:

  • Employ 25 full-time equivalent security guards by the end of the third year of operation
  • Supply security guards to 15 buildings on a full-time basis by the end of the third year of operation
  • Earn $2 million in revenue with net profit over $300,000 in its third year of operation

Mission

Batten-Hatchez Security will remove worries for clients who require security guards for their buildings, facilities, and events by providing excellent customer service for clients and in-depth training for their employees.

Keys to Success

Batten-Hatchez Security believes the keys to success in its industry include:

  • Listening carefully to client concerns and objectives to create customized security guard packages
  • Knowing what the client does not know (bringing deep security expertise as well as knowledge of legal regulations and liability to the table)
  • Training security guards carefully and maintaining their training and certifications (e.g. to carry firearms)
  • Monitoring the quality of security guard service to offer quality assurance

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2. Company Summary

security-company-summary

Batten-Hatchez Security is a startup security company founded by Chindit Batten, a former police sergeant and security company manager with fifteen years in law enforcement and ten years in security work.

Related: 21 Steps To Start-Up

The business will provide security guards to commercial buildings, retail businesses, and special events. The business will launch in Coastalburg but will expand to additional cities if successful.

Company Ownership

Chindit Batten is CEO and founder of Batten-Hatchez Security.

He currently owns 60% of the business and the remaining 40% of shares are owned by his partner and co-founder, Viipuri Hatchez, COO. The business is incorporated as an S Corporation to enable additional investment for its launch.

The founders shares will be diluted as up to 40% of shares will be given to investors.

Start-up Summary

Batten-Hatchez Security will launch as a home-based business out of the home office of Chindit Batten. Initially, this will reduce the cost of rent and equipment.

Related: Conducting a Business Plan Market Analysis

Training for security guards will be provided in temporarily rented office space as needed.

Other start-up costs include the costs of incorporation and permits, such as concealed weapons permits, business license, and police clearances (legal fees), the initial website and brochure design and printing, and the first insurance premium for the business, including liability insurance for the guard’s work and carrying of firearms.

Long-term assets include mobile phones and headsets for all guards and employees, as well as two-way radios for guards working as teams.


3. Services

security-company-camera

Batten-Hatchez Security will provide well trained guards for one or more of the following purposes:

  • To guard entrances and screen guests/employees
  • To monitor clients’ premises with video surveillance equipment
  • To protect clients’ assets, employees and guests
  • To deter crime with visual presence
  • To organize response in the case of fire, evacuation, or other emergency
  • To respond to customer and employee health emergencies and accidents
  • To eject unwanted customers or trespassers
  • To liaison with police and city emergency responders

In addition, the principals of the firm will offer the following:

  1. Security audits and recommendations for security plans
  2. Referrals to providers of security technology (camera systems, etc.)

Batten-Hatchez will be a licensed, insured, and bonded business and will offer both armed and unarmed guards, based on client needs and budgets.

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All guards will be certified for security work and to carry firearms. Whenever possible, the same guards will be sent consistently to the same clients. However, substitutes will be necessary from time to time and the business will ensure that detailed data about the job is transmitted to substitute guards on those occasions.

Batten-Hatchez Security will build trust with clients as a partner, rather than simply in the specific guard or guards they grow comfortable with. Guards will keep in constant communication with their team via portable two-way radios and with the Batten-Hatchez office, as necessary through mobile phones.

The Batten-Hatchez office will be not be staffed full-time at launch, but the CEO and COO will be within reach by phone wherever they work. Guards who encounter criminal activity will alert the authorities immediately rather than going through a communications centre.

Once the Batten-Hatchez office is established outside of the home of Chindit Batten, it will be staffed full-time with a rotation of three call centre personnel who will cover the dispatches. Guards will either be stationed at desks or patrol on foot at all facilities.

Clients must provide vehicles if their jobs require vehicle patrol (i.e., a facility with several buildings), but this will not be a focus of Batten-Hatchez Security.


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4. Market Analysis Summary

security-market-analysis-summary

The market for security guard services includes building management companies, retail businesses, event venues, and other businesses. IBISworld.com reports that the security services industry as a whole was $29.7 billion in 2008.

While this number includes investigative services and armoured car services, it is estimated that security guards accounted for $22.3 billion. This represents approximately 540,000 employees in the security guard industry.

While market revenue has dropped 2% in 2008 due to the recession, it is expected that the market will rise again due to increasing outsourcing of security services by companies who will delay hiring their own full-time employees as the recession ends.

The continuing and growing concerns about security brought on by international terrorism are also expected to contribute to growth in the industry.

Of the potential targets available in Coastalburg Batten-Hatchez Security will focus on building management companies and retail businesses at the outset.

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These businesses require steady security needs and serving them is simpler than serving special events.

Market Segmentation

The market analysis table shows the market segmentation for Coastalburg among the major market segments for security guard services. Growth is slow among these markets as new development is not prevalent in Coastalburg currently.

Building management companies generally install surveillance equipment and employ security guards to monitor that equipment, to staff front desks/security checks, and sometimes for general patrol.

These companies often work with a number of commercial or residential buildings and look to establish a relationship with one reliable vendor for all of their security guard needs. While some buildings require night-shift guards, others require only day coverage.

Large retail businesses use security guards to deter theft and to provide safety. These include department stores and other retail stores over 4,000 square feet, although some smaller stores may use security guards if they sell high-priced items (designer fashion, jewelry, technology, etc.).

Retailers require more guards during the day. Some simply lock the store at night while some larger department stores use night patrols as well.

Related: How Do You Hit The Right Target Market For Your Business?

Event venues use security guards to monitor guest lists and fire capacities and to organize emergency response. Nightclubs and bars may be included in this category. However, most nightclubs and bars employ their own security personnel (or “bouncers”) directly and do not use vendors.

Event security has the same risks as other security, but there is limited time for security audits and situations change fast, making this a higher stress business that requires better trained guards. Events tend to happen in the evenings with weekday nights for corporate events and weekend nights for private events.

Educational institutions, such as primary and secondary schools and colleges, generally employ security officers to guard and patrol their buildings and campuses. Often these institutions employ their own in-house security staff, but they will sometimes use outsources security vendors. These institutions require night and day patrols.


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There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both.


Target Market Segment Strategy

Batten-Hatchez Security will target the first two of these target markets initially, building management companies and retail businesses. Both segments require ongoing security vendors and are eager to establish long-term relationships.

Once relationships are established, good customer service, quality assurance, and competitive pricing can ensure that the relationships are retained and that the security provider is considered a true partner in the protection of the building or businesses’ assets and people.

Furthermore, the other two target markets listed will be taken on at a later date, if at all. Event venues require more specialised services and may be a slower market to tackle.

Related: Target Market Worksheet

Educational institutions are often eager to establish their own security staffs, making this a difficult market to establish a strong foothold in as well.

Service Business Analysis

According to IBISWorld, there were 41,000 security services firms in the U.S. in 2008 running 56,000 establishments. The average size of a firm was $700,000 revenue per year based on these numbers, meaning that the industry includes both small and larger companies.

There are few barriers to entry, as long as basic legal requirements are met, as the capital investment in the business is very low. The industry depends on a supply of labor, often using retired police officers as security guards.

As security guard services are sold business-to-business, marketing and advertisement is generally targeted on the markets and industries the security companies seek to serve. Businesses generally search for security guard providers on the Internet or through referrals from other companies they trust.

Competition and Buying Patterns

Top players in the industry include Securitas AB, Allied Security LLC, The Brink’s Company, and G4S plc.

Huge players provide services for a huge range of markets, including governments, chemical and petrochemical, colleges and universities, commercial real estate, financial institutions, health care facilities, manufacturing and industrial, residential communities, shopping centers, and temporary security services.

Smaller security companies achieve success based on the expertise and reputation of their founding managers and the growth of a team with a similar track record. The continued success of a company depends on client satisfaction, leading to referrals.

Larger institutions and governments may receive several bids for security contracts, while smaller businesses (such as many that Batten-Hatchez Security will target) often prefer to try out security companies and move on if they do not meet expectations.

The smaller the amount of assets being protected, the more willing a company will be to risk their security on educated hunches about a security company without feeling the need to do due diligence on a number of options.

IBISworld reports the following about the security industry:

  • While the public’s perception of the rising crime rate assists revenue, the most significant factor which increases the demand for this industry’s services is a breach of an existing security system, a break-in or a near break in. The economic crisis has hurt demand over the past two years but things will soon begin to improve.
  • In Coastalburg, security guard service competitors include securityguard.com, Top Guard Security, US Security Guard Services, and Trend Security Corporation.

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Vending Services Sample Business Plan

Every start-up business that offers vending services requires a professional business plan.

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Vending Services Business Plan

Executive Summary

Introduction
Chef Vending, LLC is a family start-up business that specializes in importing vending machines and commercial food & beverage equipment from Spain. We will penetrate the vending industry with innovative, first to market, high quality vending machines. We will establish our own vending routes in the Southern and Central Florida region. We also plan to participate in the $321 billion food & beverage industry by supplying high-quality innovative equipment. With the establishment of one strategic alliance with a national brand name in either of our vending lines, we expect to easily exceed our financial forecasts.

The Company
Chef Vending’s mission is to be the leader in introducing innovative, quality vending machines and restaurant equipment to the market. Through close customer contact and excellent relationships, we will meet the needs of our customers wherever we can.

Chef Vending, LLC, is a privately-held Florida corporation and maintains an office and a small warehouse in a mixed-use area of North Miami Beach, Florida.

Three of the four investors in the company have full operational responsibility. Mauricio Ordonez and Javier Palmera, the co-founders, have both entrepreneurial and industry experience. Charles Mulligan brings operational management and financial skills to the operation.

The Products
Chef Vending will have two product lines, each for the various markets it serves. Our vending products line will include our unique Sandwich Express machine, our Fresh Orange Juice machine and our Multi-line Dispenser. Our restaurant equipment products will be toasters, espresso makers, and fresh juice squeezers.

Most of our products, such as Sandwich Express are innovative machines that have functions and advantages not found in today’s common vending machines, thus providing Chef Vending a competitive advantage over more established competitors.

We plan to aggressively enhance our existing line in the future. Our immediate plans are to include a larger model of Sandwich Express that will offer a greater variety of sandwiches, and a more diverse product line, such as pizza. Other products are in the exploratory phase.

We are also pursuing supplier relationships with large nationally-branded juice and sandwich manufacturers, to customize our machines to their products. This would enable Chef Vending to supply machines to national companies and allow them to brand the machines with their product lines.

The Market
Revenue from U.S. vending consumable merchandise was $24.5 billion last year, an increase of 4.9% over the previous year, according to the Automatic Merchandiser magazine’s latest State of the Vending Industry Report. Small companies, with sales of less than $1 million, accounted for 5.8% of the market and had projected sales of $1.35 billion. Three quarters of all vending operators are classified in the small category.

Within the industry, snacks and cold beverages are the largest product segments and these two categories are the driving force of the industry. The food category grew at a rate of 7% last year, according to the Automatic Merchandiser. Cold storage machines grew at an even more impressive 42% last ylear, with this growth coming at the expense of shelf-stable products.

According to the National Restaurant Association, revenues from restaurants are expected to reach $321 billion. This is a large and healthy industry in our economy, and suppliers to this industry are expected to benefit from this growth.

All of this indicates that a fast moving, innovative company that can introduce enhanced products to vending machine/restaurant equipment customers stand to gain significant market share in a relatively short time span.

Chef Vending will market its machines to three distinct market segments including; distributors, branded sandwich and juice manufacturers, and end users. For our restaurant equipment business we will focus on restaurants and hotels and equipment supply companies.

1.1 Objectives

Chef Vending’s objectives in our first year of operation are:

  • Sell 400 vending machines.
  • Directly place 10 vending machines, that we will operate, in the South Florida area.
  • Achieve $500,000 in sales in our restaurant equipment line.

For the following two years our growth objectives are:

  • Grow our vending machine and equipment business by 20% each year.
  • Grow revenues by 25% in our directly operated vending machines.

1.2 Mission

Chef Vending’s mission is to be the leader in introducing innovative, quality vending machines and restaurant equipment to the market. Through close customer contact and excellent relationships, we will meet the needs of our customers wherever we can. Chef Vending will secure sufficient profits from free cash flow from operations, to sustain its stability and finance future growth. We will add value to our community by maintaining a friendly, familial work environment.

1.3 Keys to Success

As a start-up company, new to the industry, and introducing new products, we must be focused and work hard to create acceptance for ourselves and our products within the marketplace. The keys to our success are:

  • Quality support and service, recognizing that Chef Vending’s success depends most critically on the relationships it’s able to create.
  • Innovative, quality products that are able to both expand existing markets and create new ones for our customers.
  • Steady, disciplined pattern of growth.
  • Our customers and keeping them happy.

Company Summary

Chef Vending, LLC, is a family-owned and operated import company that focuses on importing innovative vending machines and restaurant equipment from Spain. By serving a niche segment of the $24.5 billion dollar vending industry, we will position Chef Vending as a high-quality, innovative company, that creates value for its customers.

Located in North Miami Beach, Florida, three of the four investors have full operational responsibility. Mauricio Ordonez and Javier Palmera, the co-founders, have both entrepreneurial and industry experience. Charles Mulligan brings operational management and financial skills to the operation.

2.1 Company Ownership

Chef Vending, LLC, is a privately-held Florida corporation. Chef Vending is owned by three of its key employees, and one financial investor. The ownership breakdown is as follows:

Mauricio Ordonez- 40%
Javier Palmera- 20%
Charles Mulligan- 20%
Pedro Herrera- 20%

2.2 Company Locations and Facilities

Chef Vending maintains an office and a small warehouse in a mixed-use area of North Miami Beach, Florida. We maintain a showroom, where we provide customers with product demonstrations, a warehouse, where we keep an inventory of machines and supplies, and an administrative area to handle the business functions.

Products

Chef Vending imports a variety of innovative products that serve the needs of special segments of the market. These machines all aim to expand existing sales and open new lines of sales for our customers.

3.1 Product Description

Chef Vending has three vending machines and three lines of restaurant equipment.

Our vending products are:

  1. Sandwich Express- This machine stores, in a refrigerated unit, up to 140 pre-packaged sandwiches. When an order is placed, the machine sends a sandwich from the refrigerator to the toaster, toasts the sandwich for a pre-determined time, and at a predetermined temperature. In approximately 60 seconds, a fresh, delicious, hot sandwich is served.
  2. Fresh Orange Juice (OJ) Machine- This machine, as its name implies, delivers a chilled 7 oz. cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. In a refrigerated unit, the machine stores up to 140 lbs. of juice oranges. This will yield approximately 110, 7 oz. cups. When an order is placed, the machine will dispense, from its refrigerated container, whole oranges that will be sliced in half, and then each half is pulverized for its juice. The juice will run through a filtering system to keep out the seeds and most of the pulp, to finally provide the customer with a 100% all natural cup of OJ in approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Multi-line- These versatile, low-cost, easy-to-maintain machines provide the end user with a variety of vending options, from phone cards to disposable cameras. Chef Vending is able to provide customers with machines that have either two, three, or four product lines; this will provide flexibility to maximize unit revenue.

Our restaurant equipment products are:

  1. Toasters- Coming with either a single or double toaster, these panini-type toasters provide the commercial establishment with an automatic machine that frees up service personnel for other customer service tasks. These machines will toast sandwiches, pastries, and a variety of other menu items, in a predetermined time and temperature, automatically dispensing the food item when done.
  2. Espresso Maker- This high-quality espresso maker makes single-serve cups of delicious gourmet coffee from pre-packaged coffee pods. These pods provide great benefit to the owner by reducing the cost of measuring for each new order, and eliminating the waste associated with the traditional methods.
  3. Fresh Juice Squeezer- This commercial grade machine will squeeze fresh, whole-juice oranges to allow the owner to sell a cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice.

3.2 Competitive Comparison

Both our Sandwich Express and Fresh OJ machines will be first to market. Currently, the market only provides a sandwich, or other hot meals, that must then be microwaved. We will be the first to market a vending machine that both toasts the sandwich, and then delivers it hot to the customer. Our machine’s products will enjoy a qualitative advantage over microwaved products as well.

For juice drinks, the market only offers bottled or canned juices for a customer to purchase. Our OJ machine will literally squeeze a fresh cup each and every vend. A qualitative advantage over other machines is the fact that the product is free of additives and refined sugars.

There are a number of similar multi-line machines on the market today. We will offer the customer a quality product at prices below the prevailing market rates. Our machines also enjoy distinctive packaging that will compete favorably with the products currently in the market.

We will also be first to market a fully automated line of toasters. Currently, the toasters on the market require the food service worker to manually monitor the cooking process, where ours automatically toast and dispense, freeing the service worker to engage in other customer service tasks.

Our espresso coffee makers will compete with the existing espresso makers on the market today. Our machines will offer the pre-packaged coffee pod which will be a cost savings to the end user. We will also compete with an aggressive pricing strategy.

Our fresh juice machines will be priced aggressively as well, in order to better compete in the market.

3.3 Sales Literature

Sales brochures have been developed as part of our start-up expenses.

3.4 Sourcing

Chef Vending imports its machines from Spain. For oranges and sandwiches, we contract with local suppliers.

3.5 Technology

Chef Vending’s mission is to be the company that introduces innovative products to the market. To achieve this, we will search out the latest in food preparation technology in the vending and equipment business. As first to market, we currently enjoy a technological advantage over the competition.

3.6 Future Products

To enhance our existing line, we are looking at a larger model of Sandwich Express that will offer a greater variety of sandwiches, and a more diverse product line, such as pizza.

We are also pursuing supplier relationships with large nationally-branded juice and sandwich manufacturers, to customize our machines to their products. This would enable Chef Vending to supply machines to national companies and allow them to brand the machines with their product lines.

As we increase our presence in the equipment business, we will continuously search out products to expand our existing line. A key component of this will be the feedback from our customer base.

Market Analysis Summary

Revenue from U.S. vending consumable merchandise was $24.5 billion in 1999, an increase of 4.9% over 1998, according to the Automatic Merchandiser magazine’s State of the Vending Industry Report in August 2000. This figure includes both machines and products. Small companies, with sales of less than $1 million, accounted for 5.8% of the market and had projected sales for 1999 of $1.35 billion. Three quarters of all vending operators are classified in the small category.

Within the industry, snacks and cold beverages are the largest product segments, representing 29% and 25% of the industry, respectively. These two segments are the driving force of the industry. The food category grew at a rate of 7% last year, according to the Automatic Merchandiser. Cold storage machines grew at an even more impressive 42% in 1999, with this growth coming at the expense of shelf-stable products.

Broader economic and cultural trends are also positively impacting the industry. Food sales away from home have become a larger part of total food sales in the U.S. since the 50’s, according to the Department of Agriculture. Technomic, a Chicago-based research firm, reports an increase in demand for takeout meals as the percentage of two-parent households declines, along with the decline of the three regular sit down meals per day.

Consumer preferences about taste, price, nutrition, convenience, and technology are changing. These changes favor the vending industry, which now has the opportunity to spot these trends and develop their markets.

According to the National Restaurant Association, revenues from restaurants are expected to reach $321 billion in 1999. This is a large and healthy industry in our economy, and suppliers to this industry are expected to benefit from this growth.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Chef Vending will market its machines to three distinct market segments:

  • End Users- Operators that have their own vending routes who wish to expand their product selections. Included in this category are large institutional food service companies that engage in vending operations as part of their overall food service business.
  • Distributors- Companies that supply operators with machines and supplies for their operations.
  • Branded Sandwich Manufacturers and Branded Juice Companies- By working closely with these companies, we will customize our machines to meet their specifications and to allow them to “brand” our machines with their products. They will either supply the machines or sell them to their customers who will buy product supply for the machines from these companies.

We have two markets for our equipment business:

  1. Restaurants and Hotels – End users who benefit from the equipment purchased.
  2. Equipment Supply Companies- These are large supply houses that offer a variety of equipment to the food & beverage industry.

4.2 Industry Analysis

The U.S vending industry is divided into three main segments:

  1. Operators- Companies that buy and place vending machines on their routes, sell the product and service the machine, and range from small family businesses to large national companies.
  2. Manufacturers- Companies that manufacture machines for sale to operators.
  3. Distributors- The link between the manufacturer and the operator. Supplies the market with both machines and products for operators.

The food & beverage industry is divided into similar segments:

  • Food & Beverage Establishments- This segment covers the entire spectrum of bars and restaurants.
  • Suppliers- Companies that supply the establishments with all of their food, paper, and equipment needs.
  • Supply Houses- Acting as a distributor, these firms supply an area with their required supply needs.

4.2.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Both the food & beverage and vending industries are highly competitive. Price, Return On Investment (ROI), reliability, and customer service are the factors most effecting a buying decision.

There are many large name brand companies with vending machines in the market. We will focus on creating a niche market for our innovative machines, to compete with larger more recognizable names. By being first to market, we have a unique opportunity to brand ourselves and our machines.

Buying patterns are fairly consistent across the year.

4.2.2 Distribution Patterns

Distribution in the vending industry typically runs through a distributor. These distributors will carry a brand of machine for sale in a defined geographic region. In some instances, manufacturers sell direct to operators or end users. Another form of distribution is to be a supplier to a nationally branded company. Similar distribution patterns are established in the food & beverage industry.

4.3 Target Market Segment Strategy

Chef Vending’s initial strategy is to offer all of our products to all segments of the market. We will focus on both the end user and the distributor initially, as the strategy to secure accounts with the nationally branded companies will take some time to realize. We will reach our target market in one of three ways. First, we have begun a small advertising scheme in industry trade publications highlighting the many features and benefits of our products. Secondly, we have joined the National Automatic Merchandiser Association (NAMA) and have introduced ourselves and our products to distributors and end users at the NAMA annual convention in October, 2000; we will also participate in their Southeast regional show in South Carolina and in their national show next year. Finally, we will pursue personalized relationships with contacts developed at these shows and with regional companies in the South and Central Florida area.

For equipment sales, we will focus on end users and distributors in the South and Central Florida regions. As we gain market share in these markets we will expand geographically.

4.3.1 Market Needs

The principle market need we will be addressing will be revenue. Each of our machines will act to expand existing sales for operators, and in many cases will create new markets entirely. For the operator that is already vending snacks, a high end sandwich will enable this operator to expand his or her sales without cannibalizing existing sales. For the coffee vendor, a perfect compliment to a gourmet cup of vended coffee will be a fresh cup of orange juice. By creating a new untapped market, the operator will be able to expand revenue streams beyond their existing accounts. Another important need we will fill with our multi-line machines and our equipment, will be price. As we will be competing with existing supplies already in the market, we will price our products to be highly competitive in order to attract clients.

4.3.2 Market Trends

Growth rates in both the vending industry and the restaurant industry remain strong. This growth is fueled by the changes in the workplace and workforce that are causing workers to consume more of their meals away from home. Away from home food sales are expected to increase by 53%, according to NAMA.

As more and more consumers eat away from home, the demand for higher quality is also growing. Vendors are now offering a full line of packaged frozen meals in their machines. Margins will increase as premium prices are being placed on branded, high-quality products.

Demographic trends are affecting the industry. A large group of young adults, who mainly grew up on fast food, have emerged as an economic force. This group’s perceptions on fast food, technology, and vending, will have a positive impact in the vending business. Furthermore, overall population growth rates, and immigration trends particularly, will also have a tremendous economic impact on the vending industry. Much of the growth in both of these areas will be in the Southeast, where Chef Vending is poised to capitalize on these trends.

4.3.3 Market Growth

Studies by Automatic Merchandiser reflect an industry growth rate of approximately 4.8% over the last five years, matching the overall growth of the U.S. economy.

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Gift Baskets Sample Business Plan

If you are beginning a business that specializes in gift baskets then you will find this sample business plan most useful.

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Gift Baskets Business Plan

Executive Summary

Introduction
Basket of Goodies (BOG) is a premier gift basket retailer. BOG is concentrating on making gourmet gift baskets out of a wide range of high-quality ingredients. In addition to having several flagship baskets, BOG will also offer the option of a custom basket allowing the customer to choose the ingredients themselves. BOG will be selling to individuals as well as corporations. Initially the bulk of BOG’s business will be generated by individuals from word-of-mouth referrals, but as time passes, corporations will become a growing percentage of sales.

Once up and running with some momentum, BOG will be steadily producing profits. It is projected that BOG will be making a profit by December. By the end of year three, it is projected that BOG will be generating a net profit of approximately $21,000.

The Company
The Basket of Goodies’ mission is to create the finest gift baskets available. BOG, soon to be located in Salem, OR, will be hand assembling our products out of premier ingredients, local when possible. The business will be based out of Susan Presento’s home. Although this will be a home-based business, toward the end of year one Susan will have an employee.

Susan Presento, founder and owner, managed a flower shop in Salem for three years and this has given her insight to the gift giving practices of Oregonians. The primary gift baskets that will be offered are: smoked fish basket, fruit basket, pasta dinner basket, and picnic basket that has caviar, crackers, fruit, and smoked fish. BOG also offers a custom basket which allows customers to pick items from a list and BOG will assemble the basket with its custom ingredients.

The Market
The purchasing of gift baskets is very “seasonal.” More than half of the gift basket purchasing occurs during a wide variety of holidays.

BOG’s competitive advantage will be based on two factors, low overhead which allows reasonable prices, and an unrelenting desire for the highest quality product and service.

  1. Low overhead
  2. Highest quality product and service

BOG’s sales strategy will be targeted at obtaining both the individual and corporate clients through word-of-mouth referrals. Customers will be able to place an order at the office, over the phone or via the website.

1.1 Mission

The Basket of Goodies’ mission is to create the finest gift baskets available. We exist to attract and maintain customers. When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place. Our products and services will exceed the expectations of our customers.

1.2 Objectives

The objectives for the first three years of operation include:

  • To create a home-based company whose primary goal is to exceed customer’s expectations.
  • To increase the number of clients served by at least 20% per year through superior performance and word-of-mouth referrals.
  • To develop a sustainable home business, surviving off its own cash flow.

Company Summary

BOG, soon to be located in Salem, OR will offer a wide range of gourmet gift baskets, production as well as custom units. BOG will be hand assembling the baskets out of premier ingredients, local when possible. The business will be based out of Susan Presento’s home. Although this will be a home-based business, toward the end of year one Susan will have an employee. If the business goes per the forecasted plan, the business will achieve profits by the end of year one.

2.1 Company Ownership

The Basket of Goodies will be a sole proprietorship, owned by Susan Presento.

2.2 Start-up Summary

BOG’s start-up costs will include all the equipment needed for the home-based office, legal fees, website creation, and start-up advertising. The home office equipment will be the largest chunk of the start-up expenses. This equipment includes a computer system, fax machine, office supplies, cellular phone, and pager. The computer should have a 500 megahertz Celeron/Pentium processor, 64 megabytes of RAM (preferably 128), 6 gigabyte hard drive, and a rewritable CD-ROM for backing up the system. Additionally, there will be the expense installation of a broadband connection. While a broadband connection is not totally necessary, it only costs between $40-50 per month for service and will make working on the Internet significantly faster and easier.

The home office will also require a few pieces of furniture such as a desk, chair, and bookshelf to transform a standard room into an office.  Lastly, an additional land phone line will be required. The legal fees are used for the formation of the business as well as for reviewing/generating standard client contracts. The Web creation fees at start-up costs are for design and creation of the website. The start-up advertising will be the production of brochures.

Products

BOG sells gourmet, hand-assembled gift baskets. Their premier baskets are: smoked fish basket, fruit basket, pasta dinner basket, and picnic basket that has caviar, crackers, fruit, and smoked fish. BOG also offers a custom basket which allow customers to pick items from a list and BOG will assemble the basket with their custom ingredients.

For the customer baskets, BOG will provide a list of options grouped into four different categories. The customer then chooses two items from each of the four categories and the gift basket is made for them. BOG highlights four previously mentioned premier baskets. In addition to these, BOG will typically have one or two specials, often seasonally based.

Market Analysis Summary

BOG will be going after two distinct market segments, individuals and corporations. Both groups buy gift baskets as a goodwill gesture, typically for different reasons. Individuals typically buy the baskets as a present with over half of sales occur during holidays. Corporations buy the baskets as presents as well, but usually for events unrelated to the holidays. By going after both of these groups, sales will be less seasonal (relative to if only the individuals were targeted).

There are many different “gift basket” retailers in Salem. BOG will differentiate themselves through the use of premium ingredients in their baskets. The gourmet baskets, coupled with a custom option and reasonable prices (attributed to low overhead) will spell success for BOG.

4.1 Market Segmentation

BOG’s has two distinct groups of customers, individuals and corporate customers:

  1. Individuals- The individuals are people who are looking to give a friend, relative, colleague, etc., a gift basket as a gesture of goodwill.  These customers typically do not have a specific type of gift basket in mind when they look at BOG’s product offerings, they just want to give a gift.
  2. Corporate- The corporate customer is typically buying the basket for a colleague at work, either as a sign of appreciation, for a special event, or as a thank you for a customer. The corporate market can be further broken down to banks, health care, employment gifts, real estate, apartments, special events/promotions, corporate headquarters, hotels/vacation resorts, and automobile dealerships.

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

BOG is focusing on individuals and corporate customers because they are the largest segments of purchasers for gift baskets. Individuals are the target purchaser of gift baskets. They purchase baskets typically as a thank you in response for something the recipient did or just to be nice. The gift basket is unmistakingly a gift so upon receipt there is no ambiguity why it was sent or at least what it is trying to accomplish. Within the individual category, women are 69% more likely to be the purchaser of a gift basket compared to men. This is not to say that women more often purchase gifts, it just indicates women are more likely to buy gift baskets.

BOG is focusing on the corporate customers as they currently represent approximately a third of the purchasers of gift baskets. The corporate customer could be buying the basket for someone within their company, or they could be buying it for a customer, vendor, etc. The trend for the corporation to purchase gifts is not a new phenomenon and therefore would appear to be a solid market segment to pursue.

4.3 Industry Analysis

There are many different forms of competition in the gift basket business:

  • Similar gift basket type retail stores: There are several of these stores located in Salem. These competitors offer a wide range of gift baskets, however none of them are concentrating on the higher end, gourmet product line.
  • Nut/fruit companies: There are several stores that concentrate on nuts and or fruit baskets.
  • Bath product gift basket companies: There is currently one gift basket company that concentrates on bath products. Bath products have a slightly smaller population of people who appreciate these products (as women predominately appreciate bath products more then men do).
  • Regional gift basket: There is one retailer that sells gift baskets composed of local products. These type of baskets tend to appeal to people that are buying gifts for people that are not from this area.
  • Candy gift baskets: There are several candy stores that offer, as one on their products, a candy gift basket. Similar to the bath products basket, candy typically appeals to women a bit more so then men.
  • Florists: Flowers are a similar product that competes with gift baskets. Once again flowers tend to appeal to women more so then men.

The purchasing of gift baskets is very “seasonal.” More than half of the gift basket purchasing occurs during a wide variety of holidays.

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