Southeast Racing

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Auto Parts Store Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Our strategy is based on serving the niche of entry-level racers well. This area is full of small race teams that can't get products or services from the major vendors who focus only on professional race teams. Also:

  • What begins as a customized version of a standard product, tailored to the needs of local racers, can eventually become a niche product that will fill the needs of similar racers across the country.
  • We are planning our marketing strategy so that we can eventually reach specific kinds of racers across broad geographic lines.
  • We focus on satisfying the needs of entry-level race teams.
  • We focus on follow-on technology that we can take to the masses, as opposed to leading edge technology that aims at the professional race teams.

5.1 Marketing Strategy

The retail marketing strategy of Southeast Racing Parts centers on creating a corporate identity that clearly defines our market niche in terms that benefit our customer. Other specific strategies that will be used follow:

  1. Print Ads - Keeping the Southeast Racing Parts name in front of the customer while getting established will be necessary. We plan on running limited space ads in the local racing newspapers to keep our name and phone number in front of the consumer. We may attempt to showcase a single product in an effort to return revenue from the ad. Our past experience has been that showing measurable revenue from these types of ads is difficult. In the future we plan on utilizing Stock Car Racing magazine and Circle Track magazine (both national magazines) as a method of increasing our sales revenue.
  2. Press Releases - The local racing papers: The Racing News, Late Model Digest, Dirt Late Model Digest, and The Pit List have offered to run releases and/or stories concerning the opening of Southeast Racing Parts. Stock Car Racing magazine has also extended us the same offer. We will also use the above media to run new product releases.
  3. Race Car Sponsorship - Entry-level racers can be persuaded into running the Southeast Racing Parts logo on their race car in exchange for a token discount on purchases and/or for receiving technical support.
  4. Decals - We will have decals manufactured with the Southeast Racing Parts logo. We will include the decals with all of the orders that we ship. Entry-level racers in particular enjoy displaying decals on their race cars, haulers, tool boxes, etc.
  5. Apparel - We know several people in the area who produce NASCAR apparel. A line of premium Southeast Racing Parts apparel could be designed and produced in very short runs to reduce inventory costs. These can be sold or given away with qualifying purchases to further expose the Southeast Racing Parts name.
  6. Grand Opening - A Grand Opening is the most successful of any in-store promotions. With manufacturer support, a large number of door prizes can be given away while instantly building a mailing list. Loss leader pricing on a few high volume consumable products will attract in-store traffic. Vendors will subsidize loss leader pricing with a rebate or kickback. Appearances by local racing celebrities would also expose potential customers to Southeast Racing Parts.
  7. Trade Shows - We will exhibit at approximately four local trade shows annually. Revenue that we produce at the shows will outweigh our expenses for attending.
  8. Word of Mouth - By giving first-time customers great service and a fair price, the word is sure to spread. Also, the many industry and racer contacts that we already have in the area will prove to be most beneficial in spreading the word.

All marketing decisions with regard to specific media choices, frequency, size, and expenditures will be conducted on an on-going basis with careful considerations of returns generated.

5.1.1 Promotion Strategy

Our most important vehicle for sales promotion will be our catalog, which is discussed earlier in this plan.

5.1.2 Distribution Strategy

Our customers will buy our products at our location. However, we anticipate a significant amount of mail order sales in order to meet or exceed our Sales Forecast. We will receive orders by mail, phone, or fax, process them immediately, and ship the goods via United Parcel Service.

In the event we are out of an item or we don't stock it, many of our vendors have offered drop shipping as a service to us. This will allow us to keep our service at a high level, yet let us keep our inventory levels in check.

In the future, electronic commerce with a secure website will be thoroughly investigated for feasibility.

5.1.3 Pricing Strategy

Our customers are especially sensitive to value. We must ensure that our price and service are perceived to be a good value to the racers. However, in the nearly thirty years of experience that we have accumulated in the racing industry, one message rings true: someone can always beat you on price.

Therefore, our pricing strategy is to be competitive within the various product categories, but not to rely on the selling price to overshadow the other advantages of doing business with our company. We will sell ourselves on the basis of a diverse line of quality products, that are readily available, reasonably priced, and backed up by our extraordinary customer service. The products will be checked prior to shipment and all promised shipping dates will be met.

We will strive for a modest gross profit margin, increasing that steadily by year four.

5.2 Sales Strategy

Because Southeast Racing Parts is a new entity, we understand that we will have to prove our company's worth to racers in order to earn their respect and business.

Most importantly, we need to sell our company, not necessarily the products. We will need to push our service and support capabilities.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The following table and related charts show our present sales forecast. We are projecting sales to grow at steadily for the next three years.

Our seasonality, as shown in the chart, is a factor in the racing industry. We will tend to sell much better in the period January through June, while sales trail off in late summer and fall.

Management feels these forecasts are highly attainable.

When Performance Racing Industry completed its annual survey, the resulting figure for total number of racers was 385,000. Within the survey they also found that 150,000 of those were oval track racers. The survey also showed $1.5 billion in annual retail sales for all segments, with 48% of that total ($720 million) derived from the oval track segment.

By dividing that number ($720 million) by the number of oval track racers (150,000), the average annual retail purchases of oval track racers equals $4,800. From our past experience, we believe that each customer we have would spend on average 25% of that figure ($1,200) with our company. Finally, by dividing our first year sales forecast ($350,000) by $1,200 (average annual customer purchases), it shows that we will need 292 customers to support the sales forecast numbers. We believe, by and large, that these are realistic and attainable numbers.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Inventory Sales $350,219 $455,285 $591,870
Internet Marketing $16,800 $16,800 $16,800
Total Sales $367,019 $472,085 $608,670
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Inventory $245,154 $314,147 $402,472
Internet Marketing $0 $0 $0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $245,154 $314,147 $402,472

5.3 Strategic Alliances

We have the ability to build strong strategic alliances with many of our suppliers, some of which are listed below.

  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a Warehouse Distributor (W.D.) without the buy-in requirement.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will do "whatever they can" to help us succeed. Possibly supply us with a show car to display in our showroom.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a W.D. without the buy-in requirement.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a W.D. and could also be persuaded into extending us special terms.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a W.D. and help out as needed with additional terms.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They have set us up as a dealer and will drop ship when needed.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a W.D. without the buy-in requirement.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will work with us by drop shipping direct to our customers and also by acting as a "paper" warehouse so that we may order direct from the manufacturer for a nominal billing fee.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). Could be persuaded into giving us extended dating on our initial stocking order.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will supply us with used testing equipment at no charge. They have indicated that they would also extend special terms and/or dating on initial stocking order.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will supply us with their 94-page 4-color catalog at no charge.
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality). They will set us up as a direct W.D. without the buy-in requirement. Will also assist us in marketing their products in this area.

The following two local warehouses will help us immensely in keeping our own inventory levels in check, while still giving our customers fast service:

  • (omitted to protect confidentiality).
  • (omitted to protect confidentiality).

Approached properly, these vendors and many others will assist Southeast Racing Parts in becoming a force in the marketplace.

5.4 Milestones

Sample Milestones topic text.

The milestones table and chart show the specific detail about actual program activities that should be taking place during the year. Each one has its manager, starting date, ending date, and budget. During the year we will be keeping track of implementation against plan, with reports on the timely completion of these activities as planned.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Sample Milestones 1/4/2008 1/4/2008 $0 ABC Department
Finish Business Plan 5/7/2009 6/6/2009 $100 Dude LeGrande Fromage
Acquire Financing 5/17/2009 7/6/2009 $200 Dudette Legumers
Ah HA! Event 5/27/2009 6/1/2009 $60 Marianne Bosses
Oooooh Noooooo! Event 6/26/2009 7/1/2009 $250 Marionette Chèvre deBlâme
Grande Opening 7/6/2009 7/11/2009 $500 Gloworm Nobs
Marketing Program Starts 6/6/2009 7/1/2009 $1,000 Glower Marketeers
Plan vs. Actual Review 11/1/2009 11/8/2009 $0 Galore Alles
First Break-even Month 3/5/2010 4/4/2010 $0 Bouys Salers
Hire Employees 2/1/2010 3/3/2010 $150 Gulls HRM
Upgrade Business Plan Pro 4/22/2010 4/24/2010 $100 Brass Bossies
Totals $2,360