Vashon Solicitation Services

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Call Center Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

The telemarketing industry is a growing industry with most companies having an annual growth between 6.5% and 8%. This is due to businesses that are becoming increasingly aware of the need for market information and the desire to reduce customer turnover rates in a hard hit economy. A significant trend in this industry is the growing number of clients who wish to outsource telemarketing functions to client companies instead of developing such infrastructure in-house. This makes for an excellent opportunity for VSS. However, long-term analysis of growth rates in this industry show a cyclical pattern and VSS does not expect this high growth rate to continue.

The telemarketing industry is quite fragmented with companies that vary greatly in size, scope, services offered, and market share. Many companies are general advertising agencies that offer telemarketing services along with a wide range of other consulting services. In addition, many companies, still not realizing the potential advantages of outsourcing, choose to develop their own telemarketing services.

VSS plans to enter into two market segments. First, we will work in the medical services industry since they have a high need to maintain contact with their patients at all times. We also will be working as a first level help desk for a number of small high-tech companies. Mr. Gibbs and Ms. Stuart have already signed contracts with Evergreen Medical and Sno-net, Inc. to serve in these capacities. We will also be taking on short-term projects, such as surveys, from small clients.

4.1 Market Segmentation

Virtually every company, both large and small require some form of telemarketing at some point. Often it is a survey to determine customer satisfaction or awareness. Sometimes it is effectively communicating an upcoming event such as a conference.

Other companies wish to know if telemarketing is a feasible method of sales generation. One of the new uses for call centers is in first level help desk services. About 75-80% of all technical problems faced by end customers can be solved by non-technical customer service representatives who are familiar with a computer or technical system and who have a scripted set of procedures to solve most common occuring problems. This is where an outsourced call center can save a client a large amount of money and allow a reduction in personnel needed on call 24 hours-a-day.

VSS plans to enter into two market segments. First, we will work in the medical services industry since they have a high need to maintain contact with their patients at all times. We also will be working as a first level help desk for a number of small high-tech companies.

Mr. Gibbs and Ms. Stuart have already signed contracts with Evergreen Medical and Sno-net, Inc. to serve in these capacities. Our customer service representatives are already in the process of receiving hands-on training from these two companies to meet their needs. We will also be taking on short-term projects such as surveys from small clients.

Once we have established a good working relationship with these initial clients, we will leverage our reputation and profitability into new contacts and contracts with other local companies. Our ultimate goal is to service the entire west coast region and become the company with a dominant market share.

The market analysis table and graph which follows shows the number of businesses within the state of Washington. This will be our initial geographical focus for the first four to five years of our company's existance. Later, as we expand to a west coast scope, our future business plans will include all of our potential clients in this area.

Market Analysis
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
High-tech companies 2% 400 408 416 424 432 1.94%
Medical companies 3% 350 361 372 383 394 3.00%
Other 3% 2,200 2,266 2,334 2,404 2,476 3.00%
Total 2.86% 2,950 3,035 3,122 3,211 3,302 2.86%

4.2 Service Business Analysis

The telemarketing industry is a growing industry with most companies having an annual growth between 6.5% and 8%. This is due to businesses that are becoming increasingly aware of the need for market information and the desire to reduce customer turnover rates in a hard hit economy. However, long-term analysis of growth rates in this industry show a cyclical pattern and VSS does not expect this high growth rate to continue.

The telemarketing industry is quite fragmented with companies that vary greatly in size, scope, services offered, and market share. Many companies are general advertising agencies that offer telemarketing services along with a wide range of other consulting services. In addition, many companies, not realizing the potential advantages of outsourcing, choose to develop their own telemarketing services.

VSS believes that the greatest threat at the moment is in new entrants to the market who perceive an opportunity in a "high" growth industry. The most likely entrants will be pre-existing advertising agencies wishing to horizontally integrate and enter new sub-markets.

The one major disadvantage to new entrants is that all firms engaged in contracting to telemarketing agencies face significant switching costs when bringing on a new partner. Furthermore, VSS understands that in this industry there is a significant learning curve that creates declining "unit" costs as a firm gains more cumulative experience in the field itself and with long-term clients specifically. Finally there are significant start-up costs associated with creating a call center.

Rivalry among different call center agencies is quite intense. The telemarketing industry as a whole is mature with long-term moderate growth. Most of the largest agencies are mutually dependent when it comes to jockeying for position and market share. The fact that there are so many diverse and seemingly "generic" or general telemarketing agencies makes this a cutthroat industry.

The threat of clients backwardly integrating so as to have all their advertising done in-house is one of the major factors that buyers use to indirectly control price in this industry, and increase competition among firms. This must always be foremost in the minds of Vashon's management when offering services and setting prices.

4.2.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

Competition
Competition includes all potential call centers and telemarketing agencies across the country. In addition we have indirect competition from organizations that handle all their telemarketing in-house. Practically speaking, this means we have the greatest threat from the largest telemarketing agencies such as Crouch & Weasley, Berman Telemarketing, and other big, nationwide call center companies that hold significant market share. The call center industry is highly fragmented, with a large number of small companies that mainly cater to small firms and a few large companies that seek the largest contracts from companies such as Sprint, GM, etc. This makes competition within the industry very intense. Through our focused strategy of serving niche markets such as help desk services, we intend to avoid such a debilitating environment and avoid its drawbacks such as price wars, and etc.

Buying patterns and needs
Companies usually enter into contracts with call center firms based on their reputation of professionalism and effective campaigns in the past. This reputation is difficult to obtain by new firms unless its personnel bring it with them from previous companies such as ours. Price and scope are also important reasons for accepting contracts, especially if the company is small.