The Shipping Centre

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Direct Mail and Shipping Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

The Shipping Centre will be located in a high traffic strip mall. While the rent for this location will be high, the high traffic area will bring in sufficient business. In addition to being quite visible in the city, The Shipping Centre will be advertising in assorted local newspapers and flyers to raise awareness about the company. These efforts will generate interest for the company. The Shipping Centre will turn the interest into sales through the use of good pricing, superior customer service and convenience in the form of extra long business hours that is not currently offered by the competition.

5.1 Competitive Edge

The Shipping Centre's competitive edge will be based on two factors, customer service and convenience.

  1. Customer Service. The Shipping Centre will offer exemplary customer service that will stand out in the otherwise commodity like delivery of services in this business space. The competitors customer service is acceptable, they are generally helpful and nice, but you do not leave the store with an overwhelming feeling that you as the customer, were worshipped. This will change with The Shipping Centre's customer service. After visiting The Shipping Centre you will leave with an overwhelming feeling of how superior customer service treatment was. When you leave The Shipping Centre with that feeling, that will stick in your head and will be effective in differentiating The Shipping Centre from its competitors.
  2. Convenience. Most of the competition has normal business hours. While this works for some people, our market research indicates that people are using these services because they work during the day and they are in need of a quick and easy solution. By offering extended business hours, The Shipping Centre becomes immediately more convenient, by allowing working individuals to service their shipping etc. needs after work hours.

5.2 Sales Strategy

The Shipping Centre's sales strategy will be based on work flow efficiencies and superior customer service.

  1. Work flow efficiencies. Typically when competitors send a package using either UPS or USPS, they enter the information into software from the specific shipping vendor (i.e. UPS). Once the information is entered into the UPS software, the software generates the shipping tag and corresponding price. The customer pays the amount and leaves. Now the employee must enter all this information into their computer software to track the transaction. Handling the transaction twice is inefficient. The Shipping Centre can offer slighty better prices and margins by making this process more efficient. This will be done with special software that takes the information from the UPS and USPS software and automatically transfers it into the back-end software that The Shipping Centre uses. This will cut time spent on tracking transactions in half and improve accuracy as the number of times the information is entered increases, there is an increase in the likelihood of errors.
  2. Superior customer service. This will help boost sales as people become accustomed to The Shipping Centre's level of service and become a return customer, developing a long-term mutually beneficial relationship. Typically people that send packages do so with some frequency. If they buy things over the Internet or by phone, they do not do so on isolated occasion, they do so with some regularity. With this in mind, The Shipping Centre's customer service will turn them into regular customers.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The first month will be spent setting up the business. There will not be any sales activity during this time period.  By the second month the store will be open to customers and they will begin to trickle in. It will not be until months four and five that there becomes a steady stream of customers.

For the shipping and fax service The Shipping Centre expects a steady increase in business. For the Mail Boxes, there will be a steady increase until the boxes are near full utilization and then there will be a plateau of sales activity from the boxes.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Shipping Customers $195,425 $365,412 $389,850
P.O. Box Customers $24,432 $26,000 $26,987
Fax Customers $19,997 $33,058 $41,254
Total Sales $239,854 $424,470 $458,091
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Shipping Customers $87,941 $164,435 $175,433
P.O. Box Customers $2,443 $2,600 $2,699
Fax Customers $10,998 $18,182 $22,690
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $101,383 $185,217 $200,821

5.3 Milestones

The Shipping Centre will have several milestones early on.

  1. Business plan completion.
  2. Completion of the storefront/back office.
  3. Completion of software.
  4. Revenues growing steadily, yearly.
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business Plan Completion 1/1/2001 1/1/2001 $0 Steve Marketing
Completion of Storefront/Backoffice 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 Steve Department
Completion of Software 1/1/2001 2/15/2001 $10,000 Steve Department
Totals $10,000