Basket of Goodies

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Gift Basket Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

BOG's marketing and sales strategy will be based on two different types of media, brochures and a website. Through these two tools, customers will become familiar with BOG's products. BOG will also heavily rely on word-of-mouth referrals for business. BOG does not anticipate any difficulties in developing these referrals as BOG's mission is customer oriented. Everything they do revolves around developing a happy customer.

5.1 Competitive Edge

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. BOG's overhead is particularly low because it is a home-based business. Most of the competition is based in retail shopping areas. While they receive more walk-by traffic and therefore higher sales numbers, their rent is a large monthly expense. BOG avoids this large expense by having the business run out of Susan's home. Additionally, Susan will be using a modified version of just-in-time (JIT) inventory and assembling. Susan's husband passes by the 90% of Susan's vendors on his way home from work and is able to pick up needed inventory. This significantly lowers shipping and carrying costs for inventory. BOG will have some of the standard baskets in stock for walk-by orders, but will try not to have large amount in overhead.

  2. Unrelenting desire for the highest quality product and service. This market space is already crowded, a mediocre gift basket service will not succeed, so there must be some sort of differentiation. Susan only uses the finest quality ingredients and can afford to because of her low overhead. Additionally, she always follows the maxim that the customer must be 100% satisfied. That means she is willing to lose money in the short run if necessary to please a customer, confident that in the long run that this is a wise business decision.

5.2 Sales Strategy

BOG's sales strategy will be targeted at obtaining both the individual and corporate clients. It is our belief that the individual customers will be primarily obtained through word-of-mouth referrals. It is likely that they will have spoken to a previous client about BOG and the referral of our services will speak for itself. Our sales strategy will be to use an emphasis on our value and high quality when trying to close the sale of the prospect. The prospective client can get a similar product from a number of different vendors. BOG will attempt to close the sale by showing the high quality of the basket by highlighting some of the individual ingredients. BOG's expectation is that once they are impressed with the quality of the basket, they will then be surprised that it is priced the same as competing products. The combination of the perception of higher quality and the recognition of value should turn a lead into a customer.

Additionally, we provide several ways to procure the baskets. One way is for the customer to come by the office and place the order. The customer can also place the order through a phone call. Either they have ordered before, or are looking at a brochure and know what they want, or they can visit our website for a complete catalog of our products. To receive the product, they can pick up the product, or they may have it shipped via UPS. BOG believes that by providing the customer a wide range of options, they will feel that they are special as we will do a wide range of services to accommodate them. Our sales strategy for individuals and particularly corporations will be based on our Web presence in conjunction with our printed catalog. Both media will have detailed information about our service offerings.

Through our marketing efforts we will be driving people to our website and/or catalog. Once on our website, people will see the wide range of product offerings we have and then can contact us. The website will be especially useful for someone out of town who is need of a gift for someone. BOG expects the corporate customers to utilize the website as a catalog, as well as an order taker, because it takes less time for them to order on the Web then it does from them to do in person.

5.2.1 Sales Forecast

The first month will be spent setting up the business. It is unlikely that there will be much sales activity. In addition to dealing with legal and accounting issues, equipment will need to be purchased, an office created, and an assembly/inventory room set up in the basement. Susan will be developing a system for assembly within the first month as a way to streamline the entire process, as well as working on having the website designed and set up. This will require a bit of time spent with her Web designer to perfect the look and feel of the site as well as to set up the option of taking orders online.

Month two or three will begin to see some sales activity. BOG recognizes that it will take a bit of time to really ramp up the sales. Susan will be doing a lot of networking in an attempt to spread awareness about BOG's products and services. Susan will also be doing some direct mailing to some local corporations in an attempt to drive in some corporate business. Susan has a friend who works at a large company and she will serve as a consultant for ways of increasing corporate purchases. Because Susan's husband will be helping out with picking up some of the materials, Susan will not need an employee until near the end of year one.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales
Individuals $33,640 $64,575 $78,452
Corporations $9,905 $28,744 $31,458
Total Sales $43,545 $93,319 $109,910
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Individuals $11,484 $18,474 $24,124
Corporations $3,505 $7,854 $9,898
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $14,989 $26,328 $34,022

5.3 Milestones

BOG will have several milestones early on:

  1. Business plan completion. This will be done as a road map for the company.  While BOG does not need a business plan to raise capital, it will be an indispensable tool for the ongoing performance and improvement of the company.
  2. Set up office.
  3. Production of brochure and website.
  4. BOG's 100th basket.
  5. BOG's first profitable month.
Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2001 1/1/2001 $0 Susan Marketing
Set-up office 1/1/2001 1/1/2001 $0 Susan Department
Production of brochure and website 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 Susan Department
BOG's 100th basket 3/1/2001 3/1/2001 $0 Susan Department
Totals $0