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Office Furniture Store Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

The primary strategies of WorkChairs are:

  • Sell niche ergonomic products that are hard to find in normal sales channels and usually take some education to understand and use.
  • Educate our customers and nurture relationships with them by providing superior customer service.
  • Sell locally and online to maximize two different sales channels.

5.1 Competitive Edge

The primary competitive edge of WorkChairs is our product selection and how we educate our customers. We carry hard-to-find products that solve specific ergonomic needs. These are products you can't find at local office furniture stores or superstores such as Office Depot, Staples, etc. These products are only carried by a few ergonomic specialty retailers both locally and online. In our local market, there are only a few small office supply stores that carry these products, and they aren't very active in selling them or educating their customers about them.

We will have samples of a range of our products on hand for our local customers to test-sit. Part of the education process is give people the kinesthetic experience of using properly designed and sized chairs, workstations, etc. Purchases will be drop-shipped directly from the manufacturers to the customers, or to us, as our customers prefer. 

Online, we hope to educate our customers better than anyone else and show why they need our products and how these will help solve their problems. There are lots of websites that carry ergonomic products, but most of them just list the products and don't give much information about them.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Our marketing strategy has two categories that both hit our three target markets:

Local Marketing Strategy - We intend to hit our three target markets locally "the old fashioned way." 

  • Cold Calls - Jake Wilson will call on local businesses both small and large to educate them on our company and our ergonomic products.
  • Yellow Pages - We will be listed in the local yellow pages under office products, office furniture, etc.
  • Business Groups - Jake and Lisa Wilson will each be joining a number of local business groups in order to network and make contacts at local companies. We will use these contacts to get a foot in the door to build relationships with new customers.

Online Marketing Strategy - Our online marketing strategy will be run by Peter Wilson who is in charge of our website.

  • Search Engines - We will pay to be listed in all the paid inclusion search engines and directories, as well as submitting to all the free search engines. Peter Wilson is an expert in this area, and will have our site optimized to do well in the engines.
  • Pay-per-click Advertising - We will be spending a limited monthly budget on pay-per-click advertising on Overture and Google for targeted ergonomic keywords.
  • Link-building Campaign - Our website will be more than just an online store. We will provide tons of information about ergonomics that will be educational for people trying to solve health problems. This will make our site an ergonomic resource worth linking to from other websites. We will have an ergonomic resources directory that will allow us to do link exchanges with other websites.
  • Affiliate Program - We will have an affiliate program for other websites to sign up and earn a 10% commission on sales they refer to us.
  • Word of Mouth - We will have features on our site to allow users to send pages from our site to their friends or co-workers.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Our sales strategy is broken down into two different areas:

  • Local Sales - We will sell to local customers and employ a traditional local business sales strategy. Jake Wilson will be our primary salesman, and he'll work in a normal fashion of calling on local businesses and informing them about our company and our products. Mr. Wilson will also join local business groups to network, and try to be the kind of salesman people refer to others. He does not earn a commission, as he will be working on salary as part owner. It's possible that an additional local salesperson will be brought onto the team in the future.
  • Online Sales - Obviously, selling online is different from selling locally. We'll rely on our website to provide product information and answer the questions customers have about their products. Jake and Lisa Wilson will be available by phone and email to answer questions the site alone can't answer. Otherwise, it's a traditional e-commerce setup where the customer orders the product and WorkChairs either ships out the product themselves if it's in inventory, or alerts the manufacturer who will drop ship the product.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The Sales Forecast table outlines sales and cost projections for our four product groups. We expect to be able to sell products in the first month due to relationships we already have with customers who have agreed to purchase our products. As our name grows in the local community and as our website gets more links and better search placement online we feel our sales will continue to grow.

Each product category has a different growth rate for the first year based on our projections for how much growth there is in each area. We feel Chairs and Other will each see a 20% growth rate. We feel that the growth rate of Workstations and Computer Accessories will be slower at 15%.

After year one, we anticipate an overall growth rate of about 20%.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Chairs $79,161 $94,993 $113,992
Computer Accessories $11,601 $13,921 $16,705
Workstations $29,002 $34,802 $41,762
Other $19,790 $23,748 $28,498
Total Sales $139,554 $167,464 $200,957
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Chairs $39,581 $41,560 $43,638
Computer Accessories $5,800 $6,091 $6,395
Workstations $14,501 $15,226 $15,987
Other $9,895 $10,390 $10,910
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $69,777 $73,266 $76,929

5.4 Milestones

The accompanying table is a list of our initial milestones for the launch of WorkChairs. It lists the actual milestone, date that we start working on the milestone, the date the milestone should be accomplished, the employee in charge, and the department. We are not rushed to get this business going, but we still feel it's crucial to hit our milestones on time to get the business going before the slow summer season hits. We'd like to use the summer season to fine tune our website and make sure our relationships with our manufacturers are all solid and working well. We will use the Plan vs. Actual feature of Business Plan Pro® PREMIER to track our progress in getting everything done on time.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Corporation Formed 1/4/2002 1/15/2002 $1,000 Jake Executive
Product Selection Finalized 1/1/2002 2/1/2002 $0 Jake and Lisa Executive
Website 1/1/2002 2/15/2002 $75 Peter Web
Seach Engine Submissions 2/15/2002 3/1/2002 $500 Peter Web
Link Campaign 3/1/2002 3/15/2002 $0 Peter Web
Affiliate Program Launch 4/1/2002 4/15/2002 $0 Peter Web
Business Groups Joined 4/1/2002 4/1/2002 $0 Jake and Lisa Executive
Cold Calls Launch 4/1/2002 4/1/2002 $0 Jake Sales
Totals $1,575