In all areas of marketing, A Mother's Place will implement consistent marketing and sales strategies from the beginning (prior to opening). The following sections outline our strategies for sales and marketing.
5.1 Competitive Edge
The advantages A Mother's Place has over the competition are numerous:
Toys 'R Us and K-Mart are the only two places within a 10 mile radius from Santa Cruz city that carry juvenile products, and both are limited in their selection. Neither of these stores offers the small and family-friendly atmosphere or high quality customer service of A Mother's Place.
A Mother's Place has a multitude of parenting resources: there are parenting classes, pregnancy support programs, children's play programs and winter playgroups, as well as the wealth of child development knowledge that will be delivered by the principal and the employees of the company.
A Mother's Place offers a baby registering program with consulting at free of cost that is not available in Santa Cruz or Santa Clara County.
A Mother's Place will offer parents the convenience of purchasing multiple baby products (diapers, bottles, car seats, toys, books) in the same location where they can take parenting and/or fitness classes.
A Mother's Place will provide Installation of Car Seats by AAA CPS Certified(Child Passenger Safety) employees. The only place that provides this program currently is the local California Highway Patrol office, which has limited hours.
5.2 Marketing Strategy
A Mother's Place will market the company in the following ways:
Giving brochures with a promotional discount offer to:
Birthing Classes at Sutter Medical Center
Childbirthing Classes at Dominican Hospital
Breastfeeding Support Group at Dominican Hospital
Mom's Support Group at Dominican Hospital
Posting flyers at:
OB/Gyn Examination rooms
Area childcare centers
Local children's clothing stores (i.e. Lollipops, Cottontales, Hopscotch)
Local stores that carry children's items (i.e. Aptos Shoes & Apparel, Toy Chest, Farmer Exchange)
Local children's programs (Harvey West swimming classes, Simpson Swim Center, Loudon Nelson's Center, Santa Cruz Gymnastics)
Libraries ~ children's books section
Local bookstores ~ children's book section (i.e. Santa Cruz Bookshop, Book Cafe Capitola)
Fitness Centers ~ childcare area
Getting articles promoting A Mother's Place grand opening printed in:
Santa Cruz Sentinel Newspaper
Growing Up in Santa Cruz: A newsletter serving families of Santa Cruz County
San Jose Mercury News
All brochures, flyers and other marketing tools will promote our website, which will list the products and services this company can provide to the community. It will also have all schedules of classes, and a registration form for class enrollment can be printed from the website, as well.
5.3 Employee Incentive Program
Our employees will play a vital part in the success of the company. A Mother's Place will allow the employees to be part of the company in the following ways:
Each employee will have a job description and orientation that will provide clear expectations for their performances, and the company's mission and goals. This will benefit both the employees and the principal as everyone will be working towards the same goal.
Included in the job description and training, each employee will be given responsibility for moving us toward one of our company objectives, to develop a feeling of ownership in the company's success. This will promote better work performances, as each employee will feel responsible for his/her actions, and will thus help to increase sales.
Each month, if the company meets the sales forecast goal, each employee will be eligible for a bonus card that will provide cash towards any purchases at A Mother's Place. The amount will be determined based on the performance of the employee.
The company will introduce an "Star Employee" system based on reviews from customers, sales performance and employee performance. The employee of the month will earn a choice of an afternoon paid time off, or a bonus card (the bonuses/rewards can be modified to make it more suitable for the employee group).
Each of the employees will have the satisfaction of providing quality products and services to families and children. They will be recognized for their high quality services, customer relations and "going beyond their job descriptions."
5.4 Sales Strategy
The sales strategy of A Mother's Place will be threefold:
"Shop for convenience" Products such as diapers, baby wipes, and bottlefeeding accessories will draw mothers to A Mother's Place as they can shop "at one place" for all their needs, and may purchase other items at the retail store, and/or enroll in classes.
Competitive Prices: Diapers and baby wipes will be offered at the lowest price among all competitors (including local supermarkets, drug stores, Costco, Target, and KMart). These items are not intended to make large profit, only as a marketing strategy to draw customers to the store.
"Review & Save Program": This program will allow customers to "rate" the products they have purchased, and receive a promotional coupon towards their next shopping trip at A Mother's Place. All of the reviews will be posted, to help provide customers with additional information on the products, and to promote sales.
Classes: The classes (Yoga Pregnancy, Parenting classes, StrollerFit, Playgroups) will also be an incentive to draw mothers into the store and enroll in additional classes.
Nursing Room: The nurturing and comforting environment of this room will contribute to our family-friendly atmosphere, and the resultant high return rate of our customers.
Upscale and inviting presentation: All products will be displayed in an organized and inviting fashion (i.e. there will be a "nursery room set up" with cribs fitted with coordinated beddings, pillows, art prints, mobiles and rugs), that will provide ideas for the customers, thus increasing sales.
5.5 Sales Forecast
The strongest revenue during the first quarter of operation will be retail sales, until the classes begin to build enrollment by the second quarter of operation. In addition, we estimate that the birthday parties will begin to bring in stronger revenue during the holidays, with "holiday parties" offered.
Note: The financial assumptions can be found in section 8.0 of this plan, below.
Retail Baby Products
Direct Cost of Sales
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales
5.6 Stepping Stones
The JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association) Trade Show is one of the largest trade shows in the industry of baby products, offered annually in May. The principal will attend to gain information on the products (current and new lines for 2005), meet the company representatives, and establish the strong relationships that will be vital to the success of A Mother's Place.
The next step will be completion of the business plan, through the grand opening of the company, and the beginning of profitability in January 2005.
JPMA Trade Show
Business Plan completed
Application submitted to bank
Website completed with Grand Opening & class schedules