MGSG will be aggressively courting the farmer markets to ensure the ability to have a booth at the markets. Additionally, MGSG will be aggressive in going after the local restaurants that have a consistent need for the greens. Through an assurance of top-shelf service and superior customer service and reliability, MGSG will continue to grow its number of clients.
5.1 Competitive Edge
Mixed Greens Salad Gardens' competitive edge has two main aspects: quality and flexibility.
Quality. While the quality of the other local farmers is quite good, Heidi's extensive educational background and practical experience provides her with tools to create a superior product. Heidi is a perfectionist and her striving for perfection will lead MGSG to developing a product that will be a notch better than the competition.
Flexibility. With MGSG being both small and local in nature, it will be able to be flexible in meeting customer's demands. For instance, if a local restaurant has customers that prefer more arugula in their salad mix, MGSG can rapidly shift production to meet the needs of that customer. Most of the farmers, and all of the distributors, typically have their production schedules set up for maximum yield and are unable to modify crop production very much. Heidi is less concerned about maximizing yield, she is more concerned with pleasing the customer. She believes, rightfully so, that talking care of the customer is the most important thing.
A combination of quality and flexibility will create a sustainable competitive advantage that will allow MGSG to succeed.
5.2 Sales Strategy
MGSG's sales strategy will be based on visibility, consistency, and strategic relationships.
Visibility. MGSG will need to generate visibility that sets them apart from the other local farmers that sell at the market. This in part will be done through the use of a colorful, distinct booth set-up that stands out among the other farmers. This visibility will create recognition for MGSG. This is important because the produce of the different farmers appears to be the same. The differences are discovered upon tasting the produce in your home. If MGSG stands out in terms of the booth appearance, the repeat customer will more easily make the connection between the unusual booth and MGSG's product.
Consistency. In addition to product consistency, MGSG will have consistency in regards to their presence at the farmer markets. It is much easier to build awareness and loyalty if people can reliably expect to see MGSG every week in the same place.
Strategic relationships. This will be the key for restaurant sales. As stated before, restaurant sales are a consistent income that help reduce the seasonality of MGSG's sales. Forming mutually beneficial, strategic partnership will be of upmost importance for building a good revenue base.
5.2.1 Sales Forecast
The first month will be used to set up the greenhouse and get things underway. There will not be sales activity until month three when the first greens will be sprouting. Month three will see a steady increase in production and sales, and this will continue until month nine when the consumer sales will be significantly decreasing due to the closing of the farmer markets. From month nine to 16 Mixed Greens Salad Gardens will have an increase in restaurant sales to offset the elimination of the consumer sales. By month 17, restaurant sales will decrease slightly to accommodate for the ramping up of consumer sales again.
Direct Cost of Sales
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales
MGSG will have several milestones early on:
Business plan completion. This will be done as a road map for the organization. While we do not need a business plan to raise capital, it will be an indispensable tool for the ongoing performance and improvement of the company.
First batch of greens sold.
The end of the consumer season and the ramping up of the restaurant supply cycle.
Business Plan Completion
First Batch of Greens Sold
End of the Consumer Season and the Ramping up of the Restaurant Supply Cycle