Our strategy is based on serving niche markets well. The world is full of small and medium-sized businesses that can't get good products or services from the major vendors who focus on high-volume orders only.
Our main strategy at Supple is to position ourselves at the top of the quality scale, featuring our combination of superb technology and fine old-fashioned programming, for the buyer who wants the best quality regardless of price. Tactics underneath that strategy include research and development related to new designs and new technology, choosing the right channels of distribution, and communicating our quality position to the market. Programs are mainly those listed in the milestones table, including new design programs, new equipment to keep up with design, channel development, channel marketing programs, our direct sales, and our continued presence in high-end catalog channels and new presence in the Mall.
Supple Software gives the discriminating personal computer user, who cares about design and quality and needs to complete Tasks X, Y and Z, a combination of the highest quality software and latest technology, at a fair price.
Our competitive edge is our software engine, our knowledge of the product area, and our long-term commitment to customer satisfaction.
Major discussion omitted from this sample plan.
Our marketing strategy emphasizes focus. This is the key. We are a small company with limited resources, so we must focus on certain kinds of products with certain kinds of users. More specifically:
Our pricing is determined by our focus on retail sales. We aim at the consumer market with prices intended to generate street prices in the high two-digits, such as the $XX street price of the business plan. Suggested list of $XX seems perfectly satisfactory to us and the customers. We do not expect to change prices on any existing products.
Our most important marketing program is [specifics omitted]. Leslie Doe will be responsible, with a budget of $XX,XXX and a milestone date of the 15th of May. This program is intended to [objectives omitted]. Achievement should be measured by [specific concrete measurement].
Another key marketing program is [specifics omitted]. [Name] will be responsible, with a budget of $XX,XXX and a milestone date of [date]. This program is intended to [objectives omitted]. Achievement should be measured by [specific concrete measurement].
For business owners and managers who need to deal with Task X, Product X is software that creates and helps manage professional Task X. Unlike [name omitted] from [name omitted], Product X provides a system for scheduling and tracking the entire Task X process from plan to action.
For business people in all levels of management who make decisions that impact the success of their companies, [name omitted] is software that analyzes almost any type of strategic or tactical problem and guides the user to choose the best course of action. Unlike [name omitted], [name omitted] features an easy-to-use intuitive interface and step-by-step online guide system that enables all users--from novice to expert--to make smart decisions easily and confidently.
For small businesses, professionals, and the self-employed who recognize that managing cash flow can be the difference between success and failure, [name omitted] is financial software that handles all the essential bookkeeping functions including checkbook management, check printing, expense tracking and report printing. Unlike [name omitted] and other complex accounting programs, [name omitted] focuses on cash flow management to avoid cash shortages which are the leading cause of business failure.
Sales strategy shouldn't change. We will continue to work with XXX and to focus on retail sales. During 1999 we should focus not on changing strategy but on improving our implementation, by working on key objectives and much better coordination of marketing efforts related to sales channels.
For the short term at least, the selling process depends on point of purchase decisions, impacted by boxes on shelves and quotes on boxes. Our marketing does not intend to affect the perception of need as much as knowledge and awareness of the product category.
The sales forecast for 1998 depends on Product X for the bulk of our sales, an estimated 15,000 units. We expect Product Y to maintain a ratio of 2/10 against Product X, for sales of 3,000 units.
The table that follows shows unit sales of more than 15,000 Product X in 1998. The related monthly sales table in the appendix shows our sales for 1998 in monthly detail. Sales discounts, discontinued products, and future products sales go into the "Other" sales category.
The Monthly Sales Chart that follows indicates that we have some seasonality in the business. Also, since January-April are the strongest months shown on the chart, the chart indicates that our forecasts are conservative. Although on the chart we show our strongest months as February and April, our strongest period has been September-November in past years.
Product development: the emphasis in this plan is getting products developed and into the market, especially the new versions of Product X and Product Y.
Marketing: we need to watch sell-through and performance very carefully, to measure the results of our 1997 marketing push. Our first sales review in May seemed to indicate a successful launch, but we need to keep watching.
Finance: we are also looking to enhance our capital structure and management team.
The milestones table and chart show the specific detail about actual program activities that should be taking place during the year. Each one has its manager, starting date, ending date, and budget. During the year we will be keeping track of implementation against plan, with reports on the timely completion of these activities as planned.