All employees will be trained in customer service, ensuring that the competitive edge is bred throughout the organization.
VS's competitive advantage is excellent customer service. This attention to service begins with answering any questions during the initial phone inquiry. The concentration continues when fitting the bicycle and explaining different features. Most rental places very briefly go over the features of the bicycle/snowshoes. Their view point is the faster they can move onto the next customer, the more money they can generate. VS sees helping the customer as an opportunity to impress them and encourage repeat business.
VS's employees are trained to explain all the necessary features of the rental products. This takes time but the customer leaves with the impression that they have been fully trained in the equipment they are using. This will leave the customer impressed with the level of attention that they have received.
The Sales Strategy of VS is to try turning information gatherers into customers through outstanding customer attention. Generally, anyone that enters into the shop will likely end up renting the gear. The reason for this is that the cost of the rental is not all that significant so if people have made the effort to come to the shop, unless availability is a problem, they will almost always end up renting the gear. With this said, it is very important to impress the customers while they are on the phone inquiring about the services offered. This can be done at a basic level of tone and helpfulness of the employee on the phone. The other way this can be achieved is by communicating the additional perks that customers would receive: detailed maps of local rides/hikes.
All employees will be trained prior and during employment, ensuring that they are delivering the proper level of service to customers.
The first month will be used to set up the store-front and train the employees. During the end of the first month and during the second month the rental fleet of bicycles will assembled. There might be a few rentals of bikes, but the majority of the sales will be from the rental of snowshoes. Sales will incrementally increase each month. Revenue will switch from snowshoes to bicycles around April and back in November.
It is forecasted that the busiest month during the winter will not be as high as busy months for the bicycles in the summer. This is due to the incredible popularity of bicycles as well as the basic fact that bicycles rent for more money and this translates into higher revenue.
The snowshoes will be rented as a way to eliminate the seasonal nature of a bicycle rental facility. It provides stability and revenue during the down season. Additionally, snowshoes are very easy to maintain as rentals as there is virtually no maintenance required.
VS will have several milestones early on: