Interstate Travel Center's strategy is to develop a major travel center in Dallas, Texas. The center will consist of a major convenience store, gas/diesel islands, restaurant, and amenities for the trucking business. Key components of the company's initial strategy are summarized as follows:
Interstate Travel Center will be developed in four phases. Phase development will enable the owner/operator to introduce viable, profitable goods and services without over-building. Over-building at this location would be easy to do because of the slower growth of the area associated with NAFTA, it would also mean certain failure if the owner/operator cannot secure resources for several years of financial staying power to support a negative cash flow. The timeline for the implementation of the various phases is contingent upon customer response and profitability and action is initiated at the discretion of the owners. It is assumed that the implementation of Phase II will occur sometime after the first three years of operation.
Phase I: Initial Development
Phase II: Increased Goods and Services, Third Year of Operation
Phase III: Increased Goods and Services, Fifth Year of Operation
Phase IV: Increased Goods and Services, Sixth Year of Operation
The suggested branding is for market impact. A positive draw of highway customers is more likely on a branded unit than on a non-branded unit. Branding will draw those customers that might have otherwise traded in a larger area. Branding will help to draw local trucks and long-haul NAFTA trucks that need fuel between their designated stops.
It is highly recommended that the location be promoted for local and long-haul businesses, and for companies to fill their vehicles at the new travel center. Suggested promotions include special pricing and/or national charge accounts such as Comcheck.
It is suggested that the new site be branded with one of the following options for national or regional recognition.
The primary advantage to branding is the dollar assistance offered by the oil companies. Most major companies have rebates and allowances that will assist in the total dollar investment by the retailer. Regionally, we are seeing oil companies upgrade their company-owned leased facilities. The brand suggested is in a strong growth pattern in many communities similar to this one. Additional advantages are listed below:
The owners have chosen Diamond Shamrock as their brand preference for their new business. Their selection was based on several factors, such as incentives, advertising allowances, company flexibility, and their acceptance of all major credit cards.
A small traveler's guide will be published to advertise the travel center and all it has to offer. Advertising will be disseminated through the use of local newspapers, and radio and television commercials. Other promotional items, such as billboards and local chamber of commerce propaganda will also be employed. Customer service will be the number one priority of this business. This will, in turn, generate repeat business.
The sales figures are based on projections of vehicles using the major highways adjacent to Interstate Travel Center. The yearly growth figures are based on conservative projections of increasing customer use as marketing and customer retention builds an established customer base. The growth rate for gas/diesel is five percent per year for the first three years. The restaurant growth rate is slightly higher, at seven percent per year. It it assumed that this venture will grow a stable customer base more quickly than the other ventures due to its more unique product experience. Finally, the growth rates for the travel store is set at four percent per year. This again reflects the belief that this venture will have the most difficulty in building service awareness and retention.
The following table and chart show our sales forecast.