BSC will have a focus on start-up businesses, preferably in the earlier stages of operation. Small and mid-sized businesses make up a sizable majority of U.S. and international markets. BSC prefers to establish a relationship with a younger operation and continue to nurture that relationship for the long term. The following chart and table show BSC's projected target markets and their growth for the first three years of this plan.
Start-up companies often are in need of expert advice and planning in initiating a successful start-up. It is believed that a majority of start-ups actually seek out consulting assistance. Those that do typically are searching for a comprehensive area of services.
1-3 Year Old Companies
Young companies, between 1 and 3 years old are less likely to be searching for expert business consulting services. Typically, they have already secured financing and have developed a satisfactory level of security. However, these businesses are still in the beginnings of their overall cycle and in most cases need the broad expertise of a team of expert consultants.
3 + Year-Old Companies
Established companies make up the final segment, and is significantly smaller than the start-up segment. The established company segment typically has a need for a less comprehensive range of services. These entities are in need of specialized services in one or two disciplines, e.g., operational planning or human resources.
Start-up companies are the target market of this firm. BSC intends to stay on the pulse of new business activity within the local area. Additionally, business contacts, referrals from among the group, and Internet marketing efforts will be made in pursuit of new clients.
Start-up company owners often lack the broad range of knowledge and expertise required to launch a new business. There is a serious need in the marketplace, and certainly a significant demand for, these types of start-up consulting services.
The business consulting industry is very fragmented. Several large multi-national companies dominate the industry while many smaller (and often more specialized) firms occupy their market niches. Major management consulting companies, such as McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group, have established their dominant position by providing services to the leading companies in various industries. Consulting practices of the major accounting firms (a.k.a. the Big Five) have established worldwide presence and sell their packaged services to companies of different sizes and industries. At the same time, numerous firms and individual business consultants prosper in the market niches that bigger players consider unprofitable to enter.
Competitors in the forefront of the marketplace typically offer information-based consulting, integration and management services. Services are designed to increase clients' operations effectiveness through reduced cost, improved customer service, enhanced quality of current product lines and services, and a more rapid introduction of new products and services. Competitors also offer industry-specific expertise to objectively evaluate, select, develop, implement, and manage information systems, networks, and applications.
Consulting services are becoming more focused on technology-based solutions to help clients improve cost management, quality, service, and research and development to obtain differentiation and competitive advantage. E-strategy services are being provided to business and IT executives with education, insights, and strategies to utilize the power of the Internet to improve their performance. E-strategy services include executive visioning, business strategy, planning for e-business initiatives, user design, and intellectual capital formation. IT strategy consulting services are focusing on the use of IT to support business goals, and to leverage the power of the Internet to transform the way products and services are distributed and retailed.
Strategic planning consulting services typically consist of strategic alignment (which includes IT strategic planning and governance, alignment of IT and process, and future focus and regulatory requirements), IT department operational excellence (which includes fiscal responsibility, infrastructure, IT department processes, data center operations, and IT human resources management), and IT value realization (which consists of performance measurement, business integration (people, process and technology), change management and application investment). Performance improvement services consist of process redesigning to reducing administrative costs, improving financial performance, engaging and retaining customers, and improving accountability and reporting.
Other commonly found services among competitors include long-term IT management expertise, as well as a wide range of management services including assessment/due diligence, program management, discrete outsourcing, and full IT outsourcing services.
Consulting firms BSC is competing with include regional and specialty consulting firms, as well as the consulting groups of international accounting forms such as KPMG LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, Deloitte & Touche LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Andersen Consulting. In its management and IT consulting services, BSC competes with information system vendors such as HBO & Company, Inc., Integrated Systems Solution Corporation, Electronic Data Systems Corporation, Perot Systems Corporation, SAIC, CAP Gemini America, Inc., and Computer Sciences Corporation. In e-commerce-related services, BSC competes with the traditional competitors, as well as newer, Internet product and service companies such as Razorfish, Scient, TriZetto, and Viant.