Strategy and Implementation Summary
The Executive Search & Rescue Placement Firm's marketing strategy will be based on advertising and networking. The advertising will done in the several local journals that cater to emerging businesses. The most prominent is the Business Journal of Portland which Executive will often have a presence in. The purpose of these advertisements is visibility for the executives looking for a firm for themselves. To some degree the advertisement will be geared toward bring companies on as clients, however, this will only be a secondary goal of the advertising. Executive will be relying on networking to set up companies as clients. As business continues, Executive's track record will get more solid and its results will speak for themselves. This is the type of industry where associations counts for a lot, and when Executive scores a few big clients, many others will come through the door because they are impressed with who our clients are. This phenomenon is very similar to VC or Angel money, when the first investor steps up and contributes, the flood doors open for all the rest.
The marketing strategy will develop interest in the firm, while the sales strategy will then turn the leads into customers. This will be done with superior service based on interpersonal communication skills. The sales leads will call/inquire for more information and it will be the firm's responsibility (initially Dan's) to convince the lead that Executive would be a worthwhile investment of time based on the firm's competitive advantages and track record (list of clients).
Lastly, Executive will have a website which will be a fairly comprehensive collection of information about Executive and the services they provide.
5.1 Competitive Edge
Executive has a two pronged competitive advantage that will allow it to rapidly gain market share:
- Networking. Dan has been in high-tech sales in Portland for the last 10 years. During this time Dan has gotten to know most of the key players in this intimate community. Additionally, Dan has been an active member in several of the Chambers of Commerce, the Portland Venture group, the Portland Angel Fund, and other organizations that are composed primarily of emerging companies. The activity in these organizations has allowed Dan to establish personal relationships with most of the emerging companies in the Portland area. This network presents a huge advantage in the executive search field. Other executive search firms certainly are connected with the community, however, Dan's connections were made when he was a part of the community, not as an outside service provider, making his connections all the more valuable.
- Sophisticated screening/interviewing systems that are statistically more predictive. Dan will be implementing a structured behavioral interviewing system (SBI) to accurately screen candidates. SBI is based on several elements: it is structured and every applicant receives the same questions to allow a relative comparison to be made. It is behavioral because the questions ask the applicants how they would act in a certain situation. The theory (proven empirically) is that if you come up with analogous situations that the applicant is likely to encounter in the prospective position, then the answers that you receive are indicative of how they would behave. SBI is statistically more predictive than other interviewing methods if done correctly. One aspect of proper implementation/usage is the quality of the questions that are developed. Dan, having worked in the high-tech industry for 10 years, has the insight to know what is expected (to some degree) of an applicant applying for the stated position.
5.2 Sales Strategy
Executive's sales strategy will be based on attracting emerging companies to sign us up as a service provider. Secondarily, we will need to be attractive enough to the prospective executives that they are coming to us to help them find a job.
Developing attraction to the emerging companies will be based on Executive's ability to communicate their competitive advantages and how they translate those into finding qualified executives. This will be done by showing how truly "connected" Dan is in the emerging company industry. It is somewhat unusual for someone to start out in the industry and then open up a search firm. People from the recruitment industry do not often come from the industry they are searching for. They typically come from a sales or personnel background. Dan's background provides him with additional contacts that are appealing to the companies.
Executive's strategy will also be to show how effective the structured behavioral interviews are. If this can be done then this will be a significant advantage because it signals that Executive can pick more successful candidates through their screening process.
Having a long list of industry clients is helpful in attracting executives to The Executive Search & Rescue Placement Firm. If the executive feels that The Executive Search & Rescue Placement Firm is well connected in the industry and has an accomplished list of clients, then they will feel more confident that Executive will have a higher chance in finding them a job.
5.2.1 Sales Forecast
The first month will be spent setting up the office. It is unlikely that there will be much sales activity. In addition to dealing with legal and advertising issues, time will be spent with the physical assembly of the office and the development of the systems for the back end structure.
Additionally, during the first month Dan will be developing the structured behavioral interview system. By the second month the office will open and ready to go. Dan will be working with both emerging clients as well as bringing in executives and running them through the screening process once he knows what positions he is looking to fill.
Sales will steadily grow from month two. Executives expects to have a surge by month four and will respond by bringing on board an account executive to help handle the accounts.
The Executive Search & Rescue Placement Firm 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.
- Set-up office.
- Development of the structured behavioral interview processes.
- Bringing on an account executive.