Strategy and Implementation Summary
Emphasize customer service
We will differentiate ourselves with CUSTOMER SERVICE! We will establish our business as a clear and viable alternative for our target market, from the scores of competitors known for “do-it yourself,” “no we don’t offer that product,” and “no delivery available.”
Customer service is paramount in our business and our business plan. The management team will accomplish this goal by training employees and by providing encouragement.
The new management team of Latheethen Feeds, Inc. believes that an employee who is happy at work will enjoy working. It is always easier to please customers with staff that cares, a facility that is clean and equipment that is kept in proper working order.
Latheethen Feeds, Inc. will also work toward establishing community involvement programs that will demonstrate how the business can contribute to a better quality of community life. Community project groups such as the 4-H Council, the FFA, Schools, churches, and other groups will be welcomed for tours of the facilities and will be shown how the facility can be used to help raise funds for their needs.
Build a relationship-oriented business
Build long-term relationships with customers, not single-visit deals. Become their “feed dealer of choice.” Teach them the value of the relationship.
Focus on target markets
We need to focus our offerings on specific population groups as the key market segment we should own. We definitely want to be able to sell to smart, quality conscious customers.
5.1 Competitive Edge
Latheethen Feeds, Inc. has one of the most sought-after competitive edges in the industry. We have our own individual feed mill that can produce any animal feed requested. All we need is a few ingredients and some time to make our specialty custom feeds.
Our custom mill was built and wired with a 3-phase electrical system (industrial strength) and the best equipment on the market today. Other feed stores dream of having access to their own mill; this is where you make most of your money. Instead of having to be the middle man and purchase a large inventory of generic feeds, we custom-blend and produce our own feed to keep the costs down. When we can produce and market feed that costs us nearly 80% less than it costs to purchase a generic feed, we can keep our shelf prices lower than our competitors.
Let’s face it, lower prices + higher quality feed = money in the bank.
From the very first day Latheethen’s was open for business in 1989, the owners never advertised. They let the word get around (word-of-mouth advertising). This has obviously worked in their favor, as they are operating a profitable business, as is reflected in net profit increases annually.
In the future we, the new owners of Latheethen’s, will market our products to new customers in various strategic ways. This will aid in bringing in more customers…and will also aid in spreading the word that we are expanding our business. Most of the existing customers come from within a 30 mile radius of the store. Through delivery, we can offer our products and services to anyone willing to pay for it.
Our next competitive edge is that we will be running our delivery truck on a daily basis (once we implement delivery and obtain the necessary business). Most of our other competitors do not deliver or only deliver within a short distance from their location. Again, we will serve our customers with a higher quality feed, high level of professional service, and be willing to take it to their door.
Our strongest competitive edge is that we are family owned and operated and that our knowledge of the feed industry runs deep. With the resources available, the energy we can contribute at our young age, the raw talent for business and deep understanding of customer service, the potential to grow this already exciting business is tremendous.
5.2 Marketing Strategy
Latheethen Feeds, Inc. will implement the following Marketing Strategies upon the business transfer in the following order:
- Direct Marketing: we will personally market (sell face to face) our products to various feed stores, stables, boarding facilities, farms, clubs and race tracks.
- Customer Referral: we will provide customer incentives for direct referrals, in the form of price discounts.
- Website Marketing: we will implement our web plan and review the outcome to determine the efficiency it has on our customer base.
- Event Marketing: we will visit area livestock events (within 150 miles) to hand out flyers, business cards, and product catalogs, and to meet potential customers face to face.
Through marketing our products in these ways, we project that Latheethen’s will almost double its business within the first 2 years of new ownership.
The following detailed milestone table shown identifies the primary tracking points for our initial company takeover, for our growth and our development process. We have included budgets for each subject and the name of which company came in with the lowest bid price.
|Milestone||Start Date||End Date||Budget||Manager||Department|
|Business Title Transfer||10/4/2004||10/31/2004||$0||Chris||Department|
|Implement POS System||11/1/2004||11/30/2004||$6,000||Dennis||Department|
|Print Product Catalogs||11/1/2004||11/30/2004||$250||Dennis||Department|
|Buy Delivery Truck||11/1/2004||12/1/2004||$15,000||Dennis||Department|
|Begin Delivery Service||12/1/2004||12/5/2004||$0||Dennis||Department|
|Advertise in Newspapers||11/1/2004||12/31/2004||$1,000||Dennis||Department|
|Affiliate with related website||11/1/2004||12/31/2004||$400||Dennis||Department|
|Contact 200 potential customers||11/15/2004||1/1/2005||$0||Dennis & Kay||Department|
|Build Web Site||11/1/2004||1/15/2005||$1,500||Dennis||Department|
|Get 50 new contracts||1/1/2005||3/1/2005||$0||Dennis & Kay||Department|
|Track hunter snack preferences||11/1/2004||3/1/2005||$0||Dennis||Department|
|Average livestock feed sales of $7775/month||11/1/2004||10/31/2005||$0||Dennis||Department|
|Renovate Boarding Stable||3/1/2006||10/1/2006||$100,000||Dennis||Department|
|Landscaping, fencing, etc.||10/1/2006||7/1/2007||$25,000||Dennis||Department|