J-J Enterprises is owned by E. Jane Prenuer and her husband, John A. Prenuer. While primarily operating the Web store, Country Crockery at www.countrycrockery.com, the owners are also vendors at consumer gift shows, home and garden expositions, summer fairs and festivals; these events help us to promote the Web store. By the end of the third season, both online visitors and purchases have increased significantly over the previous year, despite the difficulties of a slow recovery of the national economy.
The owners of J-J Enterprises believe that continued growth of the business can be accomplished with:
- Serious revamping of the Web store (already in progress) and increased promotions;
- Sponsoring special community events and fund raisers for local organizations;
- Renovation of an existing building to safely store inventory and set up a more efficient packing and shipping area;
- Increasing the number of shows/events aimed at upscale consumers;
- Purchasing seasonal and regular inventory in larger quantities for better price breaks.
While the sales growth has been anticipated and welcomed, it has come a little late for financial recovery of debts incurred to reach this point. We need financing to renovate the existing storage space (our barn), alleviate the outstanding debts and release credit lines for product purchases and advance payments that are required for space rental at shows, festivals and other market events. In addition, financing will prevent us from missing opportunities for obtaining and selling “ground floor” products before they become available by other merchants on the travel show circuit.
In the local community, there are limited opportunities for unskilled employment for young people. We expect to hire high school students for stocking, packing, shipping, and training on other business activities. These students can benefit from our experience and education, and we hope to be role models for them, encouraging them to further their education or pursue their ambitions of entrepreneurship. In addition, we will be sponsoring special events (i.e., “SummerFest,” 4th of July activities) and fund raisers for local organizations (schools, churches, other groups).
Our two main suppliers manufacture in the United States, so our sales are contributing to keeping jobs in America. We continue to seek out and direct-buy American-made products that we can offer at reasonable prices and receive a fair profit. We also have potential resources, with adequate funding, to obtain quality and highly saleable merchandise appropriate for fundraisers.
We are seeking $40,000 in long-term loans to finance renovation and restoration of the existing barn for use as a warehouse, and to maintain positive cash balances throughout the months we are occupied with the renovation.
Country Crockery is a celebration of the home. Our mission is to provide unique and affordable home accents and gifts for the quality- and style-conscious consumer. We will make our products easily accessible with a presence online and at various shows and festivals.
Country Crockery takes pride in its customer service, good communication, and guaranteed satisfaction of consumers’ purchases.
Our employees will enjoy a friendly and fair work environment, which rewards hard work and offers opportunities for training in a variety of business activities.
- Continue to provide unique quality home and gift products at reasonable prices on the Internet and at consumer home/gift shows;
- Generate minimum total revenues of $125,000 by the end of year one;
- Expand and maintain Web store to increase revenues to create attractive purchase by year five;
- Realize an annual growth of approximately 45% in year two;
- Realize an annual growth of approximately 20% in year three and each year thereafter; <REDUCE of direct costs sales 45% or less and maximize gross margin to at least 50%.
- Establish a following of customers in a specific road show circuit of 24-36 shows per year: Home & Garden Shows, Shipshewana On The Road, Summer Festivals/Arts & Crafts Shows;
- Seek out additional quality products to include in our product mix.
1.3 Keys to Success
The primary keys to success for the company will be based on the following factors:
- Home based facilities that reduce overhead expenses and maximize profit margins.
- Products that provide quality and value to the consumer while meeting needs for an expression of personal style.
- Customer services, such as obtaining obscure and discontinued products (specifically Spoontiques Pin Art and Ear Art), and personalized promotions, so that customers are encouraged for repeat purchases and make referrals.
- Communication with our customer base through email and postcard mailings.
- A visible, accessible and welcoming Web store to position us as the preferred choice for our products and services within the marketplace on the Internet and local communities in our 4-state region.
- Practice of daily management tactics, so that a successful and growth-oriented business is developed and maintained.