Strategy and Implementation Summary
The strategy behind the sales, marketing, and implementation of EquineAcres is elegantly simple and ready for execution:
Utilize the business knowledge and experience of a 20-year successful professional career, while leveraging existing business contacts, target market knowledge, and relationships, to penetrate a grossly under-served market, with an attractive product and service set virtually unavailable heretofore, thereby creating an extremely profitable and expandable business entity ideally suited for exponential expansion.
5.1 Value Proposition
Our value proposition is simple, clear, and most importantly, achievable:
EquineAcres provides a convenient single source to meet all of the product, service, and emotional needs of current and prospective equine owners at a competitive price in a unique community environment backed by solid and innovative business operations.
This may seem to be a very common “dream-goal” to most every business, however one of the key aspects of the EquineAcres Business Plan is to demonstrate that, in this case, it is a realistic goal. That said, upon realizing this goal in an underserved and vital market, EquineAcres will also achieve and surpass its financial goals.
5.2 Competitive Edge
Several of EquineAcres competitive edges have been identified, validated, and extolled throughout the content of the business plan:
- A unique, attractive, and needed format.
However, one other major competitive advantage, perhaps the most important, has not been previously identified, the owner, Edward A. Graves. Edward Graves brings a unique and valuable set of skills, experience, and contacts to the forefront of EquineAcres overall competitive advantage:
- A proven sales and marketing professional with a successful track record for selling to insure product, service, and retreat sales.
- Proven professional operational skills to insure efficient, effective, and professional business operations.
- Outstanding computer skills capable of maximizing computer efficiency to aid in business operations.
- Web design skills to design, implement, and maintain an effective website without the need for external resources.
- Substantial written and graphic design skills to self-produce marketing and promotional material.
- Extensive equine experience and knowledge to understand what gets or gives the “maximum for the minimum.”
- Endless equine business contacts primed for strategic partnership.
- In-depth understanding of the equine owner and marketplace to know what is needed and desired by the average owner.
5.3 Marketing Strategy
The EquineAcres market provides a very convenient target for several reasons:
- Co-located in a small geographic region, approximately 60 miles in diameter.
- Frequent the same, limited number of, local vendors almost all of which will cooperate (and potentially partner) with EquineAcres.
- “Religiously” refer to local newspaper classified advertisements for equine related items.
- Are computer-literate, relying on the Internet as a primary source of information.
The overall marketing strategy of EquineAcres will leverage these four critical patterns to capture the attention of the market at a bare minimum of expense. Once captured, the customer will encounter sales expertise to garner their business, presenting a unique and desirable product and service set, which will retain and expand their business through exceptional business practices and customer support.
These factors will in turn lead to pent-up demand for EquineAcres beyond its capacity which, in turn, will lead to future expansion of EquineAcres*2, etc.
5.3.1 Positioning Statement
As alluded to throughout this business plan, EquineAcres provides a convenient single source to meet all of the product, service, business, and emotional needs of current and prospective equine owners, as well as equine business owners, at competitive prices in a unique community environment backed by solid and innovative business operations.
5.3.2 Pricing Strategy
The foundation of EquineAcres is the sale of retreat leases to 100% of capacity. Pricing will be as follows:
- Retreat lease at $300/month, includes one equine.
- Additional equine co-located on the same retreat (to a maximum of three/retreat) at $50/equine/month, or three equine at Full Board at EquineAcres = $400/month.
- Compare to “Full Board” competitors at $350/equine/month, or three equine at Full Board at competitors = $1,050/month.
The secondary foundation of EquineAcres is the sale of products and services to members direct, and non-members primarily via Internet shopping.
- Pricing on all products and services will be at, or slightly above, average public pricing.
- Margin on all products and services will be at or above 100% for most products.
- Margin on all contract services is “total” since contractors pay a percentage of revenue generated to EquineAcres in exchange.
5.3.3 Promotion Strategy
Because our entire customer base will come from a local geographic area, our promotional strategy is simple and cost effective:
- Central to all promotional (and ongoing business) activity will be an extremely active and effective website. All promotional activity will point to the website. Site will be designed and maintained by EquineAcres ownership, without external resources
- A full color, 4-page, folder style brochure will be the key printed promotional material. This brochure will be distributed through counter displays at a variety of local equine related businesses, and by request via the website.
- Three additional home-published pieces will be available for inclusion with the full brochure as needed and appropriate. They are:
- For those who don’t own a horse, yet…
- For those who are looking for a better way to keep and enjoy their horse, now…
- For those involved in the horse business, today…
- Three additional home-published pieces will be available for inclusion with the full brochure as needed and appropriate. They are:
- A small “bulletin-board” teaser piece will be displayed at multiple locations throughout the targeted geographic region.
- Extensive (existing) equine business relationships will provide for substantial referral opportunities.
- Local newspaper classified ad’s will be regularly placed in the “Livestock” sections (regularly studied by everyone with an equine interest) with a sufficient “teaser” directing inquiries to the website.
5.3.4 Distribution Strategy
EquineAcres will rely on direct selling for the sale of retreat leases and follow-on products and services. Additional sales activity will take place through an effective and active Internet shopping website. Existing business relationships will also be leveraged to gain maximum exposure to the target market and yield maximum margin from resale products and services.
5.3.5 Marketing Programs
The EquineAcres website will be at the center of all marketing (and much ongoing business) activity. External direction to the website will be provided through our chosen ISP with monthly submission to all major search engines. Internal (target geographic market) direction to the website will be provided through our brochure, teaser cards, newspaper classified advertising, and strategic partnership referrals.
A (confirmed) budget of $1,200 is all that is necessary for implementation of the website. This website will be operational within 14 days after securing the funding sought for this project. Brochures and teaser cards will be self-produced and distributed within 30 days after securing funding. Leverage of strategic partnership referrals and newspaper classified advertising will commence 60 days prior to the planned opening date of EquineAcres.
5.4 Sales Strategy
The sales strategy behind EquineAcres is simple:
Sell “Retreat Leases” to 100% of capacity.
- Provide products and services with a sufficient value proposition as to insure the purchase of these products and services by the membership through EquineAcres.
5.4.1 Sales Forecast
Important points about the Forecast:
- This forecast is based on experience.
- Five years experience in the equine business understanding seasonal sales cycles, customer requirements, and realistic growth.
- Four years experience having developed, implemented, and controlled a $7,000,000 forecasting model for an international software company.
- “Capacity growth” assumes the addition of five retreats in FY2003, and five retreats in FY2004. However, it does not address the exponential growth associated with the potential opening of EquineAcres*2, EquineAcres*3, etc.
- Forecast does not address additional products and services to be identified during the course of operations. Interesting note about resale items–virtually every product or service utilized by EquineAcres automatically becomes a candidate as a resale product or service from EquineAcres. This allows the initial purchase at a discounted “resale” rate and eventual revenue stemming from that purchase.
The following table is provided to accompany the sales forecast offering descriptions and assumptions about the sales forecast.
|Sales Forecast Item||Description||Item Price Assumptions||Item Cost Assumptions||Growth Assumptions|
|Retreat Leases||Basic Membership||Set at $300 per Retreat||Cost is calculated into loan repayment||100% Capacity expected at outset. Additional capacity to be added Years 2 and 3.|
|Add.Equine Residents||Additional equine on existing Retreats||Set at $50 per equine||No direct cost is associated||100% Capacity expected at outset, with growth directly proportionate to Retreat sales.|
|Equine Consumables||Feed, hay, and support consumables||Gross average price of $10 per unit||100% markup on all items||Growth proportionate to capacity.|
|Tack – Low End||Halters, headstalls, bits, spurs, etc.||Gross average price of $25 per unit||100% markup on all items||Growth based on increased website sales activity.|
|Tack – High End||Saddles, support equipment, etc.||Gross average price of $200 per unit||100% markup on all items||Growth based on increased website sales activity.|
|% of Services||Percentage paid to EquineAcres by Service Providers||Gross average Price of $100 x 10% commission = $10 per service||No associated direct cost||Growth proportionate to capacity.|
|Web Pages||Member pages added to EquineAcres site||Set at $10 per page||No associated direct cost||Growth proportionate to capacity.|
|Websites||Member sites purchased through EquineAcres||Difficult to average price. Initial setup fee + monthly hosting fee gross averaged at $50 per site||Minimal fee to ISP, remaining “setup” by EA w/no associated cost||Growth based on external sales.|
|Added Services||CloseCare, Photo, Grooming, Event Income, etc.||Gross average price of $10 per service||No associated direct cost||Growth proportionate to capacity.|
|Major Equipment Sales||External sales of BarnRooms, Trailers, etc.||Average price of $2500 per unit||Average cost $1000||Growth based on external sales.|
|Sale Commissions||Commission paid by seller to EquineAcres for “Show and Sell” service||20% commission paid on average of $1500 equine sale||No associated direct cost||Growth based on increased use/success of the service.|
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Additional Equine Residents||240||360||480|
|Feed & Equine Consumables||1,520||2,250||3,000|
|Resale Tack – Low End||365||500||1,000|
|Resale Tack – High End||51||100||250|
|Services – % of Provider Revenue||290||500||750|
|EquineAcres Added Services||110||175||250|
|Major Equipment Sales||21||40||80|
|Show & Sell Commissions||39||60||80|
|Total Unit Sales||3,075||4,737||6,952|
|Unit Prices||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Additional Equine Residents||$50.00||$50.00||$50.00|
|Feed & Equine Consumables||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00|
|Resale Tack – Low End||$25.00||$25.00||$25.00|
|Resale Tack – High End||$200.00||$200.00||$200.00|
|Services – % of Provider Revenue||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00|
|EquineAcres Added Services||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00|
|Major Equipment Sales||$2,500.00||$2,500.00||$2,500.00|
|Show & Sell Commissions||$300.00||$300.00||$300.00|
|Additional Equine Residents||$12,000||$18,000||$24,000|
|Feed & Equine Consumables||$15,200||$22,500||$30,000|
|Resale Tack – Low End||$9,125||$12,500||$25,000|
|Resale Tack – High End||$10,200||$20,000||$50,000|
|Services – % of Provider Revenue||$2,900||$5,000||$7,500|
|EquineAcres Added Services||$1,100||$1,750||$2,500|
|Major Equipment Sales||$52,500||$100,000||$200,000|
|Show & Sell Commissions||$11,700||$18,000||$24,000|
|Direct Unit Costs||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Additional Equine Residents||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Feed & Equine Consumables||$5.00||$5.00||$5.00|
|Resale Tack – Low End||$12.50||$12.50||$12.50|
|Resale Tack – High End||$100.00||$100.00||$100.00|
|Services – % of Provider Revenue||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|EquineAcres Added Services||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Major Equipment Sales||$1,000.00||$1,000.00||$1,000.00|
|Show & Sell Commissions||$0.00||$0.00||$0.00|
|Direct Cost of Sales|
|Additional Equine Residents||$0||$0||$0|
|Feed & Equine Consumables||$7,600||$11,250||$15,000|
|Resale Tack – Low End||$4,563||$6,250||$12,500|
|Resale Tack – High End||$5,100||$10,000||$25,000|
|Services – % of Provider Revenue||$0||$0||$0|
|EquineAcres Added Services||$0||$0||$0|
|Major Equipment Sales||$21,000||$40,000||$80,000|
|Show & Sell Commissions||$0||$0||$0|
|Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales||$43,383||$77,500||$147,500|