In order to establish a successful business, it is important to develop a comprehensive strategic plan which is the basic blueprint for the actualization of a business plan. Reflectively, the strategic plan is inclusive of the SWOT of the business environment, penetration strategies, and success measurement parameters at the micro and macro business environment. Thus, this analytical treatise attempts to explicitly develop and review a strategic plan for a small Dog Boarding business.
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Small Dog Boarding Business Strategic Plan
In planning strategy, culture defines all aspects of a business, both internal and external relationships. It is vital to consider the target market which consists of dog owners without pet sitters. Since the dog boarding business will be based in Tennessee, it is necessary to review the business environment to establish the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities available amidst competition from well-established businesses.
Internal Forces Analysis
The first dimension of the strategic plan places the values of flexibility and dynamism. This implies that the business should focus on the internal processes for success while others perform well by focusing on the market and competition to its advantage (Slack et al. 2005). The diagram below summarizes the two dimensions of completing the values framework for the dog boarding business.
The internal reporting channel should then be cascaded down to the rest of the structures since the current channel is not flexible. However, the main weakness is marketing strategy due to limited funds despite the unlimited opportunity for expansion.
The dog boarding should put out most of the documents such as marketing brochures in the local daily. This saves the company costs relating to printing, maintaining, and circulating such documents. Based on the first dimension of the competing values framework, the dog boarding business already has the advantage of a flexible business model, it is possible to adjust the size of the business or eliminate advertisement that does not reach the fund-raising goal (Slack et al. 2005). It can be deduced that there is a lot of hierarchical (control) and competition culture at the dog boarding business in Tennessee.
Technological transformations and market niche classification are the two major factors that will define changes that happen in the small dog boarding business. Therefore, there is a need for the business owner to adapt quickly to change, work smarter, increase client base and carry out duties that are outside his or her job description to remain relevant in the dog boarding business segment. However, the business may not benefit from this since limited funds may make the application of technology difficult despite the unlimited opportunity for expansion.
Competitive Advantage Sustainability
Operation efficiency and market niche provide an indication of how well the company manages its resources, that is, how well it employs its assets to generate sales and income. It also shows the level of activity of the corporation as indicated by the turnover ratios. The level of activity for the small dog boarding business will remain relatively stable over the five year period despite the threat of competition, increased taxation, and constant change of preference by pet owners. In order to stay afloat, their competitive price, which should be the entry pricing strategy, will appeal to dog owners yearning for quality services at a low cost (Cheverton, 2004).
The strength of the business is the high price/earnings ratio. However, this depends on financial solvency and market conditions that may influence profitability in a positive or negative way. Specifically, a high earnings ratio in business suggests that it is expecting stable high earnings in all its major market niches as an opportunity for future expansion. Economic swings pose a threat to this business since many of the clients are likely to be affected by the swings. The main weaknesses include lack of diversification, expansion, affordability, and quality in their chain of dog boarding services. The erratic swings in dog boarding business performance in the last two year period make it difficult to focus the future operations.
Political and Economic Aspects
Essentials of political operation in the Tennessee market have limited influence on business operations due to its stability and policies on economic liberalization. The US is a democratic nation with limited cultural or religious stresses. There are no conflicts that can be seen to arise with the marketing of such businesses as the small dog boarding establishment. This aspect of the country’s political and economic stability encourages smooth business operations and predictability of future market trends.
With the full support of political authorities to the business community, the overall growth and development of various marketing networks are also encouraged. The government projects economic policies that are inclined towards diversification and promoting business opportunities for investors (Cheverton, 2004).
In addition, the commercial laws in the US provide for trademark rights and patents which eliminate the risk of investors and protect start-up companies or companies marketing companies like the small dog boarding business from fraudsters and copyright infringers. This is an assurance of protection against illegal trade, even if the process of registration is time-consuming and very expensive. In the long run, this friendly political climate is expected to allow for easy penetration and segmentation of the market. However, with the current economic meltdown, expenditure on home appliances has declined as families have tightened their budgets in response.
Comprehensively, the marketer should review the technological awareness and lifestyle of targeted customers. The majority of the Tennessee population is aware of developments in technology and have embraced lifestyles where technology and innovative products have a part to play. People’s lifestyles revolve around technology, from transport to communication (Cheverton, 2004).
Since this product is technology-dependent, it is necessary to establish the estimated statistics on the same. Research has it that a large percentage of the Tennessee valley dog owners have literary and basic technological skills. In addition, Tennessee has efficient physical infrastructure such as well-maintained land transport networks that will facilitate market access and substantially reduce overhead costs associated with the delivery of services related to dog boarding.
A properly modeled penetration strategy should create minimal disturbances in the market and the company (Slack et al. 2005). Because of this, it is important to establish the means and ways to reach the potential market. To achieve this, it is important to segment and differentiate the Tennessee market using consumer-based market segmentation procedures.
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Process and systems
The business will require a relatively smaller operation area since dog kennels are often small. Partnering with the community will enhance business expansion since the Tennessee region is easily accessible beside the high number of potential customers who own dogs and lack pet sitters (Cheverton, 2004).
Summary of the SWOT analysis
|Strategy||Customized services||Small market niche||Changed preferences||Business expansion|
|Technology||Local magazine easily accessible||Target client relatively traditional||Changing media forms||Online marketing|
|Competitive advantage||Affordable prices||Sustainability of the entry pricing||Changing customer loyalty||Business expansion|
|Political and economic conformity||Free market||Unstable business model||Economic swings||Establishment of more branches|
|Legal conformity||Limited conformity requirements||Sensitive business environment||Tax regime||Structured operations|
|Cultural aspects||Conformity to Tennessee unique dog culture||Challenge of wining clients||Changed customer preferences||Opportunity for expansion|
|Process and systems||A simple but effective system||The limited scope of the system||Limited staff due to low business turn over||Opportunity for expansion|
Cheverton, P. (2004). Key Marketing skills: strategies, tools, and techniques for marketing success. London: Kogan Page.
Slack, N., Chambers, S., Johnston, R., & Betts, A. (2005). Operations and Process Management: Principles and Practice for Strategic Impact. Benin: Prentice Hall.