Critique of a Student Business Plan essay

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Student Business Plan -- MKG Lawn Care

Strengths of the MKG Lawn Care Business Plan:

MKG provides various kinds of lawn care services to every type of household individuals. Having a large number of potential customers is a big strength of MKG Lawn Care. A customer is believed to be the sole source of earning for any kind of business. A large target market for MKG Lawn Care means a greater potential for its business expansion.

Quality:

The second core strength of MKG Lawn Care is its supreme quality services. MKG Lawn Care believes on the significance of Total Quality Management for a business organization. Supreme quality of services is a big strength because it is the first preference of quality conscious consumers.

In its business plan, MKG Lawn Care wants to provide its customers the "Value" for their money. The quality in this service organization can be measured in terms of process design; the implicit features of the services that always keep the customers satisfied with their purchase decision. For MKG Lawn Care services, supreme process design or quality can be attributed to the customers' satisfaction with these services that are available at very competitive prices.

3. Competitiveness:

The competitive prices for all its services are another big strength for MKG Lawn Care. In its new business plan, MKG Lawn Care has aimed to provide the highest quality of lawn care services at very reasonable prices. The Company also cares for the convenience of customers; therefore it has spread its business over a large geographical area so that the travel time and cost are at a minimum for its customers.

4. Market share, industry growth potential and strong business presence of MKG Lawn Care:

The lawn care industry is on a growing pace which is a positive sign for MKG Lawn Care. It is one of the best quality lawn care service providers in the Wolfville region. Due to its highly competitive services and reasonable pricing for these services, MKG Lawn Care can easily gain a high market share. This competitive position is a potential strength for MKG Lawn Care which is not achieved by the average quality service providers and the new entrants in the industry.

5. Distinct promotional medium from all industry competitors:

The major competitors of MKG Lawn Care include Down to Earth Landscaping, McConnell's Sod Supply, Port Williams Planter Lawn Care, Leshaven Lawn Care and Landscaping, etc. These all companies have diverse lines of business. On the other hand, MKG Lawn Care has just one line of business. Therefore it can totally focus on the lawn care services and make strategies to improve its current business operations. A single line of business enables it to allocate all its human and financial resources in this particular business and gain a high market share in this particular segment of the industry.

MKG Lawn Care uses the most advanced form of promotional and advertisement mediums for its services. Its all competitors are using publications and print media for the promotion and marketing, but MKG Lawn Care also uses its own website. This is the most cost-efficient medium of promotion which significantly contributes towards an increase in the sales volume of its business. The website gives useful information on the company's various service offerings, the pricing for these services, and the contact details. Having this promotional medium, MKG Lawn Care is better able to promote its services which is also a big strength for its business.

6. Strong business relationships with the supply chain members:

One of the core strengths of MKG Lawn Care is its relations with the supply chain members. It purchases the highest quality fertilizers and pesticides so that its customers do not face any issues in gardening. The suppliers of these fertilizers and pesticides are highly reliable and know that MKG Lawn Care never compromises on quality.

B. Weaknesses of MKG Lawn Care Business Plan:

1. Limited potential target market:

Although MKG Lawn Care offers services for every type of household individuals, but the potential target market for these types of services is very limited. The services like mowing, trimming, brush removal, application of fertilizers, pesticides, and lime, etc. are quite expensive for a middle class household. MKG Lawn Care claims that it charges a very reasonable price for its services, but the researches used in preparing its business plan show that its potential target market is only upper middle to higher level income group. Therefore its customer base has shrunk due to its competitive pricing strategy. On one side, a competitive pricing strategy is its core strength, but at the same time, it is causing a limited target market for its services.

2. No concern for geographical expansion in the business plan:

MKG Lawn Care is only present in Wolfville region, while the other top market leaders are present with their diversified interests in various other regions. The weakness of MKG Lawn Care here is that it can not serve the customers from other regions where it has not established its presence.

3. Drawbacks of expensive promotional campaigns in one season:

MKG Lawn Care also aims to run an aggressive and expensive promotional campaign for its services on all the major promotional mediums; like television, newspaper, broachers, etc. This strategy is not good in terms of continuity of advertisements as MKG Lawn Care has decided to run these campaigns for spring season only.

It will bring two drawbacks for its business. First; it will significantly increase its costs of doing business in the spring season which may put the other business operations in difficulty due to lack of finance as a big part of the money will be invested in these promotional campaigns, and second; the advertisements will not be run in the remaining months of the year which may cause a loss of customers due to their unawareness of its service offerings.

4. Discounts and gifts to prestigious customers instead of price cuts for all the customers:

MKG Lawn Care has also decided to give a portion of its profits to the prestigious customers as a part of various promotional tactics. If all it is seen from a strategic perspective, it is a good business strategy as it will just bring a short-term benefit to the business. The discounts or gifts given to the few good customers will remain effective until the company announces the next year profits. In other words, it will have to give discounts and price-cuts to such customers every time they take its services. If in some year company does not make handsome profits, it will not be in a position to give them good discounts which will annoy them and may cause them leave it and switch to some other lawn care service provider due to a sudden increase in pricing.

Recommendations to improve the weaknesses and make them its strengths:

To encounter this issue, MKG Lawn Care should not give discounts or gifts to a limited number of prestigious customers. Instead, it should invest this money in the business and charge a lesser price from every type of customer. It will bring various benefits for MKG Lawn Care. The biggest benefit will be a broadened target market. Having a lesser pricing for its service offerings, it will be able to attract the households from lower-middle class as well.

The weakness of financial issue from expensive promotional campaigns can be overcome by controlling the expenses incurred on these campaigns. The best method is to use the social media to advertise the company's service offerings instead of using expensive television, magazines, or newspapers mediums. Social media is the most cost-effective and easiest way to promote businesses in the present times. Most of the businesses promote their products and services on major social networking sites, like facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube,…[continue]

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