Marketing Plan for Opening a Term Paper

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Likewise, McCain (2003) reports that, "The United States is a dog-loving nation. The American Veterinary Medical Association says about 36% of U.S. households own dogs, compared with 31% that own cats. The most popular breeds, the American Kennel Club says, are Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and German shepherds" (2). According to the Southwest Boston Dog Owners' Group (2007), "The number of licensed dogs in Boston is 8,500; Animal Control estimates the total number of dogs in the city is 40,000" (Petition to Boston City Council and Mayor's office 4).

The results of the 2000 census of Boston showed that the city enjoys a healthy percentage of middle- to upper-middle class residents as shown in Table ____ below.

Table ____.

2000 Census Breakdown of Household Incomes in Boston.

Category

Number

Percent

Households

Less than $10,000

10,000 to $14,999

15,000 to $24,999

25,000 to $34,999

35,000 to $49,999

50,000 to $74,999

75,000 to $99,999

100,000 to $149,999

150,000 to $199,999

200,000 or more

Median household income (dollars)

Source: Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic Area: Boston city.

Figure ____. Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic Area: Boston city.

Source: Based on tabular data in Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic Area: Boston city.

Table ____.

Median Earnings by Gender: City of Boston (2000 Census).

Category

Number

Male full-time, year-round workers

Female full-time, year-round workers

Source: Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic Area: Boston city.

Figure ____. Median Earnings by Gender: City of Boston (2000 Census).

Source: Based on tabular data in Profile of Selected Economic Characteristics: 2000, Geographic Area: Boston city.

The doggie day care business envisioned herein will be located in Boston. Since a lot of daycares and boutiques in the city are currently quite "froufrou" in their delivery of canine care services, City Paws would be more in the "Have a Heart" league. Although City Paws would offer many of the same features as its higher-priced competitors such as drop-off services, coordination of veterinary and grooming services, outdoor activities, no crating unless required, and so forth, these features would be scaled to the point where they were profitable by using innovative approaches to acquiring the resources and facilities required for day-to-day operations. This aspect of the business envisioned herein would be emphasized and communicated to potential customers by highlighting the fact that City Paws is not only affordable, but is actively involved in helping out the Animal Rescue League of Boston by donating a percentage of its annual proceeds to the organization.

People who bring their dogs to the doggie daycare center envisioned herein could volunteer at the rescue league and a certain profit from the day care will also go towards the rescue league. Bottom line. Consumers will be presented with a clear choice in alternatives for their doggy daycare services: "If you had a choice to bring your dog to a very nice upscale daycare or a very nice upscale day care that also contributes towards shelters, (knowing that your money is making a difference) which place would you choose?" According to Jay and Adrian (2004), "Large-scale surveys in both the United Kingdom and the United States have consistently shown that if key factors such as price and quality are equivalent, consumers are willing to break a previous tie with a product in favor of an alternative identified with supporting a particular cause" (222).

Furthermore, empirical observations suggest that dog lovers are generally big hearted social people, so people would not only have the satisfaction of getting there dog taken care of but they would also have the satisfaction of knowing there money will go towards helping other animals too. This area will require careful collaboration with any charitable organization used to help promote the company's services, though. According to Jay and Sargeant (2004), "Where only paltry sums are donated relative to the value of the product/service, consumers are significantly more likely to react negatively to the scheme. There is thus a strong case for both partners to a CRM initiative to sit down together to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement. There is nothing to be gained on the part of the business by being seen to exploit the non-profit partner" (emphasis added) (223).

Like the representative sampling of comparable upscale doggie daycare facilities in Boston reviewed above, the enterprise envisioned herein would also require all customers to provide proof of compliance with Massachusetts general law, chapter 140, sections 137 and 141 and city ordinances that mandate that every dog owner must obtain a license for their pet each year; however, proof of rabies vaccination will be assumed because this is required to in order to purchase a license and puppies upon reaching six months of age are required to be vaccinated and licensed accordingly (Boston City Rules and Regulations 3).

To this end, City Paws intends to offer a premier, higher end quality doggie day care at affordable prices to achieve the following intended accomplishments.

Intended Accomplishments.

Become profitable within the first three months of operation;

Offer across-the-board high-quality dog care services that will appeal to the target market;

Achieve sufficient revenue during first year of operation to be able to donate 2% of proceeds to the Animal Rescue League of Boston;

Achieve sufficient profitability during first five years of operation to be able to donate 5% of proceeds to the Animal Rescue League of Boston;

Ensure compliance with all insurance and regulatory requirements as well as relevant municipal codes or ordinances;

Provide relevant training opportunities to staff members; and,

Raise the awareness of the benefits of pet ownership within the community.

Chapter 4. SWOT Analysis.

The purpose of SWOT analysis is to help identify key issues and to facilitate a strategic approach to the conduct of business. To this end, the SWOT analysis is intended to identify the respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to a given situation. For the purposes of the SWOT analysis, strengths are considered to be positive aspects internal to the company; weaknesses are negative aspects internal to the company; opportunities are positive aspects external to the company, and threats are negative aspects external to the company (Dennick and Exley 60). These four analytical categories are applied to the envisioned business as follows:

Strengths:

Staff highly motivated; one staff member has bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst; another staff member is well versed in Web site development and maintenance.

Enterprise well funded from outset.

Owner and staff members experienced with pet care in general and care for dogs in particular.

Weaknesses:

Lack of specific training resources available to help current and future employees accomplish organizational goals.

No credentialed veterinarian on staff in case of mishaps, accidents or emergencies.

Opportunities:

Web site will provide immediate exposure.

More and more Americans are spending money on their pets in general and dogs in particular for non-traditional purposes, including the costs for various high-end spas and daycare facilities. For instance, one authority reports that, "With Americans spending an estimated $38.4 billion on their pets this year, Happy Tails Dog Spa and Gulliver's Doggie Daycare take advantage of America's love of pets" (Waldo 104).

Proven business models available.

Today, Americans are spending an increasingly inordinate amount of time on their pets during the day, being ranked immediately after housework, cooking, and yard care (Shelley 3).

Lack of "dog-friendly" alternatives in greater Boston area.

Relatively low market saturation for business location contemplated.

Threats:

Relative low cost of entry for potential competitors.

Further downturns in the global and national economies could change people's habits concerning existing disposable income used for pet care.

Chapter 5. Marketing Plan.

The marketing plan for City Paws will be straight-forward and to the point. The company envisioned herein will target existing affluent pet owners and potential pet owners who want the very best in pet care services for their dogs. The marketing plan will remain flexible in order to respond to changes in the target market composition, or to otherwise take advantage of unforeseen opportunities. At any rate, the need for a well thought-out strategic marketing plan has been well established (Paley 5). According to this author, in order to position products or services effectively in a competitive market and against market leaders, the following action strategies should be considered:

Develop a strategic marketing plan as a line of communications and an action-oriented document;

Select a competitive advantage that larger competitors cannot perform efficiently (e.g., employ market research, both formal and informal, to identify possibilities for differentiation);

Commit to quality and service as an organizational priority (e.g., encourage individuals at all the functions you can influence to strive for quality -- these are not one-time motivational talks, but continuous training with the goal of sustaining a full commitment);

Focus on specialty products that command premium prices; leave the commodity price segment to others -- unless you are the low-cost producer in your industry (e.g., practice segmenting your market(s) for specific product and service applications by…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:

"Talltails.biz" 

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