The second type of competition is posed by the local pet care services, which -- similar to The Happy Pup Daycare Center -- are focused on small scale services, with an increased willingness and ability to customize the service offering. These local companies are however not as threatening as they all activate in an underserved market, and especially as they are geographically spread to several smaller areas, that seldom intersect.
d) Economic Analysis
The pet care services industry is expected to be influenced by the general state of the economy, with the understanding that an improved economic condition would generate an increase in the demand for pet care services, whereas an economic contraction would result in a decrease in the demand for pet care services. Today, the economy strives to revive from a recession and the demand for the pet care services would be contracted in comparison to its potential in times of economic prosperity. This then means that The Happy Pup Daycare Center would have to attract customers by implementing cost effective solutions to pet care.
e) Estimate of Annual Sales and Market Share
The table below reveals the estimates for the sales and the market share owned by The Happy Pup Daycare Center within the following five years:
2011 (remaining six months)
3 per cent
5 per cent
7 per cent
13 per cent
20 per cent
At the level of sales, the first three years would be characterized by a more powerful growth rate, which would decrease during the fourth and fifth year, as the company becomes better consolidated. In terms of market share, the evolution would be inverse, as the first years would be focused on attracting new customers, whereas the later years would be focused on increasing the loyalty of the customers and increasing the market share with their aid.
5. Marketing Plan
a) Overall Marketing Strategy
The overall marketing strategy is that of attracting customers through the network of clients already formed, through word of mouth publicity from the satisfied customers, but also through cost effective promotional solutions, which would be detailed throughout the section 5.h. Promotion and Promotional Mix.
The Happy Pup Daycare Center would be positioned as a local, small size company providing pet care services for the busy people. It would emphasize on the ability and desire to care for the pets, combined with the ability to respond to customer needs. An important element in the positioning strategy would be represented by the feature of the daycare center of being local, close-by and flexible enough to serve a wide array of dog and owner specific needs.
c) Points of Differentiation
The Happy Pup Daycare Center reveals two points of difference, which increase its competitive position relative to both categories of competitors. On the one hand, The Happy Pup Daycare Center is characterized by the fact that it offers customized services to its clients. Unlike The Happy Tails Daycare and Pet Resort which is based online services, The Happy Pup Daycare Center tailors its services to the specific needs of the pets and the owners.
On the other hand, the second point of difference is based on the fact that The Happy Pup Daycare Center would be located in an area where the business concentration is high and the concentration of pet providing services is low. This specifically means that the pet owners would find the location highly accessible and could even visit their pets during a break from work.
d) SWOT Analysis
Experience in the field
Network of customers
Flexibility and service customization
Wide palette of services offered
Temporary workforce (e.g. students) and reduced personnel costs
Increase in the demand for pet care services as a result of changing lifestyle
Shortage of staff
Increasing customer demands
Poor state of the economy, generating a reduction in the demand for pet care services
The product is represented by a multitude of services, as expressed in the section 2.g. Products and Services. The services would be delivered under the name of the company -- The Happy Pup Daycare Center and would be offered in a manner which ensures entertainment and safety. The services come to meet the incrementally changing customer pressures and demands.
f) Price and Pricing Strategy
The pricing strategy would be a variable pricing strategy, in which the retail price for the services offered is established in direct relationship with the costs incurred in the delivery of the service. The price is as such sensitive to costs for the company and an increase in the provision costs would be reflected in an increase in the price of the services. In a context in which the current economic state is discouraging for customer demands, The Happy Pup Daycare Center would also implement promotional sales for specific periods and in specific circumstances.
g) Placement / Distribution
The service delivery would be centralized at the facility of The Happy Pup Daycare Center, but the actual services would be offered in various manners, depending on the nature of the services required. On a traditional service, the dog would be walked in the park and kept at the facility. On other service contracts, the service would be distributed by picking the dog up or taking it to the veterinarian, as well as other destinations requested by the owner.
h) Promotion and Promotional Mix
The promotions and promotional mix would revolve around the following:
Promotion of the company and its services within the local community, through word of mouth publicity and the network of already served and satisfied customers
The creation of advertisements and their airing on the radio as well as on the internet, on various websites specialized in pet care or discussing topics of interest to pet owners
The creation and distribution of street fliers.
i) Sales Strategy and Process
The sales strategy and process is organized under the following steps:
Assessing the nature of the services offered by the competition
Identifying and assessing the types and implications of the services required by dog daycare
Identifying the customers and approaching them
Interacting with the customers in order to identify specific needs they might have
Creating and perfecting the services in order to meet the specific needs, and through this create customer satisfaction and differentiation from the competition.
6. Management Team
The management team is essential in devising a strategic direction and implementing it. In light of this realization, extensive emphasis is placed on the managerial act, alongside with the marketing and financial function.
b) Management Team Overview
The management team is for now formed from the current owner and would be increased by the presence of a personal friend and former college student, also with a bachelor degree in economics -- business and administration. I would be in charge of creating a strategic vision and direction and the second manager would be in charge of supervising the implementation process.
c) Management Team Compensation and Ownership
The Happy Pup Daycare Center is currently owned by a single proprietor, with the second manager activating as a consultant. However not an actual partner, the second manager is entitled to 10 per cent of the profits registered by the firm. The owner is entitled to 90 per cent of the profits of the firm, but would limit its spending and would focus on savings and reinvestments.
d) Gaps in Management Team
The primary gap in the management team is that both managers have a specialty in business administration, and no particular education with dog caring. The owner does nevertheless possess a two years expertise with dog walking and some adjacent services. We believe that this limitation would be overcome in time.
e) Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is also formed from the two managers in the managerial team, both of them with equal rights to vote for strategies and decisions. The owner does nevertheless have the right to veto.
f) Board of Advisors
Aside from the second manager who would act as a consultant on matters of strategic implementations, The Happy Pup Daycare Center would sometimes turn to a secondary consultant -- a veterinarian with an extensive expertise in dog care. The veterinarian would provide insights on how the dogs should be cared for, when they should be taken to the veterinarian's office, what they should be fed and how they should be bathe based on particular dog traits.
7. Product Design and Development Plan
a) Product Development Plan and Timeline
The current services are limited to daycare services, but it is estimated than in three years' time, The Happy Pup Daycare Center would also be able to offer overnight services. Additionally, as more space -- both indoor and outdoor -- is annexed to the current facility,…