1. What is our pricing strategy? What is important in determining our price (e. g. image, the competition, gross margins)? Our pricing structure mainly focuses on the printer shops’ price structures since we share the final profit with printing shops in a fixed percentage. Prices vary greatly since customers can choose the exact dimensions, print technique and paper type for each job. However, our service can guarantee that we are offering low prices and greater discounts depending on customer’s order volume and their needs. For example, our service appreciates that printing documents and pictures can be an expensive subject for students.
Therefore, we would like to offer a 20% discount on all of our services to student who register with us (please note that students may be asked to provide a valid photo ID or student card). 2. How will our product or service be sold? What distribution channels will we use? Why did we choose these channels (e. g. expertise required, cost, reduction of channel conflict)? How will we gain access to them? We are going to set a formal website. Customers can make orders online. Products can be either delivered or picked up by customers. Customers can upload, customize and submit the documents from wherever you are, whenever it is convenient to you.
In addition, customers can choose from a variety of binding and finishing options to take your documents from good to great. As soon as we receive the order from customer,We will have your final documents printed at the store nearest your home, your office or your travel destination within downtown Toronto, or have them shipped directly to you. Same-day delivery can be guaranteed only if the orders are placed before 12:00pm. And we are going to have an office where our sales force works and where customers can pick up orders from if they need to.
We aim to maximize customers satisfaction with us by guaranteeing the fast, convenience, low-price but high-quality printing service. Our supplier network is print shops. The advantage we have is we can provide consumers and volume that printer shops usually do not have. For the print shop, they do not hire sales people as their sales people are their customers. They rely on word of mouth and convenience for the business. We would provide a larger network of customers that only a sales force would provide. 3. What is our communications strategy? How will we communicate the benefits of our product/service? How will we advertise and promote it?
Why is this strategy effective for our target market? First of all, we will set up our own official website. At the same time, we will list some key universities, colleges in downtown Toronto. And communicate the specific departments or we can distribute our flyers in their campus. Student is an important sector for our customer base since they are quite price sensitive relatively. Our “low price guarantee” is a best option/attractiveness for for students’ needs. Moreover, business company is also our important target since they need to print out plenty documents and papers for work and conference everyday.
Our “fast print and high quality” service will greatly satisfy business company’s needs. Besides communicating the specific departments, we will also communicate with some famous office supplies chain such as Grand&Toy. Those office supplies such as Grand & Toy is commonly focus on aiding businesses by selling products such as school supplies, office supplies, office furniture, meeting supplies, computer supplies and professional services. Therefore, we will provide our flyers of our printing service to those stores and use those office supplies chain to make advertisements for us.
What additional information do we need to develop a marketing plan? We need to understand our proposed business environment, namely, do extensive research in the printing industry, why and how the printing industry is structured the way it is, and how cost and revenue structures are set up for individual vendors. With this information, we can more accurately establish fees and set prices that are in agreement with our partners as well as provide value added services to customers who are not being best served. 5. Operations 1. Which operations are critical to the success of our business? Which are secondary?
The most crucial operation for our business is creating a network that efficiently connects small/medium sized businesses with local shops. Through our network, our customers should be able to get the product they want in a discounted price. Our secondary factor that is important for our business is the timely delivery and printing process for our customers. As customers will be using our service mainly for the purpose of getting the right product on time, it is extremely important that there are not any delays and we deliver the product on time. 2. How will we produce and deliver our product/service?
What will we do in-house, and what will we purchase (make vs. buy)? How do our unit costs compare with our unit revenue? The very first step would be building a network of local printing shops around Toronto area. We will be contacting each individual print shop and offer them an incentive for being in our network. As we are combining orders from greater number of small businesses, print shops will be having greater quantity of orders to be printed. Once we create the network we need, through marketing, we will be having customers who are willing to print variety of items at discounted prices.
There will be no cost for us to incur per unit as we are not the one who are printing. We are merely a link between two parties, and our revenue comes from taking certain percentage of sales of the printing shops. 3. What is essential to get right operationally to deliver our marketing plan (e. g. trade-offs among cost, quality, timeliness, flexibility)? In order to effectively deliver our marketing plan, it is critical to have an efficient network that connects individual print shops. Each print shop must understand the importance of completing the task in a timely manner as this is one of our core value propositions.
Another factor that plays a critical role for our operation is guaranteeing mass orders to be printed for our network of print shops since this is the only incentive for them to offer us a discounted price. Thus, timely delivery and completion of print jobs at reduced cost must be implemented for satisfying customers’ expectations. 4. What type of physical facility do we need? Does it allow for expansion? As sound relationship with our network and customers is a core value for our business, there are very few physical facilities required for operating the business.
Our value comes from linking small scale businesses and print shops in a most effective way that would minimize major costs for both parties. However, it is still extremely important to have an office where our employees would combine orders from our customers and operate them in an organized manner. The increase in the number of network will allow for our business expansion. We will be able to connect customers from outside of Toronto with our network and offer them a discounted price for printing certain items once we have enough printing shops in our network.
5. What type of R&D facility do we need? What % of sales do similar firms spend on R&D? Considering the nature of our business, only minimum investment for Research & Development is required. The majority of the investment will count towards managing our network of print shops more effectively as this is our main operation. 6. How will we develop relationships with suppliers? We are the suppliers of printing shops as we are collecting orders from each individual business and providing the work for each printing shop. Thus, we do not have any suppliers.
However, it is still important that we have a sound relationship with the printing shops. They must understand the importance of delivering product on time as any delays will deteriorate our value and may lead to lost in trust from our customers. 7. How will we recruit, train and compensate the necessary labor force? The recruitment process involves discovering people who are extremely organized and efficient when completing their tasks. As our business model includes delivering products on time in a most cost effective way, the timeliness is a key aspect when recruiting potential employees.
They will be first trained to manage great quantity of order inflows from many local businesses. The next training will involve improving negotiation skills with our network of print shops. Since we are guaranteeing lower price for our customers we cannot let each print shop to make a pricing decision. Thus, the ability to negotiate with printing shops is critical when training our work force as offering the greatest deal is one of the big incentives for using our service. For compensation, each employee will be contracted and will be receiving monthly salary plus bonus. 8.
What additional information do we need to understand how we’ll operate the business? Before creating a network of print shops, detailed information about each print shop around the city of Toronto as well as the location of each of shop play a vital role when operating our business. The information for each print shop matters as we must know what type of printing services they are delivering as well as what promotional strategies they are implementing in order to attract customers. We must combine the entire information related to the type of services and promotions and be able to offer it to our customers.
Lastly, as we are also delivering the final product to our customers, it is extremely important to be aware of the proximity between customers and print shops. This allows us to estimate the amount of time that would be required for delivery. Thus, timeliness of our delivery system can be guaranteed. 6. Start-Up 1. What must be done before we can introduce our product/service to the market? What is our timeline? It is paramount that we establish our printing network and build close and valued relationship with each of our vendors in our proposed geographic location.
Our proposed network of the downtown Toronto area, must provide maximum reach for our target market providing a variety of services. In addition, we must establish an organizational mission statement with clear direction and goals for long term flexible growth and sustainability that is in alignment with ourselves, our vendors, as well as our customers. With a network firmly in place, our next task would be to locate an office for our procurement, marketing, and sales teams. Our estimated time line is between 4-6 months, with an emphasis placed on a 4 month deadline, allowing time for setbacks and unforeseen events.
What essential resources and capabilities do we lack? How can we acquire them? None of us has existing network within the printing industry. Since we are partnering with individual printing shops and factories possibly, the mutual trust should be built between ATPS and our partners. One possible way is cold calling through store visits, showing our passion and responsibility. 3. What are the one-time start-up and development costs of the venture? We our purposing to bootstrap our business venture to cover our initial costs of building and office costs, including incidentals, liabilities, and insurance, as well as web development costs.
In addition, the partnering entrepreneurs will spend their own time as sales staff, cold calling neighbouring businesses in our proposed geographic area, and pitching our ideas to local vendors to partner in our print shop network. 4. What additional information do we need to understand and cost the start-up of this venture? We need to understand the cost and revenue structure of the printing industry to adequately exploit price discrimination as well as implore measures where our vendors have incentive to partner with us. It is paramount that our vendors are satisfied and are in agreement with our business venture.
7. Big Picture View Now that you’ve considered many aspects of your venture concept, take some time to think about the big picture. The concept may have evolved from the time the CEO submitted their Venture Concept Analysis. Re-visit the uncertainties associated with the opportunity and rank the 3-5 uncertainties that are most critical to resolve. Identify how you can investigate your most important hypotheses before the business plan is due at the end of the course. 1. One uncertainty we face is whether or not consumers will choose to use our business service instead of getting stuff printed out themselves.
This is especially true with the boom of the online sales industry where people can order things online with just a click. However we feel this affects large corporations and the consumers we are targeting will still use our service. First off even if you can order things online, it takes time to go and pick it up (which we can do for them). This is especially true if you have to go from store to store to get different things picked up. We are also willing to go from store to store to get the best deals in Toronto from each shop and provide them to the consumer.
Finally by taking all of our consumers and putting them “together” we can get bulk deals that our customers would otherwise not get. 2. Another uncertainty we have to visit is whether or not we have the resources to start up our business. Costs such as renting office space in downtown Toronto will be very expensive and costly. However we feel that our other costs will be relatively low compared to most new companies and we believe that our idea will be able to get financing help from other sources if we need it too. 3.
A third uncertainty is the fact that the print shops in Toronto may not want to work with us to provide us better deals. This is still something that we are looking into as we are doing research on the venture idea, but we feel that in the business world, these shops would be doing bad business to refuse to work out deals with us if we keep on providing them with large amounts of business. Whether it be through contracts, retainers, or other ways, we feel that we will be helping provide more business to these print shops and they in turn will provide us with more deals that will help us attract more customers.