1. Executive Summary
2. THE COMPANY
3. SITUATIONAL (SWOT) ANALYSIS
4. MARKET RESEARCH
5. MARKETING GOALS (must be measurable)
6. SERVICE (PRODUCT) DEVELOPMENT
7. MARKETING PLAN
8. FINANCIAL PLAN
9. RISK FACTORS (see SWOT analysis) & CONTINGENCIES
10. ASSESSMENT AND REVIEW
1. Executive Summary
TechConnect of North Carolina is a startup S-Corporation that is in the process of being formed and will be an ITemployee owned firm.
The primary focus of our business will be providing full-Service IT Support, from IT Consulting; Hardware Repair, Software Updates /Installation, Data backup, data storage and network maintenance, retail/wholesale of varied Technology products. To increase sales directly and indirectly, our site will extend to social networking and various online services. This will be a United States based business serving three major US markets: North Carolina, South Carolina and online/ecommerce.
TechConnect offers on-site diagnosis and repair to small businesses and home PC users. TechConnect will use aggressive marketing to exploit their competitors' weaknesses, and quickly break into the market by targeting frustrated small business owners with urgent, but small-scale, technology needs.
Our business will focus on each market individually so that each phase can be managed independently, but brought together cohesively to understand the business as a whole. We shall effectively research our industry in each market, provide a list of verifiable contacts of manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers including, but not limited to, our best options for services such as custom brokers, shipping, and more.
This plan is a guide for the startup and managing this new business will serve as a basis for a separate and detailed marketing plan. Below is a summary of the main points of this plan.
- The main objective of TechConnect is the generation of profit for financing future growth and to offer resources required to achieve the other business objectives. The company will also aim at growing and expanding the business at a manageable rate and be a leader in the market with adaptability and innovation.
- The TechConnect mission is to offer quick and reliable technical assistance to the small and big enterprise computer users.
- The keys to success of TechConnect are networking and marketing, quality and responsiveness by getting the job well done at the first time and the generation of repeat customers by creating a name out there.
- The startup primary service that will be offered will be hourly basis technical aid even if retainer projects and contracts will have to be taken into account in the growth of the company in future.
- Even if the local market for this business may not be new, it is wide open for new and expanding consulting firms.
- Outstanding results and promise is what is shown by an initial financial analysis of this venture’s viability. A number of sources have noted that the computer consulting business is quite easy to start up, requires minimal capital and has the potential of being lucrative in today’s high tech world.
In summary, as shown below in the highlights chart, this business plan projects high net profits and rapid growth over the next period of three years.TechConnect will rapidly become a profitable venture for the owners by way of implementing this plan in conjunction with a detailed and comprehensive plan in marketing.
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(Source: Own analysis)
2. THE COMPANY
A. Mission Statement
TechConnect consulting mission is straightforward and simplified:
Purpose- TechConnect exists to offer quick and dependable technical assistance to the local small businesses, home and office computer users. The firm anticipates selling solutions and guaranteeing results.
Vision-TechConnect generates adequately satisfied repeat customers that provides a retainer base which is stable by offering quick response, informed expertise and high quality consistent solutions. This creates adequate profit to offer a comfortable living for the business owner.
Mission-The short term objective is starting this firm quickly and with less expenses and minimal debt. The long term objective is growing the company to a stable and profitable organization which the owner comfortably and easily manages.
B. Corporate Culture (Guiding Principles)
TechConnect’s will endeavor to succeed in this business by
- Wide marketing of its services and networking in a bid to get its name out there and be a market leader in the IT industry
- Maintain quickly response by being an on-call computer paramedic that observes fast time response.
- Ensuring high quality work by getting the job done right the first time and offering 100 % guarantee
- Maintain good client relationships thereby developing retainers or loyal repeat customers.
C. Historical Direction / Results
TechConnect has been caught in a dilemma of squeezed margins which have affected the sellers of computers globally. Even though the chart which is titled Past Financial performance shows that we have had very healthy growth in sales, it also displays declining sales, margins and gross margins.
Table 1 below details indicators of concern. It can be seen that the gross margin percentage has steadily been declining and the inventory turnover getting worse by the day. All these are concerns are part of the trend that is generally affecting the computer sellers. This margin squeeze is happening globally throughout the computer industry.
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TechConnect of North Carolina is a privately held corporation by its founder and president Jones Brown. The corporation is owned by six part owners who are all past employees of TechConnect. In ownership percentage, the largest of these is Jones Brown the president and Frank Brown the public relations consultant. None of these two own more than 15% shareholding but both of them are active participants of management decisions.
3. SITUATIONAL (SWOT) ANALYSIS
TechConncet will build on the strengths in its possession in order to build a firm foundation which will allow them to move ahead in information technology. The following are some of the key strengths:
- TechConnect boasts of having highly skilled and experienced workers who have an understanding of business and technology and who are aware of the needs of the local IT customers.
- Recognize our current status and willingness to open up in leadership, employee and the entire IT department to move way ahead in technological advancements.
- The team an TechConnect has got very strong ethics
- The teamis made up of members who have got a new set of vision and fresh ideas
To prevent it from achieving a competitive advantage, Techconnect is faced with the following internal and external characteristics that have got the potential of holding back the business
- Even though most of our staffs are highly skilled in their technical job components, some of them lack the business and social skills that are required to fully perform their duties. Nevertheless, the company aims at offering business training to the IT workers in order to make them all rounded workers.
- There are budgetary and economic factors limiting technology and funding the critical infrastructure
- Our staff and resources are limited to support the ever increasing information technology needs
- We do not yet have a disaster recovery plan or procedures
- We have set aside training funds for information services
- There will be available funds for building the core services and infrastructure as well as the functionality of the data center in order to increase reliability.
Just the way changes can offer opportunities in a IT firm, threats can also be created. If a firm is unprepared for technological changes, its IT offerings are likely to become obsolete. The following are the anticipated threats of Techconnect.
- There are limited skills and knowledge that are needed to implement the latest technology and make improvements on the present infrastructure
- Customized applications, functionality and reporting creates reliance on outside contractors
- There are a number of applications that offer the same functionality and are duplicated throughout North and South Carolina.
- There are no documented procedures and disaster preparedness
- There is weak LAN/WAN security
- There is absence of an overall end user security practice and awareness
4. MARKET RESEARCH
In the local computer consulting industry, there seems to be four major classes of competition:
- The in house MIS consultants-These are normally employed by bigger companies which are able to afford fixed costs of hourly and salaried employee.These are the storefront computer dealers that often focus on a few hardware brands that offer only minimal software, support and services. They are usually old fashioned computer stores thereby offering few reasons as to why buyers should shop from them. Their support and services are not the best and their and their prices are usually overcharged.
- The smaller consulting firms and individual proprietors-This group comprises of the bulk of yellow pages advertisements.
- The telecommunication consulting firms and the larger network-These are the large well known companies like Network One which specializes in offering complete MIS services to the larger companies that prefer to outsource.
- The electronics and computer stores which deal with the consultation services-They include the major chains like CompUSA, Future Shop and Computer City that mostly offer walk in services that are decent and have got warehouse like locations where people can go and take their machines for servicing at very aggressive prices.
Techconnect fits in the largest group as a sole proprietorship. The primary reason as to why customers would opt for TechConnect rather than the competitors are the relationships that exist. For the small service business such as this one, customer satisfaction and loyalty are the way to success.
The national chains in USA are a presence that is growing: Computer city, CompUSA, Incredible Universe and others benefit from economies of scale, advertising nationally, buying in bulk and a general trend towards the name brand loyalty for the products and services as well as buying in the channels.
The local computer stores are threatened as they are small businesses owned by those people who started them since they liked computers. They are not only undercapitalized but also under managed as well. The margins are usually squeezed as they go competing based on prices more than support and service provision.
The home office in USA is a crucial growing market segment. There are about 30 million home offices and the number is growing at 10 % per annum. In this plan, our estimate is based on analyses that have been published recently. We shall focus on home offices for our plan which are the only offices of real businesses where most people make their primary living. In most cases, these are the professional services like graphic artists, consultants, writers, accountants, doctors, occasional lawyers or dentists.
There will also be the part time home offices with people who are in employment during the day but work at night in their homes in order to provide themselves with part time income. The small businesses in our market include almost any business with retail, any office that has a professional or industrial location outside of somebody’s home and less than 30 employees. In our market area, we expect about 45,000 such businesses.
There will also be those people who maintain the home offices that relate to their hobbies.
5. MARKETING GOALS (must be measurable)
A. Consumer Awareness
The most crucial marketing program for TechConnect is to be able to create consumer awareness through the following combinations:
- Sending out brochures and announcement letters to all the prevailing and potential customers
- Following well established public relations campaigns like announcements and press releases
- Purchasing and developing the ‘grand opening’ announcements in the media
B. Market Share
The chart below reflects the market segmentation of this business. The growth and size are based on the US census data that was carried out in South and North Carolina.
- The Home Office Businesses - This forms the biggest and quickest growing segment and it is a segment that is defined as small businesses which are primarily based out of the owners’ home. This is not similar to the home computer users which are not a viable market for computer consulting.
- The small businesses - The government defines this business as one with employees between 1 and 99 and it is the second largest and fastest growing segment in USA.
- Medium businesses -They are those businesses that have between 100 and 499 workers.
- Large businesses -They have got 500 or more employees
The bulk of opportunity for TechConnect is comprised of the first two segments as shown in the pie chart below.
- Quote paper
- Durant Maive (Author), 2012, TechConnect Business Plan, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/270828