Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mini-Business Plan

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Mini-Business-Plan

The object of this mini-venture is to start up a small business with no more than $1.00 and run it for at least four hours. Since the start up costs are limited to $1.00 we favoured a service related business. We thought of the ideas other students have pursued like washing cars, cleaning offices, selling, and selling food. After examining our options we decided to wash windows. Catherine came up with a catchy name for our company, Kwick & Clean. This name tells customers what they can expect from our service. Our name also reflects the first letters of our names Keir and Catherine.

Product As a window washing company our product is quite clear and self-explanatory. We are selling a window cleaning service. Friendly, helpful, and positive attitudes are included in the service package.

Place We are going to market our product to residential neighbourhoods in the Halifax area. Clayton Park will be our first target market and Bedford is our secondary target. Our location is strategic. We plan to pin-point neighbourhoods with high incomes and large houses. These types of homes are more likely to hire a window washer.

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Price This area of our business plan is vague. We tried to find out competitor’s prices by calling the competitors and acting like customers. They insisted that they do an on-sight estimate before they agree on any type of price. I couldn’t ask “how do you come up with your estimated figures?” because I could blow my cover. We decided to rely on the competitor’s customers to let us know. We would negotiate a price on the job site. Our only requirement was to make $10+ per hour.

Promotion Our promotion was seriously hindered by the $1.00 limitation. We decided on door to door. We would begin at a friend or relative’s house and hopefully find customers in the neighbourhood.

Hypothesis

We are going to run our business for at least two days. Hopefully we will get a start with some friends we have in Clayton Park. We figure we will make $50-$60 on each day. So we expect our company to make $100-$10. Our average customer will live in a $00,000 home in Halifax. He will also be forty to fifty years old with teenage kids and an SUV. We plan to charge $0 to $0 per home. This will depend on the type of windows and screens.

Actual Results

Income Statement

For the period ending Oct. 14, 00

Sales $0

Expenses

New Squeegee $0

Paper towel

Photos 5

Cloth 1 8

Net Income $6

We ran our company for three days and made $6 profit. Our actual results were nothing like we expected. First of all, we need to overhaul our business plan because we want to continue to operate our business on Fridays.

Product As a window washing company our product is quite clear and self-explanatory. We are selling a window cleaning service. Friendly, helpful, and positive attitudes are included in the service package. In the fall we will carry a pressure washer with us. These are great profit makers. We will add dumpster cleaning, parking lot cleaning, and even siding cleaning to our list of services.

Place We are going to market our product to businesses in the Halifax area. We will target mini malls, plazas, and streets like Spring Garden or Quinpool. Our locations are strategic. We plan to pin-point private business owners to build a client base. Retail store and franchise chains are mostly involved in a year-by-year contract with a cleaning company.



Price After running our business for a few days we have a good handle on reasonable pricing. It is very reasonable to estimate for a dollar per labour minute. A small store-front may only take five minutes. A store like Sport-Chek takes forty minutes.

Promotion Promotion was seriously hindered by the $1.00 limitation. Now that the business is up and running we need to have a logo and trademark designed so we can advertise in newspapers and with business cards. We will put together some service packages with flexible payment plans and approach banks and retail chains.

What Keir Learned

I learned a number of things from this project. One of the biggest things is timing. Timing is so important. I arrived at a restaurant to clean the store-front windows at noon. Much of my time was wasted holding open the doors for customers. I frequently had to stop what I was doing because of the influx of customers at lunch time. Another thing was the hurricane. People were in the clean-up mood on the day we started the business. We had ten customers in four hours. That’s $110 in four hours. The timing of our project worked out well for us because every business in town needed their windows washed.

I also learned about the importance of the “sales pitch”. People were very quick to say no thanks when I asked “would you like your windows cleaned?” Instead I needed to break the ice with “Hello, my name is Keir. I am doing a class project today.” And then “I will clean your windows for ten dollars, if you are interested.” Now the customer has some info to base a decision on. The cost is ten dollars, the windows are dirty, and I could help this guy complete his project. On the second day I was brave and dropped the “I’m doing a project” pitch. I realized the importance of clear and quick communication. You need to tell the potential customer as much information as possible in very few words.

A friend of mine said he would like to work for our company for a day if he could keep an equal share of the profit. I thought it would be neat to have our company’s first employee work with me for a day. I learned a valuable lesson in efficiency. For every minute we were in the car driving we were spending two minutes of time (combined). The two of us only made a hundred dollars that day. That was the same amount I made by myself on the first day.



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