Queens Decorators (i.e. QD) will be a new event planning business based in Oregon, USA. Event planning is a service that helps many clients in organizing their events in a more convenient manner. Event planners help customers to plan, organize and facilitate medium to large sized events. Such events may range from corporate gatherings, weddings, large parties and big family re-unions, amidst others (Ingram, 2012). This business will be essential in helping individuals and corporate clients in their event planning processes, especially due to their busy schedules or limited skills in such activities. The business will offer event planning services through providing lease to event planners for certain facilities such as chairs, tents and tables while also helping in event coordination activities. Queens Decorators is a viable business because the event planning sector/industry has been growing at a very high rate. The industry can similarly be very profitable, having margins/profits ranging from 15% to 40% (Feigenbaum, 2012). This demonstrates the great opportunity developed by the industry plus the possibility for QD business to excel. Feigenbaum (2012) however noted that the success of the business will be based on the planner’s creativity, skills and exceptional organization abilities. QDs, therefore, is expected to be a highly profitable business. The company will require initial capital investment of approximately $200000, which will include a short-term loan of $100000.
Queens Decorators will be a new business located in Portland, Oregon. It will bring thrilling experiences to the event planning/organizing market following the diverse solutions it aims to offer its customers. The company will emphasize on quality service delivery plus total customer satisfaction to facilitate repeat and referral business. Queens looks forward to secure a considerable share of the market in the area through being the leading resource in facilitating events. Queens Business will be relevant to this market because it will help in solving the event planning challenges that have been facing many Portland residents due to their busy schedules that leaves them limited time for planning their events. The people also lack the relevant capability and ideas in such planning processes. This business venture will serve a key role in providing excellent and timely event planning services and products to ease the event planning challenge facing its targeted audience. The venture is uniquely positioned because it will help meet the immediate need of people in this industry, bringing diverse solutions to their event planning needs. The company, moreover, will provide high quality services at friendly/competitive prices that will increasingly be customized based on a client’s preference. The event planning sector/industry has demonstrated a growing trend and with the growing economy, the industry is expected to receive a heavy boost, as customers will be empowered in paying for the services. The business moreover does not require very heavy investments to start up or heavy cash flows to maintain. The company will initially have a small team of management including the senior staff as the founder and president to the firm, with strong background experience in the related field. A site manager will be contracted and an office assistant hired. The firm will similarly hire a marketing expert and a financial manager. More staff will be hired/ contracted based on the business demands over time. The company’s mission will be to remain the most preferred or best choice for all potential clients in Portland in easing their burdens in event planning. Queens will employ consistent professionalism plus hassle free events within reasonable price rates. In the first year, the business estimates to make sales of about $376000, $1929609 in year two and 4466771 in year three. The net profits will also rise as years advance, estimated at $11543 in year I, 779091 in year II and 873063 in year III.
In our modern society, there are always parties to throw, birthdays to celebrate, meetings/gatherings to organize, fundraising activities and wedding ceremonies. Kuswandinin, (2009) noted that every individual involved in planning such events is always looking forward to exceptional results. However, planning and organizing events has never been an easy task. Event holders, therefore, today are seeking the help of professional event planners by probably hiring equipment/facilities for the event, seeking their advice and literally contracting them to organize events on their behalf. People seek professional event planners for diverse reasons. They may, for example, lack the needed skills, have limited time due to busy schedules or lack the strength of handling such stressful event planning processes (Kuswandinin, 2009). QD, nonetheless, will serve a great purpose in providing a solution to this problem. This is because the business will have well prepared and trained personnel who will also have exceptional expertise/skills/abilities in handling the task. Event planning and organization, moreover, demands for high level of creativity, style and knowledge.
The US ‘Party and Event Planning Industry’ (i.e. PEPI) is increasingly fragmented. Event planners account for approximately 1% of the market. Because the industry mostly offers discretionary services, its main drive is based on the rate of unemployment, corporate profit and disposable income (per capita). The economic downturn adversely affected the industry, as many consumers and corporations held fewer and fewer events. Nevertheless, the industry is expected to boom again following the improving economy and the anticipated growth in the next five years until 2017 (IBISWorld, 2012).
The industry offers diverse discretionary and value-added services to corporate and household customers. Planners engage in various activities of event planning including research, venue location, decoration, development of event designs, entertainment, coordination of events, and supervision of events, in addition to other services. The US industry has four major players including Along Came Mary, Abigail Kirsch, A Joy Wallace and Blue Plate (IBISWorld, 2012). The competitors deliver full event services from the planning process to the event day.
QD expects to deliver their services to a broad range of clients. The targeted group will comprise of all potential customers, including them that demonstrate interest for the services or products availed by QD plus clients that have the capacity to acquire the products/services. The two elements of interest and ability will determine the audience this business will target. QD will target diverse types of events and their quality level will be based on the amount a client is willing and able to pay. There are three main market segments that QD will be targeting including event planners, corporate/institutional clients and individual customers.
The proposed business will operate within the service industry, specifically the event planning industry/sector. This is because the business will primarily focus on delivery of event decoration/organization services to the targeted customers, although three additional products will be availed including event-planning software, a resourceful manual and a party pack. However, the main business will involve service delivery. Among the services that QD will provide are venue preparation/decoration, tent pitching, advisory/consultancy services, video recording, sound system/PA system leasing, tent and plastic chairs/tables leasing.
The world has experienced tremendous growth in terms of new businesses over the years. This primarily has been facilitated by the changing business environment and increased technological development. When starting a business, therefore, every businessperson should place the needs of the targeted group into considerations. Every business, new or existing, should aim at satisfying the immediate needs of targeted market audience or solve their problems. QD, thus, will aim to help people solve their event planning and organization problems. This is because many people face difficulties and challenges in organizing their events, hence the need for an expert in the area. Special occasions have become dominant in our modern society with all people seeking to make the events as memorable as possible (Kuswandinin, 2009). Such occasions only succeed under effective preparations in advance.
Most people, nonetheless, face many difficulties in such event planning processes and they lack the necessary ideas or creativity in conducting the task. QD, therefore, will be established to helping in solving such problems for people in need of outstanding event planning. The business will be of great purpose in providing services to various events including cocktail events, gala dinner occasions, themed events, venue gallery, weddings and marquee events, among others. QD business will increasingly be a compelling business to customers because it will add great value to customers. It will help in saving their time, releasing them off the stressful duty of organizing events and getting the best results/services considering that the task will be under competent and qualified people (Kuswandinin, 2009). The business is increasingly promising because the economic position of the industry demonstrates a positive trend in relation to growth. It is also a very profitable industry/business, especially if carried out by skilled and creative persons.
Queen will specialize in providing event planning services including venue selection/preparation, leasing equipment and advisory services. In line with these services, QD will provide some three products comprising of a party-pack, event planning software and resources manual. The party pack will be a full kit for various parties like plates, cups, tablecloths, decorations and thank-you cards, among others. An event planning software will be a cutting-edge tool providing clients with all visual aids and resources for event planning. The resources manual will be an important guide for other services providers’ location including caterers, bands and valuable facilities. The services are described below:
The US has a huge number of locations where events can be held. However, many venue owners do not adequately advertise/market their facilities as viable event destinations. QD, however, will develop a culture of conducting individually researched venues with comprehensive details for their clients. The detailed information will comprise of venues such as hotels, restaurants, resorts and other unique locations. The business will similarly make wide use of technology by linking their clients to important sites that will help in locating a preferred venue from a list of specialized venues. The business will customize the list based on their client’s budget, vision, guest number plus other core criteria considerable. QD will also be involved in preparation of the event site through selecting a venue and arranging for the required materials. It will similarly involve setting up the site by pitching the tent, arranging the seats/tables and putting the appropriate decorations such as seat covers and arranging flowers.
Most or all events require an efficient sound system to help in addressing the people appropriately. Video recording is similarly a common activity during events. However, some people lack such facilities/equipment to ensure effective running of an event. QD, therefore, will target such clients by providing leasing services for such equipment. The cost will be charged on hourly basis or for the entire event based on a client’s preference. QD will ensure the equipments are of very high quality to facilitate efficient and perfect services to the customers.
There is also a growing trend for event holders to hire tents and plastic chairs. QD will not allow this opportunity to pass and will therefore equip its store with all such facilities. This will create high level of convenience for clients as they can access all materials/equipment/facilities they require to run their events, under one roof. The diversification of QD’s services will enable the company to capture all business opportunities within the event planning arena.
The service will target clients that wish to plan, organize and run events on their own, but require some consultancy or advice on certain matters. The advice may relate to crafting viable ideas for an event, identification of vendors or assisting in just few tasks. The meetings and charges for the consultancy services will be based on hours. QD will similarly be helpful in enabling clients develop a timeline for an event, design aesthetic, develop the seating design or offer advice on issues like transport management and reception customs.
Event Planners: The market segment will comprise of corporate or individuals that have been contracted to facilitate the organization of certain events on behalf of their clients. However, they may lack the facilities, equipment or materials needed in completing the task for their customers. Such people, therefore, may seek the hiring services of other firms. QD thus will provide hiring services for such facilities including chairs, tents, tables, public address (PA) system in addition to catering materials/equipments. The business will ensure reliability and availability, by ensuring their clients can access any equipment they require in facilitating their events. Although QD will have set the cost of every equipment/facility, customers will have the freedom to negotiate for an agreeable price.
Corporate/Institutional Customers: The market segment will include the private and public firms/institutions/groups including self help groups. Religious institutions will similarly be incorporated in this segment such as churches. Educational institutions will also be included in this group such as banks and schools. Other targeted groups include corporate firms that conduct various events such as AGMs (annual general meetings), training conferences and workshops, among others. QD is expected to serve all such groups whenever need arises to organize or facilitate various events including anniversaries, fundraising, graduations and company meetings, amidst others.
Individual Clients: The segment will incorporate all individuals requiring help in organizing special events like birthdays, weddings and home coming, among others.
The targeted market will comprise of both male and female clients of all ages. The product usage will be determined by the age and income of the targeted audience. On a geographic perspective, the targeted people will comprise people from Portland (Oregon) that may require the support of an event planner in facilitating their occasions/events (Meyers, n.d).
There are a number of expected changes that may influence the consumption of QD services by the targeted group. The technology, for instance, has continued advancing on daily basis. The trends indicate that most clients will be more affiliated to the internet, through which they will also acquire their event planners and their services. QD thus has to consider such factors in its business by ensuring it is putting in place internet-based strategies to capture such customers. Secondly, customer behaviors/needs similarly keep changing. QD must be flexible enough to adjust their services based on their clients’ needs to facilitate total satisfaction. The advantages of QD business will be based on provision of high quality and distinguished services. The business will similarly offer competitive prices that will be negotiable and flexible, based on a client’s ability and preference. However, this is a new business that may face competition from other established businesses in addition to financial challenges (Judy, 2010).
Competition among firms operating in the event planning industry is very stiff. There are many competitors that differ on the basis of size but have the same capacity. The industry is growing at a rapid pace. Nonetheless, there are four key players in this industry including Along Came Mary, Abigail Kirsch, A Joy Wallace and Blue Plate. Hotel companies such as Venetian operate under their own department that handles all the hotel’s event planning activities (PA, n.d).
US have a strong political stability that will allow Queens Business to run smoothly without interruptions. Political factors, moreover, always influence how organizations run their businesses (PA, n.d). Firms, therefore, should develop abilities of responding to anticipated and existing political/legal issues like legislation so that they can amend their marketing policy appropriately.
Economic elements highly influence business operations and their profitability levels as well. Influential economic factors may include interest rates, economic growth, inflation, exchange rates, consumers’ disposable income and competition. The country’s economy had hit hard on the event planning sector during the previous economic crisis because customers had limited income to finance various events. Currently, however, the economy is currently showing a positive sign of growth (PA, n.d).
Technology advancement and use has continued rising at an alarming rate within the US. This has contributed to the high internet use by consumers in seeking information and purchasing products/services. Queens must align their business on this changing trend to ensure they are able to reach their customers successfully (PA, n.d).
This involves the share of attitudes and beliefs of the targeted consumers/population. The factors comprise of age distribution, population growth, health consciousness and beliefs. Age is one major factor that may affect the consumption behaviors for event planning services (PA, n.d).
Queens Decorators will aim to attain three main objectives through their marketing activities as stated below:
Queens will be located within the Portland city of Oregon in the US. The company will lease an office complex that will have enough space for the front office, storage of facilities and the manager’s office. The office will serve as their business premises. The business, however, will be flexible enough to allow meetings with clients in social settings like the customer’s home, coffee houses, facilities within which the event will occur or via phone. Over the years, QD will expand their offices to other areas like Washington, Seattle, Vancouver and Eugene to cater for a larger market. The business plans to maintain high degree level of professionalism. QD will equip their offices with the modern business technology including computers, telephone system, printers and a photocopier.
Locating the business premises within the city will increasingly be convenient for both suppliers and customers in terms of proximity because the accessibility will be easier from any direction into the city. Queens will initially hire two trucks to facilitate transportation services. In case the workload increases, the company will hire additional transportation means as needs may arise in the short term. Utility costs are expenses incurred to cater for heating/cooking fuels, electricity, gas, sewer and water. QD’s utility costs will be paid on three-month intervals. The business will enjoy the unique resource provided by Oregon’s business zones. Queens will have an excellent opportunity in growing their business due to the favorable zoning and taxation laws in the region. Oregon’s business zones, moreover, exempt businesses from the ‘local property taxes’ in relation to new investments.
Every office location will have a safe storage space for equipment and supplies used in events. They will comprise of equipments used in facilitating the business and equipment for hire. The first category include cell phones/office phones, laptops and portable fax machines while the second category will entail plastic chairs, tables, tents and video recorders.
This defines total number of persons in employment or seeking employment within a region/country. They are also known as the workforce. Oregon has a shortage of skilled workers. Businesses thus have a challenge in accessing competent and qualified individuals to join their workforce (Beleiciks & Krumenauer, 2012). In order to acquire the right people for hire, Queens will increase their recruiting intensity, expand employee training, provide competitive packages and work hand-in-hand with education providers such as universities and colleges.
Queens will regulate quality and control inventory by maintaining a proper check-out record. Reports will be counterchecked at the end of a business day to keep good check of the inventory. A specific person will be hired to run this business unit. The individual will be responsible of managing the point-of-sale inventory through maintaining proper stock levels, merchandise assessment to ensure clients have returned the firm’s equipment on time and in good shape (Adeyemi & Salami, 2010).
QD will buy component parts for tent pitching and flowers for decorations in occasions like weddings. Flowers will be bought the day before the event to ensure they are fresh and of quality value. The company will similarly buy the PA system that will be assembled every time there is an event. Other items like plastic chairs and tables will be readily available anytime they are required for hire.
Queens will develop friendly relations with other service providers such as caters and hotels/resorts. The business recognizes the need for a broad network of services linked to event planning. QD will subcontract the services of florists, photographers and private caterers. The major suppliers will comprise of flower firms to facilitate event decorations in the short term and tent/seats manufacturers in the long term (Hard, 2012).
Queens will have a small management team in the beginning. The key staff will be the business/firm founder who will also serve as the senior manager/president. The individual will take the role of planning events, establish contracts with private caterers/decorators and bands to offer entertainment during the event. The founder will be a great resource to the company following his three years experience working in the hospitality industry plus 2years experience working in a large event planning company in New York. The individual similarly has educational qualifications in the related field. Queens will also hire and outsource part of its workforce, involving people with the relevant qualifications in serving at various capacities. The company will contract a labor site manager who will be responsible for coordinating and liaising with the clients. Queens will also have an office assistant responsible for receiving clients at the reception/front office to provide all the information a client may require concerning the services rendered and the terms/conditions applicable. A marketing expert will similarly be recruited to facilitate the awareness/publicity of the business plus a financial manager in charge of managing/controlling all the company finances. As the business grows, QD will engage the services of two more contracted site managers in charge of coordinating events in various locations. The company will promote teamwork among all the employees through constant communication via email, message boards and weekly staff meetings. All jobs carried out by the staffs will be interrelated such that the performance of one will influence that of others. The company, however, will hire additional staffs over time based on the job demand (Beleiciks & Krumenauer, 2012).
Major economic costs and delays could result due to the perception that high resources utilization enhances performance. It would be a great risk for QD to assume that using product/service development resources fully will facilitate speedy launch and innovation of their services. For example, extremely stretching the service/product development team will incapacitate their ability in managing unpredictable events. Another risk relates to losing business opportunities due to sticking within one plan of development. Projects are primarily different and need customized design and planning. A business that is not flexible and is fixed on specific development plan may risk not adjusting to consumer needs. Consequently, this may make such a business to miss out a chance of discovering new opportunities for bigger innovative methods (Kilkenny, 2011). The nature of Queens Business is based on external dependency. Its operations or activities are dependent on occurrences of events such as parties, weddings, graduations and homecomings, amidst others. Without such events, the business may become irrelevant. The events, moreover, can be affected by the economic condition (i.e. market risks) of a country such that when economic recession strikes, chances for such events taking place are very low because consumers’ disposable income is reduced.
QD will face four major competitors in the market but will differentiate its business through providing customized and high quality services and at competitive prices. The prices will be negotiable based on a client’s preference on the quality of service desired. Queen will focus its business specifically on satisfying their customers’ needs through comprehensive research on the market to establish the various customer needs in the sector and what competitors/existing firms are providing. Big players can easily join the market due to low costs of starting businesses in the industry, high technological development and high level of unemployment. There are substitutes that will influence Queens Business including committees that plan events, events/wedding blogs and family collaboration in planning events. Queens will use both the differentiation and diversification strategies to increase their market competitiveness. The strategies will make their business unique, thereby attracting more and more customers (Allen, 2009).
Queens will combine the owner’s contribution of $ 100000 with a short-term loan of $ 100000 to facilitate startup capital of $200000. As the business expands and grows, fewer funds will be required for maintenance and thus sales and profitability will rise from year to year, starting from the 2nd year. The business expects positive cash flow from the first year. Since the industry has demonstrated a very positive growth trend, Queens similarly anticipates tremendous growth especially if the economy continue growing.
Assumptions: Queens assumes that the economic growth will continue advancing, thereby affecting its business positively. The firm also assumes it will have completed settling its loan by the second year to attain a faster break-even.