Unformatted Attachment Preview
Strategic Plan Part 1: New Product or Service
BUS / 475
March 6, 2017
Garold Cole, Instructor
Strategic Plan Part 1: New Product or Service
Signs by George is a small signs and decal business that was established in 2003 in
Spanaway, Washington. The company got its start by creating window decals that were sold
primarily on eBay.com. As the company grew, it expanded its operations to include custom
made wood and vinyl signs, custom created logos, and more recently, tee shirts and hats. They
have an established online presence via their website and Facebook page, but the company needs
to evolve into a more digitally accessible retailer. Creating additional services, such as a mobile
app and at home installations may create a stronger customer base, and further promote the
company’s presence. The goal will ultimately be to continue being innovative in providing the
best in customer services and products.
Proposing a New Product
Signs by George is a company that puts the needs of the customer on the front line. The
success the company has had with their unique logos and quality products have enabled
continued relationships with loyal customers. To continue to grow as a company, the goal is to
make the products available and easily accessible to all customers. The mission statement is, “To
provide quality custom made products quickly and affordably.” The proposal is two-fold: 1)
Provide a service allowing custom made decals to be installed at the customer’s location; 2)
Create a mobile app allowing customers to order ready-made decals.
Curbside Installation Service. The company can expand the installation process and
hire two to three individuals to go to the customer’s location, whether it be at home or at work,
for a small additional fee. The installation division will determine the radius of the service
distance that will be allowed. Installation will include automobiles, boats, and recreational
Mobile Device Application. The company takes custom individual orders, as well as
large bulk orders for businesses. A mobile app can be created to allow customers to see readymade decals that can be adhered to clothing articles, such as tee shirts, hoodies and hats. The app
should have features allowing the customer to choose a decal, style of clothing, color, and size,
depending on availability. The app should also have payment processing available, and
notifications set up to inform the customer when the product is ready for shipment or store
pickup, at the customer’s request.
In addition to creating a mobile app, the company’s website should be updated to offer
the same features for customers using their personal computers.
Addressing the Customer Needs with a Competitive Advantage
Kimberly Amadeo (2016) wrote, “A competitive advantage is what makes you better
than the competition in your customers' minds.” Amadeo stated a company needs to know these
three determinates: what you produce, target market, and competition. What you produce. Be
clear on what you are providing to the customer. Target market. Know who your customers are,
and know your market. Competition. Not just similar products or companies. Competition
includes anything and everything else that meets your customers’ needs (Amadeo, 2016).
While there are other sign businesses in the area, the majority will not install vinyl decals
to automobiles at a customer’s location; the expectation is that the customer will bring their
vehicle to the location to have the installation done on site. This will give Signs by George a
competitive advantage over other businesses, differentiating them with an additional service to
Although other sign businesses offer a user-friendly website that can be interactive, a
mobile app will give Signs by George an advantage that other firms do not yet have. The
different features and abilities to create a tee shirt, for example, and the quick turnaround of
product will show the local customers that they can order a product and have it ready by the time
they arrive to the store. This will create an efficient system for customers who want a specific
design that is made available, and process the entire order via their mobile device.
Vision and Business Model
The vision for this division is to “make our products available and easily accessible at an
affordable price.” The goal for the new service is to reach our customer base in a new and
innovative way, while providing a faster turnaround on certain products. The business has been
built on providing other businesses with their sign and decal needs, whether it be a new
storefront, or displaying their company logo and information on the company’s vehicles. Signs
by George can further expand their business to meet the individual needs of their customers with
ready-made decals for the line of apparel that is available.
The “brick and click” business model would work best for this division of the company.
Creating an interactive website and additional mobile app will allow the company to reach a
wider target audience. Advertisements that pair with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will allow
the product to be promoted and further endorse the presence of the company.
Vision, Mission and Value
The mission that Signs by George has is, “Our goal is to create a brand for your business
that stands out. Essentially making your business our business.” The creators at Signs by George
work hard to create a design for other companies that can be seen and recognized for that
specific company. Their vision is to create a partnership with other companies to ensure that their
presence in the marketplace is known, thus establishing the sign business in the community.
Creating an improved website and application will further reach customers that are
outside the community. Using social media is a great place to advertise and promote the product
that is available at Signs by George. Extending the reach of their market will allow growth and
opportunities to branch out, bringing value to the division that is being proposed.
The mission statement, “To provide quality custom made products quickly and
affordably” provides a template that will direct the company in creating a values statement. The
values statement should incorporate the importance of quality product, affordability, and
building relationships with the customers that will last for years. The values should be an
example of how each customer is appreciated, no matter how big or how small the order.
To summarize, the vision, mission, and values of the company should work together to
create an atmosphere that values the customers’ needs above all else. When the team members
value the customer, they will ensure greater quality while being mindful of the importance of
swiftness in product turnaround.
Defining Guiding Principles and Values
Signs by George prides themselves in staying competitive in the sign and decal business,
while continuing to provide quality products for their customers. Signs by George has aspired to
instill in their team members the importance of good customer service, communication between
designs and final product, as well as providing quality products using quality materials.
The founders of Signs by George have understood that products should withstand time
and elements to ensure the customer’s needs are continuously met. If the product does not hold
up within a certain amount of normal wear and tear, they guarantee their products and replace as
needed. This creates a bond between customer and the business that reassures the customer will
continue to have the product they were promised, showing the importance of having good ethics.
Signs by George values being ethical is working with customers, as this type of business
gets promoted by word of mouth and referrals. It is their continued goal and purpose to provide a
quality product and service.
Culture defines the character and personality of your organization. According to HR
Insights (2013), “Culture is as important, if not more important, than your business strategy
because it either strengthens or undermines your business and the objectives it is trying to
achieve. Culture is significant, especially because…
“It attracts talent. Potential job applicants evaluate your organization and its climate. A
strong, positive, clearly defined and well-communicated culture attracts the right fit and
“It drives engagement and retention. It creates a work environment that either strengthens
or weakens employee engagement and retention.
“It impacts happiness and satisfaction. Research shows that employee happiness and
satisfaction is linked to a strong workplace culture.
“It affects performance. Organizations with stronger cultures outperform their
competitors in financial performance and are generally more successful” (HR Insights
Signs by George should improve on their workplace culture to establish an atmosphere
that attracts talent, impacts happiness, and affects performance. Doing so will increase the
principles and values that will drive the company into a creative and production work
Signs by George is a small business that has the opportunity to transform itself into
becoming more interactive and accessible to today’s market. The target audience is going to be
easier to reach via social media and the internet, with a few modern changes and technological
improvements. There is a capability for this company to evolve into a leading competitor locally
and nationally. The mission, vision, and values statements can give the company a stronger
direction in which to travel, while its conscientious efforts in good quality control has already
established a good customer base. Understanding their competitive market will continue to push
the company forward without losing who and what they represent.
Amadeo, K. (2016, November). What is Competitive Advantage? 3 Strategies that Work. The
Balance. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-competitive-advantage-3strategies-that-work-3305828
HR Insights Blog. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/WorkplaceCulture-What-it-Is-Why-it-Matters-How-to-Define-It.aspx
Strategic Plan Part 2: SWOT Analysis
March 13, 2017
Strategic Plan Part 2: SWOT Analysis
This analysis will determine the different factors of SWOT, which consists of
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and trends of the business. The company,
Signs by George, is a small business looking to expand its services by reconstructing
their website, developing a user-friendly app, and adding the additional service of on-site
installation, as opposed to having the customer come to the business location for vehicle
decals and wraps. By analyzing both the external and internal factors, the company will
be able to work out a strategy for marketing the concept, differentiating the proposed
services from the competition, and recreating the business plan for innovative expansion.
SWOT Analysis of External and Internal Factors
The SWOT analysis is an important tool to look at external and internal factors
for the business to expand their services, and to discover whether the proposal follows a
good strategy for success. Below is the SWOT table of the findings:
On-site vehicle decal
On-site designers can facilitate
installation is not as accessible
the right design for each product
through other sign businesses.
ordered. They can also make
Most companies prefer the
recommendations to the
customer bring their vehicle to
them. Signs by George wants
to include on-site installation.
With other sign businesses to
compete with, the new services
will differentiate Signs by
George from the pack.
Further research is needed to
A good business strategy needs
determine if patents or
to be developed to ensure the
trademarks are needed to be
success of the app and the
Current website is not reaching
Requires an excellent tech
its target market.
Unsure whether the app will be The current building is small and
as efficient and accepted as
not efficient to expand the
With the use of the internet,
Develop a plan to process orders
the business can target a
quickly and efficiently. Organize
broader audience nationally.
materials and keep an inventory
Eventually the business can
and a system to be fully stocked.
look toward global markets.
Organize materials, apparel, and
A user-friendly application can
products to be efficient and to
be developed to enable an
keep the inventory accurate.
interactive experience for the
Create an atmosphere among the
staff of unity and good work
Website that is interactive for
the customer to play with the
Establish a relationship with
different options and choices
suppliers to receive bulk items at
in custom made apparel.
a discounted rate.
Ensure the app is original, and
not a copycat of another
As the installation requests
grow, the number of mobile
installers will increase, causing
higher emissions being
released. Fuel efficient
vehicles or hybrids should be
considered to establish a green
Social media is great
Create an atmosphere to promote
advertising, especially for
creativity and unity in the
Gen-Xers and Millennials.
Using Facebook, Twitter, and
Keep Social Media updated on
YouTube as a means for
upcoming styles, designs, sales
promoting the products and
and so forth. Promote the app
services offered will further
and the website through social
establish our online presence.
Interactive app will put more
control in the hands of the
customers, giving them
choices on design, style, color
and size of apparel on their
The SWOT analysis shows Signs by George what strengths they can build on, and
where improvements need to be made. A lot of development time and energy will need to
go into the improved website, and in the proposed application. An online presence needs
to be strengthened and promoted through social media advertisement. Economic, legal
and regulatory factors must also be considered.
Economics. The region that the business is in consists of a wide range of income
levels and unemployment. There are large communities being built at a staggering rate
consisting of large homes on small lots, pocketed with older communities with low end
and pre-fabricated homes. The region also contains several families and schools, which
could affect the type of products that can be available for large groups or organizations.
Per The News Tribune (2017), the region’s residents are showing a 3.6 percent rise in
labor force for 2016, and a “2.2 percent growth in jobs projected for 2017 is expected to
create an additional 6,800 jobs. 2017 per capita income is expected to rise 3.1 percent,
driven by construction growth and assuming local workers fill those jobs” (Cockrell,
2017). More jobs will ensure a better economy for the region, which affects all businesses
in the area.
Taxes. Tax codes vary from one region to another, and it will be imperative to
consider how the taxes in the area will affect expanding the services and the budget
required for additional products and services. Additional employees will also affect the
amount of taxes the company must pay every year (Legal and Regulatory Factors
Affecting Business, 2015).
High Costs of daily operations must also be taken into considerations. A business
strategy that incorporates the amount of increased expenses will contribute to the
deliberations on how much to expand and help to create a workable budget.
Organization. Because the business is small, employing three to five employees
at a time, Signs by George is flexible in making changes within the organization. The
nature of their business creates an environment that is able to adapt to changes in seasons,
changes in the economy, and changes within their own organization. With increasing the
services offered, changes in their workspace will be necessary to accommodate an
increase in product orders.
The company should consider moving into a larger facility, with a storefront that
is easily accessible to the public. This gives the sign business an opportunity to make
their presence visible, bringing in more customers and business. Displaying product and
designs will also promote the business further.
Core Competencies. According to Dess, Eisner, Lumpkin, & McNamara, (2014)
core competencies are “the glue that binds existing businesses together or as the engine
that fuels new business growth.” The core competencies in Signs by George include
creative energy, a desire to create a quality product, and the need for achieving their
goals. The new division of the company will create and efficient system that will take the
website and mobile orders, organize the products, and send the materials to the
individuals in the production department. The division will also maintain an inventory,
and keep product (in various colors, sizes, and styles) stocked according to customer
preferences (information that will be collected and analyzed after a six-month trial run).
Issues and Opportunities
The SWOT analysis helped to identify some of the issues that need to be attended
to, as well as opportunities the proposed division will bring to the business. In addressing
these issues and opportunities, a better strategy can be developed to be successful and
A major issue that has previously been mentioned is the need for a larger facility.
Obtaining a larger space to separate the office and workspace, as well as creating a space
dedicated to inventory will give the business a better flow. The signs and decals
department should be separate from the apparel department, since the materials used are
different. This will also create an organized space enabling orders to be better produced
in a quick and efficient manner.
Another issue is determining the funds needed to move the business, and invest in
the startup material for expanding the pre-made apparel products. Obtaining a business
loan could be profitable if the interest rates are low enough, and the terms reasonable.
Locating an investor can be a better solution financially, if the business owner is willing
to share in the profits and responsibility.
A reputable software developer would need to be employed to develop the app
and restructure the website, and an IT person would need to be partnered with as well to
keep the technological processes up and running.
One of the opportunities this business has is to expand their technology to
incorporate an improved website that a customer can navigate easily through. The
website should add additional links to the product options that are carried. If they want
custom made decals or apparel, they would click on a link directing them to that page. If
they want to order a design that is unique to this company, they have that option as well.
Organizations can navigate to the page that specializes in groups orders, and in creating a
unique logo or brand for that organization.
A mobile app will also be developed to navigate the customer in the same way,
allowing browsing of the products, selecting the order, and paying directly from the
Social media is a valuable tool that will promote the business further and create
ads that consumers will be drawn to. Social media furthers cements the online presence
for this company, reaching a wider range of consumers. Many sites do produce tee shirts,
hoodies and hats with fun and interesting designs that consumers enjoy; the variety,
however can be limiting in that ...