Strategic Plan Drew Luke University of Phoenix STR/581 – Strategic Planning & Implementation Paul Sam December 9, 2010 Week 6 Table of Contents Executive SummaryPage 3 Company BackgroundPage 3 – 5 Environmental ScanPage 5 – 11 Organizational StrategyPage 11 – 14 Implementation PlanPage 14 – 16 Risk Management PlanPage 16 – 17 Strategic Plan This paper will compile the various assignments from previous weeks to establish a completed strategic plan. An executive summary will be provided, along with the company’s background, mission, vision, and value statements.
Additionally the previously constructed environmental scan will be further illustrated. The selected business strategy will be discussed. The final components of this plan will include the implementation and risk management plan. As previously mentioned the company being discussed is that of “Dreamz” a wedding planning business.
Executive Summary The report following this summary is that of a strategic plan for “Dreamz” a wedding consulting firm. The company’s core values are based around taking a clients dream and making a reality, and to do all the work so they can enjoy the party. Dreamz” is designed to meet with clients to discuss what they consider to be their dream wedding. Based on this meeting the consultant will begin to pull resources from the various vendors which “Dreamz” has partnered with. Once the package has been pulled together the complete package will be presented to the client for final approval. The key aspect of the process is that “Dreamz” believes in order to make its clients truly comfortable and satisfied with the experience they must feel a sense of ownership of the project, therefore client involvement in decision making or finalizing decisions is vital.
The wedding industry has been experiencing a 20% growth over the last five years, therefore it is predicted that with this growth “Dreamz” will begin as a locally based company in Houston, TX growing nationally within a year of start-up and within two years of start-up becoming global. The advancements in technology simply ease the ability for “Dreamz” to expand. In order for the company to begin a central office, staff, equipment, marketing, and vendor relationships must be established and assigned to appropriate staff members with final deadlines for complete start-up set for February 18, 2011. Vision
The vision of “Dreamz” is designed to motivate its staff to provide excellent service to build such a reputation to which each member will have the opportunity to travel and experience opportunities beyond the normal realm in which they reside (Pearce & Robinson, 2011). “Dreamz” will begin by offering services within a confined area, more specifically within the city of Houston, TX. Once the company has achieved a level of understanding and had time to learn from experience within a span of approximately two to three years the company will begin to launch out into traveling statewide to reach a larger client base.
Within a matter of ten years the company will be established at a level being able to travel nationally to service clients, and within fifteen years the company will become global. This will be achieved through a development of word of mouth advertising. Several barriers exist to the vision of such growth such as vendor availability, client relations, travel, and natural disasters. However, the company will remain centralized in Houston, TX and will remain on a personal level of business.
Ultimately the founder Drew Luke has a vision of benchmarking successful traveling business practices from various other industries such as the interior design industry and clothing design industry.
Both industries typically start on a small scale and grow gradually toward a global market through travel while remaining centralized in one space. Mission The mission of the company is to ensure the clients have a truly momentous, stress free experience, we do the work you enjoy the party. The clients dream is the company’s priority.
This mission statement is designed to promote unity, help move from ideas to action, and establish culture (Heathfield, 2010). As previously mentioned the core focus of the organization is to develop a sense of partnership with the client in order to meet the ultimate goal of making dreams come true in order to achieve this “Dreamz” has incorporated a mission statement designed to not only motivate but remind its employees of just how this is to be achieved.
Furthermore, this mission expresses to both the clients and vendors that “Dreamz” will do whatever is necessary to make a dream come true.
This sense of ownership allows for the development of strong bonds between “Dreamz” staff members, clients, and vendors as the project is made to feel as it is the possession of all parties involved. As stated this mission statement is inclusive of the expectations of all stakeholders for the company’s performance in the long run (Pearce & Robinson, 2011). Overall the importance of this mission is to make it known to all stakeholders how vital each member is in the overall outcome of each project.
Values Statement “Dreamz” policy of open heart and open mind when dealing with clients provides the company strength in developing lasting relationships with its clients.
This policy calls for the hiring of a staff which posses the ability to remain open with clients and vendors putting personal feelings to the side and acting primarily on a professional level. Cultural differences pose the possibility for conflict which as previously mentioned is a core weakness for “Dreamz”.
Conflict resolution techniques will be taught to each staff member as well as repetition on the concept of open communication in an effort to decrease escalation of conflicts or cultural differences (Heathfield, 2010). Experience with different cultures is an opportunity for the staff and even vendors to experience scenarios in which otherwise might not have been available, such experiences can be considered as motivational or selling tools in this line of business. When working with various cultures legal issues such as discrimination may arise.
One such example would be that of same sex partnerships being legal internationally and in only a few locations within the US.
When working with clients of a same sex orientation “Dreamz” coordinators must consider these legal concerns when planning such an event as a way of adverting legal ramifications. The knowledge of various cultural differences will aid in the growth of “Dreamz” to becoming a global company and having the ability to meet the specifications and restrictions of its various clients.
External Forces Technological When considering the analysis of what effects technology has on “Dreamz” five main points come to mind. With the current state of technology the chief strength this offers to the company is easier forms of communication. Just over the course of the last 10 years the computer industry has evolved from desktop computers to hand held computers able to be transported anywhere.
This technology will allow “Dreamz” to acquire and support clients at any time or place.
However, given these advancements as a strength they can also be a weakness with advances the cost to update and incorporate these advances. In order for “Dreamz” to supply its staff with for example blackberry’s the firm must purchase the equipment which can range from $250 to $600, as well as the service which could cost anywhere from $150 to $300 a month per individual. When considering such updates it becomes apparent why small businesses such as “Dreamz” maintain less costly equipment. Such technology also presents the opportunity for faster growth of the company.
An event coordinator can become mobile in an effort to juggle multiple projects at one time while maintain the companies mission of customer ease and involvement. As with any computer equipment when working on the World Wide Web the company opens the doors to the threat of virus’s and identity theft. “Dreamz” will battle such threats through the use of well developed policies and procedures in regard to internet use and equipment use, as well as virus protection software and firewall protection on all equipment.
With current trends in the technology industry computers and communication has become easier and continues to become easier. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics several software companies are beginning testing and production of virtual meeting settings where individuals in two separate places can host meetings which would appear to contain all parties. Such a system would pose useful to “Dreamz” as a method of reaching its vision of growth to a global company.
Competitive Analysis Dreamz” policy of complete customer involvement or more specifically ownership of the project allows the company to stay unique. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics the typical event planner handles all aspects of the event with only final approval from clients. This practice may be successful for planning such events as corporate parties, however “Dreamz” is primarily a wedding consultant company and since weddings are considered such personal life long events it is the companies belief that involvement and ownership of the client is essential to the fulfillment of the clients dreams.
This unique technique is considered strength to the company, however increasing the awareness of this service provides a form of weakness. “Dreamz” plan of battling said weakness is by the use of word of mouth advertising as mentioned in the company’s vision statement it will start small and centralized and over time grow to large and global while maintaining the sense of personal care. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics and The Wedding Report, Inc.
the wedding industry is forecasted to continue its growth over the next 10 years.
With that said “Dreamz” has the opportunity to benchmark useful practices from existing wedding coordinators as well as other successful industries to promote the companies vision of global growth. Competition is expected as in any industry; however the primary threat presented to “Dreamz” would be price cutting in services resulting in client’s decreased views in the service provided. In an effort to battle this threat “Dreamz” must look ahead to associate the value of the service with the quality of the service.
As previously mentioned the trend for the wedding planning industry shows a continued growth over the next 10 years of 20%, this poses as an opportunity for “Dreamz” to both enter the market and reach its vision of growth to a world wide company. Internal Forces Processes and systems “Dreamz” policy and procedures state specifically a specific process under which each event coordinator must follow with involvement of its clients as the company’s primary strength.
As in any team there are bound to be conflicts which is a primary weakness in all companies today.
Not only do conflicts arise amongst team members within the organization but the same conflicts may result with clients as well. “Dreamz” will rely on proper training of its leaders in conflict resolution strategies such as communication and openness to new ideas as the primary method of dealing with said conflicts. “Dreamz” policy of client involvement allows for the creation of a strong group think scenario. As proven in many tests two heads are better than one, which is a process in which “Dreamz” bases its business on.
As specific as “Dreamz” processes are in the development of each project one threat remains significant this would be that of cancellation of contracts. “Dreamz” must establish contracts not only with its clients but also its vendors. In such relationships contract cancellations are possible and can pose extreme levels of cost to the company in legal fees and utilized resources, as well as damaging relationships with both clients and vendors. According to Mar-Nel Productions 30% of brides in the United States (US) are focusing on a do-it-yourself approach to planning their wedding.
With that said “Dreamz” policy of strict involvement of its clients allows clients to feel a sense of ownership and belief in a personalized wedding experience.
Resources “Dreamz” has two types of resources one being the vendors it uses to make its clients dreams a reality and the other is the clients. The level of professionalism and quality of service is what the company considers its primary strength, which as a result would lead to word of mouth advertising considered to be one of the most powerful forms of marketing available to businesses in the service industry.
In building such strong relationships the company stands to establish strong relationships with both vendors and clients in doing so “Dreamz” can barter with vendors to establish deals resulting in discounts extended to clients. With competitors present and the number of weddings increasing 20% over the next 10 years overlapping of competitors providing services is apparent (Mar-Nel Productions, 2009). As previously mentioned with the level of service which “Dreamz” policies require an opportunity of exclusive contracts is possible with vendors allowing for an even more competitive edge for “Dreamz”.
However, this is also a threat to the company such contracts result in the possibility of contract violations leading to legal costs.
According to Mar-Nel Productions over the next decade the event planning industry is expected to grow 20% this trend in growth will also lead to an increase in resources available to “Dreamz” allowing for a greater possibility of the company reaching its vision of going global. Goals “Dreamz” goals act as its primary strength they are designed to increase motivation amongst employees.
With growth of the company come opportunities to travel and higher levels of income. The weakness of this growth lies in the necessity of restructuring the company to a level of being able to handle going global. “Dreamz” will have to think outside of the box to prepare for the various costs incurred during restructuring. The goal of becoming global allows “Dreamz” the opportunity to enter a vastly growing global market.
According to Mar-Nel Productions the top four cities in the world for weddings include Las Vegas, NV, Istanbul, Turkey, Gatlinburg, TN, and New Orleans, LA.
Going global allows “Dreamz” to reach to an increasing market of weddings in countries like Turkey where the wedding industry is booming. While expanding globally “Dreamz” becomes open to a larger group of competitors and must consider reevaluating its practices to remain competitive in markets outside of the US. As previously mentioned with the projected growth of 20% in the next 10 years the wedding industry provides the possibility of strong goal oriented companies such as “Dreamz” to reach its goal of becoming global.
Culture “Dreamz” policy of open heart and open mind when dealing with clients provides the company strength in developing lasting relationships with its clients. This policy calls for the hiring of a staff which posses the ability to remain open with clients and vendors putting personal feelings to the side and acting primarily on a professional level.
Cultural differences pose the possibility for conflict which as previously mentioned is a core weakness for “Dreamz”.
Conflict resolution techniques will be taught to each staff member as well as repetition on the concept of open communication in an effort to decrease escalation of conflicts or cultural differences. Experience with different cultures is an opportunity for the staff and even vendors to experience scenarios in which otherwise might not have been available, such experiences can be considered a motivational or selling tool in this line of business. When working with various cultures legal issues such as discrimination may arise.
According to Pearce and Robinson to determine the internal business perspective, “Dreamz” must answer the question: to satisfy our shareholders and customers, at which business processes must we excel? ” To answer this question the objective is to make efficient use of vendors.
This will be measured through the use of computerized lists and schedules documenting which vendors are assigned to which projects, allowing each project coordinator the opportunity to view the availability of vendors and arranging appropriate scheduling of events.
Through this level of organization “Dreamz” target is to establish exclusive contracts with vendors giving “Dreamz” an edge over its competition. The management of “Dreamz” will review scheduling to prevent overlapping of scheduling of vendors, through this courteous behavior “Dreamz” will illustrate the level of respect the company has for its vendors improving relations and making the target goal a reality. According to TheWeddingReport as the numbers continue to increase in spending on wedding so should the availability of vendors such as florists and caterers. Learning and Growth Perspective
With regard to the perspective of learning and growth according to Pearce and Robinson “Dreamz” should ask: “to achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve? ” After careful consideration of the vision of extended growth to a global market “Dreamz” feels the primary objective is to focus on conflict resolution training. This is vital in dealing with different cultures and personalities when planning weddings.
The conflict resolution training will be measured through the use of employee satisfaction surveys designed to give employees the opportunity to speak about any positive or negative concerns they may have.
Through the use of this training “Dreamz” is targeting an increased sense of communication amongst its staff which is sure to trickle down to its clients and vendors improving the overall business. Management will conduct conflict resolution exercises with the staff periodically, and on a monthly basis each staff member will be required to complete an employee satisfaction survey further illustrating any areas where issues may exist. Financial Perspective When considering the financial perspective Pearce and Robinson suggest asking: “to succeed financially, how should we appear to our stakeholders? “Dreamz” core objective financially is to maintain competitive pricing. This can be measured through the hiring of a secret shopping firm to determine the pricing offered by “Dreamz” competitors.
The target for this objective is to maintain pricing which will maintain a profit. Management will review the reports provided by the secret shopping firm, and review “Dreamz” financial statements in an effort to maintain a price which will be both competitive and profitable. Communication Strategy Dreamz” initial marketing or communication strategy will begin through the consultation of friends and family member’s weddings. Through the use of these initial jobs the company will be able to establish some word of mouth advertising while building a portfolio of previous work. This portfolio will be illustrated through the use of a company website, Facebook page, MySpace page, and craigslist advertisement. At the start of the business this will enable to company to reach a larger group of the localized clientele.
Furthermore, by the second year of business “Dreamz” will attend several wedding expos in which previous jobs will be posted, and initial interviews with perspective clientele can be ascertained. To further enhance the communication plan “Dreamz” has intended to purchase ad space in such areas as MySpace and facebook; through the use of such advertising the company will be able to reach its goal of entering a global market. Implementation Plan Objectives should be clear and highly specific; they must also be tough but reachable (Richards, 2010).
As previously mentioned “Dream” will start solely as a wedding coordination company. The specific objectives to be reached included ascertaining a home office to meet and great clients, and perform project management. Additionally arranging to take part in the two yearly wedding expos conducted in Houston each year as a vendor must be arranged. Since facebook appears to be the most widely used internet communication site a facebook site must be created for “Dreamz. ” Once this site is created internet advertising can begin to kick off. A receptionist and one additional wedding consultant must be hired.
Finally meetings with local vendors must be arranged to establish working relationships and knowledge of further resources. The functional tactics include the key activities that must be executed in each functional area in order to produce and market a product or service (Richards, 2010). As the owner and operator of “Dreamz” it will be my responsibility to establish an office to act as a primary site for meeting with clients and conducting business. Once this has been achieved I must procure an office manager and additional consultant.
Once these individuals are acquired the remainder of the objectives can be divided appropriately amongst the staff.
The office manager will be responsible for investigating and scheduling “Dreamz” as a vendor at the two wedding expos held in Houston yearly. Additionally the office manager will be responsible for constructing the company’s facebook site and begin the internet marketing. The additional consultant and I will be responsible for conducting the meet and greets with possible vendors to establish long term relationships. Action Items |Person Assigned |Due Date | |Secure office space |Drew/Real Estate Agent |4-Feb-11 | |Obtain license and permits |Drew |4-Feb-11 | |Set up office |Office Manager |11-Feb-11 | |Begin recruiting clients |Consultant |7-Feb-11 | |Create marketing |Office Manager |7-Feb-11 | |Solicit referrals |Consultant |11-Feb-11 | |Research vendors |Drew/Consultant |7-Feb-11 | The final stage of implementation is to allocate resources in order for “Dreamz” to do so appointments must be made with various vendors and they must be broken down into groups or various components of the wedding experience.
According to Eventective the top ten wedding venues in Houston include: The Groovey Grill Mansion, Historic Magnolia Ballroom, Chateau Polonez, The Houston Zoo, Chateau Crystale, Alden Houston, The Gardens Houston, The Villa Ballrooms, Briscoe Manor, and the Czech Center Museum.
In addition to meeting and establishing relationships with these venues “Dreamz” staff will develop an exclusive discounted relationship with David’s Bridal and Men’s Warehouse to meet the bridal and grooms parties clothing demands. According to CitySpur the top ten florists in Houston include: Lexis Florist, Greenworks Flowers, Blomma Flower Shop, Rosewood Flowers, John Friedman Flowers, Abby’s Flowers and Gifts, Breens Florist, Heights Floral Shop, The Flower Corner, and River Oaks Plant House all are well established and have extensive experience with weddings, therefore a working relationship will be established.
According to the Houston Business Journal Abuso Catering Company is the number one all inclusive catering company in Houston providing its own staff and supplies to complete the wedding reception. These relationships will establish a strong initial resource base to meet the start-up demands of “Dreamz. ” Change Management Strategies As in all aspects of life change in inevitable when considering wedding consulting either myself or the consultant that is hired is bound to incur situations where change is necessary. With that said communication is key when considering situations where change occurs (Pearce & Robinson, 2011).
In situations such as this the previously mentioned communication plan will be executed. “Dreamz” staff will be issued blackberry’s in order to maintain contact between all three initial employee’s.
In order for “Dreamz” to be prepared for risk the first thing the team must do is to assess the risks which may be presented in each clients event. Once the risks have all been assessed it is time to prioritize these risks as to their level of importance and how they may impact to end result. Once these two steps have been completed the team will need to consider options or manners of dealing with possible risk. As a result the clients initial package will include a primary and secondary vendor for each component of their wedding.
The office manager will be assigned to reserve both the primary and secondary vendors for the specific dates required.