For this particular marketing assignment we are looking at an organisation based in the leafy suburb of Brisbane. The business is a home wares stores chain by two friends and business partners who have invested quite a huge sum of money and are running the business smoothly, but as always see the need for more growth and more profits on balance sheet. The strategies of the business have to completely match or outlive that of the rivals of the business so as to meet and obtain any growth. The current size of the organisation is not as big as some of the rivals in the area. The chain compromises of 15 stores and has a big head office and a management centre at Milton. Staff is also not as huge as some of the other hotels in the area.
The strengths of the business are casual professional attitude to dealing with customer which many of them love as it gives them a feeling of home away from home and other strength of the business is the good repute that it has built over the years in the homewares world with its quality fittings etc. The weakness of the business being some of the rivals have better shelf products and have better prices and better visibility and presence in the market. Houzit business, in order to further the profits and help more financial and presence growth would have to take some steps and apply some marketing strategies and tactics in order to gain that profitability.
This assignment is divided into two tasks: Task 1 is the preparation of a report and Task 2 relates to the development of a marketing plan for Houzit.
Houzit is considered to be a famous chain of homewares stores in Brisbane offering wide range of bathroom fittings, mirrors, bedroom fitting and decorative items to its customers. The analysis of each of the aspect of the company overview is provided under the following heads.
Strategic direction and Organizational objectives
The strategic directions of Houzit can be ascertained from the company’s vision and mission.
Houzit is a national retail brand that is satisfying the home makers’ needs by providing them unique, wide variety of quality homeware products with an easy payment procedure.
The mission of the company asserts that the organization is planning to move towards enlargement of its business by ensuring its presence in all the major cities of Australian market by the year 2020.
The basic focus of the company is on three parameters: Quality, Unique items and Selection
The following are the stated objectives of the organization (Houzit):
To bring an annual sales increase of $ 5 million by moving the sales figures from $15 million per year to %20 million per year during the next three years period.
To enhance the list of loyal customers from 10,000 to 15,000
Considering Brisbane as a potential market, brand recognition need to be established so that one out of every 3 people will recognise the Houzit brand in a random survey that is conducted in 18 months’ time.
Current size, capabilities and resources of the organization
Houzit has completed almost five years of its operations. This part basically relates to the characteristics of each of the store that is under the platform of Houzit.
Current size of each of the Houzit store: 1000-1500 m2
Capabilities: Each of the Houzit store has a capacity to generate the following sales breakup
Bathroom fittings: 30%
Bedrooms furnishings: 35%
Mirrors and decorative items: 20%
Lighting fixtures: 15%
Resources: 15-20 fulltime employees along with number of casual workers
Gaps between the objectives and the current capabilities and resources
Gap analysis serves as the tool that will help to decide between multiple marketing options (Precision Group, 2009). The objectives that are set by Houzit are difficult to be achieved with the current capabilities and resources. It is because company has limited number of employees. In addition to it, the focus with which company operates to have its stores as bright and comfortable for shopping is not in alignment with the legislations that are put forth by the government. In this manner Houzit will have a gap between the objectives set for the company and the current strategies, capabilities and resources of the company.
With the help of external environment analysis, a company will be able to develop a list of opportunities and threats that are provided by the environmental factors (David, 2006). This section of task 1 highlights the two major opportunities for Houzit along with their analysis. The first marketing opportunity that will be chosen to meet the demand in growth of overall business all across metropolitan Brisbane and as well as other parts of Australia would be mobility business, which encompasses the help of mobile apps and mobile webpages and desktop apps and desktop dedicated pages to online commerce of the business to be visible and appealing to the customers all around. They cannot just live by having a website and no online store in this modern day and age where everything from a small pin to an aircraft is being traded online.
Most successful business people know where they fit in. It’s important because knowing what you have to offer determines how you approach the business. And one of the early questions for the business starter is one of growth: most of the small companies that get noticed in the media are of the fast-growing variety. But fast growth also means higher risk – the cash flow problems of a fast-growing business can be the same as an insolvent company.
So decide if you want to grow fast – which will mean taking debt or giving away equity – or whether you are happy with manageable size and predictable revenues. There’s nothing wrong with a conservative strategy: think of all the lawyers, accountants, retailers and tradies who may only employ two or three people but they are successful because their skills, products or technology are such that they can create a premium. So, having decided what the business owes you, and what kind of growth you will need to achieve it, you will need to do what the best business people do: plan. The cliché goes that businesspeople don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Harsh but true. Even a one-page business plan is better than winging it. Making a plan and committing it to paper forces you to focus not only on your strengths, but your weaknesses.
Since Houzit does not have any online presence whatsoever leaving aside their only presence in yellow pages and online address directory. So, after having realised that their current online presence is unable to generate any business online which is budding day by day in every sector of life, we should contract a company specialist in building webpages and mobile apps and mobile webpages Mobile SBMS to create a totally new website. The new website will need to allow for growth in the e-commerce sector as well as providing the ability for continual updating of the website to showcase new products, services and their ever growing portfolio.
This is only going to come across as a reality if the business is ready to provide the backend services in the warehouses on a large scale as if the demand outstrips the supply, it is going to bring about negative reputation from the customers and in today’s world online reputation is something that the business strive on. The outcome is an e-commerce website designed with the Mobile branding behind it, incorporating all 3 arms of their business. The time frames for the project have to be extremely tight and the company that should be employed to do the job should be the one which can be trusted upon in terms of punctuality and efficiency.
The second marketing opportunity is to offer more and more unique products than rivals of Houzit in home ware sectors which cannot be attained while they are making the products in Australia on a small business line. The current trend in home wares is toward handmade rather than mass produced items and this creates an opportunity for getting started in import. Import will solve two sides of the business and will serve both the marketing strategies right as this will help in meeting the backend demand that would be generated by having online presence and increasing e-commerce business.
There are things to consider before you go ahead and start buying. The first thing to do is to find out if you are legally allowed to import the product into Australia and if you need a permit. Some materials are banned or will need special treatment. For example, some items need to be quarantined and fumigated due to possible pest contamination. * Items made with plant or animal products such as bamboo plates or bone carvings. * Packaging materials are often made of wood and plant materials. * Decorative touches to your products may be made of plant materials. You need to list what materials were used in the making of the product so that you can have them properly treated. ICON has a list of import requirements for all commodities including what documentation you will need.
Sourcing and manufacturing and controlling the quality of home wares can be a big job. Each item that you choose is subject to different standards and import regulations. Does it meet the Australian Safety Standards? Drawstrings on blinds can be hazardous. There could be lead in your chinaware or even in the paint that it was decorated with. Have them assessed for safety. What about the duty payable? Some tariffs may be reduced depending on where your item was made but that requires a certificate of origin. Customs need your records including product list, insurance and freight papers so they can calculate the duty payable and ensure smooth Customs clearance. You also need to be sure that your goods have the correct classification so that the right amount of duty is paid.