Posted: October 26th, 2022

Marketing Strategy

Unit 5 Team Discussion

 

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Marketing Strategy

Because you are general business experts, your marketing strategy should be robust and detailed. It is up to your virtual team to determine how to design and develop the marketing strategy for your virtual business.

These are important factors to consider as you conduct your research:

· A group of angel investors owns 40% of the virtual business.

· Each virtual team member was selected to start and operate this virtual business.

· The angel investors hold three out of five permanent seats on the board of directors of your virtual business.

· The angel investors will provide $100,000 to fund the virtual business.

· It is the job of the virtual team to convince the angel investors that you deserve funding for your new virtual business venture.

In this 
graded
 discussion, your virtual team will contemplate the marketing strategies of your virtual business. To continue developing the strategic business plan, each virtual team member should contribute to this discussion by addressing the following discussion topics:

· What are the components of a marketing strategy in a strategic business plan?

· Discuss the components of the marketing mix and explain its importance in the strategic business planning process.

· Discuss the types of products your business will sell.

· Discuss product branding.

· Explain the differences between each of the components of the promotion mix.

· Explain how a pricing strategy is realized.

Synthesize academic research to support your thoughts, ideas, statements, and opinions. Apply proper current APA style citation format.

TennesseeStrong-Box

Table of Contents

Executive summary

6

Description of Opportunity 6

Problem and Solution 6

Company Vision Statement 6

Company Mission Statement 6

Ethical Approach Statement 6

Values 6-7

Business Model 7

Industry Overview 7-8

Target Market 8

Competitive Advantage 8

Team Members and Their Company Roles 8

Board of Directors 8-9

Financial Snapshot 9

Conclusion 9

     

 

Company overview

9

Introduction 9-10

Company Vision and Mission   10

Company Philosophy 10

                                                                               

                                

Business Structure 10

Nature of the business

11

Industry

11

Background information

11

Business objectives

11-12

Team

12-14

Board of Directors 14

Market analysis

14

Market size

14-15

SWOT analysis

15

PESTEL analysis

15-16

Competitive analysis

16

Differentiation 16

Targeted Market Segments 16

Marketing plan 1
7

Price
1

7

Basic Box Subscription 17

Premium Box Subscription 17

Product
1

7

Promotion

17

Place
1
8

Logistics and operations plan
18

Suppliers 1
8-19

Production 1
9

Facilities 19-20

Equipment 20-21

Shipping and fulfilment 21

Inventory 21

Measurements 20-21

Financial plan

21

Sales Forecast

21-22

Expenses

23

Salaries for the Team

23

Fixed Costs

23-24

Variable Costs

24

Projected Profits

Year One

24

Projected Profits Year Two

24-25

Legal 25

References

26

     

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Description of Opportunity

The online subscription box industry is growing and is not expected to slow down anytime soon which Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) is well aware of. People have a love for surprises and with a steady revenue model TSB and it’s mystery box subscription service will be able to not only find sustainability in the Online subscription box industry but will be able to dominate the market as well. 

Problem and Solution    

Shopping at a local store means that you are supporting services and products that their owners are passionate about. Additionally, shopping local allows you to make an investment in your neighborhood and community. Locally spent money helps grow other businesses and support the area’s tax base. Continued support of local business owners is helping to shape the Nashville personality and character. Small businesses support the largest segment of employers nationwide and in Tennessee. This quantity means that small businesses employ the largest amount of people. Shopping local not only means supporting local businesses, but it also means supporting your neighbors. The final, and often overlooked item that Tennessee Strong-Box is solving is we have helped make and enforce the local communities as a destination.                                                                         

Company Vision Statement

“To provide an assortment of genuine products from locally owned businesses. To provide these products to our customers in an exciting innovative way using our mystery box subscriptions to help local small businesses grow and maintain competitiveness in an always evolving business environment.”

Company Mission Statement 

“Our mission at Tennessee Strong-Box is sharing our love of trying new things and adventure. You have got this one life; live it!”

Ethical Approach Statement

Tennessee Strong-Box is committed to maintaining the highest standard of ethical conduct in all aspects of business operations. Our adhering to our set of core values allows us to conduct our business while maintaining effective transparency in all areas. We at Tennessee Strong-box are committed to utilizing every method available to us in order to achieve the highest level of transparency in order to support our mission and to achieve our goals. 

Values

– Transparency

– Honesty

– Integrity

– Loyalty

– Fairness

– Law-Abiding

– Respect for others

– Commitment to customers

– Accountability

-Trustworthiness

Our company’s values statements derive from Genuineness, Quality and Having Fun. These three determine how we interact internally and with our customers. Tennessee Strong Box is built around its four senior executives (CEO, CFO, COO, CTO) who share the same ideas when it comes to decision making. Their main objective is to keep its customers the focal point of all decisions. All major decisions are decided as a team. With the small staff we have the remaining employees take direction from the COO. The COO instills the same values and guidance to the Operations team. She has the autonomy to make decisions that affect the day-to-day operations and staffing of her team.

Business Model

Tennessee Strong-Box is an online retail subscription company that follows a subscription box business model. This type of business model is one that has customers who pay a subscription cost which is usually a monthly or quarterly payment made by the customer to the business and in return receives a subscription box on a regular basis. This type of business model is considered to be an eCommerce subscription model. TSB’s customers benefit from this type of business model because they don’t have to scramble around to find a place to shop; TSB benefits from this model because they are able to maintain a steady revenue stream and thus are able to conduct operations more efficiently. (Gregory, 2019).

Industry Overview

The top nine subscription services throughout the United States account for 1 trillion dollars in annual revenue. Some of these subscription services have upwards of 1.5 million subscribers. Subscription services started to see an uptick in revenue starting around the year of 2012 and that does not look like it is going to slow down anytime soon. This industry in 2020 saw that 15% of online shoppers have at least signed up for one subscription box service. (Chipeta, 2020). Not only that but this industry has grown by more than 100 percent within the last five years and is clearly here to stay. 

Target Market

Online Consumers are Tennessee Strong-Box’s Target Market. This target market is broken down into segments in which TSB’s targeted consumer is a woman who has a cat or a dog and lives in North America. She’s between the ages of 25 and 55, doesn’t have children, and is comfortable buying products online, ordering at least once a week from online vendors. She has a university-level degree and earns over $50,000 a year. She values her time highly, and isn’t opposed to calling herself a “cat mom” or “dog mom,” and has friends who feel the same. 

Competitive Advantage

Tennessee Strong-Box’s competitive advantage is its outsourcing to a fulfillment provider, Shopify. By outsourcing to a fulfillment provider TSB is able to overcome many of the supply chain challenges it may have had to face. By outsourcing Tennessee Strong-Box will be more easily able to accommodate the sure to come rapid business growth and focus on its customized service to customers. Not to mention the fact that working with Shopify TSB will be able to minimize its overhead and control company costs. With Shopify being an expert fulfillment provider for subscription services this lightens the load for TSB so that the company has more time to focus on making customers happy as well as ensuring each box they receive is surprisingly delightful. This sets Tennessee Strong-Box apart from the company’s competitors. (Fabregas, 2017).

Team members and Their Company Roles

Jonathan Eyerman – Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Stephanie Gillmer – Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Rafael Stewart – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Michael Neumiller – Chief

Technology

Officer (CTO) and Marketing Strategist

Board of Directors

Andrew Eyerman – Owner of multiple businesses and has experience in logistics, transportation, finance, budgeting, real estate, engineering and retail sales.

Diane Lockhart – 30 years experience in business planning, finance/budgeting and business strategy. Diane’s areas of expertise include accounting, cash flows. business planning and startup assistance and operations. Other areas of expertise include human resources and overall business operations. Diane also is a consultant and often mentors entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. She is located in Old Hickory, Tennessee and is a member of the Nashville chapter of an organization called Score which offers business owners and entrepreneurs guidance in ensuring their businesses are successful.

Financial Snapshot

Tennessee Strong-Box projects earnings of over $60,000 a month within 3 months of the company’s launch and within two years of operating TSB aims to achieve an annual revenue of $150,000 which is only projected to increase at the five year mark.

Conclusion

Tennessee Strong-Box is an online retail subscription box business that aims to help support small businesses in the Tennessee area, specifically Nashville. Tennessee Strong-Box offers subscription box services to its target market of online consumers with a focus on women between the ages of 25 to 55 who have a college degree level education and no children. This targeted segment also are pet owners and many of them fall into the millennial category which is another segment targeted by TSB. The company plans to be making $60,000 in revenue per month by the end of the third month operating. The company has an advantage over competitors because of its use of a fulfillment provider, Shopify, which eliminates many of the supply chain challenges the company may have encountered. This advantage allows the company to focus more on ensuring customer satisfaction and repeat business. (Fabregas, 2017). With the ever growing popularity of subscription box services Tennessee Strong-Box is going to dominate the market and by the end of two years projects an annual revenue of $150,000 and expansion into two new product categories.

Company Overview

Introduction

Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) is an online retail subscription box service that utilizes a fulfillment provider to achieve a competitive advantage in the subscription box industry against its competitors. Tennessee Strong-Box is a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) that sells Tennessee small business items in a mystery box, and all customers need to do is select their preferences. It offers high-end small business items to fill a niche in the market that has put a priority on shopping local. 

Tennessee Strong-Box’s ideal customer is men and women who live or have lived in Tennessee, and considers shopping local important. Given the importance people in Tennessee place on their local small businesses, and that Tennessee contains 347,159 small businesses, there’s a market for continued local support.Tennessee Strong-Box will promote its products through a mix of industry trade shows, partnerships with established local small business, and digital advertising. Tennessee Strong-Box is pre-launch currently, and projects earning over $60,000 a month within 3 months of launch. The business is run by Jon Eyerman, Stephanie Gillmer, Rafael Stewart, and Michael Neumiller who not only run the business but are also the founders. The four of them have experience in many different service organizations and are combining those skills to capture a niche in the market: a subscription service that supports small businesses.

Company Vision and Mission

Tennessee Strong-Box’s Vision Statement is, “To provide an assortment of genuine products from locally owned businesses. To provide these products to our customers in an exciting innovative way using our mystery box subscriptions to help local small businesses grow and maintain competitiveness in an always evolving business environment.”

Tennessee Strong-Box’s Mission Statement is, ““Our mission at Tennessee Strong-Box is sharing our love of trying new things and adventure. You have got this one life; live it!”

At Tennessee Strong-Box we are all looking towards the future and making that future brighter for our customers, local businesses and ourselves. We know how important it is for us as human beings to smile and how much it means to us when we are able to be happy and to make someone else happy. We are dedicated to providing unique products to our customers in a delightful way while always using the most creative and innovative methods in achieving our goals. We are constantly evolving and plan to grow and thrive in the industry while striving to maintain relationships with local businesses to ensure they are also able to stay competitive in the market. We aim to be here providing our customers with the best and most unique products at the best price possible and we will be creatively innovative in the customization of our subscription boxes to ensure happiness.

Company Philosophy

TSB is a local and trusting company, dedicated to putting a smile on the faces of Nashvillians. We do this by supporting local businesses and providing you with a great product. We help you, help others.

Business Structure

Tennessee Strong-Box will operate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) run by Jon Eyerman, Stephanie Gillmer, Rafael Stewart, and Mchael Neumiller.

Nature of the Business

Tennessee Strong-Box sells unique, one-of-a-kind subscription boxes filled with products from local small businesses and is an online retail subscription company that follows a subscription box business model. This type of business model is one that has customers who pay a subscription cost which is usually a monthly or quarterly payment made by the customer to the business and in return receives a subscription box on a regular basis. This type of business model is considered to be an eCommerce subscription model. TSB’s customers benefit from this type of business model because they don’t have to scramble around to find a place to shop; TSB benefits from this model because they are able to maintain a steady revenue stream and thus are able to conduct operations more efficiently.

Industry

Tennessee Strong-Box is in the Online Subscription Box Industry which is a category of the even bigger eCommerce Industry. The Online Subscription Box Industry is responsible for a huge amount of the Subscription eCommerce Industry’s well over 10 billion dollar net worth. (Chipeta, 2020). The Subscription Box Industry is a very competitive industry that is very popular amongst millennials due to that segment of the market’s use of technology.

The popularity of the convenience of being able to order online with just the push of a button, like what is usually found in online ordering is also just as popular with the subscription box industry. (Chipeta, 2020). The subscription industry has blown up and will continue to grow for many years to come, along with this growth is going to be a highly competitive industry.

Background Information

The founders of the company, Jonathan, Stephanie, Rafael and Michael all have experience working in many different service organizations and the environments those organizations exist in. They are combining those skills to capture a niche in the market: a subscription service that supports small businesses. The founders have experienced many different things in their lives and feel that it is important that people stay connected which includes ensuring that local businesses do not disappear just because of the ever evolving online market. 

Business Objectives

Tennessee Strong-Box will be ready to launch online within the next eight weeks and aims to launch its virtual business at that time. After two years in business, the company aims to drive $300,000 in annual revenue from the sale of Tennessee Strong-Box’s signature small business box service, and have expanded into two new product categories.

By the end of the first year Tennessee Strong-Box wants to have a frequent buyer loyalty program implemented in the hopes that it will help maintain loyalty among subscribers.

To ensure customer loyalty and retention, TSB aims to establish a mailing list within the first six months and will add new repeat customers to that list. Handwritten thank you letters will be sent to loyal customers on the mailing list to add a personal touch that is oftentimes overlooked in other businesses.

At the 2 year mark Tennessee Strong-Box wants to implement a referral program that offers rewards to customers for referring family and friends to our services. Understanding that it is only beneficial to use a rewards program like this when there is a profit margin that allows it will be important for TSB to establish loyal long term customers and to remain competitive in the market to achieve a profit margin to meet this goal.

To keep customers the focal point and to ensure the customer is satisfied with our products.

Team

Tennessee Strong-Box consists of four team members, Jonathan Eyerman, Rafael Stewart, Stephanie Gillmer and Michael Neumiller. These four members are also the co-founders and co-owners of the Tennessee Strong-Box company and together share the company’s vision and are dedicated to seeing the company succeed. 

Jonathan: 

Jonathan Eyerman is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) company. As CEO Jonathan has the delegation of full authority to determine, implement and execute decisions for TSB. His other responsibilities include talking to shareholders and government entities and overlooking human relations and sales departments. 

Jonathan is an entrepreneur & businessman who works with technology companies to rethink how they access data. Jonathan believes that data connectivity should be accessible by everyone. Jonathan has supported the Detroit Internet Exchange and landed large contracts with some of the world’s largest organizations. As a Network Professional, Jonathan is a certified in Cisco, has been awarded an inspiring excellence award, and is professionally trained in sales. He also has been nominated to Crain’s 40 under 40. Jonathan is about to complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from Purdue University Global.

Jonathan is driven by making wise ethical decisions, which require a well-rounded understanding and empathy for others. Having loose ground rules for making an ethical decision is essential. He roughly follows a mixed framework for consequentialism and non-consequentialism. Jonathan’s strengths include being able to maintain a sense of calm during a crisis or emergency situation. He is energetic and spontaneous as well as being very rational and able to stay on task in any given situation.

Rafael:

Rafael Stewart is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) company and in his position is in charge of budgeting, business planning and projects and corporate filings. Other responsibilities include the management of accounts payable and receivable as well as taxes and everything related to those areas of the business. As CFO Rafael is responsible for reporting to the board of directors on all of the company’s financial and accounting matters.

Rafael has 19 years of military service and works in the training department for the Recruiting Command. His team is responsible for the training of recruiters in six different states. For three years, he managed a successful recruiting center covering nearly 600 square miles. Previous experience includes ten years of cabling and fiber installation in the United States and overseas. Rafael is scheduled to complete his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in March 2021.

Rafael believes in doing the right thing and treating everyone with respect. This includes making the decisions as if circumstances were reversed, and I’m the person affected by the decision. When available, he takes time to make decisions and avoids impulsive decisions. His strengths include being outgoing and energetic while maintaining a value of integrity in all of his actions. Rafael is assertive and is quick to the punch when necessary but also slow and steady if the situation involves more thought and finesse.

Stephanie:

Stephanie Gillmer is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) and oversees all areas of the company’s operations. As Chief Operating Officer, Stephanie is second in command of the company reporting only to the CEO. She is tasked with implementing the daily operations and to make sure that those operations align with the long term goals of the company and the company’s strategies. Other responsibilities include ensuring that team members thrive and work well in collaboration with each other to meet shared company goals. Stephanie is responsible for taking Tennessee Strong-Box’s strategies and breaking them down into actionable goals for performance. 

Works for BNSF Railway as an Intermodal Equipment Operator. This requires driving and operating of heavy equipment such as hostler trucks, side loaders and overhead cranes. Prior to her current job at BNSF Railway Stephanie had worked in retail positions and thus has retail experience. She also served in the Army National Guard as a truck driver accomplishing one tour in Iraq with her time served in the military being 4 years from 2007-2011. Stephanie is currently working towards a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a focus in Human Resources degree from Purdue University Global.

Stephanie’s strengths include assertiveness, high energy, being outgoing, having high standards for self and others, good at separating facts from emotions, and effective at applying tried and tested methods. Stephanie is empathetic and strives to look at situations from the viewpoints of all involved prior to making any sort of decision. It is her ability to empathize and work with others that makes her a good fit for the position of COO at Tennessee Strong-Box. 

Michael

Michael Neumiller is the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at the Tennessee Strong-Box (TSB) company and oversees the technological needs of the company and of its employees. These technological needs include things like the company website, software needed for team members and employees to communicate effectively and the technology needed to market the company’s brand and it’s products. Michael also oversees the marketing aspects of Tennessee Strong-Box and is responsible for ensuring that the company’s products and it’s Brand is marketed effectively and efficiently.

Michael has experience in many different areas though one of his strong suits is marketing and networking. He has retail and website development experience and has built a network of contacts around the country in the work he does assisting military veterans and their families. Michael served in the Army for four years with one 23 month tour in Iraq. After his time overseas and the experiences of combat, Michael decided to devote his time to helping other veterans and their families navigate the department of veteran affairs and the different programs within and outside of the VA that they may have access to. He works well with his hands, is a quick learner full of ambition and is very devoted to anything he is involved in. 

Michael is a very ethical person and views everything and everyone as equal until he is given a reason not to. He is a firm believer in loyalty, respect, and honesty. Michael is a decisive person and is able to think quickly in most every situation. Whether it be at war or in the home. His strengths include the ability to mentor others and his planning and organizational skills which are critical in his position at TSB as Chief Technology Officer and person in charge of marketing.

Board of Directors
Andrew Eyerman – Owner of multiple businesses and has experience in logistics, transportation, finance, budgeting, real estate, engineering and retail sales.

Diane Lockhart – 30 years experience in business planning, finance/budgeting and business strategy. Diane’s areas of expertise include accounting, cash flows. business planning and startup assistance and operations. Other areas of expertise include human resources and overall business operations. Diane also is a consultant and often mentors entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. She is located in Old Hickory, Tennessee and is a member of the Nashville chapter of an organization called Score which offers business owners and entrepreneurs guidance in ensuring their businesses are successful. (Score, 2020).

Market Analysis

Market Size

Research about the market for Tennessee Strong-Box showed that Americans will spend money on a subscription service. The subscription box market which is a segment of the eCommerce subscription service market and it is rapidly growing and does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. This market has a current net worth right now in 2021of roughly $15 billion with niche products leading the industry accounting for about 20% of the total industry sales. This market sees more than 60% of its subscribers being women. There are more women subscribers which makes them a focused target for businesses more than the male population is. With this being true it is also true that men are seen subscribing to multiple services more often than women so it depends on the products offered whether women or men are the better choice for the targeted consumer. (Chipeta, 2020).

Swot Analysis

Positive

Negative

Internal

Strengths

· Formal graphic design training

· Existing connections in the industry for potential partnerships

· Experience in logistics and fulfillment

Weaknesses

· Little experience with the subscription service industry and understanding of customer profile

External

Opportunities

· Strong growth in small business market

· Millennials are investing more in subscription service

Threats

· Highly competitive market

· Low barriers to entry

· Cancelled Subscriptions

PESTLE ANALYSIS

Political Factors

· Legal frameworks

· Intellectual property protection

· Antri-trust laws related to goods and services

· Taxation – Tax rates and incentives

· Wage legislation – Minimum wage and overtime

Economic Factors

· Government intervention

· Infrastructure quality

· Skill level of the workforce

· Labor costs

· Economic growth rate

· Discretionary income impacts

Social Factors

· Demographics and skill level of the Nashville area population

· Education level

· Culture 

· Attitudes

· Leisurely interests

Technological factors

· Recent technological developments (specific to any competitors)

· Rate of technological diffusion

Legal factors

· Discrimination law

· Patents, Intellectual property

· Copyrights

· E-commerce

· Employment law

· Data protection

· Safety laws

Environmental factors

· Weather

· Climate change

· Laws regulating pollution

· Recycling

· Waste management

· Attitudes towards green products or renewable energy

Competitive Analysis

Tennessee Strong-Box has competitors in each of the two markets it intersects. Most of the market subscription services use the following platforms for e-commerce. Those subscription services include CrateJoy, Shopify, and Subbly. Tennessee businesses employ 1.1 million people (almost 50% of private workforce) Additionally, the retail trade in Tennessee accounts for 33% of the small business employment share. The top nine subscription services throughout the United States account for 1 trillion dollars in annual revenue. Some of these subscription services have upwards of 1.5 million subscribers. 

Differentiation

Tennessee Strong-Box will primarily rely on differentiation to stand out in the market, with segmentation as a secondary strategy. While there are multiple categories of competitors and substitutes for their product, Tennessee Strong-Box has a much more convenient and unique offer for small business support. Tennessee Strong-Box will not compete on price, and will focus on owning its initial product category before expanding.  (Luenendonk, 2020).

Targeted Market Segments

 (Luenendonk, 2020).

Tennessee Strong-Box’s ideal customer is a woman who has a cat or a dog and lives in North America. She’s between the ages of 25 and 55, doesn’t have children, and is comfortable buying products online, ordering at least once a week from online vendors. She has a university-level degree and earns over $50,000 a year. She values her time highly, and isn’t opposed to calling herself a “cat mom” or “dog mom,” and has friends who feel the same. 

Marketing plan

Tennessee Strong-Box’s flagship product is a line of subscription boxes that are customized based upon user selected preferences. Based on Tennessee Strong-Box’s ideal customer, here’s an overview of the marketing plan.

Price 

Given that the subscription boxes from Tennessee Strong-Box are customized, and that they save the significant time and effort of capturing shopping at multiple small businesses, they’re priced at the higher end of the market. Tennessee Strong-Box has two two categories of subscription services: a basic box subscription and a premium box subscription. Both of these subscription categories are offered to TSB’s two categories of targeted consumers which are men between the ages of 25 and 50 and women between the ages of 25 and 55.  (Luenendonk, 2020).

Basic Box Subscription for Men

     A basic box subscription for men is priced at

$39.99

.

Basic Box Subscription for Women

     A basic box subscription for women is priced at $39.99.

     

Premium Box Subscription for Men

     A premium box subscription service for men is priced at

$99.99

.

Premium Box Subscription for Women

     A premium box subscription for women is priced at $99.99.

 (Luenendonk, 2020).

Product 

Tennessee Strong-Box’s subscription boxes are solving a specific problem—people want to support local small businesses, but they may not know of some of these businesses. The products that fill TSB boxes come from over 30 different small businesses in the Tennessee area, predominantly Nashville small businesses. The products include jewellery and sporting goods, fashion and clothing/accessories, specialty and novelty items and many different replenishables. Replenishable products include everything from makeup/beauty/grooming supplies to food/candy/beverage/tea/coffee products. (Luenendonk, 2020).

Promotion 

Tennessee Strong-Box will rely on three main promotional strategies. We have identified multiple leading trade shows that would be worth the investment to get the word out about the business. Additionally, existing relationships give several opportunities to pursue partner promotions with established products. Finally, digital ads on both Facebook and Instagram will help her reach Tennessee Strong-Box’s ideal customers. (Luenendonk, 2020).

Place 

Tennessee Strong-Box will be run as an online store, given the nature of the subscription service. Customers can place their orders at www.Tennesseestrongbox.com, and will receive their orders at their home after the relevant shipping windows.

Logistics and operations plan

The logistics of creating and shipping Tennessee Strong-Box’s products are a crucial differentiator for the business.

Suppliers 

Box and other packaging materials 

The owners have connected with several local businesses to gather prices for boxes, and given that each item needs to be made to order, sourcing cheaper options offshore in bulk is not an option for Tennessee Strong-Box. TSB’s support of small local business vision helped them in picking a supplier for the packaging materials that will be used. The company that will supply all packaging materials is a place called Nashville Wraps. Nashville Wraps provides a wide variety of boxes and other packaging materials that can all be customized to meet any order which is exactly what Tennessee Strong-Box was looking for. (Nashville Wraps, 2021).

Suppliers providing the products inside TSB boxes

TSB will be using local businesses all over the Tennessee area which aligns with the company’s vision to help support small businesses in the Tennessee area. Small business is the backbone of Tennessee’s economy and supporting those businesses helps both them and Tennessee Strong-Box. 

     Karma on Church Street

     The Peanut Shop in the Arcade

     Poppy & Monroe

     Tempered Cafe & Chocolates/The Green Hour

     Eighth and Roast

     Kore Nashville

     Music City Tea

     All American

     Mountain High Outfitters

     5.11 Tactical

     Patagonia-Nashville

     Friedman’s Army Navy Store

     SuperNatural Hair and Beauty

     The Bubblery Nashville

     The Good Fill

     Abednego

     Elle Grey

     Living with Landyn

     MODA Boutique

     The MOOSE Nashville

     Nashville Lifestyles

     Imogene + Willie

     Academy Sports + Outdoors

     Two Old Hippies

     Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

     Legends Gift Shop

     The Cat Shoppe

     Nashville Crystal Store

     The Candle Bar

     Vincent Peach Fine Jewellery

     Slumerican Made

     ABLE

     (Brantley, 2021).

Production

When a customer signs up for a subscription they fill out a preferences section which allows Tennessee strong-Box to get a more personalized idea for each customer. These preferences can be changed by the subscriber at any time. The selected preferences are used to customize the boxes, There really is no production involved other than getting the boxes made and then filling them with products that are already packaged from the local small businesses they come from. Each box will have the TSB logo on it and will include customized personal touches based off of the customer’s preferences.

Facilities

The team will work out of their home offices to process and ship orders, and all contractors maintain their own office facilities. Shopify will be used for shipping, warehouse storage and fulfillment. Tennessee Strong-Box is just starting out in the industry but it is important to have somewhere to store the packaging materials and the products that will be used to fill the custom made and designed boxes.

Once consumers sign up for TSB’s subscription box service their preferences are made available to TSB team members and by the next business day Nashville Wraps is given the customers preferences and designs a custom box for the subscriber for the first month’s box. The box changes each month regardless of whether the subscriber changes their preferences or not but the box design is always custom designed to align with the subscribers preferences. The boxes and any other customer specific packaging materials are then sent to a Shopify warehouse fulfillment center.

Once at the warehouse the boxes are then stored until ready to be filled with the products specified for each subscriber. Once the boxes are filled and it is time to get them shipped they are then shipped using Shopify Shipping services offered through the Shopify Fulfilment Network. (Nashville Wraps, 2021) (Shopify).

Equipment

Tennessee Strong-Box itself does not have any equipment other than the computer systems and the necessary software needed to communicate with team members, subscribers, investors and the board of directors. The team members also have to have the necessary materials and software needed to do the advertising and marketing of the company and its products. Along with the above mentioned, TSB team members all have to have their own vehicles. 

All other equipment is owned and operated by Shopify Fulfilment Network employees and the carriers that are responsible for the delivery of TSB boxes to consumers.

Shipping and fulfilment

Tennessee Strong-Box will fulfill orders using Shopify Shipping for the foreseeable future, and may look into local fulfillment options or contractors to help scale if orders take off, or during busy seasons. (Shopify).

Inventory

Given the custom nature of the subscription boxes and the customized variety of products in each box and the changes that occur each month to include the most recent products, Tennessee Strong-Box does not stockpile inventory but does have to keep some inventory on shelves to be the most efficient in operations. The type of inventory includes a variety of products from each of the businesses in Tennessee whose products are featured in the subscription boxes. Most of the inventory includes certain packaging materials that are used on all boxes and mainly replenishables such as makeup, jewellery, sporting goods, outdoor, grooming and beauty products. The inventory that is kept is products that do not change or they change very rarely and are for repeat customers. These include only products that are non perishable and are not regulated in any way which none of TSB’s products are anyway.

Measurements

When considering the business’s operations, there is a need to consider better ways of implementing strategies to realize the ideal results. Ideally, marketing strategies are suitable in ensuring proper implementation and upholding of business operations. Various marketing mixes including price, products, distribution, advertising, sales team, publicity, and promotion, are central to sustain competitiveness in the market realm. As an entrant into the marketing world, as business leaders in Tennessee Strong-Box, we should ensure its progress and competitiveness by providing that all these marketing strategies and mix are operational and practical. The company’s product-line goal is very fundamental. The set objectives should be precise and sound, and subsequently, the prevailing product line must meet the set objectives. The buyers’ attitude and knowledge towards our business’s product quality and brand must be improved to increase sales, revenues, and competitiveness.

         The marketing team must consider the pricing goals, strategies, policies, and procedures based on its price. It should further ensure that prices are set based on the cost, competitive criteria, and demand. The consumers should be able to see our company’s prices being in accordance with the value of its offer. Moreover, the price strategies should be compatible with the distributors’, dealers’ and suppliers’ needs. The distribution goals and strategy must be well set to ensure a comprehensive market coverage. There is a need to have influential channel members, including dealers, distributors, and brokers. If any of the distribution channels proves inappropriate, there is a possibility to change.

         The company’s advertising objectives must be precise, sound, and useful. The respective department must ensure a suitable amount of money spent on advertising strategies. It should precisely choose the appropriate advertising media and ensure the adequacy of the internal advertising team. There should be sufficient and effective utilization of sales promotion devices, including displays, coupons, samples, among others, to ensure increased competitiveness and success. Providing increased sales and thus revenues. The salesforce objectives are pivotal in ensuring that customers’ right information and the right product quality are supplied accordingly. The salesforce will be organized along with suitable specialization principles based on product, territory, and product to ensure increased sales and revenues. Again, the procedures would be sufficient for setting quotas and properly evaluating performance. The firm’s sales force must be effective, experienced, and competent compared to the competitors’ sales force. Ensuring their competency in the marketing realm and increased revenues.

Financial Plan

Sales Forecast
Year One

$39.99

$39.99

$39.99

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Number of units sold

Price per unit

$99.99

$99.99

$99.99

Total Unit Sales

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Basic Box Subscription

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Number of units sold

                      1350

                       

2000

                      2200

                    2400

Price per unit

$39.99

Total Unit Sales

$53,986

$79,980

$87,978

$95,976

Premium Box Subscription

700

1100

1250

1400

$99.99

$69,993

$109,989

$124,987.50

$139,986

Total Units Sold Year One

2050

3100

3450

3800

Total Unit Sales Year One

$123,979

$189,969

$212,965.50

$235,962

Basic Box Subscription

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Number of units sold

Price per unit

$39.99

$39.99

$39.99

$39.99

Total Unit Sales

Premium Box Subscription

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Number of units sold

Price per unit

$99.99

$99.99

$99.99

$99.99

Total Unit Sales

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Year Two

2500

2675

2900

3200

$99,975

$106,973

$115,971

$127,968

1450

1600

1750

2000

$144,986

$159,984

$174,982.50

$199,980

Total Units Sold Year 2

3950

4275

4650

5200

Total Unit Sales Year 2

$244,961

$266,957

$290,953

$327,948

Expenses

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

$30,000

$30,000

$30,000

$4000

$4000

$4000

$6000

$6000

$6000

$1000

$1000

$1000

Year One Expenses

Shopify Fulfillment Network 

$30,000

Technology

$4000

Leased vehicles

$6000

Phone

$1000

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Shopify Fulfillment Network 

$40,000

$40,000

$40,000

Technology

$4000

$4000

$4000

$4000

Leased vehicles

$6000

$6000

$6000

$6000

Phone

$1000

$1000

$1000

$1000

Year Two Expenses

$40,000

Salaries for the Team

CEO – $50,000/year

COO – $50,000/year

CFO – $50,000/year

CTO – $50,000/year

Fixed Costs

The fixed costs for TSB include the salaries of the team members, Shopify Fulfilment Network, Technology costs, Leased Vehicles for team members and Phone. 

Year one fixed costs per year are:

· Salaries =                                  $200,000

· Phone =                                         $4000

· Leased Vehicles =                      $24,000

· Technology =                             $16,000

· Shopify Fulfilment Network = $120,000

· Total fixed cost =                    $364,000

Year two fixed costs per year are:

· Salaries =                                  $200,000
· Phone =                                         $4000

· Leased Vehicles =                       $24,000

· Technology =                             $16,000

· Shopify Fulfilment Network = $160,000

· Total Fixed Costs =                $404,000

Variable Costs

· The variable cost of producing one basic box subscription TSB box unit is $10.00 which means a revenue before expenses of $29.99 is seen per unit.

· The variable cost of producing one premium box subscription TSB box unit is $30.00 which leaves a revenue before expenses of $69.99 per unit.

Projected Profits Year One

TSB has projected fixed costs of $364,000 for year one. By taking out the variable cost of producing one basic box unit the unit is $29.99. The sales forecast shows 7950 basic box units sold in a year. TSB has a sales forecast showing 4450 premium box units in year one being sold for $69.99 after the variable cost of production is deducted.

· 7950 basic units sold at $29.99 =                                          $238,420.50

· 4450 premium units sold at $69.99 =                                 + $311,455.50

Total revenue minus variable cost of production year one =     $549,876.00

Year one revenue =                                                                               $549,876

Cost of goods sold minus variable cost of production per unit =        – $364,000

Gross profit projection year one =                                                    $185,876

                                                                               
Projected Profits Year Two

TSB has projected fixed costs of $404,000 for year two. By taking out the variable cost of producing one basic box unit the unit is $29.99. The sales forecast shows 11,275 basic box units being sold in year two. TSB has a sales forecast showing 6800 premium box units in year two being sold for $69.99 after the variable cost of production is deducted.

· 11,275 basic units sold at $29.99 =                                          $338,137.25

· 6800 premium units sold at $69.99 =                                   + $475,932.00

Total revenue minus variable cost of production year two =      $814,069.25

Year two revenue =                                                                             $814,069.25

Cost of goods sold minus variable cost of production per unit =      – $404,000.00

Gross Profit projection year two =                                                  $410,069.25 

Legal

Our team chose to form our business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). An LLC is a business structure that gives its owners corporate-style limited liability, while at the same time allowing partnership-style taxation (Mancuso, 2007). This type of company separates owners from the LLC’s business debts and claims. Our personal assets (cars, houses, etc.), are covered if the company ran into problems. With an LLC, we report our share of business profits and losses on personal income tax returns. We don’t foresee being sued for anything but personal bank accounts are covered as well in these situations.

In the state of Tennessee where our company is located, there are state specific rules and taxes. The Franchise tax is 0.25% of the greater of net worth or real and tangible property in Tennessee (minimum $100) and the Excise tax is 6.5% of Tennessee taxable income (Tennessee, n.d.). State taxes for the company are due the 15th day of the 4th month following the close of our books and records.

All necessary information for the business license is on Tennessee Department of Revenue site. Documents can be filed with hard copies or done on the registration site located at

https://tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/RegistrationInstr.aspx

. If we have additional questions we can attend the Small Business Orientation on Thursdays hosted by the TN Small Business Development Center with help from the IRS.

In order to file in Tennessee we need file:  Application for Name Reservation (SS-9425) $20 fee, Application for Reservation of Name (SS-4228), Articles of Organization (SS-4270) (This is the form which forms a domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC), Certificate of Formation (SS-4232). When registering a new LLC, the fee is $50 per member in existence on the date of the filing, with a minimum fee of $300 and a maximum fee of $3,000. The Certificate of Formation and Application for Name Reservation are both $20. All associated fees are located at

https://sos.tn.gov/products/business-services/limited-liability-company-fee-schedule

. We need to apply for an EMployer Identification Number through the IRS, which is free.

References

Brantley, A. (2021). 28 Great Nashville Small Businesses. Retrieved from:

https://parthenonpub.com/2016/11/23/28-favorite-nashville-small-businesses-neighborhood/

Chipeta, C. (March 30, 2020). Unpacking Subscription Box Market Trends. Retrieved from:

https://conjointly.com/blog/subscription-box-trends/

Fabregas, K. (December 27, 2017). How Order Fulfillment Companies Work. Retrieved from:

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/how-do-order-fulfillment-companies-work/#:~:text=Fulfillment%20companies%20handle%20inventory%2C%20order,development%2C%20and%20other%20growth%20drivers

.

Gregory, A. (June 25, 2019). How a Subscription Business Model Works. Retrieved from:

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-a-subscription-business-model-works-4159768

 

Limited Liability Company (LLC). (n.d.). IRS.gov. Retrieved from:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/limited-liability-company-llc

Luenendonk, M. (November 24, 2020). Understanding the Marketing Mix Concept – 4P’s. Retrieved from:

https://www.cleverism.com/understanding-marketing-mix-concept-4ps/

 

Mancuso, A. (2007). Form Your Own Limited Liability Company. (5th ed.) Nolo.

Retrieved from: https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=7&sid=736b78f9-5f47-477b-ad3f-323448dbef30%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#AN=202284&db=nlebk

Nashville Wraps. (2021). Nashville Wraps. Retrieved from:

https://www.nashvillewraps.com/

 

Tennessee Department of Revenue. (n.d.). Franchise & Excise Tax.

Retrieved from: https://www.tn.gov/revenue/taxes/franchise—excise-tax.html

SCORE Nashville. (2021). Diane Lockhart. Retrieved from:

https://nashville.score.org/mentors/diane-lockhart

 

Shopify. (n.d.) Shopify Fulfillment Network. Retrieved from:

https://www.shopify.com/fulfillment

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