When an entrepreneur comes across an opportunity to open a new business, there is a lot of planning that must be done in order to be successful in the new venture. An important part of the process is to create a business plan. A good way to test a business plan is to use a SWOT analysis. In the following I will conduct a SWOT analysis on a sample business plan for a new clothing store. An entrepreneur has an idea for a new product. How does an entrepreneur go from new idea to making money for the idea? There are many steps in this long process.
One of the first steps he/she must take is creating a business plan. After the plan is created A SWOT analysis can be used to determine if the business plan will help the company succeed. This is a technique that is used to identify the internal strengths, and weaknesses of the idea. The analysis also assesses the external opportunities and threats of companies competing in the same area. The sample business plan I conducted a SWOT analysis on was De Kliek Style Studio (De Kliek means “the clique” or “circle of friends” in Dutch).
It is an upscale clothing boutique that will be opening in Noe Valley in Los Angeles, CA. This business is organized as a Sole Proprietorship. The owner is Vrootje Magen who has over 20 years of experience in marketing and retail. This boutique will sell designer clothes and accessories for women wanting for a professional look. They will carry three main ready-to-wear lines. They will also offer services such as Style Assessments, alterations, and personal shopping. Based on this business plan they have a lot of internal strengths. The owner has over 12 years of experience in this industry.
The location is a good choice. In Los Angeles the average family household income is $180,903. (need to site this) They have a good marketing strategy which ranges from advertising using word of mouth, magazine articles and local ads and possibly even having celebrity endorsements. Another strength is the idea to have style assessments because some women may have trouble or a lack of time to put complete outfits together for a professional look. The style assessment idea is to take a woman’s personality and teach her what clothing and style will go best with her personality.
Each employee of this boutique will be a member of the Association of Image Consultants. This association is a very prestigious professional organization that will train its’ members on how to help customers develop their image. None of the employees of the surrounding or competing boutiques are members of this association. Another one of their major strengths is their emphasis on how important they feel good customer service is. The owner has 12 years experience in marketing so this should help marketing for the company.
If the plans for the profit and expenses prove to be valid and well thought out, the company should make a good profit each year. Along with the strengths of the business plan, there are weaknesses. One of the major weaknesses I find in this plan/company is the fact that they will not have a large variety in their market of customers. Their ideal customer is a woman who makes more than $100k per year. She is a professional woman who has a title in the Director-CEO range. Her size is 2-10 (which is pretty small). It seems as though these requirements would lessen their potential customer market substantially.
Another weakness is although the owner Vrootje Magen does have 20 years of experience in the business field, the first 8 years were spent in banking and operating a successful boutique, but the last 12 years have only been in marketing. This may prove to be a huge advantage for the marketing of a product but could prove to be a disadvantage for someone trying to run a business of their own. The capital (or investment) is $42,707, but the total start up is estimated at $45,108 so there is insufficient capital to keep the business in operation for six months to a year.
The opportunities for this business based on the business plan are numerous. For this particular area in Los Angeles, there are more affluent customers. The customer that would be shopping in this area is one who has more money to spend on higher priced clothing. There will be an opportunity in the future to open another boutique nearby thus expanding to more customers. The employees will be trained and certified through the Association of Image Consultants. This will improve employees’ skills to increase the efficiency of the experience for the customer.
As the economy gets better, the demand for the higher end clothing that this boutique sells should increase. There will be opportunities to create new services. As they receive customer feedback, new services can be implemented. If the inventory that De Kliek initially carries does not prove to meet the demand of the customer, then there is the opportunity for the company to purchase many other products because the high end clothing market is so vast. Many other styles from many other designers are available throughout the world.
There are a few threats to this proposed business idea that I found through this analysis. There are comparable products being sold at others stores in the area. Retailers like Target, Sears and Wal-Mart have been able to get higher end clothing in their stores. With tough economic times customers may chose to shop at these retailers instead of De Kliek. There are 8 boutiques in the area that De Kliek must compete with. According to the business plan (in the market analysis) there are only approximately 2,400 women, 30 years old + with a high income in this area, so that isn’t much of a market.
One of the top 10 reasons a customer picks a particular place to shop is because the retailer has reasonable prices. The average price for 1 item at De Kliek boutique is $200. For most people that is not reasonable, even if the customer is making on average $100k per year. Based on this business plan, it does appear as though it was well thought out and will succeed in this area of Los Angeles. This business however, is limited as to where they would be able to run their business because they are selling high end products.
The business plan included all important areas that should be thought about when opening a new business. The SWOT analysis I conducted helped break down each different aspect of opening a business like marketing, employees, finances, and management.
Women’s Clothing Boutique Business Plan De Kliek Style Studio. Retrieved January 23, 2011 from Bplans. com Your business plan starts here website: http://www. bplans. com/sample_business_plans. cfm Jones. (2007). Introduction to Business: How Companies Create Value for People. The McGraw-Hill Companies.