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Ollia Boutique – Proposed business overview Essay

Boutique business is a lucrative business option that requires intrinsic knowledge of the latest trends in fashion and how the trends might change in the near future. The success of this industry lies in understanding the needs and preferences of the customers and providing them with a whole new range of outfits that appeal to their senses. Ollia Boutique plans to provide its customers with the latest trends in fashion and designer outfits catered to their personal tastes and choices. There are many boutiques that serve the consumers in London but Ollia will make a difference through personalized service that takes into account the customer needs.

The Business Model

Ollia Boutique will start with one store in Central London and plans to expand into 2 more stores within a span of 5 years in various parts of London. The location of the boutique is of paramount importance since this offers the store both visibility and easy accessibility to potential customers. A corner building on the main road will provide the store with increased traffic and improve its visibility. The rental cost of such a location is high but it compensates the increased advertising cost incurred if the location is in the interiors having low visibility and traffic. The store will provide a soothing ambience that relaxes the customers coming in and ensuring that they spend more time inside the premises. Spacious layout of various item categories will ensure that the customers can browse at ease without getting the crowded feeling. The boutique will employ a number of attendants to attend to each customer personally.

Goals and potential of the business

Ollia Boutique plans to emerge as a brand name that provides its customers with specialized service that will help the business in generating profit and sustaining long term growth. The goals and objectives of the business will be to:

  • Offer its clients total satisfaction in providing shopping services that include designer clothes and accessories for women.
  • Employ individuals who have expert knowledge in retail markets and products.
  • Understand client needs and specifications while attending to them.
  • Deliver expert advice and personalized attention to customers.
  • Timely service delivery and prompt customer response.

 Uniqueness of service

The Ollia Boutique will offer its clients with a unique shopping experience that ensures total satisfaction and high quality products. The USP of the business is its prompt service and personalized services that it will provide to its customers. The customers can express their individual preferences to the attendants who can provide them with range of existing choices or take orders for special occasions and demands. The clients will benefit from the specialized services of the well qualified attendants who can understand their requirements and provide prompt delivery of the tailored goods on time. The store will maintain a database of regular customers who visit the store and send them brochures announcing the latest arrivals and additions. The store will also provide an online interface to its customers that can be effectively used to track special orders and browse through the new additions to the store.

Target Market and Audience

London is a cosmopolitan city and has a high percentage of high net worth individuals living in the city. The city has huge market potential for designer dresses and accessories owing to the high spending capacity of the people here. The company will target women of all age groups in the high income group. The target market for the company is divided into three distinct segments:

  • Young women in the age group of 15-35
  • Mature women in the age group of 35 onwards
  • Working professionals

 Target market segmentation

Market Analysis              
Potential customers Growth 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
Young women (15-35) 50% 20 48 91 157 254 50.28%
Mature women (35 onwards) 20% 100 120 144 173 207 20.14%
Working professionals 40% 20 28 39 55 77 40.08%
    140 196 274 385 538  

The above graph provides an illustration of the target market segmentation. It assumes a 50 percent growth in the first category owing to the increased impulse to purchase designer dresses in women of this age group. The targeted growth in the second category is a conservative 20 percent and a major market driver is perceived to be the working women category that has disposable income in hand to spend in small luxuries. The company will target 140 customers in the first year of its operation and eventually reach 538 by the year 2013.

Market Competition

Running a boutique in London is a challenging task owing to the high penetration of world class boutiques. Sustaining growth and development in this competitive landscape requires meticulous planning and managing skills. The focus should be on providing an unforgettable shopping experience to the customers. The company aims to achieve a potential consumer base of 140 in its first year of operations. The company plans to target 140 customers in the first year and ensure a 40 percent annual increase in the number of customers in the next five years of operation.

Ollia Boutique will focus on expanding its operations in the highly concentrated wealthy segment of population in the urban UK market. The focus of the business will be on retaining existing clients and obtain new clients through word-of-mouth recommendations from existing clients. This can be achieved only through adopting a total customer oriented approach to ensure 100 percent satisfaction to the clients. The company will advertise its services through the use of newspaper articles, magazine articles, emails and promo letters to the targeted market segment. In addition to these measures the company will rely on word-of-mouth recommendations to add volume to business since Ollia Boutique believes that total customer satisfaction is the key to triggering sales and revenue figures.

Once the business is firmly established in the UK market the company will plan to expand its markets to neighboring Asian and Middle Eastern countries that are witnessing fast pace of economic growth with increasing consumer market potential.

Management team

The management team of the company will institute the following positions:

  • CEO at the helm of operations who will be responsible for steering the company goals and long-term management strategies.
  • An operational head, who will be in charge of supervising the management functions, business development, legal issues, risk assessment and quality compliance.

Besides the core management team the company will have a team of well qualified designers and customer attendants to take care of customers and identify their needs and preference.

Estimated Personnel Cost

Staff cost will be the major item of cost for the business and based on the requirements of number of sales personnel and consultants the following personnel plan has been drawn.

Personnel Plan (planned)        
  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Senior Managers 20,000 25,000 25,000 30,000 30,000
Designers 10,000 10,000 12,000 12,000 14,000
Shopper Consultants 25,000 25,000 40,000 40,000 50,000
Total Payroll 55,000 60,000 77,000 82,000 94,000
           
Number of Employees          
Senior Managers 1 2 2 3 3
Designers 2 2 3 3 4
Shopper Consultants 5 5 7 7 8
Total Staff 8 9 12 13 15

The sales personnel category also includes customer service representative. Budgetary controls will be exercised in the number of staff recruited over the subsequent period.

Estimated Cost for setting up the boutique

The company would be a sole proprietorship establishment. The company will seek 100 percent external financing to cover up its start-up expenses. The finance will be utilized towards the setup costs of store, business development and other startup expenses. The table below provides the break up of the startup expense total:

Start-up Expenses  
Rent for store 5,000
Interior decoration 10,000
Brochures 1,000
Consultants 25,000
Insurance 10,000
Designers 10,000
Security and maintenance 4,000
Raw materials 25,000
Others 10,000
Total Start-up Expense 100,000

Based on these estimates the business seeks an external financing of $100,000 from various financial institutions.

The total revenue projected for five consecutive years is given as below:

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Total Sales 445,300 500,000 650,000 900,000 1,200,000

The net profit margin based on these assumptions is given as below:

  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Sales 445,300 500,000 650,000 900,000 1,200,000
Direct Cost of Sales 55,000 60,000 77,000 82,000 94,000
Total cost of sales 55,000 60,000 77,000 82,000 94,000
Gross margin 390,300 440,000 573,000 818,000 1,106,000

Hence if the store outlet is 1500 sq ft area, this business plan estimates a net profit of 260 per sq ft in the first year of operation.

 References:

  1. Tim Berry, 1991, Business Plan Toolkit, Version 4
  2. Bella Online. Start your own boutique business. Accessed on May 30th 2009 from http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art8199.asp
  3. Apparel Search Company. Open your own boutique. Accessed on May 30th 2009 from http://www.apparelsearch.com/Employment/Guides/Boutique_owner_learn_how.htm

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