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Strategic Planning

Once a mission statement has been put into place, the next step is to set company objectives and goals. These then should support the outlined mission statement. Next is to design a business portfolio, which comprises of the businesses and products that make up the business. It should best fit the company’s strengths and weaknesses to prospects in the environment. An organization should first analyze its present business portfolio and settle on what businesses to give more, less or no investment. Second, there should be growth in the business portfolio meaning new businesses or products are added to the portfolio.

To do these, the organization’s marketing should be able to identify, evaluate and select market opportunities and propose strategies that will capture them. There are four steps that can be taken to boost an organization’s business portfolio. One that can be considered is market penetration, which is geared towards making more sales to current consumers without changing its products. This could be done through addition of new branches in existing markets so as to make them more accessible for their customers.

Another way is through improvements in pricing, advertising, service, menu selection or store layout, which advance further support from customers. There

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is also market development, which is the opposite of market penetration, recognizing and building up on new markets for their current products. Managers could do research on new demographic markets and tap those markets that may have been neglected by others. There are also geographical markets to consider such as putting up more branches in locations that may be new, but prove to beneficial and profitable for the company.

Third is to consider product development, which means offering new products to already existing markets. Fourth is diversification, which is totally capturing a new market with new or modified products. For example, a coffee shop can put up a gift shop that will feature coffee mugs, coasters or the likes that will push for stronger affiliation between the coffee shop and the gift shop. This also builds on a stronger brand name, though an organization should be careful not to diversify too much.

This may result to confusion among the consumers and make the organization lose market focus, which could be more costly. Conflicts are encountered between the company’s overall strategy and its marketing strategy. The organization should see the marketing strategy and that of the other functional departments in the company as something that provides for the coherence of the overall strategy. Finding The Money You Need One of the most important keys to a successful warehouse distribution business is your ability to obtain the necessary funding to start it.

And since operating a warehouse does not exactly have the makings of a “small” business, you will definitely need a huge amount to get things going at the onset. The amount you will have to expend initially will depend on how big your warehouse will be. If it’s around 50 acres, say, for example, if you’re planning on distributing steel and steel-related goods, you might have to prepare something around $55,000,000, to cover not just the land and location, but also the registrations, permits, machinery and manpower involved.

A typical 50-acre steel distribution warehouse will have to have around 500 workers, unless you intend to operate primarily via the use of machinery, which can tack on a few more millions to your initial budget. An experienced assessor will be able to give you a more accurate figure depending on your specifications. If this information is not available to you for free, then you should also be prepared to shell out a significant amount to make obtain professional assistance. Small businesses typically generate funds via their personal wealth or by borrowing from friends and relatives.

However, if you are gunning for something as huge as a warehouse distribution business, your best option would be getting a loan from the bank. Be prepared to produce all the necessary documentation the bank will ask of you to prove that you have the capacity to pay such a huge sum. A feasibility study will also help the bank foresee your return ability in the future, and might even commission an independent expert to review the viability of your business before it gives its thumbs up. (see What To Include in a Bank Loan Proposal)

Looking for an investor or investors who are willing to split the initial funding with you also works. With a business as huge as this, a lot of other people or groups might also be interested in partnering. Prepare your business plan carefully and present it to those might be interested, particularly businessmen who are in the same or in a related industry. With the world fast globalizing and with rising raw materials costs calling for a greater market consolidation, more entrepreneurs are keen on getting into partnerships than battling the economic waves alone.

But warehouse distribution does not really have to start with a large-scale operation. You can begin with a small location that serves merchants and retailers in your particular area. You may want to start with this to make sure and then think about expanding later, as needed. However, you must realize that warehouse distribution has a promising future, when executed efficiently. So, as early as now, it is prudent to begin thinking about eventually upping your ante.

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