Cutting Edge Drapery has been a trusted workroom for decorators. The company produces slip covers, draperies, as well as other textile products, in accordance to interior designers’ designs. Cutting Edge Drapery just expanded its production capacity and is well-positioned for marketing its workroom production to clients beyond its current client base. The company strives to provide the best quality workmanship, meet the agreed delivery dates and execute the custom work in accordance with the design. The business plan aims to identify its future customers, outline its marketing strategy, improve its internal procedures and increase profitability.
Cutting Edge Drapery, Loudon, New Hampshire. Soft window treatments account for the largest portion of the company’’s production. The company targets a market of $2.7 million for soft window treatment in these communities. This market is directly proportional in size to real estate values and disposable income.
The company was founded in 1991 as a sole proprietorship. It has been in existence for over 25 years. The owner started her business from her home, working as a tailor and seamstress until she reached a certain level of business. She then moved her business into a rented space in Loudon. She was able to work more efficiently on draperies and window treatment when she had more space. The 2,200 square foot office houses seven full-time employees. To help with administrative tasks and to improve company procedures, an assistant was hired. An outside accountant was hired to streamline the computerized accounts.
Cutting Edge Drapery provides sewing services in the creation of high quality soft window treatment products such as; draperies, swags, jabots, slip covers, etc.
Although the company could be considered a company making products, because clients furnish the fabric for each custom crafted unit, it actually only provides the sewing and installation services to its customers. Because the company doesn’t have to provide fabric directly, there are very few sourcing expenses.
277,253 people live in the 17 communities near Cutting Edge Drapery. Roughly, this would mean that this area comprises a total soft window treatment market in excess of $2.7 million annually. All of these treatments must all be produced in decorator workshop. This market accounts for approximately 7.5% of the company’s total share.
The company is in the process of shifting from its current target market of interior decorator clients to the more higher end interior designer market. Since the designer market is more cost-sensitive and allows for greater margins, a shift to this market will improve profitability. High-income homeowners are the designer’s clients. They want unique products and high levels of customer service. This, in turn, requires a high contact service environment between the designers and workrooms that can best ne served by a company such as Cutting Edge Drapery.
To penetrate the interior designer-controlled share of the window treatment market (“Designer” being the key word here rather than “decorator”). The company plans to market the 15 American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), who are situated within close proximity of Loudon facilities. They also hope to establish a business connection with at minimum three of them. In the second and third years, this number will increase to five and seven. The local competition is stiff for the company’s workrooms. Cutting Edge Drapery’s strategy is to lift its image, through advertising in prestigious trade publications, joining and net-working ASID membership, and actively marketing its selected target market.
Profits will increase each year due to the robust marketing research and targeted marketing strategy detailed in this businessplan. Revenues will be 11% of the local soft-window treatment market by 2000 according to estimates.
Monthly breakeven is possible.
The total production was about 98 units at the time this article was written. It will increase to approximately 115 units by 2000.
The company enjoys a low cost of goods sold account due to the fact that the clients provide the fabric for soft window treatment products. This allows the company to have a high gross margin and a low cost of goods. Furthermore, the custom nature of the business means that there is minimal inventory cost and accounts payable. The company also does not have long term capital assets nor debt that could adversely affect its cash flow. The company is expected to make use of this asset to increase its production and market share in the near future, given its ability to generate such a large amount of cash flow.
- To penetrate the interior designer-controlled share of the window treatment market (“Designer” being the key word here rather than “decorator”). Within the next twelve months it is the objective of the company to market the 15 targeted designer members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) who are located in close proximity to its Loudon facilities, and to establish a business relationship with at least three of them. This number will increase to five in the second, and seven in the third.
- To substantially increase profitability. In order to encourage the outsourcing of price-sensitive work, we will formalize pricing. This will allow us to concentrate on higher-end custom work that is less expensive for the less price sensitive designer market. These pricing options will ensure a minimum $65,000 in pretax profits in the first year.
- To improve the administrative machinery of the operation. This will allow a reduction in the owner’s involvement in simple administrative tasks from 50% of her time to 20%, thereby allowing her more time for sales and marketing tasks.
Cutting Edge Drapery excels at serving interior designers, who can afford to use expensive materials and customized solutions. The company cannot compete with large, mass-produced workrooms and its pricing is not comparable to the prices of many small, home-based workrooms. The company is dedicated to providing the highest quality workmanship, meeting the agreed delivery dates, and executing the custom work exactly in accordance with the designer’s concept.
1.3 Keys to Success
A few key aspects can determine success or failure in professional workrooms. Most of these factors stem from interior designers’ importance to reputation:
- Private clients should not be allowed into a professional office. Interior designers are often paranoid that one of his clients will discover he could have saved thousands of dollars by dealing directly with the workroom. The company should refer private clients to a designer who works with them.
- Clients who can afford interior designers tend to be very demanding; designers are under a lot of pressure. The interior designer must feel that the workroom regards him as the most important person on the planet. Any actions that might suggest that the workroom may be too busy with other designers’#8217′ work must be avoided.
- The workroom must be true to its word. The work must be executed exactly according to plan, when it was promised, and at the agreed price. It is crucial for the workroom staff to communicate well with the designer.
- Production supervisors are crucial in ensuring quality. It is crucial that the production supervisor ensures that jobs with a 15-hour work week do not exceed 20 hours. If individual production stitchers are not efficient or left idle, profit goals cannot be achieved.
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