Ideal Business Support Services
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Ideal has entered its first year of business. Marketing will be a key component for achieving sustainable profitability. Ideal offers specialized support services, concentrating on the insurance business niche. The basic market need is for support services where the service provider is quite familiar with the specific sector that it is servicing. Ideal will meet this need by having insurance industry experience to support its service offerings.
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Ideal has gained good information about the market and is aware of the common attributes of the most prized and loyal customers. This information will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Ideal can better communicate with them.
The profile for Ideal's customers consists of the following geographic, demographic, and behavior factors.
Ideal is providing the market with a range of support services for insurance agents. Ideal seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to its customers.
The market trend for insurance agents (and for other service providers as well) is to outsource non-essential activities, allowing the business to concentrate on their core competencies. This allows the business to focus more precisely on their business model. Reasons for this trend are:
The support service industry has become a $498 million industry in the U.S. within the last couple of years. From 1997-2000, the growth rate for the industry has been 5.6%. It is forecasted to remain at 5-6% for the next three years. By outsourcing non-essential activities (non-essential relative to their core service offerings) the industry should have no problem maintaining this excellent growth.
Another growth factor has been the progressive acceptance of insurance as a prudent risk management strategy. With recent unexpected events such as El Nina effects, "acts of God," and terrorism, the insurance industry is likely to continue to grow as people and companies hedge their risks with insurance.
The following SWOT analysis captures the strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Ideal.
The competition consists of many different support service companies that offer a wide range of service offerings. None however target the insurance industry only. While companies that provide services to different industries offer adequate service, there is an advantage to hiring a company that only serves your industry and is much more knowledgeable regarding your specific needs.
The buying patterns of the agents mimic a long-term relationship. If customers are happy they will generally stay with the same service provider. There is generally a break-in-period for new customers where both parties spend time getting to know each other and the different needs each has. If this can be done up front once, then it is more cost effective than jumping from provider to provider.
Ideal Business Support Services offers support services for the insurance industry. Ideal's service offerings will be diverse, however, Ideal will be specializing in transcription, database management, word processing, and website development and maintenance.
These services will be typically used by insurance agents who do not have the need to have a full-time person on payroll and the equipment in overhead. Ideal will be able to come in on short notice and serve the agent.
Ideal is still in the speculative stages as a start-up business. The critical issues that they face are:
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