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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Soapy Rides is entering their first year of operation.  Mark believes that a comprehensive marketing strategy will be key to the success of the business.  Soapy Rides offers a premium hand car washing service provided by a well-known local family.  The basic market need is a premium car washing service that is far less abrasive than the traditional automatic car washes.

Market Summary

Soapy Rides possess good information about the  market and knows a great deal about the target customers.  This information  will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Soapy Rides can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
  20032004200520062007 
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Individuals12%43,00048,16053,93960,41267,66112.00%
Businesses1%999990.00%
Other0%000000.00%
Total12.00%43,00948,16953,94860,42167,67012.00%

Market Demographics

The profile for Soapy Rides' target customer consists of the following geographic,  demographic, and behavior factors:

Geographics

  • The immediate geographic  target is the city of East Meadow, NY.
  • A 25 mile radius is in need of the  services, however, 87% of the business will be from a seven mile radius.
  • The total targeted population is just over 43,000.

Demographics

  • Male:  female- 63%: 37%.  The reason for this discrepancy in the male to female  ratio is generally explained by the fact that men typically care more about  their automobiles.  Men are more likely to spend money on their cars with  accessories and are more likely to buy a car as a reward for some  accomplishment as a treat for themselves.  Women tend to view cars more so  as an object of utility.  Using this line of reasoning, women are more  likely to use the automatic car wash as they are less concerned about  preserving their "precious" car.
  • 40% of the households have an income  exceeding $70,000.
  • 73% of the target population have an undergraduate  degree, 39% have a graduate degree.

Behavior Factors

  • 43% of the target  customers lease their cars.
  • Individual and family image is personified by the type and condition of the automobile that they have.

Market Needs

Soapy Rides is providing the market with a premium hand car wash service for the East Meadow community.  SR seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to the customers:

  • Exemplary customer service- The target customers have money and are used to having excellent customer service.  They will not regularly use SR unless they receive excellent service.
  • High quality washes- The target market value a higher quality wash for their upper-end cars.
  • Convenience- The hours of operation as well as the time needed to provide the service must be convenient and fast respectively, to gain market share.

The market trends for the car washing industry has been a gravitation from hand washing to automatic washing machine facilities.  This trend has been fueled by the progression of technology.  The automatic washing machines have become less expensive and more efficient over the last few years to the point that it is typically cost effective to invest in these machines.

While one might presume that this would lead to the demise hand washing, the abrasiveness of the machines will never be appropriate for expensive automobiles.  This trend will luckily not have a significant impact on hand washing facilities that have a sufficiently large customer base that posess expensive cars.  Luckily for Soapy Rides which does have an upper end clientele, market supply will decrease and demand will increase.

Market Growth

The car washing market has seen steady, 4% growth for the last six years.  4% growth is forecasted for the next four years.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strength and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Soapy Rides.

Strengths

  • Good relationships with many perspective customers in the target market.
  • Strong family name recognition and equity in the community.
  • Well trained employees.

Weaknesses

  • The need for reliance on outside investors.
  • The learning curve associated with entering an industry without direct prior experience.
  • The need to have a fairly constant volume of business to support the necessary service staff.

Opportunities

  • Participation within a steadily growing industry.
  • A high likelihood of repeat business.
  • The ability to decrease the fixed costs as a percentage of an individual sale as volume increases.

Threats

  • Future/ potential competition from a franchised firm.
  • A slump in the economy, reducing discretionary spending.
  • The perception that there is not a difference in quality between a hand and machine wash.

Competition

There is one other hand car wash shop in East Meadow. It is quite new and is trying to compete with automatic car washes by offering low prices. However, it is not
targeting the customers who seek quality cleaning.

The customers who Soapy Rides is targeting have their cars washed based on the quality of the job. They do not mind spending a little more each week to have their car washed and waxed in order to keep the paint work in excellent shape. The businesses that Soapy Rides targets will be more cost conscious, so prices will be approximately 30% less for these customers to promote volume usage.

Service Offering

Soapy Rides will provide the following services:

  • Car washing (exterior).
  • Car cleaning (interior).
  • Car detailing.

Keys to Success

Soapy Rides keys to success are:

  • High quality services.
  • Benchmarked customer service.
  • Convenience.

Critical Issues

Soapy Rides is still in the speculative stages as a start-up organization.  Its critical issues are:

  • Continue to take a modest fiscal approach, expand at a reasonable rate, not for the sake of expansion in itself, but because it is economically wise to.
  • Build brand awareness, increasing the customer base and developing brand equity.
  • Establish Soapy Rides as the premier hand car wash service provider in the East Meadow area.

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