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

Greens Manicure Service is entering its first year of operation. Steve recognizes that marketing will be critical to develop a sufficiently large customer base. Greens Manicure offers residential lawn care with an eye for detail. The basic market need is a lawn care service that is reliable and professional.

Market Summary

Greens Manicure possesses good information about the market and has comprehensive information about the ideal customer. This information will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Greens can better communicate with them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
  20032004200520062007 
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Suburban middle class12%32536440845751212.03%
Other0%000000.00%
Other0%000000.00%
Total12.03%32536440845751212.03%

Market Needs

Greens Manicure Service is providing the market with a professional, reliable, lawn care service. Greens is able to offer customers flexible service offerings, meeting whatever needs they may have. Greens seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to customers.

  • Professionalism: The targeted customer is accustomed to interacting with professional service providers. The lawn care industry is not known for its professionalism, so Greens' professionalism should stand out.
  • Reliability: People that are willing to have their lawns cared for like the reliability of knowing that each week their lawn will be done. Many of the competitors are less reliable and the customer is uncertain exactly when they might show up.
  • Quality Work: When people pay for a service that they could conceivably do themselves, they want to be impressed with the work product. This will always be the case with Greens Manicure Service.

The market trend for lawn care has been a movement toward specialization. Five to 10 years ago, many of the residential lawns were serviced by a large landscaping/lawn service company that typically provided landscape design, tree and shrub installation and sometimes underground sprinkler installation. The typical company serviced both residential as well as commercial properties.

Recently however, the industry had undergone a focus on specific customers. It has become more unusual for companies to serve both residential and commercial properties. Additionally, the companies have also specialized on their service offerings in addition to specialization of target customers.

Market Growth

The lawn care industry has grown at a consistent 4% for the last eight years. This industry has generated over $986 million in revenue in the U.S. last year. Growth is forecasted to continue at approximately the same rate for the next three years.

There is high confidence in the forecasts for several reasons:

  • Grass continues to grow. Growth is less during a drought, but grass grows fairly regularly. Even in a drought, many people water their lawn, promoting growth.
  • There appears to always be people who are unwilling to be personally responsible for the care of their lawn, but are required to maintain a particular aesthetic dictated by city ordinances.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company and describes the opportunities and threats facing Greens Manicure Service.

Strengths

  • Strong experiential knowledge of the lawn care industry.
  • A solid foundation with a highly desirable community of prospective customers.
  • Low overhead.

Weaknesses

  • The lack of brand equity.
  • Initially only one employee to help generate revenue.
  • A limited marketing budget to develop brand awareness.

Opportunities

  • A market that is generally resistant to economic downturns primarily because most the prospective customers view lawn care as a necessity and are unwilling to do it themselves.
  • The ability to find competent employees.
  • Repeat business.

Threats

  • Competition from the larger, established landscapers.
  • Future competition from a similar, entrepreneur-spirited individual.
  • Seasonal business is not sufficient to carry the business through the off-season.

Competition

The lawn care business can be divided into two types, residential and commercial. As a smaller company or start up, it is much easier to enter into the residential market compared with the commercial market. The commercial market is dominated by larger, established companies.

Within the residential market, there are two competitors: full-scale landscaping companies and basic lawn care services. The full-scale landscaping companies will generally be handling jobs outside of Green's range. They are servicing even larger homes that require other landscaping activities that need more equipment and higher-skilled employees. The margins are therefore larger for the full-scale companies because they can charge more for the higher-skilled work. The other competitor is the basic lawn care services, not unlike Greens Manicure Service. Within most markets, including Greens, the competition is not overwhelming and often lacks basic quality and professionalism.

More often than not, residential customers make purchasing decisions based on referrals and perceived professionalism and quality.

Service Offering

Greens Manicure Service will provide residential lawn care service that includes lawn cutting, edging and trimming. Optional services will include hedge trimming. The service is typically offered once a week in season, but Greens can create a custom schedule for clients.

Keys to Success

  • Generate repeat business.
  • Generate referrals.
  • Professionalism.

Critical Issues

Greens Manicure Service is still in the speculative stages as a start-up operation. Its critical issues are:

  • Take a modest fiscal approach to expansion. Expand not for the sake of expansion in itself, but because it is necessary to service the clients.
  • Establish Greens as a well respected, community service provider.

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