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Marketing Consultant Business Plan


SIMMONS MARKETING ASSOCIATES

4001 W. Main StreetTrenton, NJ 07720

This plan serves as a guide to Simmons Marketing Associates to grow the firm to its fullest potential It includes goals, both tangible and intangible, as well as descriptions of all areas of the business. The document is structured in such a way that it will be easy for relevant areas to be extracted for submission to financial officers or investors should the need for additional funding become necessary.

  • DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS
  • LOCATION OF BUSINESS
  • ADVANTAGES OF THE FIRM
  • TARGET MARKET
  • COMPETITION
  • MANAGEMENT
  • PERSONNEL
  • SUMMARY
  • FINANCIAL DATA
  • ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL DATA

MISSION STATEMENT

Simmons Marketing Associates partners with its clients to provide comprehensive marketing services. The firm is dedicated to achieving the highest quality in its work while maintaining an environment that fosters creativity, dedication and the constant pursuit of new ideas by its employees. Maintaining a strong civic commitment, the firm regularly initiates programs that serve the common good.

BUSINESS AND SERVICE DESCRIPTION

Simmons Marketing Associates specializes in integrated marketing services. Because any marketing effort is stronger when a cohesive message is communicated through all channels of outside communication including public relations, advertising, direct mail, collateral development, electronic communication and promotion, the firm works with a variety of businesses to help them grow their businesses.

The firm is a sole proprietorship that has been in business since October 1992. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In its first three years, the agency has sustained steady yet controlled growth with little self-promotion. Through word-of-mouth marketing, the firm has obtained clients like Reynolds Publishing, The National Dairy Council, The New Jersey Gardening Show, Jersey Hospitals and others. With such a roster of success stories and an expanded in-house staff, the firm is now poised for an aggressive growth campaign. By developing lists of prospects, preparing presentations, advertising and initiating publicity efforts, including creating awareness of the five significant industry awards the firm has recently won.

At this point, the firm's business is approximately 60 percent public relations and event promotion, 20 percent collateral development including newsletters, brochures and direct mail campaigns, 10 percent advertising and 10 percent marketing consulting. The firm is best known for its public relations and collateral development services and has won a number of awards for its work in these arenas. Area businesses are attracted to the firm's national client list and the firm continues to capture the attention of large corporations because of its track record, ability to execute projects for tens of thousands of dollars less than other firms and flexibility in working with in-house marketing staffs. The firm has recently developed an Internet consulting service which will include creating World Wide Web pages for businesses, associations and other commercial ventures. This is a critical move for the firm. The future of public relations will be drastically affected by Internet activities. By joining the information revolution now, we have an advantage over firms that are still focusing on traditional venues. This addition also expands the roster of services that we are able to provide to our clients.

DESCRIPTION OF THE LOCATION

Simmons Marketing Associates shares leased space with one of its clients as it has done for the past two and a half years. The present location is near many major freeways. Since the business is conducted primarily through telephone, fax and overnight mail, location is a secondary concern.

ADVANTAGES OF SIMMONS MARKETING ASSOCIATES

There are several distinct advantages of contracting Simmons Marketing Associates. First, the firm works to contain its overhead, assembling work groups that are a combination of staff and independent consultants appropriate for each client. The expanse of experience of the principal and in-house staff as well as the diversity of the network of on-call talent makes the firm a one-stop center for all marketing communications needs. Simmons Marketing prides itself on assembling exactly the right group of professionals for each project and client. This network of on-call talent includes professionals in graphic design, direct mail, publicity, copywriting and other marketing disciplines.

Another distinct advantage is that Simmons Marketing works more closely with its clients than many firms. We keep them apprised of activities and progress every step of the way and value client input. For many clients, the firm acts as an adjunct marketing services department, as accountable to the contractor as an employee is to a supervisor. Through regular update memoranda and reports, we leave the door open for clients to share their vision and expertise. This often results in a heightened awareness of potential opportunities as a result of client input.

THE MARKET

The firm's market is businesses, associations and agencies with revenues of at least $3 million annually that have a need for public relations, advertising, collateral development and marketing services. Although the firm has, in the past, worked with firms with less than $3 million annually, that market has not proven to be open to ongoing marketing practices.

At this time, our client industries are broken down as follows:

•Expos and consumer shows 35 percent
•Consumer products businesses and associations 30 percent
•Health care facilities and associations 20 percent
•Service businesses 10 percent
•Arts 5 percent

There is a heavy concentration in the consumer and expo category at this time. This is a market that will continue to be important for Simmons Marketing Associates, because these types of events yield a wealth of client prospects within the industry. Over the next 12 months, Simmons Marketing Associates will embark on an aggressive self-promotion campaign that will include: direct mail, cold calling, publicity of industry awards, Internet services and advertising. The firm's goal in 1996 is to sign $120,000 worth of new client contracts. As of October 1995, we have signed or have strong prospects for over $90,000. Additional prospects of $39,000 also exist. Again, all of these prospects contacted Simmons Marketing through word-of-mouth marketing. The firm should be able to easily exceed its goals with the concentrated marketing effort that is planned. Our secondary goal is to achieve a 20% profit margin by 1998. Our 3-year income and expense report shows that we will be able to achieve a 16% profit margin by the end of 1997, even with the addition of two employees. We will be able to reach our goal by increasing our profit by a mere 4% in 1998.

DESCRIPTION OF COMPETITION

There are several firms in the area that offer services similar to those of Simmons Marketing Associates.

Stately Marketing: Handles primarily real estate and shopping malls. Produces a great number of collateral pieces. Industry sources state, however, that the firm is not financially solid and has questionable internal practices.

Expert Image Associates: Expert has five employees. The firm provides public relations services and are structured much like Simmons Marketing Associates. However, the firm does not offer Internet service. The firm is also focused on the local market, whereas Simmons Marketing Associates has been pitching and getting large regional and national clients. Expert also has a very visible staff in the local market.

Local freelance talent: There are many area freelancers that provide graphic design, writing and other services. Very few, however, provide public relations and certainly none have the client list or expertise of Simmons Marketing Associates.

DESCRIPTION OF MANAGEMENT

Terry Simmons is president of Simmons Marketing Associates. A former manager in sales promotion and marketing for New Book and Nostalgic Patterns Company, she graduated from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising.

Simmon's experience in advertising and marketing includes planning and executing campaigns for New Book's Merchandise division. Among the products she promoted were juvenile books, audio books, videos, toys and games for adult and juvenile markets. After heading the promotion department of the division, Simmons moved to Nostalgic Pattern Company where she supervised promotion, advertising and marketing activities.

Simmons also worked in the marketing department of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau (now the Newspaper Association of America). During that time, she was responsible for initiating national newspaper buy strategies and pitching them to such companies as Lesco. Now, Simmons works with clients both on a regional and national level. From art direction to copywriting, she manages projects for clients with budgets that range from four to seven digits.

Recording secretary of the Jersey Public Relations Association, Simmons was also selected as a judge for the 1993 POPAI awards in Chicago and the 1995 Southwest Florida. She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators, the Monmouth Ocean Development Council and the National Association of Female Executives. She has received a number of awards for her innovative marketing programs including the 1995 Jersey Shore Public Relations and Advertising Association's Helen Hoffman Best in Show Award.

DESCRIPTION OF PERSONNEL

Angela Moore has been hired as an account coordinator. She has assumed a heavy responsibility in overseeing independent contractors, facilitating projects, copywriting and Internet activities. Moore is a graduate of Rowan College and previously worked for the Educational Press Association of America where she handled public relations activities including a literary tour.

Keith Johnson is a graphic designer who handles most of the design services for Simmons Marketing Associates as an independent contractor. Johnson was previously with Phoneline International and Reese Consulting where he handled clients such as Carl Winslong and others. Johnson also handles Fairweather Parks, Jersey Hospitals and others.

Jean McDonald is a part-time publicist and writer. McDonald has achieved the status of Fellow and has been honored nationally by the Public Relations Society of America. She is a former associate with Novell in New York and handled accounts such as Woodsburn's. McDonald works with Simmons Marketing and has achieved placements for key clients such as the National Dairy Council.

Simmons Marketing Associates is a full-service marketing services firm based in Trenton, New Jersey. Headed by marketing specialist Terry Simmons and staffed by knowledgeable professionals overseeing a pool of top-notch freelance talent, the firm is poised for aggressive growth in 1996.

SUMMARY

The firm, a sole proprietorship, will market its services to events, businesses and associations on the East coast and nationally with annual revenues in excess of $3 million. The firm offers several advantages over other marketing services firms including its wide range of services, its roster of national and local clients, its media contacts and its ability to save clients money. Competitors in this market either lack the range of services or the vision to pitch national clients. This leaves the door open for Simmons Marketing Associates to use its prestigious list of clients to attract both regional and more national clients.

With four staff members in place in addition to a pool of twelve exceptionally talented freelance professionals, the firm can consistently sustain growth, continue to add members to its staff and provide high quality marketing services to its clients.

FINANCIAL DATA

1996 Sources of Revenue

New Jersey Gardening Show $15,000.00
Antique Marketing 14,000.00
Interior Decor Shows 8,000.00
Colonial Festival 6,000.00
O'Brien's Consulting 6,000.00
Biotech 2,500.00
Jersey Hospitals 2,000.00
Gaze Communications 20,000.00
Shorebank Hospital 4,000.00
Evergood 2,500.00
St. Mary's Parish 900.00
New Jersey Nostalgia 1,200.00
Misc. Projects 8,000.00
(brochures, newsletters, etc.)
TOTAL $90,100.00
Additional prospects:
Reynolds Value Center $15,000.00
Galleria Theater 12,000.00
National Dairy Council 8,000.00
National Gardener Association 4,000.00
TOTAL $39,000.00

Capital Equipment List

Major Equipment Cost
Computers
IBM-compatible 486/33 mhz; 540 mb hard drive; modem; sound card $1,600.00
IBM-compatible laptop 486/33; 210 mb hard drive 1,400.00
HP LaserJet 4P Printer 400.00
Software
Windows '95 86.00
Windows Plus 45.00
Microsoft Office 250.00
Microsoft Publisher 80.00
Quickbooks 100.00
Timeslips 200.00
Telephones
2 Two-line speaker phones (80.00 each) 160.00
1 One-line speaker phone 20.00
Furniture
Desk 100.00
3 Tables ($40.00 each) 120.00
3 chairs ($25.00 each) 75.00
2 Two-drawer filing cabinets ($25.00 each) 50.00
1 Four-drawer filing cabinets ($85.00 each) 85.00
1 Supply cabinet 100.00
1 Book case 40.00
Automobile
1995 Chrysler Sebring $17,700.00
Electronic Equipment
Television 199.00
VCR 179.00
Radio/CD/Cassette Player 90.00
Minor equipment
Paper trays, disks, supplies, etc. 500.00
Library/reference 2,200.00
2 Calculators ($10.00 each) 20.00
TOTAL $25,799.00

Balance Sheet

CURRENT ASSETS CURRENT LIABILITIES
Cash $7,000.00 Accounts Payable $6,100.00
Accts. Receivable 11,618.00 Current Portion-Long-Term Debt 310.00
Supplies 600.00
Total Assets $17,218.00 Total Liabilities $6,410.00
FIXED ASSETS LONG-TERM LIABILITIES
Major Equipment $8,099.00 Loan payable (car) $13,000.00
Automobile 17,700.00
Total Assets $25,799.00 Total Long-Term Debt $13,000.00
TOTAL ASSETS $43,017.00 TOTAL LIABILITIES $19,410.00
NET WORTH $23,607.00

Two-Year Projected Profit Loss Statement

1996 1997
Revenue $120,000 $185,000
Operating Expenses
F Rent/Utilities 6,600 6,600
F Salaries 60,000 90,000
F Advertising 3,000 6,500
F Directories/Subscriptions 1,200 1,200
F Telephone 4,600 4,800
F = Fixed V = Variable
Note: 1996 profits decrease reflects new employee salaries. These new employees will have responsibilities that will include new business development and producing billable hours. Therefore, this investment will reflect in significantly increased profit in 1997.
F Postage 6,400 6,700
F Equipment 4,000 4,000
F Professional Services 1,200 1,800
F Professional Groups 1,000 1,500
F Auto 9,900 9,900
F/V Entertainment 2,200 2,400
F Depreciation 1,200 2,200
F Supplies 2,500 2,700
V Seminars/luncheons 1,500 1,700
V Miscellaneous 2,600 2,800
F Insurance 2,500 2,800
V Taxes 7,000 9,000
Total Expenses $117,400 $156,600
Net Profit $2,600 $28,400

ANALYSIS OF INCOME AND EXPENSE REPORT

Simmons Marketing Associates has operated at a profit since its beginning. We charge service fees that cover staff time and office overhead and bill separately for the cost of goods sold. These expenses include additional graphic design, printing, postage, telephone expenses, etc.

We fully expect to exceed our goal of $120,000 in service fees for 1996. Most of that business has been secured at this time and, with the aggressive advertising and public relations campaign starting this week, our momentum will carry us well into 1997.

In 1996, our rent and utility expenses will increase. We will be moving into a larger office space, most likely a shared space arrangement again. We expect to remain at this location for at least three years.

Salaries will increase as a result of increased staff and increased revenue. At Simmons Marketing Associates, we strive to reward employees for good work both financially and professionally. As a result, paid memberships to professional groups as well as seminars and luncheons will also increase. Advertising expenses will continue to increase as we strive to become more visible and aggressive in our own external marketing campaigns. Increased postage also reflects an increase in direct mail efforts. Other increases in expenses reflect an increase in business and staff.


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