114) Assume that you are a consultant to a small independent hardware store in a town where a retail giant such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, or Target is about to open. The large retailer sells many of the same items the small hardware store sells, but at lower prices. What advice would you offer the owner concerning the hardware store's strategy?Explain.
In order to keep being alive in a bigger and stronger competitor , the owner of every small business must create and develop a real competitive advantages and point of strength and differentiation , that will keep him away from any giant competitor like Wal-Mart.
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A successful strategic plan must be developed , converting the factors making this business considered as a small business to be the point of strength and success . Small Business has fewer product lines , well defined database and can serves in such a specific geographical area , unless it has several branches , and at that time , he can get valuable information and accurate needs of the customers through close relation and close contacts with customer , this is what is not available that easy in a mass retailer like Wal – Mart .
117) assume you own a small print shop. Who are your competitors and why is it important for you to monitor your competitors' activities? Describe at least five techniques you might use to monitor competitors' strategies and actions ethically and inexpensively.
Specific techniques that I might use include:
•Asking customers and suppliers
•Talking to employees
•Attending trade shows
•Buying competitors' products (benchmarking)
•Obtaining credit reports
•Visiting competing businesses
Mini-Case 3-1: Finding a Competitive Advantage
Copreneurs Ed and Yolanda recently opened a vintage used car lot called Cherry Lane. They sell antique and collectible cars on consignment for the owners at a fee of 30 percent of the selling price. The price is further reduced by 10 percent if a particular car is not sold within the first 30 days. One of the first customers convinced Yolanda that this was the only fair thing to do, and in an effort to provide something for "the cost conscious buyer," she provided what she thought was excellent customer service and implemented the idea.
Ed and Yolanda feel Cherry Lane has an ideal location. It is located adjacent to the city's baseball stadium, alongside the freeway in the center of all the other car dealerships. Although Cherry Lane has significant foot traffic, most people never make offers to buy.
In an effort to increase sales, Ed and Yolanda are working on a new marketing strategy that they believe should be quite different from the "shotgun" approach they had been using over the last few months.
Ed and Yolanda should follow these nine steps:
Step 1:Create a clear vision and convert it into a realistic mission statment. Step 2:Analysis to get the company weakness and strength points Step 3:Scan the environment for significant opportunities and threats facing the business. Step 4:Identify the key factors for success in the business. Step 5:Study the market & analyze the competition.
Step 6:Create company goals and objectives.
Step 7:Formulate strategic options and select the appropriate strategies. Step 8:Translate strategic plans into action plans.
Step 9:Accurate controls.
The above steps are a continuous process that will keep continuing from the beginning and will never ends.
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