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Marketing Plan
Ground Zero Computers
1115 Paducah Rd
Mayfield, Kentucky. 42066

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Name (typed or printed)


This is a marketing plan. It does not imply an offering of securities.

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Situation Analysis
     2.1 Market Summary
         2.1.1 Market Demographics
         2.1.2 Market Needs
         2.1.3 Market Trends
         2.1.4 Market Growth
     2.2 SWOT Analysis
         2.2.1 Strengths
         2.2.2 Weaknesses
         2.2.3 Opportunities
         2.2.4 Threats
     2.3 Competition
     2.4 Product Offering
     2.5 Keys to Success
     2.6 Critical Issues
3.0 Marketing Strategy
     3.1 Mission
     3.2 Marketing Objectives
     3.3 Financial Objectives
     3.4 Target Markets
     3.5 Positioning
     3.6 Strategies
     3.7 Marketing Mix
     3.8 Marketing Research
4.0 Web Plan Summary
     4.1 Website Marketing Strategy
     4.2 Development Requirements
5.0 Financials
     5.1 Break-even Analysis
     5.2 Sales Forecast
     5.3 Expense Forecast
6.0 Controls
     6.1 Implementation
     6.2 Marketing Organization
     6.3 Contingency Planning


1.0 Executive Summary

Ground Zero Computers is a computer repair  business offering custom built computers and home network consulting. The businesses reputation is impeccable and is known throughout the Mayfield, Kentucky area as one of the new up and coming computer repair businesses. Ground Zero Computers serves the personal computer and networking needs of individuals to enable them to reach their technology goals.

Our target markets include the following.

1. Teachers inside the Graves County school district.

2. Growing businesses of less than 50 employees that need our services now and will rely on them to a greater extent as their businesses and requirements grow.

3. Individual customers.

Diversifying our revenue streams and leveraging our core strengths will optimize our position for the future. We will also implement marketing tactics to better leverage the businesses total capacity throughout the year, versus a heavy concentration.

2.0 Situation Analysis

Ground Zero Computers offers expertise in all areas of computer repair, computer networking, and computer disaster recovery. The firm has a solid and loyal customer base in a market that has experienced constant but slowing growth in recent years. We have increasing competition from a variety of sources. The business is highly dependent on revenues from computer repair from individuals. This areas account for more than 75% of total revenues. This presents a long-term threat to the business due to competition and changes in our market. We must diversify our revenue base to realize ongoing growth and stability in a changing industry.

2.1 Market Summary

Ground Zero Computers is a full-service computer repair business, serving the personal and business needs for the community of Mayfield, Kentucky and beyond. Our most important clients are individuals that rely on our services for their technology needs. Computer repair and networking is just the beginning as we strive to become an integral part of their technological lives. Our best clients value their time and resources, and seek to minimize the hassle associated with getting things done. They do not like negative surprises. They realize and appreciate the value in the services we offer, along with the lost opportunity costs of not benefiting from our services.

Market Analysis
Potential CustomersGrowth20032004200520062007CAGR
Home Computer Repair100%5111216218917536.10%
Home Computer Networking20%5911131224.47%
Custom Built Computer Systems80%123453525848.27%
2.1.1 Market Demographics

Individual Customers- The base of individual customers serves to offer primary revenue for the business. The balance of the customers primarily look to the business for comptuer repair and custom built computer systems..

Organizations Under 50 Employees - Organizations under 50 employees represents one of the slowest growing customers within the business. Ground Zero Computers offers attractive services that understand and meet the needs of these clients. The key clients in this category have annual sales between $50,000 and $300,000, serve customers in the Western Kentucky market, have a local or statewide customer base, and are privately owned. The long-term strategy is to grow with these clients as they expand and their needs for our services increase.

2.1.2 Market Needs

Ground Zero Computers provides tangible and intangible value. Our objective is to minimize the hassle of getting your personal computer repaired or that of buying a new computer. The bigger picture means that we are providing peace of mind for our customers -- they are getting service in the most productive manner possible. We work to make the complex understandable. We desire to save them more money while solving their technical problems and give them a better night's sleep.

2.1.3 Market Trends

Market trends fall into three general categories: An abundance of self declared experts, an increased need to be able to share information, and family growth.

Abundance of self declared experts  - Self declared experts are one of our major competitors and continues to erode revenue from individual clients. This includes teenagers who claim to be experts and adults with antiquated skills. 

Need to be able to share information  - With people now doing everything from their finances to writing school papers on computers, there is a growing need for those computers to be able to share this information between themselves within a home.

Family growth - Families in the modern marketplace have increased in size from previous times by almost double. This increase in typical family size calls for an increase in the technological needs of these families.

2.1.4 Market Growth

The growth rate of our combined target markets has averaged approxamatly 120% since 1998. This is due to computers being more useful in the daily lives of people. This growth rate has peaked in the past years and is expected to remain grow steadily for the foreseeable future.

2.2 SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis addresses the strengths and weakness within Ground Zero Computers and the opportunities and threats that exist in our environment. This analysis highlights areas to be leveraged and points out where we must improve within the business and within our industry and market.

2.2.1 Strengths

Ground Zero Computers's strengths include:

· An A+ Certified Technician who has established credibility within the community.

· A state-of-the-art computer office, utilizing the latest tools and software that continues to enhance our productivity and expand our capacity.

· High client retention, providing consistent referrals to the business.

2.2.2 Weaknesses

Ground Zero Computer's weaknesses include:

· Over dependence on the stock market, which dictates the overall spending of money in the personal technology sector.

· Inability to generate sufficient billable hours currently.

· Being perceived as a new company with not enough established credibility or experience.

· The almost unbeatable prices of larger national computer building companies.

2.2.3 Opportunities

Opportunities available to Ground Zero Computers include:

· Benefiting from the ongoing increase in population to the Graves County area, particularly for the minority segment.

· Increasing income levels of the minority population.

· Leveraging the positive perception business has about locating in this section of Kentucky.

· Growth that is occurring in the amount of technology in peoples everyday lives.

2.2.4 Threats

Threats include:

· Increased competition from sole practitioners and other businesses.

· Continued sophistication and affordability of computers from national computer sales companies.

· General perceptions that custom built computer systems are not as powerful as national brand computers.

2.3 Competition

Competitors fall into two primary categories; other businesses and sole practitioners.

Other businesses - A total of two businesses conduct services in our area that are comparable to Ground Zero Computers in size and capabilities, including one that is a regional business. These firms have staff and technology resources similar to ours, although their focus and areas of specialization vary.

Sole practitioners - An estimated 6 sole practitioners exist in the immediate area. These ranges from individuals that have been in business for over 10 years to those that are in their sixth month. Their resources are limited in terms of staff and technology.

2.4 Product Offering

Our services offer a high level of technical skills to enable our customers to better receive service for there computer related inquiries. Accomplishing this for our customers falls into these basic service areas:

Individual Clients

· Personal computer repair

· Custom built computer systems

· Consulting services, including;

- Home network planning

- General troubleshooting

- Personal computer disaster recovery

Providing quality service is also critical. Our clients judge our competence based on how we treat them. This is their primary -- and in many cases their only -- measurement of our capabilities. They ask themselves the following about our business:

· Do they act in a professional manner?

· Do they know who I am?

· Do they remember my name?

· Are they genuinely concerned about my best interest?

· Will they actively support and defend their advice and council if needed?

We must have each of our customers answer positively to these questions.

2.5 Keys to Success

· Continuing to leverage the in-house computer system to keep efficiencies high and costs to a minimum.

· Further develop areas of specialization to attract and retain key clients.

· Continued development of client referrals from individuals and business contacts.

2.6 Critical Issues

The business appears to be in a "new" category. We have relatively low major opportunities, many threats, limited growth potential, and an average amount of risk.

Critical issues for Ground Zero Computers include:

· Retaining customers is essential and will be determined by maintaining our reputation built upon professionalism, trust, accuracy, and timeliness.

· Continuing to leverage our computer-based capabilities within the business on a cost-effective basis.

· Tracking results to better understand which marketing activities offer the best return.

· Focusing on key market segments that will produce the greatest return.

3.0 Marketing Strategy

Our marketing strategies are based on meeting the needs of existing and future customers. We will do this through leveraging internal and external business strengths and understanding the competitive environment. All marketing strategies work toward supporting our mission statement and realizing our stated goals.

Our marketing strategies fall into these three categories:

1. Teacher sales

2. House calls

3. Media Blitz

3.1 Mission

Ground Zero Computers is to be a profitable business that continues to meet the high standards of its customers and provides a successful environment for its employees. Our business will maintain strong growth as a provider of high quality professional services to our clients. We will strive to consistently be perceived as a business that is professional, trustworthy, accurate, and timely. Ground Zero Computers will offer the innovative approach customers need to reach their own personal satisfaction.

3.2 Marketing Objectives

1. To realize a growth rate of 200% compared to the previous year.

2. To diversify our revenue stream through increased personal consulting.

3. To create a visible profile through establishing reciprocal referral sources with the following:

· Personal repair customers

· Flawlessly built personal computers

· Error free consulting

3.3 Financial Objectives

1. Revenues of $3000 by year-end to realize a growth rate of 200% compared to the previous year.

2. Custom built system revenues greater than 20% of total billing.

3. Expenses to increase no more than 25% compared to the previous year.

3.4 Target Markets

Our primary target markets include these three areas:

1. Teachers inside the Graves County school district.

2. Growing businesses of less than 50 employees that need our services now and will rely on them to a greater extent as their businesses and requirements grow.

3. Individual customers.

3.5 Positioning

Ground Zero Computers offers a highly skilled computer technician with several years of experience in the field. We do more than fix computers. We also provide a variety of valuable services that enable a business and individuals to optimize life through increased use in technology. We will work to offer our services in an innovative manner to create a source for computer solutions that will be difficult to emulate. We offer a premium level of service and expect to receive premium compensation for those services.

3.6 Strategies

Ground Zero Computer's strategy is focused on building new strengths and leveraging our existing strengths. We will strive to emphasize those strengths that cannot be duplicated by our competitors. This is an important factor in differentiating the company.


Teacher Sales

Tactic #1 Discount rates for educators.

· Program 1-A Charge teachers $5 less per hour than the normal rate.

· Program 1-B Minumum of 1 hour rather than 2 for house calls

Tactic #2 School marketing.

· Program 2-A Promotion of services through flyers.

· Program 2-B Promotion of services through business cards.

· Program 2-C Promotion of services through example by fixing school computers.


House Calls

Tactic #3 Discount house calls

· Program 3-A Speacial deals on house calls depending on the time of the year

· Program 3-B Discount rates for those making multiple house calls 


Media Blitz

Tactic #4 School newspaper

· Program 4-A Utilize existence of school newspaper as cheap form of advertising throughout the county

Tactic #5 Business cards

· Program 5-A Utilize business cards as a form of advertising and increasing awareness.

Tactic #6 Website

· Program 6-A Utilize the internet as a form of mass advertisement.

· Program 6-B Utilize the internet as a place for posting help guides to increase customer relations.

3.7 Marketing Mix

Our experience has proven that the most significant factor in acquiring new customers is a direct result of referrals from our existing client base. In 2002, more than 80% of our new customers directly or indirectly resulted from a referral by an individual customer. Customer retention is essential. Receiving referrals from them will determine our success or failure. People ask other people they know, trust, and share a similar position with to tell them what business to use. It is as simple as that. Our marketing mix will consistently work to optimize the volume and quality of those referrals.

3.8 Marketing Research
4.0 Web Plan Summary
The Ground Zero Computers website will be the virtual business card for the company, as well as its online "home."

It will showcase the background of Ground Zero Computers, as well as listing rates.

The Ground Zero Computers website needs to be a simple yet classy and well designed website that, at the same time, is in keeping with the latest trends in user interface design. A site that is too flashy, or tries to use too much of the latest Shockwave of Flash technology can be over done, and cause potential clients to look elsewhere for computer repair expertise.

To further show off its expertise the Ground Zero Computers website should create a resources area, offering articles and help guides to interested parties.

The key to the website strategy will be combining a very well designed front end, with a back end capable of recording information requests and technical queries.

4.1 Website Marketing Strategy
Marketing in a computer repair business depends on recognition for expertise. It starts with our known contacts in positions to recommend us, and continues with long-term efforts to develop recognition in professional forums.

We will develop and maintain a database of people in the right positions. It starts with the contacts we bring in as we start the business. Then continues with milking those contacts for all they are worth.

4.2 Development Requirements
The Ground Zero Computers website will be initially developed by in house resources. The personal server of the company will host the site and provide the technical back end.

Ground Zero Computers will act as the user interface designer to develop the simple, classy, yet Internet focused site. The company will work to come up with the website logo, and the website graphics.

The maintenance of the site will be done by the Ground Zero Computers consultants themselves.

5.0 Financials

Our marketing plan requires annual revenues of $31,764 for this year. Our marketing expenses will equate to an average of 8.5% of total sales throughout.

The marketing plan is based on these three parameters:

1. Increasing our efficiencies through better use of our facilities and expertise. Variable costs will be reduced, as we are able to make use of the capital investment we have in our systems. We will invest in these systems with the expectation that we will benefit as we have in the past from their capabilities. It provides us a competitive edge many of our competitors cannot afford.

2. We will continue to invest in marketing activities based on a percent of total revenues. As our revenues increase, so will our marketing resources.

3. We will forecast and track revenues on a detail basis to provide objective feedback regarding progress in the areas of industry expertise, specialization, and client revenue sources by type.

5.1 Break-even Analysis

Our variable costs are less than 38% of revenues. Variable costs are expected to continue to decrease as a percent of revenues as we strive to further benefit from technology.

Break-even Analysis:
Monthly Units Break-even4
Monthly Revenue Break-even$103
Average Per-Unit Revenue$25.00
Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$0.82
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$100
5.2 Sales Forecast

Revenues for this year are based on a very high growth rate. This is conservative and will be more challenging as we work to diversify our revenue base.

Sales Forecast
Computer Repair$6,889$7,922$9,111
Personal Network Consulting$1,675$1,734$1,794
Custom Built Systems$23,200$29,000$36,250
Total Sales$31,764$38,656$47,155
Direct Cost of Sales200420052006
Computer Repair$5,235$6,020$6,923
Personal Network Consulting$1,252$1,296$1,341
Custom Built Systems$19,500$24,375$30,469
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$25,987$31,691$38,733
5.3 Expense Forecast

Marketing expenses will correlate with company revenues. These expenses include any customer development activities that promote the business or any individual within the business.

Marketing Expense Budget
Office Maintenance/Tools$1,200$0$0
Total Sales and Marketing Expenses$28,388$0$0
Percent of Sales89.37%0.00%0.00%
Contribution Margin($22,611)$6,965$8,422
Contribution Margin / Sales-71.18%18.02%17.86%
6.0 Controls

The focus of this marketing plan is to initiate action that will generate additional revenues for Ground Zero Computers and better position us for the future. These marketing challenges exist:

· We offer intangible "products."

· Our customers evaluate our capabilities based on things they see and hear.

· Marketing is not well understood or received within our profession.

Putting our marketing plan into action through the use of professional and credible techniques is what it is all about.

6.1 Implementation

The milestones graphic illustrates key implementation activities.  We will track plan-vs.-actual results for each program. Status and progress will be addressed monthly.

This will be a topic of focus at the end-of-the-year analysis to evaluate annual results and validate or challenge the marketing plan for the upcoming year.

MilestoneStart DateEnd DateBudgetManagerDepartment
Startup Preparations1/1/20035/1/2003$0CDSStartup
Startup House Call Deal5/1/20037/1/2003$0CDSMarketing
Startup Custom Built System Deal5/1/20037/1/2003$0CDSMarketing
Media Blitz5/1/20038/1/2003$0CDSMarketing
Website Development4/1/20036/1/2003$0CDSWeb
Totals  $0  
6.2 Marketing Organization


6.3 Contingency Planning

These are the most likely changes in the marketing plan:

Industry or economic downturns - At this time, the targeted industries are experiencing solid growth in our area. If industry growth does not occur, we will re-examine our select industries and/or activities and change our focus and direction.

Loss of key resources - Losing key individual support in the business could result in a need to reevaluate the direction of the company.

Sales Forecast
Sales MayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMarApr
Computer Repair $300$320$665$909$800$700$600$362$289$440$655$849
Personal Network Consulting $0$100$100$200$225$220$200$100$80$100$150$200
Custom Built Systems $600$1,800$3,000$2,400$2,400$1,800$600$3,500$1,200$600$1,800$3,500
Total Sales $900$2,220$3,765$3,509$3,425$2,720$1,400$3,962$1,569$1,140$2,605$4,549
Direct Cost of Sales MayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecJanFebMarApr
Computer Repair $153$219$577$685$685$485$406$252$225$342$558$649
Personal Network Consulting $0$75$75$140$182$162$160$60$55$73$108$162
Custom Built Systems $500$1,500$2,500$2,000$2,000$1,500$500$3,000$1,000$500$1,500$3,000
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $653$1,794$3,152$2,825$2,867$2,147$1,066$3,312$1,280$915$2,166$3,811

Marketing Expense Budget
Parts $653$1,794$3,152$2,825$2,867$2,147$1,066$3,312$1,280$915$2,166$3,811
Office Maintenance/Tools $100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100
Misc. $100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100$100
Total Sales and Marketing Expenses $853$1,994$3,352$3,025$3,067$2,347$1,266$3,512$1,480$1,115$2,366$4,011
Percent of Sales 94.78%89.82%89.03%86.21%89.55%86.29%90.43%88.64%94.33%97.81%90.83%88.17%
Contribution Margin ($606)($1,568)($2,739)($2,341)($2,509)($1,774)($932)($2,862)($1,191)($890)($1,927)($3,273)
Contribution Margin / Sales -67.28%-70.63%-72.75%-66.71%-73.26%-65.21%-66.57%-72.23%-75.90%-78.05%-73.97%-71.95%