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Interior Design Business Plan

Barton Interiors

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Strategy and Implementation Summary

The primary sales and marketing strategy for Barton Interiors includes these factors:

  • A premier interior design consulting experience that provides impressive client service throughout.
  • The sale of other complementary products that adds value for the client's total experience.
  • Providing a experience that will result in repeat business for home and/or office needs and client referrals.

This strategy will be implemented through the tactics and programs described in this section.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses relating to the market analysis summary and describes the opportunities and threats facing Barton Interiors.

Strengths

  • The proven ability to establish excellent personalized client service.
  • Strong relationships with suppliers that offer flexibility and respond to special product requirements.
  • Good referral relationships with architects, complementary vendors, and local realtors.
  • Client loyalty developed through a solid reputation among repeat, high-dollar purchase clients.

Weaknesses

  • The owner is still climbing the "retail experience learning curve."
  • Not established in a market where a variety of interior design options exist.
  • Challenges of the seasonality of the business.

Opportunities

  • A significant portion of our target market is desperately looking for the services Barton Interiors will offer.
  • Strategic alliances offering sources for referrals and joint marketing activities to extend our reach.
  • Promising activity from new home construction activity.
  • Changes in design trends can initiate home updating and, therefore, generate sales.

Threats

  • Continued price pressure due to competition or the weakening market reducing contribution margins.
  • Dramatic changes in design, including fabric colors and styles can present challenges to keep paced with what is desired by what is expected to be a leading-edge client base. 
  • Expansion of products and services offered by other sources including national discount stores into the local market including Target, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.
  • Catalog resources, including Calico Corners and Pottery Barn, with aggressively priced trend-setting fabric products including drapery, bedding and slipcovers.

This analysis indicates solid potential success, but the weaknesses and threats must be recognized throughout the life of the venture.

Strategy Pyramid

The following three strategies summarize our implementation process for the upcoming year. They address in-store retail revenue, expansion to non-fabric revenue sources, and Web-based sales activities.

STRATEGY #1 - Generating Referrals

   Tactic #1A - Build a client base through leveraging existing contacts from former clients of the architecture firm.

   Tactic #1B - Build a referral network through professional contacts. Offer special order fabric that will arrive in reasonable time frame and enable to provide something very unique for each customer.

         Program #1A - Press release in the local paper announcing the business is open.

         Program #1B - Offer seminars through organizations to promote the concept of using an interior designer and using Barton Interiors.

STRATEGY #2 - Product Sales

   Tactic #2A - Promotion of products available through Barton Interiors. 

         Program #2A - Seminars and demonstration promotions.

         Program #2B - Cross selling activities with home and office consulting.

   Tactic #2B - Promotion of art and antiques.

          Program #2C - Demonstrate the unique qualities they offer to promote these higher dollar transactions.

          Program #2D - Display this through the online and notebook portfolio.

STRATEGY #3 - Generate Awareness Through the Website

   Tactic #3A - Better facilitate and communicate Barton Interiors services and product through the website.

         Program #3A - Design of  www.bartoninteriors.com.

         Program #3B - Integration of completed client work.

   Tactic #3B - Monthly assessment of performance of email inquiries.

         Program #3C - Establish goals of the program  (Refer to Web Strategy Plan done in Web Strategy Pro).

         Program #3D - Evaluate the client work initiated through the site. 

Value Proposition

Barton Interiors offers the highest interior design experience for the home and office conveniently available for those in the Boulder area.  The concept is unique through the selection of antiques, home accessories, and complementary products along with the interior design consulting experience. 

Competitive Edge

Barton Interiors will be differentiated from other interior designers by the value it offers in quality, sought-after products not found through other designers or store choices, and through the excellent service and support it offers. Client follow-through will be impeccable.  This competitive edge leverages the same proven factors that indicated higher success rates for interior design services. 

Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy is based on establishing Barton Interiors as the resource of choice for people in need of interior design ideas and products.  The more involved "do-it-yourself" and the "buy-it-yourself" clients will find the consulting and guidance helpful.  On the other end of the spectrum, the "just-get-it-done" client will find Barton will successfully accomplish exactly that.  All clients will find Barton Interiors to be a resources to decorate their homes and offices in a way that is inspiring, inviting, and motivating.

Our marketing strategy is based on superior performance in the following areas:

  • Unique consulting services.
  • Product choices specifically chosen for each individual client project.
  • Overall quality of the experience and the result.
  • Excellent client service and support regardless.

This  marketing strategy will create awareness, interest, and appeal from our target market for what Barton Interiors offers our clients.  This will be executed in a manner that will entice them to come back for repeat purchases and encourage them to refer friends and professional contacts.

Pricing Strategy

Product pricing is based on offering high value to our clients compared to others in the market. Value is determined based on the best design services, providing a "picture" of what the space will look like before the work begins, convenience, and timeliness in accomplishing the goal.

Promotion Strategy

The promotion strategy will focus on generating referrals.  Other potential sources of promotion include:

  • Newspaper Advertisements: Select advertisements in the Boulder Herald.
  • Television Advertisements: Select "Martha Stewart" and "Interior Motives" local television shows.
  • Quarterly Postcard: A direct mail postcard distributed to the client mailing list.
  • Website: Traffic from www.bartoninteriors.com.

Distribution Strategy

The primary source of distribution is through the tradition retail distribution channel.  On a secondary basis, it will be through the website via email inquiries and phone sales, or directly from the site itself.

Marketing Programs

The single objective is to position Barton Interiors as the premier source for home decorator fabrics in the Boulder area, commanding a majority of the market share within three years. The marketing strategy will seek to first create client awareness regarding the products and services offered, develop that client base, establish connections with targeted markets and work toward building client loyalty and referrals.

Barton Interiors' four main marketing strategies are:

  1. Increased awareness and image.
  2. Leveraging existing client base.
  3. Cross selling.
  4. New home construction promotion.

The strategies will be implements through the following marketing tactics and programs.

Strategy #1
INCREASED AWARENESS and IMAGE - Informing those not yet aware of what Barton Interiors offers.

  • Advertising
    • Martha Stewart.
    • Interior Motives.
  • Referral Generation
    • Realtor "open house" promotions.
    • Complementary vendor referrals.
      • Imperial Floors.
      • Upholstery resources.
      • "Design Time" Interior Design.
      • 27th Street Fabrics.
  • Organization Relationships
    • Co-sponsorship of fund raising activities.
    • Participating in social and service events.

Strategy #2
LEVERAGING EXISTING CLIENT BASE - Our best sales in the future will come from our current client base.

  • Client Service and Relationships
    • Exceptional client service in the store.
    • Follow up contact.
    • Personal shopper support.
  • Additional Experiences
    • Classes.
    • Demonstrations.

Strategy #3
CROSS SELLING - Increasing the average dollar amount per transaction.

  • Internal
    • Additional sales of furniture, art pieces, and fabric and home accessories. 
    • Look for office/commercial assignments.
  • Prospecting
    • Ongoing work including more involvement in the implementation phase.
    • Future assignments based on additional work initiated by family changes and transitions.

Strategy #4
NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION PROMOTION - Connecting with people involved in the building process.

  • Connecting with "Suppliers"
    • Realtors gift certificate program.
    • Builders design support services.
    • Loan Officers gift certificate program.
  • Connecting with "Clients"
    • Subscription and use of "newcomers" report.
    • Chamber of Commerce new members update.

Positioning Statement

For the person that seeks to create a personalized and unique impression of her home, Barton Interiors is the source for client-oriented design services. Clients will be impressed with, and return for, the services they receive and the outcome they have enjoyed.  Unlike other interior designers or stores, such as  JoAnn's, Warehouse Fabric, or catalog options, Barton Interiors is a pleasant and tasteful resource that encourages everyone in the process of decorating their home. Unlike using the services of other interior decorators, Barton Interiors allows the individual to participate in their design choices to the extent they choose, and realize greater value for the dollars they invest.

Sales Strategy

The key to our sales strategy is referrals from pleased clients that are proud of the result Barton Interiors provided them and pleased to tell their friends--people much like them.  Keeping in contact with past clients to acquire repeat business and to remind them of this referral opportunity will be key.  Sales activities will depend on creating awareness about the services Barton Interiors offers and then build on each and every client as they make the decision to refer to others.

Web Plan Summary

The website of www.bartoninteriors.com will be used for information only purposes at this time.  Contact information will be presented with a complete portfolio of work accomplished.  Additional information will be provided regarding the product-based resources Barton Interiors incorporates into the work done for clients.

Sales Forecast

The sales forecast is broken down into three main revenue streams; residential consulting revenue, commercial consulting revenue, and product sales.  The goal is to have these two revenue streams be equal by the second year, with product sales slower to secure during year one.  The revenue forecast for the upcoming year is based on a modest 12% growth rate.  The economic unpredictability adds to the difficulty of making these projections.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales
Residential Consulting £22,700 £31,200 £46,000
Commercial Consulting £3,960 £6,240 £7,200
Product Sales £19,800 £31,200 £46,000
Other £0 £0 £0
Total Sales £46,460 £68,640 £99,200
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Residential Consulting £3,405 £4,680 £6,900
Commercial Consulting £594 £936 £1,080
Product Sales £10,890 £17,160 £25,300
Other £0 £0 £0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales £14,889 £22,776 £33,280

Sales Programs

In brief, our marketing mix is comprised of these approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and client service.

Pricing - Residential consulting will bill at an average of £90 per hour and commercial consulting at £100 per hour.

Distribution - All services and products will be distributed directly through the personal contact.

Advertising and Promotion - The most successful advertising is anticipated to be through the Boulder Herald and through ads on local broadcasts of the "Martha Stewart" and "Interior Motives" television shows.

Client Service - Excellent, personalized, fun, one-of-a-kind client service is essential. This is perhaps the only attribute that cannot be duplicated by any competitor.

The first goal is to recognize individualized needs of each client.  If they are a repeat client, they benefit from the knowledge regarding their lifestyle and taste that was gained from the previous experience.

Strategic Alliances

Barton Interiors does have some dynamic alliances.  Based on initial research and contacts, several architect firms are willing to refer clients to Barton Interiors, including Jill's existing employer, Gibson & Sawyer, LLC.  Other alliances include a retail store called "Providance" which focuses on gallery-type pieces for the home and office and is expected to refer clients.  There is also a positive relationship with "Interior Fabricators" and this business is expected to be a referral resource. Strategic online alliances do not exist at this time.  This will be an area of concentrated development for the future and is reflected in our milestone chart.

Milestones

The milestone chart below accompanied by the graphic outlines key activities that will be critical to Barton Interiors' success in the coming year.

Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Year Buying Program 1/2/2002 1/30/2002 £560 Jill Products
Membership Strategy 2/2/2002 2/15/2002 £225 Jill Promotions
Seminar Schedule & Prep. 3/1/2002 4/1/2002 £45 Jill Marketing
Seminars 4/1/2002 5/30/2002 £540 Jill Marketing
Client Review/Analysis 6/1/2002 6/15/2002 £250 Jill Marketing
Furniture Market (High Point, N.C.) 11/10/2002 11/20/2002 £1,800 Jill Products
Year End Evaluation 12/20/2002 12/31/2002 £250 Jill & CPA Management
Totals £3,670
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Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales
Residential Consulting £22,700 £31,200 £46,000
Commercial Consulting £3,960 £6,240 £7,200
Product Sales £19,800 £31,200 £46,000
Other £0 £0 £0
Total Sales £46,460 £68,640 £99,200
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Residential Consulting £3,405 £4,680 £6,900
Commercial Consulting £594 £936 £1,080
Product Sales £10,890 £17,160 £25,300
Other £0 £0 £0
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales £14,889 £22,776 £33,280
Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Year Buying Program 1/2/2002 1/30/2002 £560 Jill Products
Membership Strategy 2/2/2002 2/15/2002 £225 Jill Promotions
Seminar Schedule & Prep. 3/1/2002 4/1/2002 £45 Jill Marketing
Seminars 4/1/2002 5/30/2002 £540 Jill Marketing
Client Review/Analysis 6/1/2002 6/15/2002 £250 Jill Marketing
Furniture Market (High Point, N.C.) 11/10/2002 11/20/2002 £1,800 Jill Products
Year End Evaluation 12/20/2002 12/31/2002 £250 Jill & CPA Management
Totals £3,670