The following sub-sections describe our products and services.
3.1 Product Description
The products and services discussed in section 2.0 are all geared to the demands of today's active and busy tennis player. Many tennis enthusiasts would practice more or spend more on lessons if they had the available time to devote to them. With leisure time at a premium most tennis enthusiasts (all but the most avid) seldom take lessons and many don't practice at all. The primary obstacle is work and available daylight. This forces most tennis enthusiasts to the pursuit of tennis on weekends when courts and practice facilities are most crowded. In addition, inclement weather sometimes forces tennis enthusiasts to miss play or practice on the only days they have available. Tennis Master Pro Shops will be open seven days per week, rain or shine, and until 10 or 11 PM depending on market demand.
One fear sighted by new tennis enthusiasts as an obstacle to taking lessons is the fear of embarrassment. Most tennis courts and teaching facilities are out-of-doors and wide open to the view of many. A Tennis Master Pro Shop will offer these tennis enthusiasts a more private and secure atmosphere for their instruction. Our competent and courteous instructors, as well as our advertised concept of "In Tune with Your Game" will promise training that is both fun and effective.
Information on products and services in Tennis Master's mix are included in appendix "B" (Note: This is a customer-included appendix; not part of a standard plan).
3.2 Competitive Comparison
Tennis retailing is dominated by the "discount tennis" chain stores. Examples are [name omitted], [name omitted], and [name omitted]. These stores predominately sell tennis equipment. An individual store may carry as much as £750,000 in inventory at any given time. No lessons or training are offered, and even though a partial swing analysis may be performed, rackets are not custom fitted. The rackets sold are always "off the shelf."
Our research identified scores of small businesses doing "custom racket fitting" from components. The Internet has thirty or forty companies that offer this service, some with proprietary equipment, others with "clones" of name brand rackets. The common denominator in all of these businesses is that they are local businesses, many with one retail outlet, that are attempting to do national "mail order" or "electronic marketing." They do not have the economic power or the media strength to build a national identity. Another common focus of these businesses is their focus on "price" as their marketing centerpiece. They seem to be saying "get rackets as good as these other ones for less than half the price." Certainly there is no focus on product quality, no brand loyalty, and no means of building a business identity.
Indoor tennis training, our other primary business segment, is not a new concept. Once again, there are many local businesses and some small multi-store sites in current operation. Once again, there is no national identity. Our management is aware of one previous franchising effort in indoor training. "Great Tennis Learning Centers" grew quickly to 18 stores but the franchise company was undercapitalized and, like so many franchisors, didn't really have a workable retail marketing program. Many of the stores continue in successful retail operation but the franchise is defunct.
There are currently several franchise or licensed operations in the custom fitted racket area. The two most noteworthy are [name omitted] Tennis which sells through court-side pro shops at tennis complex locations. [Name omitted] offers its own proprietary frames and the price point is high. Another new franchise is [name omitted]. [name omitted] has grown to about 40 stores mostly located in the Western U.S. at present. [Name omitted]'s marketing focus is on price. The stores are located in "outlet" retail or semi-industrial areas where rent is low. They offer ONLY custom fitted rackets (their proprietary racket frames) at low price. Because of their retail location philosophy they must be able to generate significant advertising monies in order to succeed.
More discussion is included later in this plan on competitive businesses.
Tennis Master intends to position itself as the only national chain that combines custom fitted rackets with indoor training. The training aspect is in constant demand by tennis enthusiasts. It doesn't demand inventory and the marketing task is not one of selling rackets to new tennis enthusiasts or replacement rackets to existing tennis enthusiasts. Hence, it becomes the marketing focus and the primary profit center of a Tennis Master store. Our management feels that racket sales will flow from building a training and practice base of customers, both new tennis enthusiasts and experienced ones, who can then be converted to the concept of custom fitted rackets as they come to realize that using those rackets will enhance their enjoyment of the game of tennis.
Certainly the Tennis Master concept is an identifiable one. The name of Tennis Master is perhaps the single best name in tennis retailing. Brand identity and awareness is only a function of successfully marketing our identity. More discussion of our "marketing identity" follows later in this plan.
3.3 Sales Literature
Tennis Master is currently finalizing all new product literature. This includes brochures to be used as retail as well as franchise marketing materials. There are two primary retail brochures. One concentrates on training programs, facilities, and technology. The other concentrates on custom racket fitting, concept, explanation of fitting procedures, explanation of racket components and function, and the benefits of using rackets that are fitted to the player.
The franchise marketing materials will include our flagship store in Anytown as a model. The franchise marketing materials will stress the "fun" of being in the tennis business on a full-time basis.
The primary sources for Tennis Master are as follows:
Product literature from most of these companies is included in Appendix "B" (Note: This is a customer-included appendix; not part of a standard plan).
The technologies used by Tennis Master are not patented or owned by Tennis Master. They are readily available in the marketplace. Both computer swing analysis and tennis simulation experience have been proven by others to be profitable and marketable concepts. In addition, there are several manufacturers of competing products in each segment.
The key advantage of the Computer Coach is its association with the [details omitted] name--the premier name in tennis instruction today. Also, we can store and catalogue customer's swings--a repeat marketing tool.
The simulator experience fits with training (i.e., the swing and "net" time can be transferred to the simulator to actually see the ball flight). The simulator is highly accurate with respect to ball velocity, distance, and flight path.
3.6 Future Products
Each product or service in the Tennis Master mix fills a need or demand created by:
The growing number of tennis participants.
The overcrowded conditions at current tennis facilities.
The newly created demand for tennis experience in non-traditional hours (i.e., at night, in quick day-time breaks, or in inclement weather).
The shortage of teaching pros available to non-club members or at non-traditional times.
The availability of new technologies in training methods.
The desire for privacy in instruction.
A non-threatening teaching environment.
The [details omitted].
The tennis simulator [details omitted].
Lessons are geared for individual instruction. They [details omitted].
Tennis instruction may often lead to [details omitted].