Acme offers the expertise a high-technology company needs to develop new product distribution and new market segments in new markets. This can be taken as high-level retainer consulting, market research reports, or project-based consulting.
3.1 Service Description
Retainer consulting: We represent a client company as an extension of its business development and market development functions. This begins with complete understanding of the client company's situation, objectives, and constraints. We then represent the client company quietly and confidentially, sifting through new market developments and new opportunities as is appropriate to the client, representing the client in initial talks with possible allies, vendors, and channels.
Project consulting: Proposed and billed on a per-project and per-milestone basis, project consulting offers a client company a way to harness our specific qualities and use our expertise to solve specific problems, develop and/or implement plans, and develop specific information.
Market research: Group studies available to selected clients at £5,000 per unit. A group study is a packaged and published complete study of a specific market, channel, or topic. Examples might be studies of developing consumer channels in France or Mexico, or implications of changing margins in software.
3.2 Competitive Comparison
The competition comes in several forms:
The most significant competition is no consulting at all, companies choosing to do business development, channel development and market research in-house. Their own managers do this on their own, as part of their regular business functions. Our key advantage in competition with in-house development is that managers are already overloaded with responsibilities, they don't have time for additional responsibilities in new market development or new channel development. Also, Acme can approach alliances, vendors, and channels on a confidential basis, gathering information and making initial contacts in ways that the corporate managers can't.
The high-level prestige management consulting: McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, etc. These are essentially generalists who take their name-brand management consulting into specialty areas. Most of these are US firms that have expanded to the UK and have offices in London and all over continental Europe. Their other very important weakness is the management structure that has the partners selling new jobs, and inexperienced associates delivering the work. We compete against them as experts in our specific fields, and with the guarantee that our clients will have the top-level people doing the actual work.
The third general kind of competitor is the international market research company: International Data Corporation (IDC), Dataquest, etc. These companies are formidable competitors for published market research and market forums, but cannot provide the kind of high-level consulting that Acme will provide.
The fourth kind of competition is the market-specific smaller house. For example: Gloucestershire Research in the United Kingdom, Select S.A. de C.V. in Mexico (now affiliated with IDC).
Sales representation, brokering, and deal catalysts are an ad-hoc business form that will be defined in detail by the specific nature of each individual case.
3.3 Sales Literature
The business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing the positioning. This brochure will be developed as part of the start-up expenses.
Literature and mailings for the initial market forums will be very important.
The key fulfilment and delivery will be provided by the principals of the business. The real core value is professional expertise, provided by a combination of experience, hard work, and education (in that order).
We will turn to qualified professionals for freelance back-up in market research and presentation and report development, which are areas that we can afford to sub-contract without risking the core values provided to the clients.
Acme Consulting will maintain the latest Windows and Macintosh capabilities including:
Complete e-mail facilities on the Internet, CompuServe, Applelink, and others for working with clients directly through e-mail delivery of drafts and information.
Complete presentation facilities for preparation and delivery of multimedia presentations on Macintosh or Windows machines, in formats including on-disk presentation, live presentation, or video presentation.
Complete desktop publishing facilities for delivery of regular retainer reports, project output reports, marketing materials, and market research reports.
3.6 Future Services
In the future, Acme will broaden the coverage by expanding into coverage of additional markets (e.g., all of Latin America, Far East) and additional product areas (e.g., telecommunications and technology integration).
We are also studying the possibility of newsletter or electronic newsletter services, or perhaps special on-topic reports.