The business plan I will be analyzing was created by the owners of Mahogany Western Wear, a retail clothing store located in Houston, Texas which will cater to the African-American cowboy community. The business plan was highly-detailed, and did a great job of explaining the purpose of starting a new business venture. “It explained the new company’s business model describing what kinds of product it will make and sell and why they will appeal to the intended customer base. It also outlined how the new venture will be able to compete successfully against their established competitors; and explained how the business owners intend to obtain, use, and organize the resources the company will need to make and sell these products”. (Jones, Introduction to Business, Pg 97)
In my review of Mahogany Western Wears business plan I was able to identify the businesses strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This essay will outline my findings, identifying where the company stands based on the four key strategic areas of SWOT to determine what changes can be made to the business model to increase their strengths and reduce the weaknesses that could harm the company.
Mahogany Western Wear will be the only African-American western apparel store in the entire city of Houston. The owners have chosen a central location near the residences and social activities of their targeted audience, African-American cowboys and cowgirls. The location of the store is essential to the long-term success of the business, and is definitely a strong point. In addition to location the store will also offer women’s plus sizes as well as men’s big and tall sizes.
During the initial startup of the business Mahogany Western Wear will offer apparel, accessories, hats, and gifts, but will not offer cowboy boots. In an area like Houston not offering boots is a definite weakness for this business. Customers will have to go elsewhere to purchase their footwear, which could be a major deterrent. Another weakness is limiting the client base to African-Americans. This makes the store more of a specialty shop, making its success dependant on the shopping habits of the target audience.
Opening a specialty shop in the heart of Houston, Texas that caters to the African-American community is a brilliant idea. This is an untapped market, and if the customer base is as prominent as the business plan states this could be a huge opportunity for the owners of Mahogany Western Wear. Offering a wide range of sizes to accommodate the plus size women and big and tall men will also set this shop a part from the competition.
Houston, Texas is home to many cowboys. There is no shortage of storefronts, novelty shops, and vendors offering Cowboy apparel. These shops pose a huge threat to the success of Mahogany Western Wears since many of them will offer the most essential item to a cowboy’s wardrobe, the cowboy boot. In order to stay relevant in this market the owners are going to have to find a way to either add footwear to their inventory, or provide an incentive for customers to shop with them. The coupons, weekly specials, and store card promotions outlined in the business plan are a great start toward building customer loyalty. Selection and pricing also pose a threat to the success of this store as the bigger brand name stores will be able to offer newer merchandise at reduced prices since they have the established clientele to move the products.
Overall I believe Mahogany Western Wears Incorporated has a good chance of being successful. While the threat from the competition will initially be a hurdle if the owners stick to their plan to heavily advertise, offer 30% off to new customers who enroll in their rewards program, cater their merchandise to the intended target audience, and increase their inventory to include cowboy boots shortly after opening, the store has the potential...
References: Clothing Retail Sample Business Plan-Market Analysis-B plans
Jones: Introduction To Business: How Companies Create Value for People (2007)
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