This ecommerce store business plan sample is focused on the flourishing online shopping industry in Charlotte, North Carolina. E-commerce can offer your business some serious advantages. It’s cheap, it’s fast, and it’s incredibly flexible but also presents some unique challenges. Our ecommerce store business plan writers created this sample.
“Q Cleaning Supplies Inc.” (herein also referred to as “Q Cleaning Supplies” and “the company”) was incorporated on January 30, 2018 by Co-Founders Brian Colt and Abby Colt. Q Cleaning Supplies is an online retailer of janitorial and cleaning supplies via Amazon, Wal-Mart and an internal ecommerce platform.
Every year companies, government agencies, organizations, educational institutions, and associations spend billions of dollars on janitorial and sanitation supplies such as cleaners, paper products, disposal bags, and janitorial equipment. Q Cleaning Supplies is set to capitalize on this opportunity and serve a multitude of organizations with prompt delivery, an array of supplies and personalized service.
In the past few years, the company has had significant success selling primarily through Amazon . This strategic plan outlines the vision for Q Cleaning Supplies in 2023 and beyond. By securing a loan of $300K through the US Small Business Administration Loan Program the company will build out a modern ecommerce store and embark on an aggressive digital marketing and sales campaign therefore diversifying revenue sources.
An outbound sales campaign involving phone calls, emails, print material, linkedin lead generation and in person will take place with relevant target customers including industrial businesses and educational institutions. Additionally, Q Cleaning Supplies will grow its customer base by conducting a digital marketing strategy through the usage of Google ads, search engine optimization (SEO), social media engagement, and social media ads.
The company will take an incremental approach to winning accounts, starting in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2023 and 2024, expanding throughout Gastonia and Cornelius in 2025, and Western America in 2026 onwards. Q Cleaning Supplies will differentiate itself through personalized service, free shipping, and complimentary discounts for first time purchases. Furthermore, Q Cleaning Supplies branded products will be manufactured to build brand equity, and to reduce the reliance on purchasing from other manufacturers in 2025 onwards.
Q Cleaning Supplies is an American online retailer of janitorial and cleaning supplies. The company is currently focused on selling via Amazon and Walmart America, and is in the process of redeveloping and relaunching its own internal ecommerce store.
A competitive analysis has been performed, and key findings suggest there is a fruitful opportunity to:
- Offer a massive selection of janitorial and cleaning supplies.
- Establish “Q Cleaning Supplies” branded products in 2025 onwards.
- Offer “first order specials” of 10% off orders.
- Sell sought after brand name products (Ex. 3M)
- Stand out by providing personalized service.
Our mission is to provide the widest selection of janitorial and cleaning supplies at scale; ensuring streamlined delivery and industry leading customer service.
Our vision is a climate where businesses and educational institutions can focus on their expertise, without having to think about the procurement of industrial supplies.
Q Cleaning Supplies is guided by the following core values:
- Respect everyone.
- Provide as much selection as possible.
- We deliver our products on time.
- Value our customers, and provide them with solutions.
- Always be on the lookout for diverse products.
- Take accountability for our actions.
- Confidently pursue our mission.
Q Cleaning Supplies has achieved the following key milestones:
|January 2018||“Q Cleaning Supplies Inc.” is incorporated by Co-Founders Brian Colt and Abby Colt.|
|December 2019||Q Cleaning Supplies becomes an authorized distributor of Armstong products|
|December 2019||Q Cleaning Supplies reaches 250K in annual sales|
|May 2020||Q Cleaning Supplies launches its own website|
|June 2020||Q Cleaning Supplies starts to offer its products and generate sales on Amazon, Walmart and eBay|
|September 2020||Q Cleaning Supplies becomes an authorized distributor of Green products|
|December 2020||Q Cleaning Supplies reaches 380K in annual sales|
|December 2021||Q Cleaning Supplies reaches 670K in annual sales|
|November 2022||Q Cleaning Supplies reaches 1M in annual sales|
|November 2022||Q Cleaning Supplies develops its 2023 Strategic Plan and applies for funding.|
This market analysis will review both the Global Commercial Cleaning Products Industry and the American Ecommerce Market.
Global Commercial Cleaning Products Industry
The global commercial cleaning products market size was valued at USD 17.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7% each year to 2028. The increasing focus on maintaining a clean and hygienic environment in commercial places plays a key role in driving global demand. In recent years, businesses have been relying on the market more than ever owing to the risk-driven situation caused by the pandemic. With the lifting of restrictions and lockdowns across countries and a return to normal day-to-day activities, the demand for these products has increased significantly, particularly from the commercial sector. Thus, players in the industry are capitalizing on these opportunities and the focus on launching more effective cleaning products.
Moreover, higher prominence toward workplace cleanliness and hygiene owing to increased productivity and corporate performance has been driving the market growth. A clean work environment helps keep workers happier and healthier, reduces the spread of germs, and limits workers’ absences due to illnesses. Researchers at Harvard and Syracuse Universities report that an improvement on just the air quality alone of a workplace can positively influence the overall performance of employees. The rising number of restaurants, hotels, and hospitals across regions has been significantly contributing to the demand for various commercial cleaning products to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. Expansion in the foodservice industry in terms of new restaurant establishments is expected to contribute to market growth.
There has been a significant rise in the demand for safe cleaning products that are free from harsh chemicals. Many cleaning products contain ammonia, which is very off-putting. In commercial places that see a large number of visitors every day, such products can hamper the overall experience of the visitors. In extreme cases, such chemicals can also cause allergies, especially among people with a sensitivity to chemical cleaning products, who may sneeze, cough, or experience watery eyes.
American Ecommerce Market Report
America is the tenth largest market for eCommerce with a revenue of US$35.5 billion in 2021, placing it ahead of Australia and behind Indonesia. With an increase of 14%, the American eCommerce market contributed to the worldwide growth rate of 15% in 2021. Just like in America, global eCommerce sales are expected to increase over the next few years. As new markets are emerging, global growth will continue over the next few years. This development will be propelled by East and Southeast Asia with their growing middle class and their lagging offline infrastructure. With a projected annual growth rate of 6% between 2021 and 2025, America is expected to grow at about the same rate as the global average (6%).
Top online stores in America
The biggest player in the American eCommerce market is amazon.us. The store had a revenue of US$9.8 billion in 2021. amazon.us is followed by walmart.us and costco.us as the second and third largest stores with US$3.8 billion and US$2.3 billion, respectively. Altogether, the top three stores account for 45% of online revenue in America.
Store rankings include every store that generates revenue in America. These stores can either have a national focus and only sell in their main country or operate on a global scale. For this evaluation, only revenue created in America was considered. One of the fastest-growing stores in the American market is muji.us. The store achieved online net sales of about US$1.5 million in 2021. Its revenue growth amounted to 311% in the previous year.
Five categories are considered by ecommerceDB. Electronics & Media is the largest segment in America and accounts for 28% of the eCommerce revenue in America. It is followed by Fashion with 27%, Toys, Hobby & DIY with 19%, Furniture & Appliances with 16%, and Food & Personal Care with the remaining 11%.
Top shipping service providers
In America, America Post is the most frequently offered delivery service provider among online stores. Of those stores indicating which service they use to transport their goods, 54% cited America Post as one of their providers. Moreover, UPS and FedEx are among the top three shipping service companies offered by online retailers in America, at rates of 25% and 17%. Shipping information is based on orders from the store’s main country, which is defined as the one where the store generates most of its online revenue. As a result, only stores that generate more net sales in America than in any other country are taken into account. Furthermore, only stores that provide information about their shipping providers can be considered.
Q Cleaning Supplies will abide by the following government regulations:
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
Organizations covered by PIPEDA must generally obtain an individual’s consent when they collect, use or disclose that individual’s personal information. People have the right to access their personal information held by an organization. They also have the right to challenge its accuracy. Personal information can only be used for the purposes for which it was collected. If an organization is going to use it for another purpose, they must obtain consent again. Personal information must be protected by appropriate safeguards. PIPEDA applies to private-sector organizations across America that collect, use or disclose personal information in the course of a commercial activity. The law defines a commercial activity as any particular transaction, act, or conduct, or any regular course of conduct that is of a commercial character. All businesses that operate in America and handle personal information that crosses provincial or national borders in the course of commercial activities are subject to PIPEDA, regardless of the province or territory in which they are based.
America Consumer Product Safety Act
The purpose of the America Consumer Product Safety Act is to protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in America. The America Consumer Product Safety Act applies to suppliers of consumer products in America, including manufacturers, importers, distributors, advertisers and retailers. The Act, which replaces Part I and Schedule I of the Hazardous Products Act, recognizes that suppliers of consumer products have an essential role to play in addressing any dangers to human health or safety that may be posed by these products in today’s global marketplace. This is a guide to the key provisions of the America Consumer Product Safety Act. The guide provides an overview of the legislation and is not intended to substitute for, supersede or limit the requirements under the legislation. In case of any discrepancy between this overview and the actual text of the legislation, the legislative text will prevail. In addition, other laws, whether federal, provincial or territorial, may also apply to the products that are covered by this law.
You have responsibilities under the America Consumer Product Safety Act if you:
- manufacture a consumer product;
- import a consumer product into America;
- sell a consumer product;
- advertise a consumer product;
- test a consumer product; or
- package or label a consumer product.
|Competitor 1:||Company A|
|Location||500 Woodcreek Rd, Charlotte, NC|
|Categories||Brooms, Brushes, and Dust Pans(1740), Cleaning Chemicals(737), Cleaning Equipment and Vacuum Cleaners(1216), Dust Mops, Dusters, and Cleaning Pads(458), Floor Care(117), Furniture Care(5), Janitorial, Carts and Supply Holders(293), Odor Control(126), Paper Products & Dispensers(244), Personal Care Products(807), Rags and Wipes(536), Receptacles and Containers(760), Recycling Equipment(6), Replacement Parts(137), Restroom Equipment(187), Trash and Waste Bags(676), Wet Mops, Squeegees, and Buckets(1274)|
|About the Company||As America’s leading industrial supplier we’re your single, convenient source for quality industrial supplies, safety solutions and facility maintenance products. We back our huge selection with outstanding service and access to experts who have the knowledge and experience to answer your toughest questions. Plus, you’ll find services and resources that truly make a difference when it comes to reducing costs and helping you get more done.|
|Differentiator||● Massive selection
● Multiple physical locations across America
● America’s “leading industrial supplier” (supplies outside of cleaning and janitorial)
● Marketing for “outstanding service”
● Marketing for “a one stop shop for the ones who build, fix, move, and maintain”
● Benefits to businesses: they can purchase an array of products from this competitor, rather than just cleaning supplies
|Competitor 2:||Company B|
|Location||100 Doe Valley Ln, Charlotte, NC|
|Categories||Anti-Static, Bags, Poly / Plastic, Barcode Labels and Printers, Boxes, Corrugated, Bubble Wrap, Carts, CDs, DVDs and Media, Cleaners, Cushioning, Peanuts and Foam, Custom Products, Damage Indicators, Desiccants, Drums, Pails and Containers, Edge Protectors, Envelopes and Mailers, Facilities Maintenance, Food Service and Packaging, Free Offers, Gloves, Janitorial Supplies, Jars, Jugs and Bottles, Labels, Markers /, Stencils, Material Handling, Mats, Moving Boxes and Supplies, Office Furniture, Office Supplies, Overstock Sale, Packing List Envelopes, Packing Tables, Personal Protective Equipment, Retail, Safety Products, Scales, Shelving, Bins and Storage, Shipping Supplies, Shrink Wrap, Store Operations, Strapping, Stretch Wrap, Tags, Tape, 3M Tape, Tubes, Uline Products, Warehouse Equipment / Supplies, Workbenches and Packing Table|
|About the Company||Company B, a family-owned business, is the leading distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials to businesses throughout North America. For over 40 years, we’ve stayed committed to providing the highest levels of service and quality products to our customers. Depend on Company B to build your business – we won’t let you down.|
|Competitor 3:||Company C|
|Location||600 Pine St Bamberg, North Carolina|
|Categories||Air Fresheners (105), Cleaning Tools (361), Cleaning Wipes, Liquids & Sprays (616), Facial Tissue (19), Floor Care (648), Garbage Bags & Bins (566), Napkins & Napkin Holders (76), Paper Towels & Dispensers (247), Recycling &, Composting (187), Restroom Fixtures (33), Soaps & Detergents (224)
Toilet Paper & Dispensers (176)
|About the Company||Company C is the leading business supplier in America, providing customers with a complete assortment of products and services, including office supplies, technology products, facility solutions, furniture, and business services.|
|Differentiator||● Full scale business solutions from selling janitorial / cleaning supplies to office supplies (desks, computers) to offering services including cleaning and replacement of goods
● Variety of products
● Staples associates working closely with businesses
● Provide services from the 10 person office, up to and including the Fortune 500 companies
● They also offer free delivery across America with their own distribution system.
Focusing on one or two categories to start
Q Cleaning Supplies will focus on selling products which are in high demand, and offered by many of its top competitors, “Safety products and supplies” and “Cleaning chemicals”. Based on the above analysis, there is an existing market for these two categories as a base in years 1 and 2.
Expansion across USA
America’s economy is 10x the size of America’s. Q Cleaning Supplies will continue Amazon sales in America and expand Amazon sales to the US in Year 3. The company will focus on establishing American ecommerce sales through years 1-3. By taking a long-term strategy which expands to the US in year 3, Q Cleaning Supplies will take an approach to rival major competitors by year 10. This is a long-term strategy which will take a great deal of work and consistent effort, but will pay massive dividends once there has been the development of retail centers, established accounts, an internal brand and US expansion is in full scale.
The importance of selection
Q Cleaning Supplies will aim towards extremely large corporate accounts. These accounts will want to purchase in bulk, have buying power (purchasing massive amounts at more competitive prices), and require speed of delivery, professionalism and punctuality in service. Additionally, the company will offer paramount selection for the 2 categories focus. The company will expand the catalog in succeeding years depending on the request of clients for additional products.
Developing a brand of products
In order to be truly competitive and self-reliant, Q Cleaning Supplies will establish its own brand of products (whether under “Q Cleaning Supplies” or a separate brand name). Firstly, this will build massive brand awareness. Next, the company will no longer be purchasing other businesses products and will be manufacturing its own brand and selling them on wholesale. Technically you should make a profit in both manufacturing and wholesaling these products. We recommend this in year 3, once further clients have been established, and a specific product group has been identified where manufacturing can take place and sales will be reached.
First order specials
To initiate marketing of its ecommerce website, Q Cleaning Supplies will launch the “5% off your first order” promo. Since the company is looking for explosive growth, this special will induce first purchase on the first visit of customers. This is one way to ensure new accounts will take the first step in working with the company upon reaching the ecommerce site. Although the company will only break even on the first purchase, winning the account for years to come is the ultimate goal.
Q Cleaning Supplies will only offer well-recognized janitorial and cleaning brands in their ecommerce website. It will be a long-term objective to continue expanding the company’s catalog of brands.
Q Cleaning Supplies will focus on every opportunity that will build true, organic relationships with clients and organizations as the business scales. The company will ensure that the personalized service it offers the clients will long be remembered and will result in a great and satisfying experience. Q Cleaning Supplies will aim to capture every opportunity to demonstrate how the company truly cares about its customers. Thus, the company will invest to continuously train employees with the best practices in customer service.
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Products and Services
Q Cleaning Supplies possesses the following competitive advantages:
The company has positioned itself in Charlotte, North Carolina to deliver localized service, whereas multiple competitors are located in outside areas. This enables Q Cleaning Supplies to provide customized service and prompt delivery. Q Cleaning Supplies has an opportunity to build true, organic relationships with clients and organizations as the business scales. People talk and good reviews about how the company takes good care of its customers will build the organization. Massive, large competitors are already mature and it can take years for them to go back and change cultural behavior to compete with smaller businesses’ personalized approach, therefore presenting an opportunity for Q Cleaning Supplies.
First order specials
To build a customer base on the company website, Q Cleaning Supplies will offer a 5% discount on all first time purchases. An advertisement on all social media and other platforms about this offer will be circulated continuously to bring in customers to visit the company website. Q Cleaning Supplies is looking for explosive growth, and this is one way to ensure new accounts take the first step in working with the company upon reaching the ecommerce site. The company may only break even on the first purchase but winning the account for years to come is the primary objective of this marketing strategy.
Heightened Customer Service Experience
Q Cleaning Supplies will live out its core values of making customers a priority. The company will assign a dedicated customer service team who will proactively communicate product specifications, instructions for proper and effective use, reminders for things to avoid, guide for treatment of injuries, if any, and a call-back number for any other concerns. This marketing strategy will build the trust of customers to both the products and the company that will reinforce positive customer relations and customer loyalty.
Key Success Factors
The following table outlines Q Cleaning Supplies key success factors:
|Key Success Factors||Indicators|
|Products||● Extensive product selection from reputable and trusted brands of safety products and supplies, and cleaning chemicals.
● Excellent and reliable suppliers and fulfillment companies.
|Customers||● Established strong reputation throughout the GTA’s community through word of mouth and goodwill.
● Sustained customer growth in Charlotte, North Carolina.
● Excellent rate of return clients and referrals, building customer loyalty.
|Finance||● Strong relations with vendors to acquire products at lower costs on a regular basis.
● Profit margins increase annually specially for the first three years of operation.
● Reach $3M in revenue during the first three years of operation.
|Human Resources||● Driven leadership focused on expanding, training and developing the workforce to ensure delivery of excellent and sustained customer service.
● Additional staff hired within two years to increase overall capacity for sales, marketing and digital media.
|Marketing and Business Development||● Design of the Q Cleaning Supplies website has a user-friendly interface, optimized for search engines.
● SEO, content marketing, social media, and advertisements are in place and consistent.
● The Q Cleaning Supplies website is complete, responsive, and secure for e-commerce transactions.
● The ecommerce website is mobile-friendly.
● Strong and consistent social media presence across different sites, generating leads and driving traffic to the ecommerce website.
● Leads are generated from all offline and online marketing activities.
● Email marketing campaigns are effective and converted to sales output.
Sales and Marketing Plan
Q Cleaning Supplies has identified its target customers, relevant channels and key performance indicators in this section.
The following list outlines the company’s target customers:
Industrial Cleaning Companies
Industrial cleaning services are specialized cleaning services catering to industrial facilities, such as factories and manufacturing facilities, self-storage buildings, warehouses and power plants. It entails performing thorough, consistent and specialized cleaning methods using special tools by a professional commercial cleaning service company. The key driver for this industry is the increasing awareness about hygiene at the workplace, workplace sustainability and employee wellness.
These companies offer services as follows:
- Cleaning, stripping, refinishing and sealing of floors, vinyl, stone, ceramic, and commercial polished concrete floors
- Heavy-duty equipment cleaning
- Industrial carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Window and glass cleaning
- Commercial power washing services and loading dock cleaning
The major challenges the industrial cleaning services industry face are the high turnover rate of employees, the fierce competition in the market, and the increasing costs of running the business.
Malls / Retail
The retail industry consists of all businesses that sell goods and services to consumers such as groceries, convenience stores, discount stores, brick-and-mortar businesses, department stores, DIY, electrical and speciality. This industry is beginning to bounce back despite the growth of the ecommerce retail business. The American Retail Outlook 2022 report states that 77% of retailers are optimistic about revenue growth and 93% are confident in their ability to hit growth targets. Most retailers are looking at resetting physical stores for an omnichannel setup to keep up with the demand of consumers.
North Carolina boasts of its first-rate shopping options. There are a large number of malls offering convenience and a good selection of brand name products. Eclectic boutiques, funky vintage shops, antique stores and row after row of quirky, one-of-a-kind stores are everywhere which indicates North Carolina’s support for local businesses. The most recommended malls and shopping centers are as follows:
Commercial Laundry Businesses
The commercial laundry services industry is gaining popularity owing to its reliability and technological advancements. It has saved workers and individuals the stress of having to deal with work, business, laundry and family all at the same time. People began appreciating the business due to the following:
- It saves water and decreases water bills.
- Professionals can take care of delicate linens using the right washing chemicals.
- It is a stress reliever as it lessens one’s worry about piling laundry in their homes specially for working professionals.
- It is affordable and cost effective as services often include delivery at your doorstep in a well packaged and organized manner.
- It can produce a great clean and sanitized linen with the use of innovative facilities and equipment that aids cleaning.
Education: Colleges / Schools
The Toronto education sector is one of the city’s largest employers, with 1,400 educational establishments and related businesses and more than 100,000 employees. This industry is categorized as follows:
- Universities and Colleges
- Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Private Career Colleges
- Language Schools
Hospitals / Medical Centres
The market size of the hospital industry in America is expected to increase by 2.7% in 2022. It is continuously evolving with the dawn of digital healthcare. The public sector funds 70% of America’s healthcare system and the remainder by the prices sector. The Hospital Industry in the country, which registers a $69.2B revenue for 2022, includes general medical and surgical hospitals that maintain beds and also provide outpatient and pharmacy services.
Some of the major pain points of the healthcare industry in America are wait times, availability or accessibility, shortage of doctors and staff, aging population, high cost of care, quality of care and healthcare coverage.
Q Cleaning Supplies will utilize the following key channels to reach its target market.
Q Cleaning Supplies Website
The company will upgrade its company website to attract customers by launching the 5% first time user and sign up promo. It will also enhance customer experience in their ecommerce website by improving the access to information about the company and its products through the use of blogs or videos. It will also add links to marketing content from other social media postings. An email signup box will also be added to ensure that a customer database will be obtained.
Social Media Marketing
As populations become more reliant on the internet and social media, usage of online networks rises, and user numbers continue to increase. Social media usage in America has experienced years of constant growth, and the number of social network users in the country now stands at 34.47 million. America has a social network penetration rate of 89 percent, making it one of the world’s most connected online populations.
Q Cleaning Supplies will use social media channels to build its customer base. This will include platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, and YouTube. Short videos will be posted regularly on Stories and Reels to effectively engage its customers to the type of products it offers, how to use the products and other video themes. In the HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Survey, they found that more than half of marketers (51%) use short-form videos to increase their investment in 2022. Meanwhile, 38% plan to continue investing the same amount. Also, short-form videos have the highest ROI out of any social media marketing strategy as 30% of social media marketers plan to invest in it more than any other trend in 2022.
Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads
An online advertising model in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time an advertisement link is “clicked” on. Alternatively, PPC is known as the cost-per-click (CPC) model. The pay-per-click model is offered primarily by search engines (e.g., Google) and social networks (e.g., Facebook). The business will link PPC ads to Q Cleaning Supplies’ website. This includes the set up on Google, Facebook, Instagram and relevant social media sites. Sponsored ads are placed on these sites for prospects to view (as impressions) and click (as click throughs).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of making a website rank high in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a certain keyword. This allows content to be visible and accessible to those searching for the term, or something similar to it. Q Cleaning Supplies will rely on this marketing channel, optimizing keywords such as “personal protective equipment”, “safety supplies”, “cleaning supplies”, and the like. Pay-per-click advertising can also be integrated in the overall marketing strategy of the company.
Email marketing is a highly effective channel for Q Cleaning Supplies to increase the lifetime value of customers. When customers first buy, the company will put them into an email cadence which will ensure they are contacted about future promotions, events, and other key information from the company. This can also be repurposed in other marketing channels. The email list will be a critical aspect of the company communication, and not only customers, but prospects will have the option to subscribe for product updates and other educational content.
Institutional Partnerships and Affiliations
Q Cleaning Supplies will visit and pitch the products to top retailers and events across Charlotte, North Carolina. This will be an opportunity to reconnect and strengthen relationships with existing buyers. Partnerships with industry experts such as industrial cleaners and other business partners will also be established to help promote the company and its products.
Collaborations with Organizations
ISSA America is the newly-formed body resulting from the merger of ISSA with the American Sanitation Supply Association (ASSA). ISSA America is a non-profit corporation originally established as CSSA in 1957 and registered under the America Corporation Act. The association represents member companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution and sales of sanitary maintenance products and services. The purpose of the ISSA America is to provide a high degree of professionalism, technical knowledge and business ethics within its members. Representing the leading product and service providers in the industry, the association promotes a greater public awareness and understanding of sanitary maintenance principles, while contributing to improved public health and environmental awareness in America. Q Cleaning Supplies will collaborate with ISSA America to gain access to valuable benefits that will improve its operations, boost its bottom line, and expand the business network.
Key Performance Indicators
Q Cleaning Supplies have identified several key performance indicators to measure the success of the company as follows:
|Key to Success||Indicators|
|Service and Customers||● 100% satisfaction rate of customers, resulting in return business and word-of-mouth referrals and strong customer loyalty.
● New customers through referrals, website, and social media leads.
|Financial Performance||● Sustained revenue growth during the first three years reaching the $5.5M mark.
● Positive cash flow and financial performance each year.
● Increased sales from an effective 5% sign-up sale promo.
● Strong e-commerce sales generated via a convenient and secure website, with optimized product pages for search engines.
|Human Resources||● Brian and Abby Colt are directly engaged in the business.
● Job vacancies are filled over time to meet intended marketing and sales capacity.
● Adequate hours of mentoring, training, re-training and development of all staff.
● Low employee turnover and high employee satisfaction.
|Marketing, Advertising and Website||● Q Cleaning Supplies website is effective, responsive, secure, informative, mobile-friendly and visible across search engines, social media and other platforms.
● Marketing campaigns drive traffic to the website.
● Strong social media presence with regular promotions, greetings, and announcements.
● Leads generated from all offline and online marketing activities, particularly on the ecommerce website and social media.
● Effective email marketing campaigns that convert sales and a high percentage of units sold per customer.
● Strong and responsive customer service via the website, phone hotlines, and chat functions on social media.
|Regulatory, Health and Safety||● All business regulations and permits are complied with and updated.
● Website data is secure and stored properly, in accordance with American data privacy laws.
● Collaboration with cleaning industry associations to develop overall business integrity by obtaining certifications.
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Q Cleaning Supplies have formulated a SWOT Analysis to identify and analyze the organization’s strengths and weaknesses (internal factors), and opportunities and threats (external factors). This tool will help the company in establishing business strategies, as well as prioritizing business activities.
● Management team’s experience in the field
● Competitive advantage
● Attention to customer service
● Strong branding
● Strong business strategy
● Requirement for capital
● Small team, need to hire more staff and middle management
● Inefficient processes
● Minimal digital presence
● Undefined company culture
● Expansion into a new location, or a new product / service
● Receiving government grants
● Offering online courses
● Developing a franchise model
● Purchasing a competitor
● New players in the market
● An economic crisis
● Competing technology
● Potential lawsuits
● Market consolidation
Q Cleaning Supplies aims to generate sales income outside Amazon America. Although Amazon sales have resulted in positive revenues, the company believes that additional sources and venues will expand the business. To do this, the company will progress to develop a more efficient and attractive company website that will drive new customers to visit, engage and buy their products. Further, Q Cleaning Supplies will expand by reaching out to B2B accounts and establish a continuous and profitable relationship with them.
The company is primarily geared towards increasing traffic on their ecommerce websites and building their B2B customers. The operational process for enhancing a B2C online marketplace and establishing B2B wholesale markets involves the following:
Build the e-commerce technology
To generate income from the company website, Q Cleaning Supplies will build their e-commerce technology that will properly maintain the website 24/7. The enhancements/additions and backroom support needed are:
- Order Management and New Customer Sign Up System (Customer information is shown side-by-side with the shopping cart)
- Inventory Management focusing on 2 product categories to be sold on the website that are in high demand (Safety products and supplies, and Cleaning chemicals)
- Regular marketing campaigns such as promos and offers to help increase sales and revenues on the website and social media platforms (Setting up the 5% first-order discount on the website and free shipping for orders over $500)
- Management of reviews and comments on social media sites
- Active response to customer queries or complaints set-up
- Data Privacy Laws compliance check
- Infrastructure Maintenance
Create an engaging website
Q Cleaning Supplies will create an attractive online website that doesn’t just feature their products but is also a knowledge-base site where business-related blogs and articles will be featured regularly. A dedicated team of graphic designers and website content writers will be assigned to consistently update the website materials.
Additional Payment Options, Structure and Certification
The company will enhance the website payment options by adding terms of payment for loyal customers. Likewise, online payment transactions will be guaranteed by providing customers with an assurance that their payments are safe. This involves engaging with Accreditation certificates like Network Solutions, McAfee and other trusted companies to add a sense of security to customers.
Logistic Platform Enhancements
Logistic platforms must be established. Q Cleaning Supplies will improve its storage, warehousing, and materials handling to ensure a systematic in-house model for order fulfillment. It intends to purchase additional warehouse equipment and a delivery truck that are essential for order fulfillment at the shortest possible time. Alongside these physical expansion, the company will upgrade its warehouse information and control.
Direct B2B Transactions
In order to increase profitability, direct B2B transactions will be mobilized. A marketing and sales team will be created to actively reach out to the identified target customers such as hotels, restaurants, commercial laundry businesses, industrial cleaning companies, shopping malls, hospitals and medical centers.
Health & Safety
Q Cleaning Supplies is an online platform and has limited direct contacts with its customers. Most coordinations are done online using various communication tools. Standards for health and safety will be applied for face-to-face activities with its B2B customers. In addition, the company will ensure that its supplier-partners adhere to the America Consumer Product Safety Act. Q Cleaning Supplies will exclusively offer products of excellent quality from reputable brands to be assured of its safety and compliance to American laws.
Equipment & Inventory
Q Cleaning Supplies will keep an inventory of the products sold on the Amazon website and their ecommerce store. However, the company intends to acquire additional investment for new equipment and inventory below.
Equipment and Inventory List
● Delivery Truck
● E-commerce platform
● Digital Payment System Contracts and Systems
|● Business and Software License
● ISP Connection
● Servers and Backup System Development
● Domain Registry
The company is located at 100 Stephens Ave. Charlotte, North Carolina. Stephens Ave. is an industrial area with a mix of retail, office and warehouse facilities. It is located in the north of Toronto and has proximity to major highways and Cityland shopping mall. This location offers easy access to public transport, transits, highways and amenities which is advantageous to the company.
Charlotte is the capital city of North Carolina and is the most populous city in America and the fourth most populous city in America. It is growing rapidly at the rate of 4.3% annually and has close to 3.8 million residents. The city is an international center for business, finance, arts, sports and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is home to the North Carolina Stock Exchange, the headquarters of America’s five largest banks, and the headquarters of many large American and multinational corporations. Its economy is highly diversified with strengths in technology, design, financial services, life sciences, education, arts, fashion, aerospace, environmental innovation, food services, and tourism. North Carolina is the third-largest tech hub in America after New York City, and the fastest growing.
E-commerce has become an essential service and a viable alternative to most businesses. However, along with this growth, certain risks evolved as well. Q Cleaning Supplies has developed a risk management program to identify the key risks and respective mitigation strategies.
|Defective Products||Third party products being sold on the company’s ecommerce site are defective, malfunctioning or do not perform as they are advertised.||Q Cleaning Supplies will establish clear contracts with all third party brands and customers, which removes any liability from Q Cleaning Supplies. Furthermore, the company will make a best effort to only sell top performing products and brands which maintain strong business and product ethics.|
|Rising Costs||Prices of raw materials may rise due to inflation or economic downturn.||Q Cleaning Supplies aims to build healthy vendor relationships and work with them to understand ways to cut costs. The company will maintain a strong relationship with suppliers and purchases will be made in bulk to lower costs.|
|Supply Chain Disruptions||Natural disasters, regional conflicts and other unforeseen events may happen and cause supply chain disruptions.||Q Cleaning Supplies will establish operating rules related to all supply chain interventions and contingency management. The operating rules will analyze what-if scenarios and clearly outline action plans for each scenario. Likewise, the company will create a tracking system of its delivery partners and ensure that disruptions are addressed immediately.|
|Cheaper Alternatives in the Market||With a market full of similar businesses, companies offer big discounts to attract customers.||The company will strengthen its vendor relationship to ensure that pricing of products are competitive. Q Cleaning Supplies will also capitalize on the high quality and effective results of their products to differentiate them from the cheaper brands.|
CEO / Co-Founder
Mr. Brian Colt started Q Cleaning Supplies in 2018 and manages all resources and operations. He developed the company’s strategic goals, actionable business objectives and departmental budgets that align with their short and long-term plans. On a daily basis, he measures and analyzes current and potential new revenue streams, offerings, and relationships to optimize business growth and revenue strategy. Moreover, he develops cost-benefits analysis for multiple scenarios and business areas, strategizes procurement venues for all products managed by the organization and oversees business development planning and implementation. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s in Business Administration to further his knowledge and business acumen, his goal is to continue to enhance the company’s strategic plans and financial progression. His extensive entrepreneurial experience leading profitable organizations for over 11 years and professional background in the project management field have helped him develop strong leadership skills and extraordinary managerial abilities.
Mr. Colt founded X Company in 2008 and successfully operated the business until 2014 when he moved to America. He oversaw tasks like import/export negotiations, vendor relationship management, customer service engagements, financial controls and administrative duties. He oversaw the entire distribution chain of IT and general office supplies for several high-profile clients. His success was directly related to his ability to handle cost-benefit analysis, assessment of potential parallel plans of action and implementation of complex projects for his clients.
In 2014 he continued his flourishing career as a Project Manager supporting large scale infrastructure projects within the banking industry, by 2016 he had joined Westbank and continued to rise through the ranks within his area of expertise. He developed and implemented several projects that managed multiple internal and external cross-functional teams, work schedules, and project change requests. Mr. Colt continued to accumulate experience within the project management discipline by joining TD Bank in 2018; as a senior figure overseeing the successful implementation of 15 initiatives from inception to closure. His latest tenure at Scotiabank started in 2021 and involves direct control over the evolution of complex highly budgeted projects.
Co-Founder / General Administrator
Ms. Abby Colt brings with her a wealth of experience in administrative management, business procurement and project execution in directing Q Cleaning Supplies. She is currently in charge of vendor relationship management, customer support engagements, inventory control and project management of large-scale initiatives within the company. In addition, she completed international business studies in 2013 and project management certification training in 2017. To further enhance her knowledge in the business field, she also completed a bachelor’s in business administration in 2018.
Ms. Colt worked as an Administrator and Purchasing Manager for several companies in Venezuela’s main financial city. She managed day to day operations, performed bookkeeping and accounting tasks, managed payroll, hiring processes and ensured government compliances. She was also in-charge of vendor relationship, purchasing and supply inventory systems and controls.
Ms. Colt moved to America and was employed by C-Point International as an Executive Administrator for more than 5 years. Aside from her executive support functions, she was tasked to oversee vendor management and support other financial processes such as budget, contracts, purchase orders and other similar duties. She progressed in her career and currently provides high level executive support for Gen-Suite elements at companies with presence in numerous countries.
Q Cleaning Supplies will prioritize the recruitment of the following key personnel for its expansion:
The Manager will oversee operational activities at every level of the organization. Duties include ensuring the quality of company’s products and services meet or exceed customer expectations. The position will also be tasked to strategize process improvements and system controls, manage vendor relationships, and establish customer support mechanics. Administrative tasks include hiring and training of employees, managing quality assurance programs, and payroll management.
The Marketing Lead will implement marketing and advertising campaigns and strategies by assembling and analyzing sales forecasts, preparing marketing and advertising strategies according to consumer behavior and trends, and planning and organizing promotional activities. The Marketing Lead will work closely with the Sales Lead in measuring sales generated from all marketing activities. The position will also be tasked to manage the company website, social media accounts and LinkedIn by ensuring that content is regularly generated and updated. He will also act as an SEO specialist who will identify strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the number of visitors to the website and obtain a high-ranking placement in the results page of search engines to generate more leads for the business.
The Sales Lead is the principal point of contact between the business and its customers. This position will be tasked to develop client relationships. It will also identify new markets and customer leads and manage their requirements and communication. It will also analyze sales data and provide insights to the team on how to drive sales and increase profitability. The Sales Lead will also work on achieving and exceeding sales targets of the company through B2B sales channels.
The Warehouse Lead will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company’ warehouse and its staff. This position will manage the company’s inventory by promptly and accurately recording movement of products in and out of the warehouse. He is also tasked to ensure that products are properly handled, stored and labeled. He will also be responsible for the cleanliness and housekeeping of the warehouse facility.
To recruit marketing, sales, and warehouse lead personnel, Mr. Colt will adopt the following recruitment strategies:
Hiring from professional networks
Mr. Colt will start expanding Q Cleaning Supplies by identifying top talent from his previous and current work. Having worked with several companies, he will consider previous colleagues with whom he has familiarity working with. With the business scaling up fast, Mr. Colt will rely on its networks in finding talent, whether active or passive candidates, who will fit in the operations and culture of the company.
Recent data suggests that there are approximately 19 million LinkedIn users in America which represents 49.4% of its entire population. The largest group out of this number are people aged between 25 to 34 (11M). As the top social media platform for business professionals, Mr. Colt will post the three job vacancies on the website and screen the top applicants. This is a cost effective method of recruiting talent. LinkedIn can also be used to establish business relationships with suppliers, affiliates, and endorsers.
Once the core positions are filled up, Q Cleaning Supplies will discover up and coming local talent by opening the company to internships and placements. The company will post on campus online job boards, as well as attend career fairs for those interested in working in the cleaning supplies industry, whether in marketing or logistics.
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