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Strategic Choice, Business Plan Example

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Business Plan

In order to apply Porter’s differentiation strategy in the proposed business enterprise plan, it is important to target at least different aspects of uniqueness: design, brand image, features and technology.

The strategy used. Differentiation strategy is suitable for start-ups, because it eliminates the impacts of competitive rivalry and creates barriers for competition (Datta. 7). Some of the strategies, detailed by Porter include strong marketing and branding skills applied for market positioning, customer support and exclusivity. Unlike cost leadership strategy, based on aggressive pricing and standard products/services, it does not focus on competitive pricing but the uniqueness of the products/services (Datta 4).

In order to develop a marketing strategy, it is important to answer the following questions: how to capitalize on opportunities, how to circumvent the new course’s weaknesses, how to best market the strengths and manage threats. Using the TOWS strategic alternatives matrix below, the authors would like to evaluate the new course’s marketing options. The completed Ansoff’s Matrix will help the strategic team develop the market entry and pricing strategy.

The diversification process of the college would be completed through targeting a specific niche: IT professionals. Through offering flexibility of modules and courses, multiple booking discounts and this way eliminating the competition. It is important to develop a unique design for the course considering the needs of companies in order to succeed with the marketing strategy. Technology is another aspect of diversification that the college can use. While delivering the course content, the latest systems, processes and information technology tools need to be implemented. Further, customer support projects need to be implemented in order to help companies’ training and development managers decide on the courses and modules they need. Strong collaboration with customers would also help the company differentiate its services through developing the courses based on the target market’s demand.

To build upon the strengths and maximize its opportunities, it needs to diversify its product (courses). One of the main goals one of the target market segments (big companies using Cisco equipment) is to reduce IT skills gaps and get Staffs’ training is targeted to the needs of the company. If the college can provide solutions, building on existing internal strengths, it can turn them into opportunities. Likewise, the weakness of limited number of courses can be tuhrned into an advantage by tailoring the few modules to the needs of the target market and offering big companies discounts for multiple bookings. The decision therefore is to focus on large companies as a target market, instead of individual IT professionals.

Another important decision to make is to make the modules flexible and the course to be available for tailoring to need. This is in line with the differentiation strategy, and can enable the college to react to technological and industry changes better than colleges with fixed courses and schedules.

Conclusion. The use of differentiation strategy in making marketing decisions has proven to be successful and delivered several benefits, such as creating value,  increased potential brand loyalty of customers courses are tailored around businesses’ needs) and the lack of perceived substitute in a highly competitive market of CISCO courses training (Kelchner)

Works Cited

Datta, Y.  “A critique of Porter’s Cost Leadership And Differentiation Strategies Oxford Business & Economics Conference Program. 2009. Print.

Kelchner, L. “The Advantages of a Product Differentiation Strategy” n. d. Web. Viewed: 03/25/14 <http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-product-differentiation-strategy-17691.html>

Porter, M. E.  Competitive Advantage” 1985. Print.

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