Assignment 1: To Build or Buy
1. Craft a brief strategy for a business concept that would directly compete with the small business you selected.
As an entrepreneur one must be willing to take risks and face uncertainty in order to pursue an opportunity and to make a profit (Scarborough, 2012). 7-Eleven is a very successful brand and franchise that is known worldwide. As a frequent patron of this established, an opportunity has been identified to directly compete with 7-Eleven. As a competitor in the convenience store market the establishment would be called G’s Stop N’ Go. As a direct competitor, research is necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of 7-Eleven to be able to compete and make effective decisions. From state to state and city to city 7-Eleven’s can be found everywhere are very visible and known. But based on the companies SWOT analysis a weakness that has been identified was the hacking of ATM machines that negatively impacted consumers’ loyalty (7-Eleven, Inc., 2013). FBI has investigated the case and stated that a Citibank server that processes ATM withdrawals at 7-Eleven convenience stores had been breached. ATMs hackings at 7-Eleven stores reflects the company's weak application security system (7-Eleven, Inc., 2013). To take advantage of this weakness, G’s Stop N’ Go would have industry proven application security system that are secure and up-to-date. That way customers can make purchases and use the ATM to make transaction without fear of hacking.
Next G’s Stop N’ Go must have a wide selection of products at different price points to serve a wide range of customers. Just like how a consumer can go into an 7-Eleven and make a quick purchase of what he or she is looking for G’s Stop N’ Go will do the same. One key element to differentiate G’s Stop N’ Go will be customer service. All employees will have to complete a mandatory training program with customer service being a key element. It will part of the store culture to greet all patrons with a smile and hello. If customers feel welcomed and treated well then they will return and let others know about their positive experience. While 7-Eleven might not be lacking customer service there are times when there is little to no interaction. At time the only interaction with between the customer and employee is at the register for the payment transaction. This leaves a void and potential to enhance the consumer experience and that is the goal of G’s Stop N’ Go. To always provide consistent and genuine customer service.
A key factor to the success of G’s Stop N’ Go will be location. Based on competitor research one of 7-Elevens’ key strengths is, “wide spread geographic reach adds stability to the company's revenue growth” (7-Eleven, Inc., 2013). 7-Elevens’ tend to be located on streets and intersections that have a constant flow of traffic and are right by other businesses or near shopping centers. This increases the ability to attract customers with locations in high volume areas. For example, in Springfield, VA, there are two 7-Elevens’ across the street from each other. One on Backlick Rd going South and the other going North. Both are located near the entrance of each shopping center. Due to the company being a startup it will not be possible for G’s Stop N’ Go to compete with 7-Eleven on this scale. The company’s first focus will be to establish its local brand and reputation. G’s Stop N’ Go first location must be easily accessible, visible, and in a high traffic and volume location. This will allow the company to receive a constant source of customers and establish itself in the area as a competitor.