Academic Enhancement Services to Students

Overview

New products, that are to be presented to the consumers or end-users in the market, need to be introduced into the market in a way that will attract the consumers; either to buy or enquire more about the product to buy in the future. The new products require being unique and differentiated from other similar products in the market. A product can’t succeed in the market if introduced without proper marketing and sales techniques. To make the new products to be unique in the market, they require unique branding, packaging, and names that are not yet in use by other products of the same nature. In doing marketing, the company builds value in its new products and also services to both existing and potential customers. It is also a process through which customer relationship is built and maintained; the whole process of marketing is actually meant to establish the products’ brand image in public. Introducing a new product in the market requires that a well-designed marketing plan is put in place. every firm, whether proving service or goods or both must get into contact with the potential customers and promise to offer the best of products (Lake para 1-7).

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The Product Name

The new product shall be called Tuxcel. The product’s brand mark will consist of a drawing showing a student holding a pen and a book in front of her. Under the brand mark will appear the motto “Striving for Excellence”. The choice of the name is informed by the fact that the firm will be offering academic enhancement services to students. Part of the name is truncated from the word “Tuition” and the last part is derived from the word Excellent. This gives the true notion that the company services are meant to achieve excellence from tuition services. The firm’s trade character will be the image of a student with a broad smile while holding a report form on which grades. As lie against all the subjects; at the top of the form the words “Excellent performance” are printed. This will appear in the entire firm’s premises, billboards will be prepared and erected along the major streets and all the advertisement fliers will also bear this (Igor, para 1 and 2).

Market Analysis and Target Market

Tuxcel has come up with a database of clients who are ready to start buying the firm’s tuition services. The demographics of the potential clients indicate that most of the clients come from middle and high-income families. Most of them are those who want to excel in their academics and therefore would like to spend extra cash outside their normal school fees in order to gain more than what they get from the school context, this is derived from Hague (23-37). The research study also indicates that most of the clients have computers in their families and are willing to get our services online without the need to come to our premises. Some very many students would like to enrich their education and learning experience; however, the research done indicates that the market segment is not yet exploited and that there are not many firms offering tuition services. There are very many students in the various geographic locations who would like to benefit from our tuition services. Most of them are willing to pay not less than $20 per month per subject; this depends on the number of subjects a student will be willing to take. But more than 60% have expressed their willingness to take more than four subjects (Ward, para 5-7). This will be a great source of revenue for the expansion of the firm to cover a wider geographical region. The firm will start with students around the operational center and with increased revenue, expand to other geographical locations. The approximate initial number of clients is 978 students; this number is set to increase depending on the expansion rate of the firm’s services. The company has kept all the profiles of promising locations to ease expansion in the future.

According to the research, amongst the surveyed potential clients, 80% concurred that tuition outside school can help improve the quality of their education. The general trend in the tuition industry is that most providers of tuition services do it in their own homes; nonetheless, they are not able to handle the growing demand for extra academic activities by students. The research indicates that the high demand for tuition and the availability of inadequate tutors has maintained tuition fees very high. This cannot be affordable for many of those who would like to get extra tuition outside the school. The high demand for extra tuition is explained by;

  1. Big numbers of students in a normal class setting at school do not allow teachers to pay close attention to individual students, especially the most academically needy ones. The teachers are also not able to administer class assessments on regular basis hence making it difficult to gauge a student’s performance. This will also help the firm to enjoy economies of scale (Jackson 67-98)
  2. Many students are slow learners at school, but due to large numbers of students per class, they are not able to seek personalized attention from the teacher. Moreover, these kinds of students are never at the same academic level as the rest of their fellow students taking into consideration, the syllabus coverage.
  3. The tuition fees charged in most schools are exorbitant and cannot be afforded by most of the firm’s clients who happen to come from low-income class. Our firm has relatively low charges and can be paid in lower installments as compared to a normal school requirement.
  4. During school vacations, many students idle at home and are not involved much with academic activities. Many parents would like to seek ways and means of engaging their children in serious academic activities during the vacation period. The firm has one of the best learning environments (The Situationist Staff, para 1-5).
  5. High competition amongst students at school. The research study done by the firm shows that many students who want to be the best and remain in their classes in terms of performance are willing to get extra tuition outside the school routine (Dionne, para1).

The Tuxcel will establish a big library and several classrooms equipped with full school apparatus for learning. It is expected that this will attract more students to seek tuition services from the firm.

However, it is worth noting that some students expressed optimism about tuition as a form of enhancing the quality of education. The interviewed students expressed pessimism after they spent their parents’ finances on tuition but ended up performing even poorer in their academic work. This is likely to be one of the challenges that the firm will face once it starts dealing with clients. This notion was supported by some parents who also complained that tuition services have never improved the academic performance of their children; some of them said they will not be ready to spend on tuition again; that their children will only get academic services from schools alone (Yont 78).

Competitive Analysis

The competitors of the firm are other firms that offer similar academic services. There are already three competitors which are already operational in the market. They are direct competitors since they offer exactly identical services to students. However, the competitors are not yet fully established in the market. The top three competitors with well-established facilities are After School Engagements, My Best Practices and On Top. These top three competitors get an average of $10,714 per month. Their students are allowed to either go back for lunch or pay an extra $88 so that they can be provided with lunch within the institution. However, these firms experience low turnout during school working periods since students spend the better part of their time in school and always have homework to do before the next school day. We estimate that the three major competitors hold over 80% of the market share, the other 20% is held by the individuals and small and upcoming firms which do not enjoy many competitive advantages. The amount of the market share held by the three firms can be explained by the fact tuition services have not been properly explored as business prospects. There is a great imbalance between the clients and the available services providers. This is most common during school vacation periods.

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The firms have book loaning strategies in which students are registered electronically; their details are stored in the main server. The students are only registered after they pay a library membership fee of $13 per month. They also lend books to registered students up to a maximum of three books for one week. Each student is expected to have his or her own stationery for use during the tuition period. This has made it expensive for some parents to afford to pay for their children’s tuition fees. We also discovered that amongst all the three firms, not even one of them accepts installments. This makes them operate like typically strict schools where teachers insist all students must pay all the school fees to remain in class. This has left out many of the students who might have dropped out of school due to a lack of sufficient school fees; such students can no longer afford education. A keen study has revealed to us that most of the firms do not have sufficient staff to cater to the growing number of students seeking tuition services. However, the few staffs are highly qualified and competent. Most of them are drawn from best-performing schools. This is what attracts most clients. Even though they do not have sufficient staff for the high number of clients, their students have always registered impressive improvements in their academic work at school. This is a great challenge to our firm since we have just recruited fresh college graduates whose experiences may not match the staff of the already established firms. The firm is therefore faced with the challenge of rivaling the competitors in terms of giving quality tuition services to the clients.

Regulatory and Other Environmental Analysis

Offering academic services outside the school environment is recognized by the national statutes. Even though there have not been many firms offering tuition services, the government is not against it. However, it is required that the institutions or firms offering academic-related services be registered with the department of education; such firms are not allowed to deal in other business activities unrelated to education; in specific such firms should not allow sales of alcoholic drinks or any form of drugs that can be misused by the students seeking tuition services. The statutes also require that the firms should keep proper records of all the students who seek tuition services with them. These regulations are likely not negatively impact the firm’s operations unless the firm violates some of the specifications in the national statutes.

The competitive environment will also be a factor that will have a direct influence on the operations of the firm. In cases where the firm’s academic services will be very low in terms of affordability, there is likely to be a business conflict with the competitors who may complain of unfavorable competition from our firm. But then the competitive environment is also likely to get tough and high since the already established competitors are already enjoying economies of scale. The firm needs more resources to favorably compete with the other firms.

The business will operate in an environment where its activities will be influenced by political, economic and technological factors. The members of the political class are the ones who come up with new legislation and amend the existing ones. Any new legislation or modification of the already existing ones is likely to have an impact on the operation of the firm. The legislative changes, whether positive or negative, will require that the firm must also change its operations to conform to the changes. The economic condition at a given time is also a factor that may affect the operations of the firms. It is anticipated that the firm is likely to experience a reduced number of clients during periods of economic recessions or inflation. However, during normal economic conditions, the firm is likely to experience increased growth and possible expansion. When it comes to technological factors, the firm is prepared to adopt the use of the internet with students who have fully networked computers at home. This is likely to reduce congestion in the firm’s premises. However, any form of internet breakdown may affect the firm’s services to our clients.

Product Strategies

The firm will use different product strategies to attract as many clients as possible. These will make use of both price-based strategies and that of product differentiation. These help the firm to have some competitive advantages over other similar firms already in the market. In using a price-based strategy, the firm will use a pricing system that is affordable to all clients who will be seeking tuition services from our firm. The clients will be offered different packages of services that they will be at liberty to choose to depend on their ability to choose. The fee payable will be broken down into several installments as may be required by the clients. However, the total amount will be appropriately going up pegged on the period requested for payment by the clients. The firm’s pricing system will be designed in such a manner that once the fee is paid, it is inclusive of library services and the cost of stationery which will be provided to clients by the firm. The fee will also be inclusive of lunch for the students who will be coming from far. The firm has established an agreement with a transport company to pick clients from their homes and drop them back at a low-cost bus fare. For clients who will have stayed with the firm for a long period and those who will bring to the firm new clients, they will be given a discount of 10% of the total cost of tuition. This pricing system will enable the company to have more competitive advantages over the competitors who are already in the market (Kerin 23-27).

The firm will also adopt the use of product differentiation. In this case, the firm is planning to offer more services to clients so as to make our tuition services unique as compared to those of other tuition firms. The firm will be giving stationeries to clients who will be going back to school and where necessary, it will buy uniforms for excellent performers in the firm’s internal exams. Unlike all other tuition firms, Tuxcel will offer tuition services to all grades, high school and college students. This will be ensured by hiring highly qualified tutors who will be flexible enough to handle students even at a personal level. The firm will also make use of the internet in providing tutorial services to students who may not be able to come to the firm’s learning center. Our program will also include allowing adults to come and use our library facilities at affordable rates. These packages will allow all students at different levels of study and from the same families to learn at one center. The firm hopes that this strategy will attract as many clients as its learning centre can accommodate. Some students cannot afford to pay school fees. The firm plans to get into agreement with schools in order to register such students for final exams them the firm will be offering tuition services to such students at a lower cost than the schools. This will act as the firm’s corporate social responsibility and hence enhance our public relations. This will be a product meant for those who cannot afford to regularly pay school fees.

The company is also cognizant of the fact that most schools do not provide proper academic facilities for disabled students. The company has planned to have a program that will be dealing with the disabled. Educational facilities will be established to cater to the blind, dumb and deaf, physically disabled, and mentally retarded students. These kinds of services are not provided by the already dominant tuition firms in the market. Our product differentiation will also involve using the firm’s logo on all products. The stationery to be given to clients will bear our logo. Clients will also be issued with a free tee-shirt bearing the firm’s logo. This will also apply to the company’s vehicles and buildings.

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Promotional Strategies

Promotion of products is one of the most important means of introducing products in the market. It is a process of communicating the availability of products in the market. Tuxcel will also be concerned with introducing its services in the market in order to create demand. The firm will use a market mix of promotional strategies that will ensure its products are well received amongst the potential clients. The following will be the Promotional strategies used by the firm (Kerin 45-89):

  1. Advertising: the firm is planning to use advertising media like televisions, radios, direct mail, newspapers and magazines. The firm is willing to spend money on advertising because it is one of the most effective ways to publicize the tuition products of the firm. The firm will contract the best advertising company possible to take charge of Tuxcel advertisements.
  2. Public relations: this will involves creating a good image in the public domain. All the firm’s workers and tutors will be trained on how to deal with clients and all other stakeholders without necessarily losing their trust. To achieve this, the firm has a public relations department that will be dealing with all issues affecting clients and all the stakeholders. To ensure good relations with the public, the firm will also engage in community activities through corporate social responsibilities. It will sponsor several activities such as campaigns against HIV/AIDS and environmental forums.
  3. Sales promotion: the firm will offer discounts for the first 100 students to register for tuition services and also to those who will bring friends and relatives to be part of the firm’s clients. For the first six months of operations, the firm will allow registered clients to use its library services for free, but only after they have paid membership registration fees and issued with electronic library cards.
  4. Direct Mail: since the firm will be complementing the schools, the firm will send direct mails to headteachers and ask them to recommend our firm to their students for tuition services. This will reach as many students as possible. The firm will seek to establish a database of all the school’s contacts so as to make mailing easy and cheap. Since this is a personalized form of promotion, Tuxcel expects to get many clients within a short period of time and thereafter expects the number to be on gradual growth. The direct mails will also be sent to many people whose contacts the firm already has in its database.
  5. Personal selling: in using Personal selling as a marketing strategy, the firm will first engage itself in prospecting for potential customers. We will send our marketing executives to do this in the field. The prospecting process will also involve establishing business potential. After prospecting, depending on the findings, the firm will make the first contact with the potential clients using letters, telephone calls, and direct emails to persuade them to choose our tuition services. In the process of making contacts, the firm’s representatives will be convincing the potential clients of the benefits of buying tuition services with the firm.

Distribution Strategies

The firm expects to roll out its services to the whole of the nation. It will therefore use a strategy that will ensure its services reach most parts within a very short time. Since tuition services are not yet well established within the whole nation, it will not be costly to establish other branches in different parts of the country. This is because there are ready clients in the market. The firm will embark on a project of opening its branches in different regions to cater to clients in those areas. The firm will mainly focus on the areas occupied by clients from low-income families. This will even reduce the cost of our services as they will be provided at local levels. The company has also plans of building several libraries in several centers so as to serve clients from those centers without necessarily having to travel to the main learning center.

Since it may not be easy to finish establishing subsidiary learning centers in all regions, the firm is planning to get into agreements with other learning institutions to allow the firm to use its premises and facilities during vacation periods. The firm has agreed to get into negotiations with schools and other institutions of learning to map out how the firm will pay the authorities in charge of the institutions. At a later stage, the firm will introduce the use of mobile classes; buses will be modified and equipped with learning materials be stationed at some points within town centers in order to provide tuition services. In some cases, such buses will be used to ferry seats, tents, and learning equipment to certain centers where the firm will offer tuition and library services. Also, the firm plans to use the internet to provide its services. It will establish an online library that can be used by anybody all over the nation. Subscribers will be required to either pay online or pay through any nearest branch office in order to open an online account with our firm. The membership will be renewed every year. This will make sure that the firm’s services are offered nationwide (Marketing Institute of Singapore, para1-6).

Pricing Strategies

The firm will use a pricing mix that will take care of all clients from all socio-economic classes. Some of these pricing strategies to be used include.

Cost-plus mark-up: in this case, the come will take into consideration all the required expenses in addition to the appropriate profit the company will want to make. Since the national statutes do not allow the firms providing tuition services to exploit their clients, the firm will fix the amount of profit it wants to get during its operation. This implies that that the optimization of the profits will not depend on deliberately raising the profit expected, but on the reduction of costs of operations and increasing the number of clients registered with the firm for tuition services. However, the variation in product prices during certain periods will take into account the fluctuation of costs of providing tuition services (Miller 45).

Competitive pricing: the firm recognizes that as much as it needs to have large profit margins, it must make sure its product prices do not put it at a disadvantage with those of the competitors. It will therefore price its tuition products in such a manner that will not bring conflict between the firm and other players in the market and in a way that makes its products to be relatively cheaper and affordable to most clients (Miller 46).

Loss leader: in the initial stages of operations the firm will provide tuition services below the cost prices. This will be primarily to attract more students to seek the tuition services of the firm. However, this will only take place for the first six months of the firm’s operations.

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Discounting: the students or clients who will be taking more subjects for tuition will receive some discounts. This will also include clients who bring new clients to seek tuition from Tuxcel.

The pricing of the firm’s product will also take into account the number of extra hours a student may want to take getting our tuition services. The company recognizes that there may be some students who may want to be taught past the normal time period. Such students will be charged at a relatively low cost. The firm will not stick to a particular pricing strategy, it will from time to time watch on the prices set by other players in the market; this means that the general trend of prices in the industry will also influence the cost of our services.

Works Cited

Dionne, Kelsey. “Extra tuition adds up.” Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. 2010. Web.

Hague, Paul. Market research: A guide to planning, methodology & evaluation. Kogan Page Publishers, 2002.

Igor. “Naming and Branding Agency.” The best product and company names require the least advertising. Web.

Jackson, Dudley. Profitability, mechanization, and economies of scale. New York: Ashgate, 1998.

Kerin, Roger. Marketing. New York: McGraw Hill Education, 2008.

Lake, Laura. “Create a 90-Day Marketing Plan.” 2010. Web.

Marketing Institute of Singapore. “Distribution Strategies for the Asia.” Certified Professional Marketer. Web.

Miller, Kenneth. Fundamentals of marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999.

The Situationist Staff. “Situationally Idle.” Is Summer Vacation too Long for Kids? 2009. Web.

Ward, Susan. “How to Write a Business Plan.” The Market Analysis. Web.

Yont, Rose. The value of music in education. Harvard University. R. G. Badger, The Gorham Press, 1916.

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