Guysborough Digital Vegan is a startup business that specializes in packaging and selling vegetable-based drinks to people around Guysborough County in Nova Scotia. The idea behind establishing the business is to serve the large population of older people in the county. Specifically, the business will mainly target members of the Baby Boomers and Generation X because they constitute the percentage of the total population in the country. Statistics show that Guysborough County has the oldest population in Nova Scotia, with over 20% of the people being seniors (Statistics Canada, 2016). It is also estimated that by 2030, over 35% of the total population in Guysborough County will be seniors, comprising of both male and female residents (Statistics Canada, 2016).
The increasing population of older people in the county raises health issues because old age is associated with certain diseases and conditions. These diseases include diabetes, high blood pressure, general body weakness, osteoarthritis, dementia, and a higher risk of developing various forms of cancer. One of the most common medical advice that old people receive from physicians, dietitians, and other professionals in the healthcare sector is to improve their diet (Asaduzzaman & Asao, 2018). Increasing the amount of plant-based products in the diet is one of the most common dietary therapies that healthcare professionals use to help older people prevent and manage diseases associated with old age (Asaduzzaman & Asao, 2018).
Consequently, this business plan will seek to develop plant-based beverages to help this specific population of people in Guysborough County to improve their diet and increase their ability to manage and control diseases associated with old age. The majority of these people are mainly retirees and those heading towards retirement and have sedentary or less active lifestyles. In addition, the majority are economically able to meet their needs as they are either retirees, business individuals, or those about to retire.
In reaching out to the target population with the plant-based drinks, Guysborough Digital Vegan will seek to improve the general health and wellbeing of older people. Therefore, the business’ position statement is “to boost our health with the best natural, plant-based juice that fights for us against diseases as we age gracefully”. The business will differentiate in product and service as it will adopt a model in which the idea is to sell packed plant juice to families in the region. It involves developing the product and delivering it to the customers in their homes and neighborhoods. Specifically, the business is developed based on the target customers’ needs to take little time to move around for shopping.
Secondly, it is based on the recognition of the need of the older people to have at their disposition a good source and supply of healthy diet at all times. Third, reaching out to these people in their localities requires working with family members and local nurses, and other health workers who maintain close relationships with the seniors (Palmatier & Sridhar, 2017). While there are many alternatives, Guysborough Digital Veg drinks will have a unique position as it is locally made and delivered to the customers’ localities. Once a customer purchases the product, the business representative will leave with the contact number to call at any time for more delivery.
In legal matters, Guysborough Digital Vegan will require to register as a small business within the Guysborough municipality, which is necessary for operations to start. Secondly, it requires obtaining a unique trademark (Swais, 2019). In addition, the business will require a license to operate a food business under the regulations of the Nova Scotia Public Health Department.
The plant-based beverage industry is fairly competitive in Guysborough and Nova Scotia in general as diverse companies are selling similar or related products. However, the target market is unique as many competitors serve the general public without customer segmentation and differentiation (Dolnicar et al., 2018). Guysborough Digital Vegan will sell directly to the local community in the Guysborough area, a unique business strategy that competitors ignore. Currently, there are about a dozen of companies that sell fruit juice in the Guysborough area, but most of which operate from other cities and towns in Canada.
Statistics estimate that out of the 3,000 residents of the Guysborough Municipality, over 20% are seniors aged above 60 and an additional 10% are aged 50 and above (Statistics Canada, 2016). Individuals aged above the age of 45 will also be considered part of the target market, given the modern tendency to eat a healthy diet to maintain a healthy body as people enters middle adulthood (Statistics Canada, 2016). Therefore, it is estimated that above 50% of the population in the area will be the business’s target customers. Moreover, the gender ratio is fair, with statistics showing a 49-51% ratio between men and women aged above 40 (Statistics Canada, 2016).
Therefore, it is estimated that about 2,000 people will be the target customers. The majority of the target customers are common residents whose passion is to maintain a healthy living as they get older and avoid or manage diseases associated with aging. Guysborough Digital Vegan will set the price at CAN $4.5 per 500ml compared to competitors whose prices are around $5.2 for a similar quantity. This will reach out to the 2,000 target customers in Guysborough. Therefore, the sales forecast is as follows;
SF= Total target customers x Price/competitors = 2000 x CAN $4.5/ 12= 750 units
Per legal requirements, it is necessary that the business obtain insurance services from a qualified and registered insurer for businesses in the area or other parts of Canada. In Nova Scotia, the requirement is to obtain a Business Liability Insurance for small businesses, which is estimated to cost about $650 per year on a basic commercial general liability insurance policy whose limit is about $2 million (Swais, 2019). To protect the company’s intellectual property (IP), Guysborough Digital Vegan will register copyrights and trademark, its domain name, and create confidentiality contract with the employees and partners.
The business name will be ‘Guysborough Digital Vegan’, a unique name that is currently not in use in any other region of the country. When registering for the business, a search was conducted using the website that the registrar of businesses uses, and it was found that there is indeed no other business in the country with a similar name. Secondly, the product name will be Guysborough Vegan Beverages, under which marketing of the specific packages will appear such as Guysborough Vegan Passion, Guysborough Vegan Cocktail, Guysborough Vegan Mango, and others.
The primary image will be that of the company with the full name Guysborough Vegan Beverages alongside a unique logo of a healthy old couple enjoying the beverage outside their house on a sunny morning. In this way, it is possible to attract specific target customers as they will seek to emulate the couple depicted on the brand logo (Kotler et al., 2019). Therefore, this strategy is necessary to ensure that the company has a unique position in the market.
Guysborough Digital Vegan’s specific marketing strategy will follow the conventional 4Ps approach, a marketing mix that will focus on the four key factors of product, place, price, and promotion. The first P-factor is the product that the business seeks to sell (Kotler et al., 2019). In this case, Guysborough Digital Vegan will specifically target Baby Boomers and the X Generation who fall within the middle-age and senior citizens. Guysborough Digital Vegan will seek to meet the demand for healthy food products that older people need to maintain their health.
The second P-factor is pricing where the company will focus on developing unique products to meet the demand at a relatively lower price compared to most competitors. Developing the product within the locality using farm products from regions surrounding Guysborough and within the large Nova Scotia region will ensure that the cost of production remains low (Palmatier & Sridhar, 2017). Consequently, it is easy to fix a price lower than most competitors that remain high as they have to consider transportation and other aspects of logistics in their supply chains.
Place, the third P in the marketing mix, refers to the place or location of the business. Locating the business within the Guysborough area is a unique strategy that seeks to ensure that it understands the market dynamics and needs (Kotler et al., 2019). In addition, the strategy will allow the target customers to know their producer and develop a unique relationship with the business. The idea is to ensure that they develop trust with the company and its products as they strive to improve their diet.
The promotion factor will include public relations, advertising, and promotion strategy. When the business starts, it will begin by reaching out to the target customers in the area with free and discount samples for the people to try and experience. Young people, especially college interns, will be hired as scouts to deliver free and discounted products to families and individuals around the Guysborough area. The aim is to ensure that they create awareness and educate adult residents about the need for plant-based beverages in their diet as they grow older (Kotler et al., 2019). This process will occur quarterly in the first year of the business operation.
It will also target local care facilities, nurses, and other health workers who maintain close relationships with the adult people in the area. In addition, there will be a digital factor as the name of the company suggests. In this case, the idea is to leave the company contacts with the customers once their products are delivered to ensure that they can request more products using such digital channels as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet-based channels. In essence, there will be a close relationship between the company and the target customers within their locality.
Guysborough Digital Vegan is a startup, small business that seeks to experience a generic and exponential growth within the next five years as it seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of the senior population. Therefore, it needs a simple organizational structure to run during its initial stages of operation (Dagys et al., 2020). In this case, the plan is to have a general manager who will also be the Chief Executive Officer, an assistant, and four senior managers. The company will have four departments- outsourcing the production, information technology, marketing and sales, and human resource. Each of these departments will have a senior manager as the leader and director. In addition, there will be supervisors in each of these departments whose function is to ensure smooth flow of the processes. Each department will have the junior employees who will be the main workforce and the backbone of the business.
Since the business will involve processing agricultural products as its main business process, several sets of equipment are necessary. For instance, it will purchase fruit treatment and blending systems, juice processing systems, packaging, preservation, and other equipment necessary for production (Dagys et al., 2020). Furthermore, the company will acquire a small warehouse to establish a cottage factory for processing, packaging, and storing the products.
Given that the business will involve delivering the products to the customers in their homes and other locations, it will require several motorbikes and a few sedans for smooth delivery. Junior employees will include riders and drivers to act as delivery and salespersons. Motorbikes are necessary as they are fast and convenient because they can access even the remotest parts of the agricultural areas outside the municipality (Dagys et al., 2020). Also, because there will be a digital factor, the company will develop a website, a mobile app, and other online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to reach out to the customers. Also, it will establish an IT department with all the necessary computer and information technology systems and equipment needed to run the business.
Finally, the company must adhere to certain government regulations. First, it must obtain a license for operating a food processing and marketing firm, which is issued by the Nova Scotia provincial government (Swais, 2019). Also, the company will have to adhere to all health standards as provided by the Nova Scotia Public Health Department.
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Dagys, A., Kerr, M., & Kurtz, J. (2020). Starting and running a small business for Canadians for dummies all-in-one. John Wiley & Sons.
Dolnicar, S., Grün, B., & Leisch, F. (2018). Market segmentation analysis: Understanding it, doing it, and making it useful. Springer.
Kotler, P. T., Armstrong, G., Harris, L. C., & He, H. (2019). Principles of marketing. Pearson Education Limited.
Palmatier, R. W., & Sridhar, S. (2017). Marketing strategy: Based on first principles and data analytics. Macmillan International Higher Education.
Statistics Canada. (2016). Census profile, 2016 Census: Nova Scotia Province. Web.
Swais, N. (2019). Canadian legal guide for small business. Self-Counsel Press.