This is a United Hearing Center’s business plan for the provision of medical earphone products in Kuwait. The purpose of the business is to cater to the health needs of people with hearing problems. The business plan provides the strategic direction of implementing the business based on the market characteristics, economic environment, and income levels of the target customers. The business will be conducted in compliance with the taxation and business laws of Kuwait. The employees will be taught the code of ethics and professional code of conduct requirements, which they will be expected to adhere to to drive the business to gain a strong market presence and generate sustainable revenue.
The vision of United Hearing Center is to establish itself as the best regional provider of medical earphones by continuously developing the best solutions for people suffering from hearing impairments or with a total loss of hearing and to establish a strong position for the company in the market to gain a large market share.
To provide an innovative hearing solution for the people to meet their hearing needs by providing them with medical earphones which are consistent with the hearing demands of the customers according to the professional ethics and values of the people, increase their satisfaction, and make the company the choice of the people in need of hearing solutions.
The purpose of the United Hearing Center is to establish a commercial and profitable business medical center to provide medical services for people suffering from hearing impairments.
Background about Kuwait
Kuwait is a country located in the Middle East with a population growth rate of 1.79% having a significant number of people with hearing impairment problems. A significant number of people in the country have a significant amount of disposable income, making the business environment viable.
The company will be owned in a partnership venture constituting two parties consisting of the founder and sponsor of the center. The ownership is based on limited partnership with the sponsor being a general partner to the business. The sponsor will have a 20% ownership as agreed in a contract signed between the founder and the sponsor of the business. The founders will have 80% ownership of the company. The ownership will be established according to the laws of the country governing the parties entering into contracts, and clearly outlines the penalties for any party who violates the terms of the contract. The activities conducted within the business will be monitored by the sponsor while the jurisdiction of the activities performed by the sponsor will be limited by the terms of the agreement.
The following chart shows the operational structure of the proposed company. The components of the company are interdependent and communication between the structures enables a vertical and horizontal structure with top-down and bottom-up communication capacities. Information systems are integrated to provide real-time communication within the organization. The management will consist of the CEO, the medical, finance, and marketing departments, under the CEO.
The business plan will be developed by taking into account the cultural values of the people, the internal and external business environments, the income levels of the people affected by the hearing impairment problem, and the technology available to provide innovative solutions.
The company will formulate an internal code of ethics for its members based on internal policies formulated to regulate the ethical code of conduct for the employees and the management in general. The code of ethics is based on the utilitarian concerns to deal with ethical problems that can arise when serving customers. Employees will be made aware of the code of ethics of the company and the need to adhere to them and will form part of the training program. Also, the company will keep customers informed of the code of ethics and the due diligence to observe ethics.
Marketing Analysis and Strategy
The need for medical earphones to offer medical support for people with impaired hearing problems is a ready market because the country relies on foreign firms operating from outside Kuwait to offer the services. In addition to that, it becomes difficult for people with hearing problems to address their problems when the hearing devices develop problems that cannot be fixed or replaced because of the absence of a local clinic to address the problem. A critical analysis of the current market indicates a great potential for medical services and a growing need to offer the services. It is critical to note that a significant portion of the sales will be generated from the sale of new devices and some income will be generated from the repair of the devices.
The strategic approach of positioning the product in the market will include analyzing the current market environment to develop the strategy. The analysis presented above provides the basis for designing the strategy because it shows the presence of little competition. The critical components that define the strategy include taking the leader and the challenger roles in the provision of the product and services because of the little competition. Typically, the strategy will factor the marketing mix elements of the product, price, place, promotion, process, physical evidence, and the people who are provided the services.
The product strategy will focus on differentiation to create value for customers. Undoubtedly, people with hearing problems have different medical needs. Thus, the company will provide medical earphones with different capabilities to satisfy the needs of each customer. The company will adopt the penetration pricing strategy to gain market share. This will involve selling the medical earphones at a low price to attract customers. After gaining a substantial market share, the company will adopt a competition-based pricing strategy. This will involve charging prices that are comparable to those of the competitors to improve profits and to retain customers.
The company will distribute medical earphones through its branch network. Thus, it will have to establish at least one branch in the major cities in Kuwait to reach as many customers as possible. The promotional activities that will be used to market the medical earphones include public relations, publicity, and advertising. Advertising through print and electronic media will focus on creating brand awareness. Public relations and publicity will be used to enhance brand credibility.
The process strategy will focus on improving customer satisfaction by reducing the time required to serve clients. The quality of the services offered to customers will be improved through incremental process innovation to enhance customer satisfaction.
Physical evidence will be created by ensuring that the company’s premises and equipment are clean and meet the expected quality standards. The company’s commitment to quality will be demonstrated through the testimonies of its satisfied customers. Staff development and training programs will be used to improve the competence of the employees who will be providing services to customers. This will help in improving service quality, thereby improving customer satisfaction.
The purpose of this business is to bring medical services close to the people who are affected by hearing impairments and to ensure that the services are close to the close to the people to avoid the problem of the lack of the services when in need. Also, the services offered at the clinic will be priced competitively so that the people appreciate the cost and remain loyal to the clinic.
The vision is to ensure that the services offered address the customer needs and expectations to satisfy them while providing them alternative medical and readily available services. The priority is to bring the services closer to the customers and to lock them into the business and generate sustainable profits for the business to ensure a sustainable return on investment. The quality of the hearing devices to be provided to the customers at a competitive price will help sustain their loyalty to the business.
The United Hearing Centre’s market mission is to be the leading provider of medical health devices to people with impaired hearing problems by conducting the services under the guidance of a professional code of ethics. Each customer will be given special attention as they hold a special place in the business. The United Hearing Center will take care of individual hearing needs and do all the best to provide the best services and devices tailored to meet the specific need of the customer.
Employee values and beliefs will be factored into the services to be offered when giving healthcare services to the customers. The business’s value system will consist of giving priority to the needs, tastes, and preferences of the customers. The value system will be taught to the employees and will be integrated into the culture of the organization. Each customer and employee matter to the business and form the backbone of the success of the business.
The business objectives are outlined as follows:
- To establish the United Hearing Center
- Establish a strong market presence in Kuwait
- Create strong customer loyalty
- Create a positive image of the services being offered
- Establish a strong financial base to generate sustainable profits
- Focus on expertise in the provision of devices for visually impaired people.
Service Business analysis
A critical component of the business was to conduct a service business analysis of the external factors that contribute to the success or failure of the business. The elements include the effects the income levels of the target population will have on the business and the effects the economy of the country will have on the business.
The countries have a GDP that shows the income levels of the people affected by hearing impairment to be good. Also, the target population has a culture where people assist the less fortunate in society by offering them financial and material support. Because of a relatively friendly culture, the target population will not suffer the lack of financial support to purchase the devices. Most of the households are classified as either belonging to the high or middle-income groups. That implies that through concerted efforts, the customers will be able to purchase the devices and the company will generate profits.
Employment: The employment rate of people with hearing impairments is low, and is regarded as a critical factor in negating the growth of the business. However, because the company should incorporate social responsibility, it will subsidize some products so that customers who are financially unable to buy the devices can access them. Most of the internal factors might have strong implications on the performance of the business.
External Economic factors
The recession has had adverse effects on business operations and the profits generated by the business. The recession has eroded people’s savings and is a strong factor that will harm the proposed business and especially on the families with dependants who have the health problems mentioned above.
Foreign firms have superior manufacturing technology, but the health Center will search for companies that provide the medical earphones at low and competitive prices to enable the company to be a strong competitor against external competitors.
There is little competition from foreign firms operating in Kuwait in the same business. That is because internal factors such as the culture of the people and their preferences will provide the health Center with a competitive advantage.
A critical analysis of the current market shows that the target market consists of low employment rates. When the target population is not employed, the people have a low-income level and purchasing power. No business survives without realizing profits. A good flow of money in the business will enable the company to generate sufficient revenue. The current level of unemployment in the country among people with hearing impairment is low because of the government’s initiative to support them.
Investigations show that the inflation rate for Kuwait is 2.90 percent. It has been established that the inflation rate has been falling since 2013 at a rate of 4.0 percent. High inflation rates erode consumer confidence and negatively influence the general economic conditions of the business environment. The profitability of this business will depend on the spending behavior of the customers and the disposable income at their disposal. If the country and the international market environment experience continued inflation, it will be detrimental to our consumers because inflationary costs cannot be recovered by raising the price of the hearing devices. The business will create a strategy to ensure inflation does not hinder its growth in generating profits.
The Kuwait economy is robust and is one of the richest economies in the Middle East. Despite the global economic crisis that adversely affected many countries in the world, Kuwait’s economy remains robust and provides a good investment climate for new business opportunities. Research shows that when the spending trends of people are positive, it increases the cash flow rate, enabling an increase in the profits generated by a business. A similar trend is expected for the business because many people in Kuwait belong to the high or middle-income levels. An analysis of the current economic situation and the spending trends of the people show an upward trend, implying that the market is volatile with liquidity. When the spending trends are positive, the flow of cash in the market increases and improve the opportunities for making more profits.
The interest rates have risen because of the prevailing economic conditions caused by the global economic crisis. That has caused borrowing from banks to be expensive compared with other years, with the overall interest rates rising by 5%. However, because of a robust economy, interest rates are lower compared to the period of the world economic crisis.
The business should pay taxes and comply with the law of the country. Taxes will be submitted in compliance with the law and government taxation policies. The taxation policy of the government of Kuwait will be adhered to to comply with the exemptions offered on devices for people with hearing impairment problems. The business will be registered to submit its taxes and make returns as required by the law.
Kuwait’s currency is pegged to a basket of major world currencies, which include the US dollar and the euro. However, the US dollar has a considerable weight in the basket. This means that the stability of Kuwait’s currency is mainly influenced by the US dollar, which is subject to fluctuations since it is not fixed. The pegged exchange rate regime has enabled the government of Kuwait to stabilize the country’s currency. A stable exchange rate will benefit the company since it will be importing medical earphones and other medical equipment from countries such as the US and the UK. A stable exchange rate will protect the company against the increase in the cost of importing its supplies, which is likely to occur if the currency depreciates significantly. As a result, the company will be able to charge competitive prices. This will increase its sales and market share.
The government of Kuwait has increased regulation in various industries to curb environmental pollution. Generally, the government has been implementing laws that discourage companies from engaging in activities that pollute the environment. Companies that fail to comply with environmental laws are penalized through fines and the cancelation of their licenses. United Hearing Center is likely to contribute to environmental pollution in Kuwait in two ways. First, medical earphones are likely to cause environmental pollution if they are not disposed of appropriately after being used. Second, the company is likely to cause environmental pollution through the emission of greenhouse gasses. This is likely to occur during the transportation of its supplies. High pollution will increase the fines that the company will have to pay to avoid the cancelation of its license. In this regard, United Hearing Center will strive to reduce its ecological footprint by adopting green technologies.
Target market segment strategy
The market is specifically focused on two kinds of clients, the people with hearing impairment and limited hearing capabilities, and the people who have complete hearing impairments with a condition that can be corrected using the hearing devices. Studies have shown that both young, middle-aged, and old people suffer the problem of hearing impairments. Also, other people in the list of people with hearing problems include the people who work in industries with a lot of noise in their operations. Other target market segments include people with other medical conditions that require professional guidance. The strategic approach of reaching the target market is to segment different sections of the people according to the income levels of each segment.
Legal issues are bound to arise when the terms of the contract between the patient and the service provider are violated or when the quality of service violates the terms agreed upon in the contract. The business will abide by the general and specific laws that govern the terms and conditions of doing business in Kuwait.
Better Business bureau
The business will ensure that the quality of services offered to the customers to meet their specific needs and that the partner to the business has the confidence it takes to make financial commitments in investing in the business. The business needs to ensure that the services provided are of the desired quality and that the service providers including the medical personnel adhere to the professional codes of conduct and ethics. The customer is taken to be the most important point of focus and the management will ensure to pursue the goal for the interest of the customer.
Employees on overtime duty will be compensated for the time they will have worked on overtime.
Key processes for creating value
The key processes for creating value for the business include offering customer-based services and products designed to address each unique need of the customer. Each customer will be given special attention by creating an ample atmosphere for the customers to express themselves, and each request will be attended to with professionalism. Customer services will be fast, efficient, and effective. The time a customer will be allowed to stay in a queue will be a maximum of 10 minutes.
Ethics and code of ethics for our customers’ investors and the S.A community
Ethics is about the rules of conduct that guide us on how we are expected to behave. The workers have rules of conduct that show them how they are supposed to handle customers and how to relate between themselves. The practices in the business are considered to be ethical to avoid business faltering or lawsuits. The services will be offered most ethically to the satisfaction of the customers. Typically any business to be successful, ethics has to be made a critical component in the business. The code of ethics for employees to adhere to is outlined below and each employee is required to comply.
- Respect and courtesy for the customers are crucial elements for the employees to observe.
- The purpose, mission, and vision of the business will be reflected in the day to day business activities.
- The service environment will be kept clean for the customers and employees.
- Safe handling of the devices makes safety one of the critical components in the business.
Code of ethics for our customers’ investors and the S.A community
- Each investor will be required to adhere to the rules of conduct for parties in a partnership.
- The sharing of profits will be based on the terms of the contract that have been agreed upon with all parties concerned.
- The parties will be bound by the terms of the contract which bind each party in working towards the mission, vision, and goals of the business to make it generate sustainable revenue.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility refers to discretionary activities that companies undertake to improve the sustainability of their operations. The United Hearing Center will undertake corporate social responsibility activities that will focus on improving its image in society. One of the activities that the company will undertake is the provision of free medical services to the needy in Kuwait. Undoubtedly, there are thousands of people in Kuwait who have hearing problems, but cannot access medical services due to poverty. These include children and the old who have been abandoned by their families.
The company will establish a charitable foundation, which will be responsible for mobilizing funds to facilitate the provision of free medical services to the needy. The foundation will partner with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to finance the provision of free medical services. Also, the foundation will hold an annual running competition to raise funds from the public to finance free medical services. Apart from providing treatment to the needy, the funds will be used to provide free health education to the public concerning the prevention of the diseases that affect the hearing system.
The foundation will also promote education by sponsoring bright students to study medicine in reputable universities in the US and the UK. This will increase the number of qualified doctors in the country. The resulting improvement in access to healthcare will enhance the citizens’ living standards. These activities will enable the company to build a positive relationship with the communities that it serves. This will provide a social license that will enable the company to avert resistance from the public. Besides, the company’s sales are likely to improve as it develops strong relationships with the community.
The company will focus on adopting green technologies through the following strategies. First, the company will collaborate with manufacturers to develop medical earphones that do not use mercury batteries. Empirical studies indicate that mercury is a non-biodegradable chemical. Besides, it can cause negative health effects if it contaminates water bodies such as aquifers and rivers. Thus, using safe chemicals to manufacture the batteries of the medical earphones will help in reducing pollution.
Second, the company will collect used medical earphones to destroy and to dispose of their batteries safely. Also, the company will recycle materials such as glass, plastics, and paper when disposing of the used medical earphones. Third, the company will focus on reducing pollution by purchasing medical supplies with little packaging materials. This strategy will enable the company to reduce the amount of waste that will be discharged to the ambient environment.
Fourth, the company will focus on energy conservation by improving the efficiency of its operations. This will involve switching off thermostats, computers, and other appliances when they are not in use. Besides, the company will install and use solar-powered water heating systems on its premises. This will help in reducing the use of fossil fuels such as diesel to generate electricity. As a result, the company’s contribution to global warming through the emission of greenhouse gases will reduce significantly. Apart from conserving the environment, green technologies will enable the company to reduce its operating costs.