USER COMPANY is a start-up company that will sell self-designed bags and clothing for female motorcyclists, for women to look stylish on their bike and off. The company will start off with a collection of bags and will expand its product portfolio successively to eventually become a well-known brand for motorcycle clothing for fashion-conscious women. USER COMPANY will make it possible for women to ride and be protected without having to change their clothing, no matter where their destination may be.
The company’s founder, Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER, is a motorcycle rider herself and currently working in sales and merchandising at Ducati Triumph USER LOCATION in Soho. She has found that the current motorcycle apparel market is missing the niche of fashionable motorcycle clothing. Most companies designing women’s motorcycle gear are focused on the traditional Harley Davidson/Americana or the sports racing look, with very few companies offering a tailored and professional style. Since Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER has little experience in the fashion-design industry, she believes that by first launching the business with well-designed bags comes with less risk and greater chance for sustainable, successful market-entry.
USER COMPANY will develop its brand with a clear goal in mind. It will create a uniform user experience and deploy a great variety of modern internet-based marketing instruments. Close cooperation with highly successful professional photographers that Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER knows personally will give the marketing approach an edge offline and online and greatly impact the presentation of the company to potential clients and partners. The products will be messengers of the brand and proudly show off tough motorcyclist girls’ sexiness and feminism. The accessories and later the clothing will be cool and elegant, making a statement to be summarized as follows: I live and think independently and I am a passionate, self-conscious woman.
USER COMPANY is established by Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER. Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER is an experienced entrepreneur and has worked as an art director for over 8 years. She has already designed dozens of looks and as a designer will be able to create many marketing resources herself and strike up business relationships in the creative industry. She has experience in leadership and has conducted extensive marketing research including an empirical internet survey of over 130 women, which she found by reaching out to motorcycle associations and clubs. She also already stands in contact with various potential clients, business helpers and partners. USER COMPANY’s home office will be located in USER LOCATION City, close to the fashion district. While the initial goal is to sell to retail stores, expansion plans include potentially opening its own retail store.
The market research shows evidence that USER COMPANY will operate in a very favorable environment. This fact, combined with Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER’s very strong competence profile make the business venture very likely to lead to a successful market entry.
The company’s product portfolio is aimed at providing female motorcycle riders stylish options of bags and clothing to buy and wear. As the number of educated women who buy and ride motorcycles increases, it becomes clear that there is a market niche for providers that cater to the woman who wants to ride her bike in high fashion- whether she is riding to a party, to work or to a date.
The first 12-18 months of operation will be dedicated to starting a line of bags, as this is a good way to gather experience, contacts and a first following of consumers. The costs for starting a bag collection are significantly lower and there is high demand in the market. The types of bags Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER thought of are medium-sized should-bags and sports bags as well as hand bags and purses. They will be crafted in styles that appeal to motorcycle-enthusiastic women and will combine functionality and robustness with clean, aesthetic design. The fabric will be mainly high-tech artificial fabrics which are cut and rip-proof and can last for decades. A certain proportion of the products or certain parts of some products will also be made of leather.
Since designing apparel is the mid-term goal of the young enterprise, it makes sense to elaborate the planned product portfolio already at this point. USER COMPANY will give special attention to the styles, colors and fits to flatter the curvy woman. The niche specialty will be fitting women sizes 6-14, although some clothing will range in sizes 0-14. The products are modern motorcycle wears, including apparels, boots, helmets, bags and motorcycle inspired accessories, such as scarves. Since USER COMPANY creates clothing that people can wear on and off the bike, the clothes have removable and/or very flexible padding. When designing the clothing, Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER focuses on designs that are able to unify function and beauty. All Jackets and any gear that is meant to protect from abrasion and impact while riding a motorcycle will be tested and CE certified.
The goal is to create pieces that are exactly what an urban, individualistic woman is looking for, something that she would wear even if she is not going to ride a motorcycle. Therefore the clothing has to be serving two needs at the same time, just like for example Nautica that caters to the needs of marine sports enthusiasts but has developed such a cult that its clothing is worn in daily life (also Surface to Air produces beautifully crafted riding jacket that might serve as an inspiration for USER COMPANY: www.surfacetoair.com/store-us/?pg=style&collection_id=52&style_id=58).
One very special element of the product portfolio is the inclusion of a new material compound called D30 (www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqDe0C4OKbM&feature=related). D30 is a lightweight and very flexible high density plastic material that can be used for padding and provides a lot of safety despite its being thin and lightweight. The initial communication with the manufacturer that came up with this new material has not yet had a positive outcome. Using this particular material is still considered an important element of the product portfolio of USER COMPANY.
USER COMPANY’s studio and office is located within Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER’ home in uptown Manhattan. At the point that USER COMPANY requires other employees to work in-house, a separate live or work space might be necessary. Presently, USER COMPANY does not have a bricks-and-mortar retail location. All prototype construction and manufacturing will be done off-site at a seamstress’ shop and at the chosen manufacturing facility. Marketing can be done in-house or at marketing consultant USER PARTNER Sielegar’s (see section about business partners) office space.
In its first three years of operation the company will be producing in the USA and outsource manufacturing to dedicated service providers. Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER will do the designing work herself and through her well-connected business relationships, she will be able to take care of many of the firm’s vital functions of marketing, such as public relations, marketing and other communications-related activities.
The company will set up a professional supply chain management to be able to cut costs and deliver flexibly and punctually at the same time. Supply chain management is of prime importance for young fashion and design firms. Good supply chain management entails close communication with suppliers, warehouses, logistics firms and the client. Diligent research and comparison of shipment options and building relationships with key personnel within logistics providers’ facilities will help USER COMPANY stay on top of its supply chain management. Due to the small-scale nature in the beginning of the business it will be relatively easy to coordinate the inflow of fabric and outflow of product. Ground transportation with UPS will be utilized in most cases. In the case that international shipments are needed, air transportation will also be an element of the logistics organization of USER COMPANY. No products will be shipped on consignment basis, consignment will be avoided altogether, due to the risky nature of working on consignment. USER COMPANY will have a dedicated sales representative who will search out potential buyers.
To control costs, track inventory and manage stock levels at the later stages of business operation, an inventory control system will be set in place. This will include the standard bar code with its related equipment and software. Eventually, staff will conduct annual inventory audits and hire outside auditors when necessary. All accounting and finances will be maintained using in state-of-the-art software.
The company will secure showrooms in USER LOCATION City. Purchasing from USER COMPANY, buyers receive product displays and promotional materials with purchase. Additionally, USER COMPANY will work closely with regional sales representative of motorcycle apparel buyers. Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER will also attend relevant pre-season fashion trade shows and have all the necessary equipment at her disposal.
Unique Selling Propositions
The company will have a set of unique features, which will differentiate it from competition. The most important unique selling proposition of USER COMPANY is to be found in the capabilities of the founder herself. The owner of USER COMPANY, Mrs. USER COMPANY FOUNDER, being very experienced in graphic design and project management and maintaining impeccable contacts in the motorcycle world and fashion industry, will invest all of her personal time and expertise into the startup.
The fashion and retail industry tends to be overly youth and small size focused. Many female motorcycle riders are forced to wear men’s clothing which denies their femininity and makes them wardrobe-wary when riding out for a social occasion. However, by closely following high fashion trends as well as customers’ purchasing preferences, USER COMPANY will tailor styles to meet the specific needs of the clientele. The key feature that separates USER COMPANY from all other competitors is its commitment to providing women stylish, quality accessories and clothing options. Because the primary concern is ensuring that consumers are happy with the fit and style of their purchase, USER COMPANY will have a strong impact on the female motorcyclist community and earn strong word-of-mouth endorsements from happy clients.
Customers will benefit from the experience and knowledge of the company staff about motorcycle gear and fashion. The goal is to implement a superior customer service system. The well-trained personnel will provide an edge in the competition and the brand will quickly become acknowledged broadly. Protecting the brand and its good reputation will become a key part of the strategy to ensure that the unique selling propositions that come along with a recognized brand name are maintained as long as possible.
Company Vision and Strategy
The vision pursued by the establishment of USER COMPANY is a high-end line of motorcycle wear for women. It will be protective, the highest quality, top style and comfortable to wear. The brand USER COMPANY will be recognized as eco-conscious and as making a difference for its customers and for the world. The brand will be the opposite of Harley brand clothing, truly feminine, sexy and elegant.
Right from the start, it is planned to develop and make expert use of an online presence. This is a very important part of the business undertaking, as the web presence will enable USER COMPANY to showcase its products, establish the brand and raise awareness in the industry. It is likewise thinkable that the first customers of USER COMPANY will actually buy the product from an integrated webshop. From these early revenues the company will be able to generate a higher cash flow, benefitting from ways to make itself depend less solely on high volume contracts with the retailers and wholesale clients.
In the long run, the potential for regional and/or national expansion will be explored further. Some concrete goals, which must be attained before an expansion can be considered, are to penetrate and raise awareness in 30% of the targeted consumer market, build a customer base and mailing list and become a profitable business with expansion potential within a maximum of three years.
The first major milestones will be securing funds and setting up the business. This is the main focus right now. In five years, USER COMPANY will have established itself within the community and within the industry and set up overseas sourcing and manufacturing operations (most likely in China or Vietnam). It will become the leading brand in contemporary apparel of the perfect blend between cutting edge, high-tech protective wear and femininity. USER COMPANY will make an impact globally through initiatives built into the company structure, supporting employees and communities around the world.