2300 words assignment

Section 1 – Business Concept and Evaluation

1.0 Business Name

· xxxx

1.1 The Business Concept: Reigate Whole Person Health

· A small, professional and extremely customer focused cosmetic & general health acupuncture practice

· Xxxx will provide high quality cosmetic & general health acupuncture that will be strongly rooted in and focused on ensuring a nurturing and positive experience for the client

· The aim is to develop strong emotional connections with patients / clients (which MINTEL 2009 see as a key differentiator in the Spa market and thus can be extrapolated -given the part focus on cosmetic acupuncture to xxxx) through unparalled customer service, a meaningful, nurturing and positive treatment experience and good results

· Ensuring a nurturing and positive experience for customers is an important indicator for growth and retention in service industries - including small ones like Reigate Whole Person Health (McKinsey 2011).

1.2 Rationale for the Business Concept

· I have considered solely focusing on cosmetic acupuncture; it’s something I love doing, yields great results and its focus on the constitution pays homage to the central tenets of Chinese Medicine. However given its relative newness, lack of widespread uptake and necessity to have a course of treatments (which may be a significant outlay in times of economic stress), its sensible to offer general acupuncture too. This will foster a larger patient pool and assist in cross-fertilization between the two modalities

· The business rationale for cosmetic acupuncture is based on research looking at behaviours during the recession and the enduring focus on looking and feeling good:

· During the current recession spending on things that in the broadest sense help customers ‘feel good’ or are allied to being ‘pampered’ is quite stable (L’Oreal, 2010). Spending on beauty treatments in Spas and salons has dipped somewhat (MINTEL 2009) but customers are still buying these treatments and particularly so when they feel the overall positive ‘experience’ justifies the spend (MINTEL 2009)

· Acupuncture can help patients to feel good (and feel better) and a cosmetic acupuncture treatment is specifically designed to be like a pampering-style or spa treatment (environment, music, scented oils etc). In this way, the treatment is strongly part of the ‘feel good / pamper’ self-care arena and should be secure in lean times

· Leebov (2003:1) describes consumers of healthcare (she is addressing the commercially competitive North American medical market but this can also be applied to CAM since patients have a choice of whom to treat them and pay for that treatment) need to excel in customer service to ensure a loyal following of patients; she asserts that this, and not the cost of the service, becomes the competitive advantage.

1.3 Rationale for Business Name

· xxxx appears as the first word in the business name to facilitate internet searches and stress location

· ‘Acupuncture’ does not appear in the business name since it’s my intention to include other therapies (i.e colonic irrigation, further beauty techniques) in due course so do not want a business name that is focused on a single treatment modality

· xxx emphasises the holistic nature of the service offering and ‘health’ the focus on both absence of disease and the healthy complexion that may be achieved with cosmetic acupuncture

· xxxx is not a gender specific name which may be advantageous in attracting male clients

· xxx is a unique business name

· 2 other ‘xxx businesses appear on Google search (as of 5/10/11) and both are situated in the USA

1.4 Ownership Type

I am already registered as a Sole Trader (freelance consultant to the pharmaceutical industry) so it will be straightforward to run xxxx as part of this and phase out the consultancy work over time since all the structures (e.g accountant, book keeping etc) are in place.

Since we already own the property and annex where the business will be situated there is comparatively minimal investment, which means the personal liability for the business that comes with Sole Trader status is less of a concern. The business profits as a Sole Trader come directly to me and this suits the mechanics of our household finances.

I considered a Partnership instead of Sole Trader but since I don’t need investment per se from anyone else (or will be working with anyone else at this stage), I discounted this. However, I am not ruling out a Partnership in the future if I want to expand the business and manage to find a practitioner who shares the same interests, values and vision.

1.5 Funding & Location

· The start up costs of xxx are self-funded, obviating need for loans and maximising financial security

· The business will operate out of an annexed building on our property which is owned by my xxx

· this side-steps need to pay rental on treatment rooms / other property in the delicate start-up period and again maximises security

· xxxx will operate out of our property due to

a). the convenience of working from home

b). the ability to achieve a more harmonious work-life balance which…

c). reflects one of the guiding principles of the business thus equalling personal congruence with the values of the business (which has an intrinsic value – Hyde et al 2000)

1.6 Situation & Access

· xxx is situated 1.2 miles outside of Reigate town centre (so within walking distance) in a predominantly residential area

· There is ample space on our driveway so parking is free and easy

· Easy parking is a strong selling point to remove any frustration associated with finding a place to park in our busy town as well as a differentiator vs. competitors

· A regular bus serves the area

· Patients will have no access to the family home since all amenities will be on site (i.e WC)

· this means privacy for them and privacy for the family

· Although I have always envisaged xxx operating out of our property I have looked into the alternative of hiring space in existing ‘health’ studios / shops by researching 4 separate xxx establishments

1. An Osteopathy & Podiatry Clinic

2. A beauty therapy studio

3. A Pilates studio

4. A newly built community centre with appropriate room in which to practice acupuncture

All but the Beauty Therapy Studio are unsuitable (analysis ‘for and against’ see appendix 1) chiefly as I do not feel they would fully support the provision of an excellent customer experience