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The companys history has established a strong brand and reputation, which probably secures them much repeat custom and business based on personal recommendations and word of mouth. The company has a website and this allows them to compete alongside even the most heavy-weight of competitors with more resources and better sales revenues, although competitors have more organized advertising strategies such as pay per click advertising through Google optimization strategies (Bagwell and Ramey, 1994, pp. 1; Cooper and Kleinschmidt, 1987, pp. 2; Cravens et al 2011, p. 131). Additionally, the company has an extensive product range which dwarfs several of their major competitors like Homebase who hold more generic stock which cater for more limited aesthetic and personal customer needs and preferences.
Number of Employees
Annual Turnover (Millions)
What is Financial?
The term 'finance' is associated with the management of 3 key elements: owner funds, raised funds and borrowed funds. Finance is concerned with the broader perspective of managing the business generated assets and other valuables in a more efficient manner. (Article and Image Credits Â© Moon Rodriguez, p.2 2012).
Finance can be further divided into the following categories: investment opportunities, profitable opportunities for the growth of the business, optimal mix of funds, system of internal controls and future long-term decision-making goals for the stability and growth of business, which is further explained in appendix 6.
A "Good Finance" is an indicator for future growth and expansion, and good rate of returns on investment. This can only occur when the decision of the business has good analytical skills, expertise and knowledge empowerment that may embrace profitable returns of the business. (Article and Image Credits Â© Moon Rodriguez, p.2 2012).
features of finance
(Article and Image Credits Â© Moon Rodriguez, p.2 2012)
Analysis of Findings
In interpreting the financial data analysis from appendix 1, it can be seen that companies such as Hillarys, Laura Ashley, John Lewis, B&Q who have greater cash reserves than some of the private limited companies and family owned businesses such as Premier Window & Conservatory Blinds Ltd, Anstey Blinds, World of Blinds Ltd who have invested in large amounts in advertising expenditure as shown in appendix 2. The reason being for this is they invest in large amounts to increase their brand awareness and draw consumers towards them by building relationships with them to maintain their relationship with existing customers as well as build new customers. This is done through e-marketing strategies and e-business plan. Large competitors of Barlow Blinds attract their consumers through utilising expensive and effective methods of advertising such as TV Ads, E-commerce, Direct Mail and Trade Magazines.
For example, Hillarys has over 8 million pounds in cash reserves and their net worth value of their business is 71,660,000 million pounds. The company invests in almost all methods of advertising to promote their products and services for their business and spend a total of 121,234,99 million pounds on advertisements. Despite the fact, that they have only been operating within the blinds sector for 41 years compared to Barlow Blinds who have been in business for 125 years and have a net worth value of 242,644, thousand pounds they have grown their business rapidly through all the possible ways and have expanded their business overseas, diversified into other products, outlets and have grown through online services for consumers.
Figure 2 illustrates a distribution of cash assets among the company and a selection of their competitors. A simple comparison with figure 1 shows one of the key vulnerabilities of the company, which is that despite a much more established history for their brand, the company is not as profitable as companies that have a fraction of the experience that the company has.
Figure 2: Distribution of cash assets among the company and a selection of their competitors
1 Barlow Blinds
5 John Lewis
Specifically, investment in advertising is a factor that currently creates economic disadvantage for the company. As can be seen in appendix 2, which is a table showing how the company invest in advertising compared to their competitors, the company invests nothing or small sums in flyers, e-business, cinema advertising, TV or newspapers, with most advertising investments being targeted in trade magazines. Comparatively, Hillary's Blinds invests within much more diverse areas of advertising to include trade magazines, e-business, the internet, cinema advertising, flyers and TV and newspapers. More worryingly, companies with less experience than the company have much higher cash assets. Looking at appendix 1, Concept Blinds, Integra, Grove Blinds and House of Fraser - all companies with much less trading experience than the company have healthier cash reserves and more disposable income to allocate to their advertising budgets.
Invest in a Third Party Dealership with Premier Window & Conservatory Blinds Ltd
It may be suggested that Barlow Blinds Ltd to consider investing in a third party company within the regions of East Midlands or nationwide in order to expand the growth of their business. In interpreting the financial data from appendix 2, it may be suggested that a compatible company to Barlow Blinds to invest in would be Premier Window&Conservatory Blinds Ltd with a net worth value of £510,189 thousand or Alpha Blinds Ltd who has a net worth value of £230,528 thousand . It would be advisable for Barlow Blinds Ltd to come to a mutual agreement with the company they invest in. Barlow Blinds may want to consider expanding their business a little further through diversifying their products, services and advertising in order to receive a profitable rate of return on what is being invested. The advertising expenses can also be shared if decide to invest in a more expensive and effective method of advertisement such as e-marketing, TV, Trade Magazine, and may consider to be an advantage for both companies as this may bring in further revenues and increase sales, increase customer awareness, hence maximised profits through building new relationships with customers, as well as retaining existing customers for Barlow Blinds Ltd Company.
Both companies can consider investing in an expensive, cost effective method such as online marketing, Trade Magazines, TV Ads- although expensive £1,000 but will attract wider audience. This will enable the company to create a unique selling point (USP) and brand awareness, thus brand loyalty and increase sales revenues with existing customers through maintaining relations with 'loyal' customers, as well as generate new customers, hence maximised profits for the business.
Negotiation with Creative Curtains and Blinds Ltd
In interpreting the Financial data from appendix 2, it may also be suggested that Barlow Blinds Ltd to consider negotiating with Creative Curtains and Blinds Ltd to maximise their sales revenues. Both companies may want to consider a proposition on providing customers with advise on curtains and blinds and offer some discount or commission on a profitable sale delivered by opposite parties. This will also increase customer awareness, brand image and company reputation and generate revenues for both companies.
Negotiation with DFS and Harveys Furniture Store on Fosse Park, Leicester
Barlow Blinds Ltd need to consider promoting their company products and services outside their Uppingham Road Area, such as target areas where customers are less likely to know about Barlow Blinds Ltd. A successful strategy would be to generate business cards costing £160.00 for a 1,000 in quantity and leaflets costing £26.49 for a 1,000 in quantity around the most busiest shopping centre on Fosse Park area in Leicestershire. Customers are most likely to purchase big buyings as the area attracts affluent customers as well as middle-class customers. The advantage is that Fosse Park Shopping Centre has longer opening hours than other retail parks, and the city centre, and so customers will travel to where it is convenient for them to shop. The other advantage is that its nearer to the motorway where traffic can be generated easily.
Barlow Blinds Ltd can come to a negotiation with DFS and Harveys Furniture store, who do not supply blinds, but can recommend their customers who come to buy their furniture if they are interested in purchasing premium quality blinds for their existing or new homes, and distribute Barlow Blinds Ltd business cards and leaflets with special offers currently running to their customers. This will create new customers, brand awareness, image, reputation for Barlow Blinds Ltd, as well as revenues, hence maximised profits for both companies if Barlow Blinds Ltd can recommend through word of mouth to their customers about DFS and Harveys of any promotional/ special offers they may want customers to know about. In this way, profits will be maintained by both companies.