Your business is a chain of retail uniform shops. Although you hope to sell to many professions, such as doctors, nurses, mechanics, food service workers, and ministers, your primary customers are police, firefighters, and other public safety agencies. Because having multiple locations benefits your cost structure (for example, you pay lower rent, buying the uniforms from wholesalers, et cetera), you plan to open 12 stores within a four-week period in August. All of the locations will be in the Los Angeles metro area.
Your structure includes the 12 shops, each with a manager, assistant manager, and hourly employees, and a corporate staff that includes three district managers and a group of corporate executives and leaders. You expect each store to bring in roughly the same amount of revenue, except for the two stores in the downtown area. One of these is near police and fire headquarters and several major hospitals and provides a large number of specialized uniforms. The other higher-volume location is near the police and fire training academies and provides uniforms to all of the new recruits. The volume of these two stores is almost four times the average of the other stores, which typically have a wider range of uniforms demanded by a wider variety of customers.
The average store is about 4,500 square feet, including a series of fitting rooms, a sales floor with mannequin displays, a self-service automated order station where customers can enter their previous order number and modify it to place their own order, a tailor workshop, and a storage area. You have decided to be a traditional C corporation under the name Uniforms-R-Us, Inc.
You know that the police and fire customers are key, but there is strong competition that has been active in the area for about 15 years. You are also aware that the public is divided in the way it sees these public safety personnel. To some, they are heroes; to others, they are feared as oppressors. In recent incidents, the police were accused of acting in an overtly brutal way and some fire officials were indicted in a kickback scheme on fire inspections. You recognize that your new company should play a significant role in making the safety personnel and the public more comfortable with each other, and you write that into your mission statement.
A key relationship for you is the relationship you have with the largest local bank. You are preparing to meet with them to finalize your initial loan and a line of credit for the business. The bank has insisted that your presentation consist primarily of how the organization will be managed because, according to the bank, no matter how good the idea or how optimistic the financials, it all really comes down to is management. The bank representatives ask for the specific plans, as well as your systems for guiding the corporation and making decisions (with the understanding that you may not always be there). They are also concerned about the tense relationship between the community and your primary customers. Finally, they want to know when you are planning to complete your major goals and what your long-term plans are.
Social responsibility, community involvement, and ethics:
- Set the social-responsibility goals and analyze how they enable the company to effectively interact with multiple cultures and ethical systems.
- Outline company policies regarding social responsibility.
- Identify and describe the ethical and legal principles included in the policies.
- Analyze how ethical behavior influences the organization and surrounding society.
- Outline the company’s community activities and describe how its community involvement reflects its ability to operate in varied cultures and economic environments.
Business development and exit strategies:
- Outline the company’s long-term goals.
- Describe an appropriate growth strategy.
- List a set of appropriate general milestones.
- Specify an exit plan. Be as specific as possible to inform investors and stakeholders how they will be rewarded.