Potential customers

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To achieve this aim I will need to do research amongst my possible customers in the Lurgan area. I would like to be looking at concentrating on qualitative research, as I want my research to show attributes opinions, behaviours and beliefs of my potential customers. However postal surveys or questionnaires would be probably be used because of time constraints. As there would be little research done on the feasibility of opening such a store in the Lurgan area, I would need to concentrate mainly on field research. I would start by doing a questionnaire, which I feel would be useful in building a profile of my potential customers and would also indicate the minimum customer base that I may aspire to.

I would hope to do face-to-face questionnaires with both closed and open questions. So that as well as gain statistics, people can voice their opinions as well as giving the interviewer the ability to probe, have high response rates and control questionnaires, which I feel is vital in making the business a success. However there may be interviewer bias, high cost, and low dispersal of the population. The questionnaires would also be done as a postal survey as this may cut down on some of my workload and also allow me to do stratified random sampling. Then I may stratify on the basis of age, sex and also income, and this will mean that each group of the population is represented so that I can see which groups are my target segments.

Also in this aim I can look at desk research in the form of census data which will give me statistics on the basis of age, sex and religion. And another useful source of data would be surveys like those published by games magazines such as Edge which contains data on the segments of computer gamers, taking into consideration age and sex, but this may be a costly exercise as back copies of magazines are expensive.

Finding out what pricing strategies and marketing strategies should be adopted, looking at my target segment. This could be done, first by using the field research that I have already done, asking customers what they feel about opening a store in the Lurgan area and general information and whether they own a computer. Also what would make them more interested in buying games from my business (e.g. special offers, reduction in prices etc.).

And also I need to look at other Electronic Boutiques and how to franchise would act, as I am restricted in some of my actions, such as price and marketing strategies. I would need to gather information from Electronic Boutique and some of the other franchises and see what way they would set out their price and marketing strategies and then base mine on something similar to theirs. This would be desk research, but would contain quantitative and qualitative data, as there would be past data and also what the franchise’s opinion of these strategies is.

Look at the cost of land in the Lurgan area including the construction and running costs of a franchise and whether it is feasible. This would be desk research as it would be all data gathered from other sources. When looking at the cost of land I would consult Estate Agencies about property that would be suitable for a major franchise in the Lurgan or Craigavon area. I would look at the price of setting up in the different parts of Lurgan and which would be the most successful and cheapest.

However there may be problems with gaining this information as commercial properties come and go so fast. I will then get information on the cost of setting up and running an Electronic Boutique franchise shop, including details on starting cost and loyalties. The majority of franchisees borrow money from one of the main high street banks, though, and many established franchisers have good contacts with specialist franchise departments at the major banks. In addition to sharing with you an in-depth market awareness and information on particular franchisers, these franchise specialists will often help you to put your case to the local bank manager for the borrowing you need. The banks regard good franchising as a sound investment and they will generally lend more, and on better terms, than if you were starting your business from scratch. However it would be hard to cut some of the costs as they would have to be similar to the other franchisees.

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