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Essay: AllPitchHire – online booking service to hire artificial or grass football pitches (app proposal)

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  • AllPitchHire - online booking service to hire artificial or grass football pitches (app proposal)
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1. Executive Summary

2. Company Overview

According to (Koshal, 2011) a company is the entity which is separate to where business is carried out. When the business has been certified as a company the owner’s liability is limited. All loss, loans and debt is the responsibility of the company therefore creditors are unable to take control of private possessions or assets. AllPitchHire is a booking service which allows customer’s instant access to a list of different football pitches for hire in their area or further afield.

2.1 Mission Statement

AllPitchHire mission is to reduce the time spent booking football pitches for use via online booking and smart phone application.

2.2 Vision Statement

Providing instant access to football pitch bookings nationwide.

2.3 Legal Structure

AllPitchHire will be registered in the United Kingdom as a Private Limited Company, with Matthew Eastwood named as the Founder and Managing Director of the company. By structuring the company as a Private Limited Company, it will allow for shares in the company to be released as equity so that capital can be raised to help start up the business.

3. Service Information

3.1 Features

AllPitchHire is an online booking service that will have a smartphone app designed to provide users easier access to booking artificial or grass football pitches for hire. Each authority, university/college or club will have a master licence software which they can choose to run themselves or allow AllPitchHire to run the booking element. The booking service will aim to provide clear data to both the owner of the pitch and the customer booking. Information such as location, date, length of booking, start time and cost will be the main features of the service. From experience trying to book a pitch can be time consuming as you would need to phone and find out what times were available and see if they were suitable for the group. In this time somebody else could have booked the slot you were looking to get. With AllPitchHire customers will have instance access to all the information they require in front of them on their laptop or computer or on the go with the smartphone app which will be available on android and apple app stores cost £1 to download with no in app costs.

3.2 Benefits

Listed below are some of the benefits to the service provided to both the owner of the pitch and the pitch booker.

Pitch Owners:

1. Ability to track the number of bookings throughout the day, week, month or year.

2. Ability to make pitches unavailable on match days for football clubs.

3. Ability to change price of pitches and provide customers with block booking deals.

4. Ability to gain feedback from customers on the condition of pitches.

5. In the case of the local councils find out which facilities are most popular.

Pitch Booker:

1. Ability to choose from a variety of pitches across several facilities.

2. Ability to block book a pitch for a set number of weeks.

3. Provide feedback on pitch condition to the owners.

4. See which facility is providing the best price.

5. Ability to reserve a certain pitch and time to see if it is suitable for a group and change if required.

4. Market & Industry Analysis

Market and Industry Analysis is important for any company with a product or service. It is essential for the company to understand what is already in the market place or if there is a gap which can be taken advantage of. For example, within the global PC market in the early years according to (Özsomer, Aysegül, & Cavusgil, 1999) ‘the PC industry has witnessed an influx of new entry under conditions of rapid technological change. Hence, there is a sufficient number of new entries to empirically demonstrate the underlying interdependencies’ (p.1040).

AllPitchBooking falls under the Information Technology industry as the service is an online and smart phone application booking service. Michael Porter who was a Harvard Business School Professor who specialised in business strategy. (Porter, 1979) said ‘the nature and degree of competition in an industry hinge on five forces: the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of customers, the bargaining power of suppliers, the threat of substitute products or services where applicable and the jockeying among current contestants.’ By using this model, it will help establish the environment which AllPitchHire can be identified within.
The below Appendix 1 (Porters Five Forces) shows AllPitchHires use of the Porters Five Forces Model.

4.1 Target Market

Initially AllPitchHire will mainly look to target Local Councils, Professional Football Clubs and Universities/Colleges based in Scotland. If there is significant interest and uptake in the service by these targeted clients in Scotland, AllPitchHire will look to move into other areas of the UK Market targeting a similar type of clients. (Dowling, 2004) found the Shell oil company researched thirty long-surviving companies. They discovered the importance of their market analysis which allowed the managers of these companies to change their ‘shared mental models’ of the marketplace quicker than the competition. This presented more time to innovate, imitate, and avoid crisis management within the companies. By clearing defining the target market this will allow AllPitchHire to have a clear marketing plan to appeal to the target clients.

4.2 Market Trends

Within Scotland football is one of the most popular sports, with four main professional leagues, various junior and amateur leagues. Unfortunately, the targeted clients were unwilling to disclose the number of bookings they received on their facilities. However, AllPitchHire was able to look at football participation rates in line with the Scottish population to look at how this compared against the size of the country. With a population of 5.4 million people in 2016 as shown in the below Figure 1. Figure 2 shows the percentage of adults who participate in football at 7% this was based 9,810 participants who took part in the Scottish household survey for 2017.

Figure 1: Projected Population of Scotland, National Records of Scotland (2017) Figure 2: Scottish household survey 2017: annual report (2018)

4.3 Analysis of Competition

The competition for AllPitchHire is difficult to pin point as this service will be a new idea for AllPitchHires targeted clients. Through secondary research into how the pitches are booked there are companies in Scotland that allow you to book pitches online but only for that specific centre. AllPitchHire differs from this as it aims to have a list of all available pitches across Scotland to provide several options to the end customer, i.e the pitch booker/user. See Appendix 2 (SWOT Analysis) below for SWOT Analysis of AllPitchHire.

4.4 Market Segmentation

Market Segmentation’s objective is to detail and characterise a specific consumer that would develop into potential targets for the company’s marketing strategy (Tynan & Drayton, 1987). The reason for targeting the clients mentioned in section 4.1 is because they have been carefully selected by AllPitchHire as the way to bring the service to the market and who would benefit from the services of AllPitchHire.

5. Marketing

Marketing is the process in which groups and individuals within society gather what they want and need through the creation, contribution and the willingness to exchange products and services of value with others (Kotler et al, 2009). Marketing is key to any product or service succeeding within its market. AllPitchHire will aim to use a wide variety of Marketing methods to reach the target market so that the service provided by AllPitchHire is benefiting its customers and they are getting the most out of the service.

5.1 Marketing Mix

The Marketing Mix or now commonly known as the Four P’s of marketing was originally devised by Neil Borden in the early 1950s. The 4 Ps of marketing is a scheme which allows the marketer to format the value of the existing or new product at the time it was brought to market (Kar, 2011). Using this model will help AllPitchHire define the Price, Product, Promotion and Place so that a specific customer or market can be defined which will then in turn help boost sales for the business.

See below Appendix 3 (4 P’s of Marketing)

5.2 Pricing Strategy

AllPitchHire has looked at the various facilities within its targeted clients and there will be potentially 32 councils, 15 Colleges/Universities and 4 Professional Football Clubs to target who could benefit from the AllPitchHire Booking Service. Appendix 4 (Price List) below details the Price List of the Service AllPitchHire will offer to the Councils, Colleges/Universities and Football Clubs.

6. Operations

Operations can be looked at in many ways. The main components for operations within business’ are processes – systems for how business is done, location – where business takes place, equipment – tools or machines required to carry out business processes and labour – the people who allow the business to function daily. Although the fundamental principles and techniques of operations such as planning & resource management may have to change due to advances in technology (Gunasekaran, Ngai & Eric, 2011).

6.1 Scope of Operations

AllPitchHire main office hours will be Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. However, with the nature of this service there may be a requirement for a technical support team. This is to ensure that AllPitchHire clients have limited downtime if any technical issues do arise.

6.2 Product Life Cycle

(Claessens, 2015) defines Product Life Cycle as ‘the course of a product’s sales and profits over its lifetime’. The stages to Product Life Cycle are;

1. Product Development – When a company has an idea and develops this into a product.

2. Introduction – When the product is brought to market.

3. Growth – When the product is recognised within the market and gains popularity.

4. Maturity – When the product is common and popularity beings to plateau.

5. Decline – When the product loses market or consumer popularity.

7. Organisational Structure and HR

Organisational Structure and HR is key to any companies’ daily function. There needs to be a clear chain of command set out for all staff to adhere to whilst at work. According to the research of (Rhee et al, 2017) which suggests that management create an organisational setting which employees can be given control of work activities through clear communications and flexibility from management…thus creating a working environment in which staff feel their work is valued and has meaning.
]7.1 Staff Members Job Descriptions

Appendix 5 (Job Descriptions) below provides the job descriptions of staff within AllPitchHire to start off, the aim will be to grow and expand to relieve work load.

7.2 Recruitment Strategy

Initially it will be the responsibility of Managing Director, Matthew Eastwood to recruit the staff needed to help take the developed booking service from a website and app into a functional company which can run from day to day. AllPitchHire will start of by advertising job positions on its website and through various recruitment agencies. Once the main managerial and technical positions are filled it will then be up to how well AllPitchHire performs as a service to see how each team expands if required.

7.3 Organisational Chart

Appendix 6 (Organisational Chart) below showcases the chain of command within AllPitchHire.

8. Financial Reflection

AllPitchHire will look to source capital in the form of business grants from companies such as Scottish Enterprise and their partners Business Gateway. Another avenue to help with start-up capital would be from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB). The SIB has invested anywhere from £10,000 to £10,000,000 in companies such as Live IT and Bellrock Technology. Knowing that technology companies have been given investment provides comfort to AllPitchHire that with a good business plan the potential for an investment is there. As a new start company, it would be helpful to have support from Scottish Enterprise to help and guide company owner Matthew Eastwood with any problems that may arise through the start-up period. Appendix 7 (Start Up Costs) below details the start-up costs AllPitchHire will require.

9. Corporate Social Responsibility

There are many definitions of what Corporate Social Responsibility is and how it is interpreted by different companies. (Ennals, 2011) defines corporate social responsibility as the ‘initiatives, of diverse kinds, address the gap between current practice and what is seen as more appropriate conduct by companies’ (p.143). However, at corporate level and amongst academics there is obdurate scepticism as to how corporate social responsibility should be defined (Dahlsrud, 2008).

Corporate Social Responsibility is central to the ethos of AllPitchHire as a company. All employees will work to carry out and maintain the corporate social responsibility policies set out by the company. AllPitchHire firmly believes in its social responsibilities to the wider community and therefore will focus on the following dimensions of its social responsibility.

1. Environment – AllPitchHire will endeavour to be energy efficient as the company is a booking system several computers may be required to store data such as historical bookings and customer details. As a company AllPitchHire will look to use cloud storage run on a central computer rather than having numerous computers to store this data.

2. Social – As AllPitchHire is a booking system for football pitches, AllPitchHire will donate a portion of its profits back into grass roots football to help develop the game in Scotland.

List of References

Claessens, M. (2015). Product Life Cycle Stages (PLC) – Managing the Product Life Cycle. Available: https://marketing-insider.eu/product-life-cycle-stages/. Last accessed 20th Mar 2019.
Dahlsrud, A., (2008). How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15(1), p.1–13.
Dowling, G.R., 2004. The art and science of marketing: Oxford: Oxford University Press. p.77
Ennals, R. (2011). Labour Issues and Corporate Social Responsibility. In: Idowu, S.O and Louche, C. Theory and Practice of Corporate Social Responsibility. Berlin: Springer. p143.
Gunasekaran, A. & Ngai, Eric W. T, 2011. The future of operations management an outlook and analysis. International journal of production economics, 135(2), p.687–701.
Kar, A.K. (3rd March 2011). The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies. Available: http://www.business-fundas.com/2011/the-4-ps-of-marketing-the-marketing-mix-strategies/. Last accessed 26th Mar 2019.
Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Brady, M., Goodman. M. & Hansen. T., (2009). Marketing management / 1st European., Harlow: Pearson Education. p7
Koshal. (15th July 2011). Difference Between Business and Company. Available: https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-business-and-vs-company/. Last accessed 8th March 2019.
Özsomer, A. & Tamer Cavusgil, S., (1999). A dynamic analysis of market entry rates in a global industry: a community ecology perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 33(11/12), p1040.
Porter, M., (1979). How competitive forces shape strategy. Harvard Business Review, 57(2), p.137.
Rhee, J.D., Seog, S.D., Bozorov, F. & Dedahanov, A.T., (2017). Organizational structure and employees’ innovative behavior: The mediating role of empowerment. Social Behavior and Personality, 45(9), p.1523–1536.
Tynan, A.C. & Drayton, J., (1987). Market segmentation. Journal of Marketing Management, 2(3), p.301–335.

List of Appendices

Appendix 1: Porters Five Forces
Appendix 2: SWOT Analysis
Appendix 3: 4 P’s of Marketing
Appendix 4: Price List
Appendix 5: Job Descriptions
Appendix 6: Organisational Chart
Appendix 7: Start Up Costs

List of Figures

Figure 1: Projected Population of Scotland, National Records of Scotland (2017)
Figure 2: Scottish household survey 2017: annual report (2018)

Word Count: 2094 excluding executive summary, reference list and appendices

28.3.2019

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