March 18, 2013
Individual Business Proposal
Introduction to Vision Quest Coaching
Triathlon training and coaching is a passion and hobby. I work as a triathlon coach at Vision Quest Coaching in the greater Chicago area. In 2000, Robbie Ventura (a former professional cyclist for 12 years, member of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team, and Tour de France commentator) started Vision Quest Coaching, a uniquely positioned program for endurance athletes focusing on high quality coaching delivered with the maximum benefits of the latest technology and training methodologies. The success of the athletes we coach has helped Vision Quest grow to five locations and helped hundreds of athletes reach their potential in competitive athletic events. The most recent expansion is a 14,000 square foot facility that houses the most advanced Vision Quest Performance Center as well as a TREK Concept store.
The market demand
Triathlon participation in the United States is at an all-time high, following unprecedented growth over the last decade. USA Triathlon has tracked the surge through membership numbers, which surpassed 150,000 annual members in 2011 (USA Triathlon, 2012). It is difficult to pinpoint the exact causes for the growth of the sport, but the following factors played a part: society’s interest in fitness and healthy living, growth of total races across the country (more accessible sprint races), media attention on the sport, growth in 30-49 age group looking for varied outlets for fitness, and the ego reward of saying you “are a triathlete.” The demographics of a triathlete: 63% are married, 49% report white-collar jobs, average income is $126,000 with 23% average income over $149,000, 88.2% are Caucasian/White and spending 50% of dollars (discretionary income) on bikes and bike equipment (USA Triathlon, 2012).
The market structure
Vision Quest Coaching is a monopolistic competition. This market structure is characterized by a relatively large number of firms producing differentiated products and easy entry and exit from the industry. Monopolistic competition involves firms with small market share with limited control over market price. Because of the relatively large number of firms there is no collusion and no feeling of interdependence because each firm can determine its own pricing structure without considering the possible reactions of rival firms (McConnell, Brue, & Flynn, 2009). Monopolistic competition is distinguished by product differentiation in which firms produce products with slightly differentiated characteristics such as physical, varying degrees of customer service, location, brand names and, packaging that gives these firms some control over price (McConnell et al., 2009).
The competitive landscape for Vision Quest Coaching is crowded between other smaller performance studios, local health clubs with a triathlon training component and triathlon clubs that use local fitness centers. All the competitors offer some form of triathlon training with the differentiation in the physical (dedicated performance center versus shared space), customer service (dedicated staff combination full-time and part-time coaches), brand name (Vision Quest carries a high-quality reputation in the performance community), and packaging. The Vision Quest offering is unique and unlike the competition. Vision Quest separates itself from the competition with the following services: membership provides unlimited access to facility and equipment, full-time/part-time and long-distance coaching, discounts on equipment, clinics and, seminars, on-site nutrition, cross-training classes (yoga, cross-fit, functional training), performance testing (to establish baseline fitness),...