The goal is to create a company that makes weighted blankets that are quality items but are reasonably priced. The company has been created, not to make a profit, but to help those with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders. The goal the first year is to break even. The goal the second year is to put all the profits into making blankets to be given away. They will be given away to those who can’t afford to purchase a blanket. The long term goal is to increase the amount of blankets given away each year. Situation Analysis
Weighted blankets are used by individuals with Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other neurological disorders. The blankets come in various sizes and weights. The blankets help a child improve body awareness, calm down, approve attention and focus, and decrease sensory seeking behaviors. (1) The blankets can also help adults as well. The Center for Disease Control estimates that Autism affects 1 in every 110 children. (2) The number has dramatically grown and the need for items such as weighted blankets has grown. The blankets are expensive and many parents don’t have the financial means to afford the blankets due to the cost. The goal is to make quality blankets that are also affordable. Market Summary
The market will be individuals with autism, sensory processing disorders, and other related disorders. The market is a very specialized market. The blankets come in different sizes, so as the child grows they will need to purchase an additional blanket. This item doesn’t have an infinite life, so the blankets will need to be replaced every few years, depending on how often the blanket is washed. Although the market is extremely specialized, there is a need for this product and an existing demand. SWOT Analysis
-Resources available to get word of mouth out regarding new product. -Product is already on the market and there is a known need for the product. Weaknesses:
-Costs of quality, reasonable components.
-Difficulty creating brand awareness.
-Lack of finances.
-Lack of staff.
-Providing a reasonably priced product for those that may not be able to afford the higher priced blankets. Threats:
-Lack of finances.
The weighted blanket is a niche item, so there are only a handful of suppliers. The goal is to provide a quality product at a reasonable price. The three companies that are considered competitors are Sensacalm, Dream Catcher, and Salt of the Earth. These competitors offer a similar product in a similar size. There are other companies that make weighted blankets, but they aren’t similar to the type that will be made and sold by Thompsons Weighted Blankets. Product Offering
The product offered will be a weighted blanket. It will vary in size and weights. The three sizes available are toddler, child, and adult. The blankets will be made out of a fleece or flannel fabric. The toddler blanket will measure approximately 34” x 50”. The child blanket will measure approximately 40” x 62”. The adult blanket will measure approximately 58” x 72”. Keys to Success
The keys to success are creating product recognition and keeping product costs reasonable in order to provide a reasonably priced product.
One of the critical issues is providing a product that is effective due to the sensitivities of many of the children on the autism spectrum and those with sensory processing disorder. One of the other critical issues is getting individuals to try the blankets. Another critical issue is how to measure the effectiveness of the blankets. Marketing Strategy Marketing will be selective and focus on the target customer of those with autism or sensory processing disorder. The blankets are well known in the Autism community and there is already a market and a need.