Want to start an event planning business but don’t know how to go about writing your business plan? Here’s where you will find a complete business plan template to get you started, and on the road to a new business venture.
Welcome to the future of event planning! Occasions, The Event Planning Specialists, brings to the community of Portland a new breath of air in the event planning market. By combining old fashioned values, going the extra mile, and using cutting edge event-planning software, Occasions will lead the market, providing the same quality results, every time.
Occasions is an equal opportunity business making its expertise and its products available to help its customers plan their own events. Party Packs (complete kits for their event), make hosting a party a snap, right down to the refreshments.
The event planning software brings interactive event planning as close as their personal computer. Through these and other affordable products and services, Occasions aims to be the number one resource for any event.
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Occasions is a small business aimed at the big time. In order to reach its lofty goals, Occasions must focus on the mission behind the vision. It will take all the employees, owners, founders, and vendors daily living the vision that Occasions represents. The vision manifests itself in three ways:
- Be one of the top three event planning specialists in the Northwestern United States.
- Justly compensate the employees, owners, and founders of Occasions.
- Produce the same quality results, every time.
In an ever changing, fast-paced world, success is determined by good choices for lasting effects. Communication is essential. Occasions strives to be the best choice of clients by helping to ease their event planning burden. Through consistent, predictable professionalism, Occasions will ensure a worry and hassle-free event at a reasonable price.
But, not all our clients will be external. Occasions has internal clients to serve. Occasions will strive to provide the same predictable and professional working environment to its employees and contracted vendors, justly compensating them for their services. It is also a priority to make a comfortable living wage for its owners, founders, full-time staff, and their families.
Keeping in tune with the needs of the market, utilising the latest technology and trends, all while ensuring the client receives the individual attention they deserve, is the vision and daily mission of Occasions; The Event Planning Specialists.
3. Keys to Success
Our keys to success include the commitment to quality by every person who is part of the team. Each of us will be responsible to push ourselves to a higher level of professionalism in three areas:
- Consistent, accurate fulfillment of the client’s wishes.
- Competitive pricing for the quality of services offered.
- Significant profit made on each event planned.
Related: Free Business Plan Template Download
Founded originally on a part-time basis, Occasions is a small business designed to meet the needs of the ever changing social world. Portland, Oregon is the current home with plans to expand to branch offices within four years.
Occasions’ staff of two, with numerous contract vendors, plans events, writes event-planning products, and trains area students in the art of event planning.
Occasions is invested in the community it resides in. Occasions is, in part, the answer to demands of the social world, on the working family, heavily-burdened office, out-of-town business, or special occasion in need of special recognition. As a business, we understand the needs of public and private organisations.
As parents and family members, we understand the needs of setting special time apart from other events in our lives. Occasions strives to accomplish these goals, in Portland and eventually other areas of the Pacific Northwest.
1. Company Ownership
Occasions is established as a sole proprietorship with the intention of selling the business when it is established to one of the employees invested in the vision of event planning.
All aspects of the business will be documented to ensure clients can count on the same results every time. It is these documents that will become the basis of ownership. The sole proprietor will use his or her name as the guarantor of each service.
Therefore, the sole proprietor must embody the vision and mission of Occasions.
2. Start-up Summary
Through careful planning on the part of the founders, the start-up costs for Occasions are minimal. It began as a home-based business with little overhead, and it continues to demand fewer outlay of funds as a service-based business.
The start-up cost investment funds were assets saved from prior earnings by the owners who did event planning on a part-time basis before establishing themselves as a business.
It is the wish of the founders to remain a debt-free establishment. However, recognising that in reality not all variables are controllable, outside financing is a viable option. Both founders own homes and have a perfect credit rating.
3. Company Locations and Facilities
Occasions is located inside the city limits of Portland, Oregon. It is a home-based business. Most meetings with clients are conducted in social settings, such as restaurants, coffee houses, the client’s home, facilities wishing to be used for the event, or over the phone.
Although the demand has not yet reached its peak, Occasions will eventually move from its home base into a small office complex, also within the city limits of Portland, Oregon.
When the company has reached its finished point, Occasions will have branch offices in Portland, Eugene, and Bend, Oregon, Seattle, Vancouver, and Olympia, Washington, and Boise and Sun Valley, Idaho.
The company will maintain a high degree of professionalism. All offices are equipped with the latest in business technology, such as telephone systems, computers, fax machines, email, duplicators, printers, and software. Each location will have a secure storage area for supplies and equipment used in events, such as walkie-talkies, cellular phones, portable fax machines, and laptops.
Related: Setting Up a Home Office
3Products and Services
Although Occasions is primarily a service business, we also offer products to aid our customers in planning the event themselves. The following products are tools used inside our operation for the best possible results:
- Party Pack: The Party Pack is a complete kit for any party. It includes decorations, lighting effects guide, disposable theme cameras, cutlery, plates, napkins, cups, punch mix (or recipe), snack supplies (or recipe), tablecloths, theme music (where applicable), invitations, thank-you cards, and a step-by-step guide to planning, putting together,and hosting the event.
- Step-by-Step Guides: These booklets include a calendar to map out the event, a step-by-step guide on what is needed for and how to put together a successful, worry-free event, resource information, popular refreshments with recipes, games, and tips to put their event in the record books. The events available include birthdays for all ages, meetings, retreats, parties, vacations, and special occasion celebrations such as graduations, holidays, showers, weddings, and receptions.
- Event Planning Software: Due to be released June 2000, this cutting-edge tool will allow the client all the resources and visual aids for their event planning. They will be able to play with decoration themes, listen to theme music, design invitations, thank-you cards, and RSVP cards, use the interactive planning calendar, and much more. This software will bring their event into the millennium with cutting edge technology that is designed to save time and money.
- Resources Manual: This valuable guide acts as a review for all the resources located in the surrounding area. A ranking is given to the various services, such as caterers, decorators, disc jockeys, bands, and facilities. This manual gives the client the freedom of making a choice based on experience.
Free Event Planners Training for High School and College Students As a member of the Portland community, it is our mission to support our community. Ten hours each month will be devoted to training area students in event planning.
This will aid them in planning proms, graduation parties, river clean-ups, homecoming, and other important events. This is a priority of Occasions. It will not be cut back as the business grows. Occasions provides event planning in a wide range of applications. We guarantee satisfaction in the areas of appearance, performance, and taste. The following is a sampling of the types of events we plan every year:
- Meetings, Trainings, and Retreats.
- Conferences and Workshops.
- Birthdays, Anniversaries, Graduations and Holidays.
- Weddings, Receptions, and Showers.
- Company picnics, banquets, and award ceremonies.
…..and any other event that needs to be planned.
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1. Competitive Comparison
Occasions, although young, draws from the age-old tradition of going above and beyond what is expected, every time. Our systems for event planning have been drawn up, evaluated, practiced, worked, and reworked to ensure the maximum efficiency while minimising the possibility of error.
We employ local vendors who have the same desire to be the best at what they do, while providing un-matchable services. Thus, we give back to the community by providing jobs outside of our organisation. We encourage new and upcoming small businesses who provide a service within our need base to step up to the challenge of being the best through their contract with Occasions.
Our products will serve the function of aiding those that cannot afford the cost of an event planner. We wish to make our event planning tips available to those who need a helping hand. Occasions is a member of the community.
Through event planning, Occasions gets the opportunity to laugh when the community laughs and cry when the community cries, to rejoice when the community rejoices and to help put the pieces back together when things change or begin to fall apart. We care about the things that have meaning in the lives of our neighbours.
Related: Free Competitor Analysis Example
4Market Analysis Summary
The following sections describe the market segmentation, strategies, and industry analysis.
1. Market Segmentation
The breakdown of the market for event planning, falls in a wide, very diverse grouping. Individuals as well as organisations demand the services we provide.
In order to provide the greatest depth of information, the market segments have been broken down into private and public organisations, and age groups.
Private Organisations and Businesses
Private organisations make up the single largest portion of Occasions’ client base. Private organisations such as businesses, corporations, and political parties host the most events on the largest scales, therefore, these events generate larger revenues per event.
The majority of larger scale holiday functions will fall under this segment.
Government agencies host many events every year. Occasions hopes to alleviate the pressure of event planning for public employees.
The second single largest segment, the public sector, can save money and give back to its community at the same time. These events are moderate in scale with middle to low revenues generated. Emphasis is placed on the visibility of the event for public viewing. The majority of organisational family functions will fall under this segment.
Under 24: Persons under the age of twenty-four (24) using an event planner are rare at best. We hope to tap the early college graduates who have begun their professional careers but have not yet started their families.
These events will focus mainly on themes with moderate to high energy appeal. The revenues generated will range from moderate to high, depending on the event. The majority of weddings will fall into this segment.
Ages 25-55: The persons that fall into this age group are employed, middle to upper-middle class families. The reason they choose event planners is they are too busy to do it themselves. Therefore, Occasions will be on hand for questions, contact will be moderate in length but occur regularly so as not to disturb the daily life of the families.
These events will generate moderate revenues, with a few generating low revenues. The majority of special occasion planning will occur in this market segment.
Ages 56 and above: Persons over the age of 55 have reached the turning point of life. Many are retiring, others are celebrating anniversaries of significant years, and still others are seeing that their children’s special events are taken care of.
These events will generate moderate to high revenues depending upon the income level of the family (direct correlation to social status). Most holiday parties, and other special occasions, such as wedding receptions and reunions, will occur in this market segment.
This segment has no direct information to compile for a description. It consists of any event planned that does not fit into one of the above categories.
2. Target Market Segment Strategy
Our target markets are middle to upper-middle class families, couples, individuals, or private and public organisations. We chose these groups because they are most able to afford event planners, and have the least amount of time to spare for event planning in general.
Families demand attention, employees are overburdened, and overwhelming detail needed to plan large events are too large a constraint to place on people not trained in the area of event planning.
The fast pace of the world we live in leaves little time for extra things we would like to do, like plan events, parties, and social get-togethers.
Occasions fills the need by being available to take on the burden of planning so that people can spend time on more important things, like family and friends.
The demand for this service can only increase considering the rise in incomes, population, and need for interpersonal relations in the workplace.
3. Service Business Analysis
Occasions is in a unique position of competition. We compete against hotels with conference facilities, conference centres, other event planners both on the large and small scale, persons within an organisation who are assigned the task of organising an event, and people who wish to organise their own events without the benefit of assistance.
The benefits and drawbacks of each of our competitors as compared with the services we offer are hardly a match in quality and price.
Hotels and Conference Centres
Strengths: On-site facilities, equipment, and support staff. Ability to transport and house persons for overnight stays. Able to internalise costs of transportation and equipment.
Weakness: Often very expensive, impersonal, rely on unskilled labor for support staff. The error rate is high due to high volume and traffic from other events happening at the same time.
Other Event Planners
Strengths: Have been in the market longer, have established a reputation and client base.
Weakness: Reputation precedes them, no systems-based businesses designed to produce consistent results; focus on smaller events, specialised events are main focused rather than all events; do not have the supporting products to market with, or instead of, event planning services. Employees or Persons wishing to do it themselves
Strengths: Internalised cost of planning the event; able to add tiny personalised touches that have meaning within the group or family.
Weakness: Consumes time that could be spent on other things; don’t have access to the best prices, services, and other needed resources available.
Coffee Shop Business Plan
This sample business plan will give you the basic guidelines for starting up a coffee shop.
Coffee Shop Business Plan
Want to start your own coffee shop but struggling to put your business plan down on paper? We’ve taken taken the guess-work out of it for you by writing a coffee shop business plan that you can adapt to suit your own needs.
An example company – “Java Culture coffee” bar is determined to become a daily necessity for local coffee addicts, a place to dream of as you try to escape the daily stresses of life and just a comfortable place to meet your friends or to read a book, all in one.
With the growing demand for high-quality gourmet coffee and great service, Java Culture will capitalise on its proximity to the University of Oregon campus to build a core group of repeat customers.
Java Culture will offer its customers the best prepared coffee in the area that will be complimented with pastries, as well as free books that its patrons can read to enjoy their visit.
The company will operate a 2,300 square foot coffee bar within a walking distance from the University of Oregon campus. The owners have secured this location through a three-year lease with an option for extending.
The have also provided R1,4 Million of the required R1,7 Million start-up funds. The remaining capital will be obtained through Bank of America commercial loans.
The company is expected to grow sales revenue from R584 000 in FY2001 to R706 000 in year three. As Java Culture will strive to maintain a 65% gross profit margin and reasonable operating expenses, it will see net profits grow from R1 Million to R1,25 Million during the same period.
Java Culture’s objectives for the first year of operations are:
- Become selected as the “Best New Coffee Bar in the area” by the local restaurant guide.
- Turn in profits from the first month of operations.
- Maintain a 65% gross margin.
2. Keys to Success
The keys to success will be:
- Store design that will be both visually attractive to customers, and designed for fast and efficient operations.
- Employee training to insure the best coffee preparation techniques.
- Marketing strategies aimed to build a solid base of loyal customers, as well as maximising the sales of high margin products, such as espresso drinks.
Java Culture will make its best effort to create a unique place where customers can socialise with each other in a comfortable and relaxing environment while enjoying the best brewed coffee or espresso and pastries in town.
We will be in the business of helping our customers to relieve their daily stresses by providing piece of mind through great ambience, convenient location, friendly customer service, and products of consistently high quality.
Java Culture will invest its profits to increase the employee satisfaction while providing stable return to its shareholders.
Java Culture, an Oregon limited liability company, sells coffee, other beverages and snacks in its 2,300 square feet premium coffee bar located near the University of Oregon campus.
Java Culture’s major investors are Arthur Garfield and James Polk who cumulatively own over 70% of the company. The start-up loss of the company is assumed in the amount of R270 680.
1. Company Ownership
Java Culture is registered as a Limited Liability Corporation in the state of Oregon. Arthur Garfield owns 51% of the company. His cousin, James Polk, as well as Megan Flanigan and Todd Barkley hold minority stakes in Java Culture, LLC.
2. Company Locations and Facilities
Java Culture coffee bar will be located on the ground floor of the commercial building at the corner of West 13th Avenue and Patterson Street in Eugene, OR.
The company has secured a one-year lease of the vacant 2,500 square feet premises previously occupied by a hair salon. The lease contract has an option of renewal for three years at a fixed rate that Java Culture will execute depending on the financial strength of its business.
The floor plan will include a 200 square feet back office and a 2,300 square feet coffee bar, which will include a seating area with 15 tables, a kitchen, storage area and two bathrooms.
The space in the coffee bar will be approximately distributed the following way – 1,260 square feet (i.e., 55% of the total) for the seating area, 600 square feet (26%) for the production area, and the remaining 440 square feet (19%) for the customer service area.
This property is located in a commercial area within a walking distance from the University of Oregon campus on the corner of a major thoroughfare connecting affluent South Eugene neighbourhood with the busy downtown commercial area.
The commercially zoned premises have the necessary water and electricity hookups and will require only minor re-modeling to accommodate the espresso bar, kitchen and storage area.
The coffee bar’s open and clean interior design with modern wooden decor will convey the quality of the served beverages and snacks, and will be in-line with the establishment’s positioning as an eclectic place where people can relax and enjoy their cup of coffee.
The clear window displays, through which passerby will be able to see customers enjoying their beverages, and outside electric signs will be aimed to grab the attention of the customer traffic.
Java Culture will offer its customers the best tasting coffee beverages in the area. This will be achieved by using high-quality ingredients and strictly following preparation guidelines.
The store layout, menu listings and marketing activities will be focused on maximising the sales of higher margin espresso drinks. Along with the espresso drinks, brewed coffee and teas, as well as some refreshment beverages, will be sold in the coffee bar.
Java Culture will also offer its clients pastries, small salads and sandwiches. For the gourmet clientele that prefers to prepare its coffee at home, Java Culture will also be selling coffee beans.
The menu offerings will be supplemented by free books and magazines that customers can read inside the coffee bar.
1. Product Description
The menu of the Java Culture coffee bar will be built around espresso-based coffee drinks such as lattes, mochas, cappuccinos, etc. Each of the espresso-based drinks will be offered with whole, skimmed, or soy milk.
Each of these coffee beverages is based on a ‘shot’ of espresso, which is prepared in the espresso machine by forcing heated water through ground coffee at high pressure.
Such espresso shots are combined with steamed milk and/or other additives like cocoa, caramel, etc., to prepare the espresso-based beverages. Proper preparation techniques are of paramount importance for such drinks.
A minor deviation from the amount of coffee in the shot, the size of the coffee particles, the temperature of milk, etc., can negatively affect the quality of the prepared drink.
2. Sales Literature
Two thousand flyers will be distributed in the adjacent neighbourhood, on the University campus, at the malls and in the selected office buildings within two weeks prior to the opening of Java Culture. Subsequently, free postcards with Java Culture endorsement will be printed to increase the company visibility among the patrons.
Related: Free Sample Business Plans
4Market Analysis Summary
U.S. coffee consumption has shown steady growth, with gourmet coffee having the strongest growth. Coffee drinkers in the Pacific Northwest are among the most demanding ones.
They favour well-brewed gourmet coffee drinks and demand great service. Eugene, OR, with its liberal and outgoing populace and long rainy winter, has traditionally been a great place for coffee establishments.
Java Culture will strive to build a loyal customer base by offering a great tasting coffee in a relaxing environment of its coffee bar located close to the bustling University of Oregon campus.
1. Market Segmentation
Java Culture will focus its marketing activities on reaching the University students and faculty, people working in offices located close to the coffee bar and on sophisticated teenagers.
Our market research shows that these are the customer groups that are most likely to buy gourmet coffee products. Since gourmet coffee consumption is universal across different income categories and mostly depends on the level of higher education, proximity to the University of Oregon campus will provide access to the targeted customer audience.
2. Target Market Segment Strategy
Java Culture will cater to people who want to get their daily cup of great-tasting coffee in a relaxing atmosphere.
Such customers vary in age, although our location close to the University campus means that most of our clientele will be college students and faculty. Our market research shows that these are discerning customers that gravitate towards better tasting coffee.
Furthermore, a lot of college students consider coffee bars to be a convenient studying or meeting location, where they can read or meet with peers without the necessity to pay cover charges. For us, this will provide a unique possibility for building a loyal client base.
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2.1. Market Needs
General trend toward quality among U.S. consumers definitely plays an important role in the recent growth in gourmet coffee. Additionally, such factors as desire for small indulgencies, for something more exotic and unique, provide a good selling opportunity for coffee bars.
3. Industry Analysis
Coffee consumption has shown a steady 2.5% growth rate in the United States over the last decade. In 1994, total sales of coffee were approximately R75 Billion with gourmet coffee representing 33% (or R25 Billion) of that. The retail coffee industry is flourishing in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
The local climate, with a long rainy season, is very conducive for the consumption of hot non-alcoholic beverages. At the same time, hot dry summers drive people into cafes to order iced drinks. Further, coffee has really become a part of the lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest.
Its discerning coffee drinkers are in favour of well-prepared, strong coffee-based beverages, which they can consume in a relaxing environment.
3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
According to the 1997 Oregon Food service Statistics (NAICS 72), Eugene had 45 established snack & non-alcoholic beverage bars (NAICS 722213) with total sales of R142 Million. Among other establishments that offer coffee drinks to their customers are most of Eugene’s limited- and full-service restaurants.
Java Culture’s direct competitors will be other coffee bars located near the University of Oregon campus. These include Starbucks, Cafe Roma, The UO Bookstore, and other Food service establishments that offer coffee.
Starbucks will definitely be one of the major competitors because of its strong financial position and established marketing and operational practices. However, despite of Starbuck’s entrenched market position, many customers favour smaller, independent establishments that offer cozy atmosphere and good coffee at affordable prices.
Cafe Roma is a good example of such competition. We estimate that Starbucks holds approximately 35% market share in that neighbourhood, Cafe Roma appeals to 25% of customers, The UO Bookstore caters to another 10%, with the remaining market share split among other establishments.
Java Culture will position itself as a unique coffee bar that not only offers the best tasting coffee and pastries but also provides home-like, cozy and comfortable environment, which established corporate establishments lack. We will cater to customers’ bodies and minds, which will help us grow our market share in this competitive market.
The major reason for the customers to return to a specific coffee bar is a great tasting coffee, quick service and pleasant atmosphere. Although, as stated before, coffee consumption is uniform across different income segments, Java Culture will price its product offerings competitively. We strongly believe that selling coffee with a great service in a nice setting will help us build a strong base of loyal clientele.
Travel Tour Agency Sample Business Plan
Start-Up your travel tour agency with a business plan similar to this detailed example.
Starting your own travel tour agency but don’t know how to compile your business plan? Here’s an example of a dummy company’s business plan to get you thinking about how to create yours.
Travel Tour Agency Business Plan
The tourism industry has undergone rapid growth of unsurpassed nature over the last several decades. This has mainly been due to the advent of a ‘borderless’ world and increased information dissemination about the majestic sceneries throughout the world, with the southern African region being no exception.
We are on the brink of penetrating a lucrative market in a rapidly growing industry. The current trend towards an increase in the number of tourists entering the country presents an opportunity for Sephats Tours to penetrate the market.
An opportunity for Sephats Tours’ success exists because the national tourism industry is growing at a rapid pace annually. Sephats Tours is poised to take advantage of this growth and moderate competition in the city travel portion of the industry, with a dedicated and experienced staff, excellent networking, and effective management and marketing. Sephats Tours intends to provide travel and adventure packages to tourists primarily in the Southern region, but also the whole of Botswana.
Services and products provided by Sephats will initially include pre-arranged tours, custom packages according to clients specifications, travel consultation, and as time progresses making reservations for lodging amongst other related services. Sephats Tours seeks to differentiate itself as the premier adventure mobile operator in the greater Gaborone area.
Our services will be positioned very carefully: They will be of extremely high quality, comfortable, informative and tailored to the clients needs such that they will enable individuals to have a greater appreciation of the natural environment and its intricacies.
Resource: Business Plan Examples to Get You Going
Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on ensuring customers know about our existence and the service(s) we fulfill. Hence our intention is to make the right information available to the right target customers. This will be done through implementing a market penetration strategy that will ensure that we are well known and respected in the tourism industry.
We will ensure that our prices take into consideration peoples’ budgets, that these people appreciate the service(s), know that it exists, and how to contact us. The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication.
Our promotional strategy will involve integrating advertising, events, personal selling, public relations, direct marketing and the Internet, details of which are provided in the marketing section of this plan.
It is important to recognise that we do not intend to just take individuals on sightseeing excursions, but also to ensure that they appreciate nature through informative briefings on objects’ origins.
This element will assist in differentiating us from our competitors and contribute towards the development of a sustainable competitive advantage. Hence we need to engage the right people in the right place at the right time if we are to ensure optimum growth. We intend to develop our team so that our people can grow as the company grows – a mutually beneficial relationship.
We project sales to increase from more than P350,000 (Botswana Pula [P]) the first year to more than P556,500 the second, and P630,000 in the third year.
In a nutshell, we do not just intend to market and sell our service, but to market and sell travel solutions and a total-quality environment. This will ensure we establish a reputable corporate image.
Our business strategy will revolve around the need to provide quality service to our various target customers, in the process fully satisfying their needs. This shall be undertaken through recruitment of a professional team and the provision of good quality custom-designed travel packages, catering to the client’s particular needs.
With time our marketing campaign will increase the awareness of our services in the various market segments we shall be targeting. This is particularly so with the organisation looking at establishing a clear advantage(s) in an increasingly competitive market.
We will provide clients with the opportunity to focus on their core activities whilst their transportation side needs are fully satisfied. Marketing material shall be professionally done so as to be reflective of our intended image and reputation.
We shall position ourselves as a quality commercial transportation operator that provides customer-need fulfillment, enjoyment, reliability and a good image. We intend to establish a good rapport with all the relevant stakeholders, especially hotels and travel agents.
We also intend to have well-designed brochures and other promotional material that will enable clients to have an understanding of the types of services we offer and advantages of utilising them.
In addition well-done, informative brochures, fact sheets and business cards often have a triggering effect on clients contemplating utilising our services. Hence this will undoubtedly generate increased sales of our service.
Resource: Free Sample Business Plans
In summary we intend to attain the following objectives:
- Continuously provide enjoyable quality excursions/trips on time and on budget.
- Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.
- Establish a market presence that assures short-term and long-term profitability, growth and success.
- We are fully committed to supporting growth and development in the tourism and overall economy of Botswana.
- Contribute positively to our communities and our environment.
Internally we intend to create and nurture a healthy, exuberant, respectful, and enjoyable environment, in which our employees are fairly compensated and encouraged to respect the customer and the quality of the service we intend to provide.
In addition follow-up will be mandatory so as ensure customer satisfaction and make any improvements as recommended by the customers in future.
We seek fair and responsible profit, enough to keep the company financially healthy for the short and long term, and to fairly remunerate employees for the work and effort.
3. Keys to Success
The keys to Sephats Tours success will undoubtedly be effective market segmentation through identification of several niche markets and implementation strategies.
Along these lines the company intends to implement advertising, personal selling and direct marketing strategies to the target markets.
Our personal selling marketing strategies will rotate around keeping in touch with hotels and travel agencies for major customers, and advertising for more individual customers. Hence our key success factors will include the following:
- Excellence in fulfilling the promise: We intend to offer completely enjoyable, comfortable and informative travel excursions that will ensure that travelers are thoroughly satisfied and appreciative at the end of their trip.
- Timely response to customers’ requests: We cannot afford to delay our clients for whatever reason, as this will have a negative bearing on our image and reputation, including future business. Hence we need to be continually communicating with the client, including hotels and lodges so as to ensure that we are constantly available to the client meeting their expectations.
- Solid and fruitful strategic alliances: Considering the nature of our services and our relative infancy on the market, we realise the importance of establishing and maintaining fruitful strategic alliances with various stakeholders, including hotels, lodges, and travel agencies, amongst others, so as be assured of a constant flow of customers, fulfilling their needs at every opportunity.
- Marketing know-how: As a relatively new company on the market there will be a need to aggressively market our business and the services we provide so as to be continuously at the top of our prospective clients minds. This will also act as a temporary deterrent for companies contemplating entering our market. Advertising shall be undertaken on a regular basis.
Resource: Free Business Plan Template Download
Sephats Tours intends to provide individual and group travel to leisure clients. Services and products provided by Sephats will initially include pre-arranged tours, custom packages according to clients specifications, travel consultation, and as time progresses making reservations for lodging amongst other related services. Sephats Tours seeks to differentiate itself as the premier adventure travel company in the greater Gaborone area.
As it grows it will take on people and expand into related markets and services. It will also look for additional leverage by establishing relationships and representations with appropriate strategic allies.
1. Company Ownership
Sephats Tours is a Private Limited company incorporated at the Registrar of Companies through the foresight and vision of Mr. X and Mrs. Y. It is a 100% wholly owned Botswana firm.
2. Start-up Summary
Thus far the directors have contributed one hundred and sixty seven thousand pula (P167,000) to purchase a Mercedes Benz mini bus currently in its possession and P30,000 for cash expenses. Total start-up expenses covered (including legal costs, business plan compilation, license costs and related expenses) come to approximately P5,000.
3. Company Locations and Facilities
At present the company offices are located at Plot Number 28338, Block 3, Belabela road opposite Gaborone Television Station, near Hill Crest Primary School. However, as time progresses the intention is to move into more accessible and attractive offices in a prime area. This regardless of the fact that our type of business is not too dependent on office location and size.
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Sephats Tours is a travel company that intends to deliver leisure travel excursions to customers. Sephats intends to guide customers in selecting a trip(s) based on pre-defined vacation criteria. This analysis will be based on user profiles, set by the consumers, which includes preferences such as:
- Activities sought
- Destination, and
- Time of Travel
A traveler will hence be able to select areas of interest based on their preferences and subsequently identify destinations to visit. The intention is to provide customers with access to exclusive travel destinations, service to fully appreciate destinations through information packages, not just sight-seeing, and access to special interest travel according to the group’s/individual’s preferences.
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1. Competitive Comparison
There are presently few competitors offering services similar to ours. However considering the pace of change and current growth rate of the tourism industry luring many companies into the sector, this may be short-lived. Hence there will be a need to not only firmly establish ourselves on the market, but also strongly differentiate ourselves from these other businesses. However on a broader scale our competition comes in several forms:
The most significant competition are hotels and travel agencies offering travel excursions to their clients. They undertake this service in order to establish a competitive advantage over their competitors. However, instead of directly competing with them we intend to establish good working relationships in the form of strategic alliances such that we are able to offer the service for their clients and thus enabling them to concentrate on their core activities whilst ensuring customers are fully satisfied.
Our key advantage in this regard will be our specialty of the service and hence wide knowledge ensuring customer satisfaction at all times as well as flexibility in providing the service. Existing hotels, lodges and travel agencies may identify the opportunity to diversify into our intended services utilising their current client database.
Naturally, existing clients will be inclined towards utilising these familiar companies due to the fact that a good relationship may have already been nurtured over the years during their business dealings.
This presents a potential challenge to us, as we need to aggressively market our services and expertise in the field. Existing safari operators that mainly focus on the remote environs such as Maun and Kasane are at times able to compromise, offering excursions in and around Gaborone, though very rare. Hence we intend to focus on this market. An analysis of competition is provided in the Market Analysis section of this plan.
2. Service Description
Sephats Tours intends to offer the service and knowledge a discerning leisure traveler seeks whilst on vacation, with the intention of seeing and appreciating the numerous sights in the area.
Keeping in mind the comforts of a tourist, our fleet shall be very well maintained and designed as per customer standard and expectations. However not wanting to limit ourselves we intend to be open to special hire by churches, organisations, groups, schools and sports teams, amongst other related groups.
The game reserves and lodges that we intend to be our main destinations are:
- Mokolodi Nature Reserve
- Goborone Game Reserve
- Gaborone Dam
- The Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages
- Kolobeng and Thamaga
- Khutse Game Reserve
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Below is a briefing of several places of interest and their various attractions.
- Mokolodi Nature Reserve: Set in a wide valley just 10 minutes drive from the city, this scenic reserve offers a well-developed network of game drives and stone and thatch chalets overlooking a water hole. Mokolodi also offers the rare opportunity to track rhino or to walk through the bush with young elephants. These excursions offer excellent photographic opportunities. Evening drives can include a bush braai giving visitors the chance to see the more unusual nocturnal creatures.
- Gaborone Game Reserve: This 550 hectare reserve provides an ideal get-away for tourists who can see a remarkable range of wildlife in the park including rhino, eland, zebra, gemsbok, wildebeest, kudu, ostrich and impala, all on well-maintained bush roads that are designed for easy access. Bird watching in the Gaborone Game Reserve is excellent, particularly along the eastern edge, bounded by Notwane River, and it typifies the incredible diversity of bird life to be found throughout the Gaborone area.
- Gaborone Dam: On the south bank a remarkably rich variety of bird and wildlife can be seen, including herds of impala, kudu and scuttling families of warthog. New picnic sites, which are currently under development will also provide places of interest. The Gaborone Yacht Club is the main attraction on the dam with its swimming pool, bar and wide verandah overlooking the water off a rocky koppie in the middle of the dam which often becomes an island in the wet season.
- The Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages: In Oodi the main attraction will be the Lenstwe-la-Oodi weavers. In Mochudi apart from traditionally decorated Setswana architecture, the tourists will find the most southerly baobab trees in Botswana and traditional crafts including the Ithuteng Tin Workshop and Ikgabiseng handmade jewelery. The Phuthadikobo Museum in Mochudi will also be an attraction site.
Other sites will include Matsieng Foot Point, Gemsbok National Park, Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Legaga la ga Kobokwe, Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve, Nxaii Pan and Khama Rhino Sanctuary.
Integrating the above places of interest into our tours we intend to be offering the following tours:
- “Capital Crusade” – City Tour: This will be a professionally guided tour around the city centre including visits to the Main Mall, Finance Mall, National Museum, City Council Library, Gaborone Station, and House of Parliament including others. These tours shall be eye opening in terms of the normal Botswana town folk life style providing knowledge and information throughout the guided tour. Included in this package will be refreshments and information folders detailing the main sites and history of Gaborone. This tour will cover approximately 50 kilometers taking about half a day to complete. Cost: PX per person.
- “Cultural Enrichment” – Cultural Tour: This shall involve tours to the main historical and cultural sites in and around Gaborone including Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Oodi and Mochudi Craft Villages, including the cultural dances. This tour shall reveal the ‘Kgotla’ – cultural villages, traditional paintings and art, as well as the traditional lifestyle. Obviously baobabs will make for good viewing. The tour package will include an information folder, guided tour and refreshments. This tour will cover approximately 200 kilometers taking the whole day to complete. Cost: PY per person.
- “The Essence: Past & Present” – City & Cultural Tour: This will be a combination of the cultural tour and city centre excursion. This will be marketed as a “total package” enabling tourists with very little time to appreciate the Botswana lifestyle, both in the present and past. This tour will invariably take the whole day and cover approximately 250 kilometres. The tour package will include the information folder, guided tour, refreshments and a picnic lunch. Cost: PZ per person.
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At a large scale research demonstrates that tourism is undergoing a rapid growth of unsurpassed nature. Generally there is a trend towards shorter stays but increased visits, as individuals strive to experience as many cultures as possible, including seeing as many attractions as possible.
Increasingly Botswana is being marketed as “one of the few places in Africa where game sanctuaries have remained completely unspoiled.
A destination that unlocks the mystery of nature – an oasis in a wilderness which is an ideal escape for nature lovers. Very little of this fascinating country has seen human habitation – this is true Africa in all her remoteness and authenticity.”
With such marketing in place the number of tourists entering the country is bound to increase, presenting a larger potential market for ourselves. This potential market is what we seek to tap.
4. Sales Literature
The business will begin with a general corporate brochure establishing its position on the market. This brochure will be developed as part of the start-up expenses including the business cards and Company Profile, mainly for the large organisations that often recommend services to potential customers.
Compliment slips are also intended so as to raise awareness of the company and its services. We also intend to have information pamphlets that will provide information on our various tour packages. Literature and mailings for the initial market forums will be very important.
The key fulfillment and delivery will be provided by the employees of the company. The real core value will be professional expertise, provided by a combination of expertise, experience, hard work, and education (in that order). Hence we intend to ensure that the work we undertake is always thorough and relevant to the clients’ needs.
We will turn to reputable companies for supplying the necessary individuals and groups for our services. Hence the need to establish good relationships with our strategic allies.
Sephats Tours will strive to ensure that it contains the latest, or extremely recent personal computer including relevant software so as to ensure that the company is continuously at the forefront in our market arena.
The one certainty in our industry is that technology will continue to evolve and develop, changing what we market as well as how we market it. Our aim will be to be aware of the implications of this new technology and utilizing it in our existing framework where possible. However it should be noted that as we are new on the market it will take some time before we have in place our own website and other multimedia presentations.
With time we also intend to have the latest and most efficient software in place to enable smooth operations.
7. Future Services
In putting the company together we have attempted to offer enough services to allow us to always be in demand by our customers and clients. The most important factor in developing future services/products is market need.
Our understanding of the needs of our target market segments shall be one of our competitive advantages. It is critical to our effort to develop the right new services. In the future, Sephats Tours intends to broaden its coverage by expanding into additional markets.
One of the main services it aims at providing is to become a destination management company that brings alive the magnificence of this country to the traveler. This will be done by co-coordinating the traveler’s entire experience from hotel bookings, safaris and tours, greeting and porter services, and to tour packages and incentives. However in doing so we will strive to ensure that it is compatible with the existing products and company personnel.
As time progresses the intention will to provide a Southern Africa tour package covering the whole of southern Africa.
Market Analysis Summary
We are today experiencing a rapid growth in the economy of unsurpassed nature. This has been brought about by, amongst other things, the relaxation of foreign exchange policies and macroeconomic policies geared towards attracting foreign investors into the country.
The fiscal and monetary policies of the government geared towards maintaining growth with social justice have largely contributed towards this, evidenced by our economy averaging a growth rate of 7% since 1990 – very high by international standards.
The current drive and emphasis by the government on diversification of the industrial base away from the minerals sector presents an opportunity for Sephats Tours to make a valuable contribution towards achieving this goal. Having undertaken a thorough and comprehensive research of the market we realized that there was a need for a tourist transport company that focuses on providing leisure excursions to tourists.
Though there are mobile operators currently on the market, some of whom have been in existence for a relatively long period of time, we believe that there is a market need for one that specializes on providing comfortable and enjoyable transport to tourists and visitors.
This, also considering the fact that, potentially Botswana’s richest natural resource, the tourism industry is becoming an increasingly important player in the economy and may in the long term prove even more valuable than mineral resources in earning foreign exchange.
Aware of the fact that operating in such a market is largely dependent on good networking, we intend to establish networks and strategic relationships with various hotels, lodges and travel agents to ensure a steady stream of clients. However in so doing we intend to ensure that the service we provide is of extremely high quality and comfortable. Our initial overall target market share shall be 10% of the market, mainly focusing on the greater Gaborone area and southern Botswana.
We appreciate that entering such a market is not a ‘bed of roses’ and will require us establishing strong links with strategic partners as outlined previously. Hence we intend to implement an aggressive marketing strategy, well supported by the other business functions.
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The above prognosis influenced our decision to enter the tourist transport industry.
1. Market Segmentation
We will be focusing on those foreign tourists seeking leisure travel and excursions whilst on vacation in Botswana, with the intention of letting them see and appreciate the numerous attractions in our country.
Though we realise that the majority of our tourists come from South Africa we shall be mainly targeting those from Europe and the Americas who often do not have transport or adequate knowledge about the country, unlike their South African counterparts who often do. Hence we shall be mainly targeting those who are not that mobile but wanting to see as many sites as possible.
These people often do not want to waste their money on hiring vehicles to move about by themselves, but instead want to be escorted around places of interest by a reliable source. Hence the need to professionally market ourselves and the services we provide, offering a service of uncompromised nature.
2. Target Market Segment Strategy
Our marketing strategy will be based mainly on making the right service(s) available to the right target customer. We will ensure that our services’ prices take into consideration organisations’ and peoples’ budgets, and that these people know that we exist, appreciate the value of our services, and how to contact us.
The marketing will convey the sense of quality in every picture, every promotion, and every publication. Our intension will be to target those individuals and groups looking for leisure activities and places to visit.
We realise the need to focus our marketing message and our service offerings. We need to develop our message, communicate it, and make good on it. The decision to establish strategic alliances with several hotels, lodges and travel agencies is aimed at tapping our target market effectively and efficiently.
2.1. Market Needs
Though the tourism sector has undergone rapid growth over the last decade the vast majority entering this sector have rushed to the North where we have the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and other sites as attraction points.
Very few have focused on south and central Botswana. With this in mind we intend to exploit the untapped market in this area so as to provide our customers with a good service and realize our business objectives.
We understand that our target markets need more than just being shown the areas of interest but also to be informed about their significance and origins. Hence we don’t just intend to provide a service(s), but to provide one of unparalleled nature relative to the market.
2.2. Market Trends
Of all the uncertainty surrounding this industry, one fact is certain: tourism is here to stay. The only question is how large the industry will become and whether it can sustain, if not exceed, its current growth rate. However large the market ultimately becomes, the company strongly believes that travel will be an important component of this market place. Tourism statistics provide a reliable guide as to the size of the market.
According to the latest tourism statistics total arrivals for 1998 amounted to 1,351,798 representing an increase of approximately 12.65% from the previous year. Of the total arrivals in 1998 205,146 (15.2%) were holiday/tourists whilst 319,440 (23,6%) were visitors, both groups of which constitute our target market, totaling approximately 524,586 individuals.
Source: Tourism Statistics 1998 – Central Statistics Office.
Car Wash Business Plan
Start up your own car wash business with this comprehensive business plan.
Soapy Rides is a prominent hand car wash serving the East Meadow, Long Island, NY community. Soapy Rides will be run by Mark Deshpande, of the prominent Deshpande family.
The Deshpande family has been serving the Long Island area with a car repair business and property development /management for over 30 years.
Mark will be leveraging the incredible good will and brand recognition of the Deshpande family name to quickly gain market penetration.
Soapy Rides will be providing customers with three services: exterior car washing, interior cleaning, and detailing. Soapy Rides has no true competitors that are trying to offer a high quality service for a reasonable rate.
Most are trying to compete on price alone. Soapy Rides’ ability to provide a high quality service, both in regards to the actual washing as well as customer service is all based on their ability to find the best employees.
Hiring the best employees is cost effective because it decreases HR costs associated with turnover and other employee costs. Hiring the best employees and making sure that they are well taken care of ensures that they in turn take care of the customers.
Study after study proves that a happy employee is far more likely to provide the highest level of customer service compared to an employee who is not happy and feels that they are being taken advantage of.
Soapy Rides will target three main groups of customers: individual car owner and leasers, car dealerships, and local businesses.
The surrounding area is quite affluent, 40% of the residents earn over R700 000 a year. Consequently, they have nice cars and want them to look nice.
There are five different car dealerships within a three-mile radius which will require car washing services for the various fleets. Lastly, there are many different local businesses that have company cars and that require clean appearances.
The strength of Mark’s experience and his family’s name equity and assistance is Soapy Rides’ competitive edge as well as a significant asset.
Mark has been involved in the family’s car repair business for the last ten years. He has worked his way through the organisation and has been the manager for the last five years overseeing operations of R12 Million annually.
Before the family venture, Mark received his MBA from Cornell University. With 30 years invested in the community, the Deshpande family name has generated significant value as a fair, active member of the community. Lastly, Soapy Rides will be able to leverage several of the Deshpande’s for their business expertise.
Soapy Rides is positioning itself as the premier hand car wash serving the Long Island area. Mark has forecasted a 20% market share. The business will generate a very high gross margin and a modest net margin after year one and comfortable margin after year three.
By year three the business will have developed a respectable yearly net profit.
The objectives for Soapy Rides Car Wash and Detail Service are:
- To be viewed as a premium car wash and detail service in East Meadow.
- Maintain a very high gross profit margin.
- Maintain a modest, steadily growing net profit margin.
- Expand to two locations after third year of operation.
The mission of Soapy Ride is to provide top-quality washing and detail service for luxury car owners in East Meadow, NY. Soapy Rides will work to keep employees satisfied in order to maintain impeccable customer service.
The company is solely owned by Mark Deshpande and will be funded by an initial personal investment. Soapy Rides is New York State registered C corporation.
1. Company Ownership
The company will be solely owned by Mark Deshpande. Mark has been in the car industry all his life, having grown up in the family car repair business. He came across the location in East Meadow purely by accident and he felt it would be a perfect location for a car wash service.
2. Start-up Summary
The start-up expenses for Soapy Rides will be financed by Mark Deshpande, from the profits he made in selling his part of the family car repair business.
The property on Hempstead Road will be leased in April 2001 for a minimum of three years, with the option to extend the lease for another three years after that. Mark is working with the family lawyer to set up incorporation and to discuss lease issues before the business is launched.
He is working with a local graphic designer to develop a logo, letterhead, and company brochures. Although Mark has been in the car repair business, he has not been in the wash and detailing business, which is a very different service (quick turnaround per car is incredibly important).
For this reason he is working with an acquaintance to set up the system that will ensure efficient service even during peak usage. Rent on the location has been negotiated and will be R12 000 per month. In addition, insurance for the business will be approximately R2 000 per month and will be paid by direct debit on a monthly basis.
Expensed equipment includes three high-power water pumps, two industrial vacuum cleaners, two computer terminals, and one cash register. All of the equipment will be depreciated over three years. The location was previously used as a quick stop automobile service shop, so it is set up to move vehicles quickly through the premises, but does not have all the necessary systems in place to host a car wash and detail facility.
The services of a contracting company will be sought to convert the use of the facility and to improve the customer waiting room facilities.
Soapy Rides will provide three services to its customers:
- Car washing (exterior)
- Car cleaning (interior)
- Car detailing.
Market Analysis Summary
The car wash will be based in East Meadow, New York. This area has a number of benefits in terms of the market that it will provide for the business.
Over 40% of households in the immediate neighbourhood earn over R700 000 annually. Many people in the neighbourhood own and/or lease new cars and place great value on their cars and how they look. There are a large number of car dealerships in the area – five within three miles of the proposed location for Soapy Rides.
1. Market Segmentation
Soapy Rides segments its customers by type of car ownership. We believe that the type of car that a person owns says volumes about their driving, and, therefore their car washing and detailing requirements.
- New car owners: Owners of newer cars are most likely to use a hand car washing service. These owners take great pride in their cars and will bring them often to the wash and detail service. The goal with these customers is to promote regular use of the wash and detail service. The aim is to inform these customers that Soapy Rides will keep their car looking as good as it did the day they drove it off the lot.
- Older luxury car owners: These people have either owned their high-end luxury cars for several years or are unable to afford the expense of a new luxury car but want the feel of relaxed driving. Both of these groups want to keep their cars in the best shape possible. Those who have bought second-hand cars will often spend many hours in their cars and will place high importance on keeping their cars looking good. These owners will bring their cars in for regular washes and occasional details.
- Sports car owners: These people are often younger or middle-aged men and will regard the look of their car as important. They will also pride themselves on the look of their car and will have their car hand washed (at least) weekly. These drivers will have an occasional detail, but will keep their cars so clean the detail will not be necessary very often.
- Lifetime owners: Many of these people have owned their cars for more than five or six years, and are more likely to be women. They are attached to their cars as friends and though it may be more sensible for them to purchase a new car, they will bring their car in for a wash occasionally, just when the car is dirty. They like their cars to look presentable, and want to keep it in good shape but are not tied up in the look of their car. For this reason, they will not have a detail carried out on their car unless they are selling it.
- Dealerships: There are five new and used car dealerships within three miles of the proposed location of Soapy Rides. These dealerships often use outside car wash services to detail their vehicles before they are put up for sale. In addition, there are fifteen other car dealerships within a seven mile radius of Soapy Rides.
- Local businesses: Some local businesses have fleets of cars and small vans that must be kept clean to maintain their company image. These businesses will be looking for a cost effective, efficient car washing service to perform this service, and will prefer to use a car wash service during the week rather than during weekends, like the general public.
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2. Target Market Segment Strategy
The strategy behind Soapy Rides target segmentation is to attract customers who will be repeat users and will frequent the business in the typically quiet times for a car wash business.
It will not be difficult to attract customers during the summer months and on the weekends, the weekdays however, especially in the winter, people will not think about having their cars washed. For this reason, Soapy Rides will target people who will tend not to be restricted to these busy times.
- Business owners (new car owners) tend to be very busy people, but are often able to make their own hours.
- Retired people (older luxury car owners) are not restricted by typical work schedules so will be able to frequent the car wash during the week.
- Dealerships will need cars detailed and washed regardless of the time of the day and week. This will supply a constant flow of traffic.
- Businesses will need their fleet cars washed during the week during regular business hours.
3. Service Business Analysis
The hand car washing business in East Meadow consists of many small competitors.
Everything from local children raising money for their youth group on a Saturday by cleaning cars, to the automatic car wash machines, are competition for Soapy Rides. However, these two alternatives aim to meet the needs of the price-conscious individuals who are choosing the service simply so they do not have to clean the car themselves.
Soapy Rides on the other hand, targets the quality-conscious individuals who value their car enough to spend R100-R150 per week to make it look good.
Competition and Buying Patterns
There is one other hand car wash shop in East Meadow. It is quite new and is trying to compete with automatic car washes by offering low prices. However, it is not targeting the customers who seek quality cleaning.
The customers who Soapy Rides is targeting have their cars washed based on the quality of the job. They do not mind spending a little more each week to have their car washed and waxed in order to keep the paint work in excellent shape.
The businesses that Soapy Rides targets will be more cost conscious, so prices will be approximately 30% less for these customers to promote volume usage.
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