How many of you have a good business and marketing plan? If you are serious about growing your travel business, it’s important to have one even if you work your business part-time. A business plan helps you stay organized, on track, and holds you accountable. Some components of a business plan include your value proposition, an operational plan, and financial plan. It doesn’t have to the size of a college textbook. Keep it simple.
What is a value proposition? A value proposition is a promise of value; in other words, why people should buy from you. What are you offering? Why are you different from the internet or the agency down the street? What makes you unique? What are the benefits of buying travel from you? Be specific. Be clear and concise in writing your value proposition. Once you have it crafted it should be the opening of your business plan. Put it on your website, marketing materials, etc. Live it and breathe it.
The operational part of your business plan is the nuts and bolts for your business. Make sure your vision: mission, objectives, and action plans are all included. Put in costs–both fixed and variable. And, make sure you plan for future expansion.
Next is your financial plan. A financial plan is not the same thing as your accounting. It is important to have a good financial plan so you can understand how you forecast the future for your business. Provide realistic sales figures and revenue in your projection. Put in sales forecasts, expense budgets, cash flow, etc.
I have just scratched the surface on what should be included in a business plan. There are a myriad of resources out there, including software templates and small business centers that can help. All you need to do is look for it. If you’re stuck, ask the experts for help from sba.gov or SCORE. Use Google to find resources in your community. If you have a community college or college in your area, they often have a resource center for small businesses. Seek and ye shall find.