Business Plan Business Controls
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We will be using a computer-based financial
management system. With this system we can review
our sales and marketing activities on a regular
basis. This will allow us to analyze the
profitability of sales of different vacations
through each tour operator. Thus we will be able
to reward staff on the basis of profit achieved
rather than just on sales.
We will be developing outline scripts to help the
sales staff manage inquiries. This will ensure
that all incoming phone calls are dealt with in
the same way and meet a high standard.
We will encourage people inquiring about vacations
to give us feedback on our service:
· Our ability to handle their inquiry
· The amount of time from the client’s first
inquiry to the date of actual travel
· The client’s reactions to the vacation in terms
of whether it meets their expectations
New Tour Operators
Heather Mitchell will be responsible for reviewing
the range of tour operators that we seek to
represent and negotiating with prospective new
Our offices can accommodate five sales desks. Each
sales desk has a capacity to handle four clients
per hour, which means over the course of a year,
we could handle up to 40,000 inquiries. With our
average sales rate of one in five, we could
service 9600 clients from our present facilities.
This is well above the numbers we are anticipating
in the business plan.
Northwind Traders plans to grow steadily over the
next five years, becoming the premier provider of
European adventure vacations in the Greater
Seattle area. OurThe financial objectives of
Northwind Traders are to be operating at or close
to break-even cash flow by the end of the first
year, with steady growth over the next five years.
We aim to be profitable from Year One onward; our
goal is to earn at least $304,000 posttax profit
in Year Two and nearly $496,000 in Year Three. Our
profit margin on sales by Year Three will be a
respectable 7 percent.
Steps for Achieving Goals
Northwind Traders’ strategy for achieving our
goals consists of six major points:
Establish an extensive public relations campaign
Recruit well-trained, enthusiastic staff
Deliver superior product knowledge
Provide high-quality customer service
Create a library of tools/reference materials for
Offer competitive pricing on vacation packages
The first step to achieving our goals is to hire a
competent public relations agency. This will be
the key to producing state-of-the art publicity
materials and determining where these materials
should be placed for optimum visibility.
The second step will be to increase the staff. The
individuals recruited will go through an extensive
training program to ensure that they will be able
to provide superior product knowledge in the field
of European adventure travel. The present staff is
passionate about adventure vacations, and we
intend to maintain their enthusiasm through
constant product development and skill training.
We will only recruit those individuals who share
our vision. We also want the business to have an
The third step is to install a library of
reference works in the shop. These materials will
be available for clients to browse through while
in the shop or to “check out” and peruse at home.
An agent will be on hand at all times to answer
While at present we are offering only other
company’s adventure vacations, we have protected
our position in a number of ways.
First, we have a two-year agency agreement with
Margie’s Travel, which gives us access to all
their existing vacation products as well as any
new ones. This contract is dependent on Northwind
Traders achieving sales of at least 250 vacation
packages a year. We intend to negotiate similar
agreements with future suppliers, although sales
targets with them will be lower to reflect their
relative market position.
Second, we intend to maintain a high service
element to our business, extending our range of
value-added services such as vacation insurance,
individualized prevacation booklets, postvacation
follow-up, and continually updating our client
database. In this way, we will seek to build up a
high level of repeat business. Customer loyalty is
vital to our profitable growth.
Risks Associated with Growth
We see some risks associated with our expected
· Losing touch with customers
· Loss of clientele to other providers
· Quality of services diminished
· New businesses
The risks facing the expansion of Northwind
Traders can be summed up in one word: competition.
In order to sustain our position in the area as
the premier agency for European adventure travel,
Northwind Traders needs to outshine its
competition. By maintaining our focus on superior
product knowledge and outstanding customer
service, we will be able to uphold our position in
the industry, thereby retaining current clients
and attracting new clients.