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Business Plan

Essay by   •  December 19, 2010  •  8,451 Words (34 Pages)  •  1,172 Views

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Because they are currently the only travel agency focused on European adventure vacations that is located in the Seattle area, Northwind Traders has a substantial opportunity to dominate the region. In order to maintain and improve their current position in the region, they will need to invest in a Web site, as well as database software and systems, and in refurbishing the shop premises. Northwind Traders maintains the following advantages over existing competition: ongoing support to clients; extensive knowledge of the European adventure vacation field; superior customer service; specialized training programs for staff; informative Web site; competitive rates.

Financial Forecast

Northwind Traders started as a clothing store and has expanded into the travel agency business, with its focus on adventure travel in Europe. Last year, Northwind Traders clothing store made $200,400 profit on sales of $1,419,500 and employed seven people.

Northwind Traders expects that by concentrating full-time on selling adventure vacations, clients will increase from the present level of 200 (achieved over a six-month period with only a part-time effort), to at least 660 in the first year, 1400 in the second, and 2100 in the third. To help achieve this growth, Ms. Mitchell has identified three other tour operators she wishes to represent and has begun negotiations with them.

Selling between two and three vacations a day will allow the business to make a modest profit in Year One. By Year Two posttax profits should be $304,000 and will increase to nearly $496,000 by Year Three.

Financing Requirements

Ms. Mitchell plans to sell her shares in the clothing shop and invest the proceeds in the new travel business, Northwind Traders. In addition, she will be investing $41,750 of her own money in the business and seeking $83,500 from outside sources. Return on shareholders capital by Year Three is projected to be close to 100 percent. The purpose of the business plan is to communicate this highly profitable opportunity to Ms. Mitchell's partners in the clothing shop and to outside investors, and to attract interest in the venture.

Alternatively, Ms. Mitchell is considering loan finance made up of a $41,750 two-year loan and a credit line of $58,450. In total, about $125,250 will be needed to fund the business during the initial months.

HISTORY AND POSITION TO DATE

Northwind Traders, Inc. provides travel-planning services to individuals and businesses in the Greater Seattle area. The business is located at 1234 Franklin Street, Seattle, Washington.

The Company's Mission

The goal of Northwind Traders is to be the leading provider of hassle-free European adventure vacations to the 25- to 35-year-old business professional market. Initially operating in the Seattle area in Washington, Northwind Traders is rapidly expanding to sell its services worldwide via the Internet. Travel service sales is the fastest growing category of business to consumer activity on the Internet, and by the year 2000, the value of this market is estimated at $4.5 billion (see Appendix 1, Internet Growth and the Sale of Travel Services).

Our emphasis will be on providing a complete specialized service based on having a detailed knowledge of the vacation destination and adventure activities being offered. Market research indicates that the major criticism our type of client has of existing travel agencies is that their agents "know nothing about their products, they just open the catalogue and read," to quote one of many disappointed travelers.

By capitalizing on our experience in the Northwind Traders clothing shop, we will be able to both advise and direct our clients to the type of travel equipment they will need to get the very best out of their vacation.

Management Team and Key Personnel

Heather Mitchell, President and CEO. Before founding Northwind Traders, Ms. Mitchell owned and operated Northwind Traders, an outdoor clothing shop in the Seattle area. Prior to that, she managed the Olympia branch of one of the larger regional chains of general travel agencies operating throughout western Washington, where she was responsible for managing the office systems and a staff of four. She has a degree in travel and tourism from State University.

In addition to Ms. Mitchell, team members Jim Kim and Richard Bready will be moving into the new venture on a full-time basis, and Amy Egert has been recently recruited to cover Saturdays and vacations. Freelance business consultant Jae Pak will be advising during the business's changeover from clothing shop to adventure travel agency.

Jim Kim, Vice President Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining Northwind Traders, Mr. Kim worked for the marketing department of a major airline. His current responsibilities include the company's direct marketing campaign and all sales-related issues.

Richard Bready, Office Manager. Twenty years as a travel agent has given Mr. Bready the ideal background for Northwind Traders. A knowledgeable salesperson, Mr. Bready's expertise in the area of European travel enables him to entice the adventure traveler.

Amy Egert, Sales Assistant. After completing her undergraduate degree at the Institute of Art, Ms. Egert spent a year traveling abroad and joined the staff at Northwind Traders recently as a sales assistant.

Jae Pak, Business Consultant. With over 20 years of consulting experience in industries ranging from aerospace to technology to retail, Mr. Pak's knowledge and guidance will be instrumental to the success of Northwind Traders.

The volunteer members of the Board of Directors provide guidance to the management and staff of Northwind Traders. The board meets twice yearly to discuss policy changes, review the mission statement, and update the business plan if needed.

Members include

Lisa Jacobson, retail store owner

Holly Barrett, CPA

Jo Brown, former travel agent

William Hollands, lawyer

Lisa Garmaise, retail store owner

Tony Chor, human resource manager

Prasanna Samarawickrama, caterer

Services

We are currently the appointed

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