The most difficult hurdle to jump in starting your own business is securing the finances to start it. Unless you are fortunate enough to have more money than you know what to do with, you will need financing. You will have little to no success in securing such financing without a business plan. Starting an airline is by no means a small endeavor, and you will need a rock solid business plan for your airline if you have any hopes to succeed.
- Research your audience. You must know your potential investors better than they know themselves. A huge aspect of the business plan is marketing. You have your idea of success; you need to know theirs and how you will help them achieve it.
- Write your executive summary. This is the first part of your business plan. This is where you capture the attention of your reader and you will either lose him, or peak his interest. This is where your research into your audience pays off; you will speak on terms and a level that he is very familiar with.
- Include in your executive summary the bottom line, or the “what’s in it for me?” that your potential investor is looking for. Chances are, she is a very busy woman and wants to know what is up without reading the entire plan. This is where you must make sure that you not only illustrate that this is an airline, but what separates this airline from all the rest. You will need to identify the principals of the business and their background and qualifications to manage it. Include how much money you need, how often you need it, if not all upfront, and especially, what that money will be used for.
- Include a table of contents right after your executive summary. Be succinct. The executive summary will determine whether or not you deserve a further read, or a toss in the trash can. If your summary got his attention, don’t make him sorry he turned the page.
- Describe the airline and what makes it stand apart from all the rest. This is a large section that will relate your passion to this endeavor. Your vision should be very apparent in this section as you describe the service that your airline will offer, the type of company that you will make and grow. Do not forget to focus on growth. Growth means return on investment.
- Devote the next several sections of your airline’s business plan to the actual planning of the company. This illustrates your thought process and exactly how you will make this work. This section includes the analysis of the market that you carried out, and then your plans on how to market your business. You will also want to include your financial, operational and human capital plans as well.
- Estimate the “What’s in it for me?” that your audience is looking for. This section details exactly the return that you plan on giving your investor. Although you want to speak nothing of failure, you do want to outline a plan of how she can pull her commitment from your company when she wants to. You should give her several options from buy out rights to mergers and acquisitions, or board seats. This conclusion should be a big bang and leaves her with a smile on her face. Don’t blow it here.
- Include a section on references. This could be in the form of an appendix, or bibliography. Either way, you should include professional and personal reference letters, resumes and good credit histories for yourself and the principals of this business. You need the proof of your qualifications that you just spelled out in the previous pages of your airline business plan. Now take off.
Organizations, businesses and sports teams can build stronger brands for sports-related products and services by incorporating sports marketing into a traditional business plan. As with a traditional marketing plan, a sports marketing plan should address the appropriate business needs and examine sports specific aspects of business. Integrating sports management into a marketing plan will assist organizations and sports teams in building relationships with customers and fans while creating a distinct brand.
- Explain what the organization, business or sports team does in the executive summary. Define the brand identity by describing what it is that the sports team or business offers to the market.
- Summarize the specific services and needs that the sports business offers consumers. For a sports team, focus on such aspects of business as entertainment value, ticket prices and sports product. For a sports service or business, focus on product offerings, quality of service and brand value.
- Write an overview to broadly summarize the content of the sports marketing plan and how it will further develop the organization’s marketing program.
- Examine the marketplace in the situation analysis section by listing, in subsections, all competitors, consumer information, market trends and market needs. Explain how the brand fits into the market as a whole.
- Research and explain information on ticket prices, sports product trends, consumer demands for tickets, corporate sponsorship trends, popularity shifts in sports and any other market related influences. Staying aware of market and consumer trends will help fill the customer needs.
- Perform a SWOT analysis, which is an examination of an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This requires conducting internal research to examine the organization’s strengths and weaknesses, in relation to the market. An organization’s opportunities and threats come from outside elements in the market, including competition organizations and potential business opportunities. A SWOT analysis allows an organization to develop a business strategy while maintaining awareness of internal and external aspects of the market.
- Examine the target market, which is the specific consumer group that an organization attempts to reach with its marketing of products and services. To find the target market, conduct market research by studying sales of tickets, products and services. Research specific demographics to detail target market characteristics. Find out the age, geographical location, income range, gender and any other specifics to formulate the target market. Use the results of this research to tailor marketing strategy to the target market demographics.
- Explain all marketing objectives and highlight specific objectives. For example, “we will exceed last season’s ticket sales by $5,000.” Tailor marketing objectives to the target market.
- Detail the marketing tactics that will help achieve each marketing objective. For example, “we will exceed last season’s ticket sales by $5,000 by adding five ticket sales representatives.” Develop specific tactics for each marketing objective.
- List budget needs for the marketing plan, detailing credits and debits for all marketing activity. Be specific for individual projects, such as ticket sales, print ads and promotional events.
- List the money that the marketing plan will gain and lose from outside sponsorships and partnerships. Explain all financial details regarding sponsorships with outside organizations, including legal aspects and terms of condition of the sponsorship.
- Explain where financial resources come from and where they are being allocated. Ascertain that marketing strategies have the appropriate amount of money needed to fund them.