Are you about starting a charter bus company? If YES, here is a complete sample charter bus business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a charter bus business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample canoe and charter bus business marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for charter bus businesses. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- 1 Why Start a Charter Bus Business?
- 2 Charter Bus Business Plan – Executive Summary
- 3 Charter Bus Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
- 4 Charter Bus Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- 5 Charter Bus Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 6 Charter Bus Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 7 Charter Bus Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Why Start a Charter Bus Business?
You will quite agree that starting a business can be such a wonderful experience even though it can be challenging and demanding. Having a product or service out there is one sure way of earning income and perhaps becoming wealthy. There are loads of businesses out there that an aspiring entrepreneur can start without going through business training and one of such businesses is a charter bus service.
If you intend starting a charter bus service business, you must analyze the existing charter bus services around your area in order to check out the competition, as well as know their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the weaknesses of the existing companies will enable you learn from their mistakes and in turn come up with a better and more preferred charter bus company devoid of the mistakes and weaknesses of others.
Charter bus service as the name implies is a company that puts up buses for charter. This kind of venture needs the effort of more than one person and it is worthy to note that this business is a very lucrative.
So, if you have decided to start a charter bus service business, then you should ensure that you carry out feasibility studies and also market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your business.
Below is a sample charter bus business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.
A Sample Charter Bus Business Plan Template
- Industry Overview
Companies that operate in the Scheduled and Charter Bus Services industry provide scheduled and charter bus transportation for clients. Scheduled buses provide intercity, rural and other long – distance transport services on regular routes and schedules as requested.
Equally, charter bus services are contracted out on an as-needed basis. It is important to state that urban public bus transport or school and employee commuter bus transport services are not classified under the Scheduled and Charter Bus Services industry.
A close study of the industry shows that as the economy recovers, more individuals will begin to spend money on trips and other vacations that may require scheduled and chartered bus services. Charter bus companies are projected to benefit from urban population growth, the aging US population, the green movement and the government’s continued attempt to promote alternate modes of transportation.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 7,472 licensed and registered Scheduled and Charter Bus Services Companies scattered all across the country and they are responsible for employing about 53,310 employees.
The industry rakes in a whooping sum of $5 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 1.6 percent within 2011 and 2016. The organizations with the lion share of the market in the industry are FirstGroup PLC and Stagecoach Group.
A report recently published by IBISWorld shows that the Scheduled and Charter Bus Services industry has a moderate to high level of capital intensity, with the average industry operator expected to spend $0.34 on capital for every $1.00 spent on wages. The report further stated that the vast majority of industry capital spending is on the purchase and maintenance of bus fleets.
A new bus is a form of fixed capital that must be used to transport passengers over a long period of time in order to recuperate the cost of its purchase. In addition, industry operators usually make very heavy use of the buses they own, sometimes for days or weeks without stopping, in order to operate as many routes as possible with a limited bus fleet. Such heavy usage requires substantial spending on routine bus maintenance and less regular larger repairs.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own charter bus business is that the business is easy to set up and it is indeed a profitable business venture that an entrepreneur with little business skills can comfortably start.
Lastly, starting a charter bus services business in the United States requires that you get the necessary permit and license to be able to operate in any city of your choice, and you are expected to have a good grasp of the routes and perhaps financing plans for buses.
Charter Bus Business Plan – Executive Summary
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is a registered charter bus company that will be located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida – United States of America and we plan to also cover cities like Green – acres City, Miami, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Tampa, Miami Beach, North Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Harbor, Deltona, Orlando, Palm Bay and Panama City et al.
We chose to operate in these cities because we know that our charter bus services will be in high demand due to the growing number of groups and business activities in these cities.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will provide intercity, rural and other long – distance transport services on regular routes and schedules as requested by our clients. We will also contract out our buses on an as-needed basis to corporate organizations and individual customers. We are set to service a wide range of clientele base in the locations where we choose to operate.
We are well trained and equipped to service the market segment that require charter bus services. Although our intention of starting Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is to offer only the above stated services, but we will not close our doors to additional services as long as it does not affect our core services.
We are quite optimistic that our values, highly reliable and comfortable fleet of buses and of course our quality of service offering will help us drive our charter bus business to enviable heights and also help us attract the number of clients that will make the business highly profitable. We are a company that will be dedicated to establishing good business relationship with our clients giving them value for their money.
Our overall business goal is to position Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. to become one of the leading charter bus services in the United States of America within the first 8 years of operation. This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely come to pass.
Our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is owned and managed by McElroy Williams and his immediate family members. He is a notable figure in the automobile industry in Florida. Aside from this new charter bus service business, the family owns an automobile dealership business and also auto repair workshop in different cities in Florida.
- Our Service Offerings
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is a licensed charter bus company that offers services that revolves around the scheduled and charter bus industry. We intend giving our customers every reason to always rent or charter our buses which is why we have customized our services.
Our intention of starting our charter bus company is to favorable compete in the industry and of course to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the United States of America to achieve our aim and business goal.
Our business offerings are listed below;
- Scheduled bus services – interurban transit
- Scheduled bus services – rural transit
- Long-distance charter bus services
- Local charter bus services
Our Vision Statement
Our Vision is to become the number one charter bus services company in the whole of Florida with active presence in major cities in the United States of America.
- Our Mission Statement
Our mission as a charter bus company is to develop a highly successful, profitable, all-round charter bus business that provides quality services in our community, and to become a standard for an ideal charter bus services business not only in the State of Florida but also throughout the United States of America.
- Our Business Structure
We are quite aware that the success of any business lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our charter bus services company on the right business foundation.
As a matter of fact, we are set out to build a charter bus services business that will compete favorably with leading brands in the industry such as FirstGroup PLC and Stagecoach Group. We want to build a business of dedicated workforce who will ensure that our customers are satisfied and they get value for their money.
We aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all what we have set to achieve, which is why will be putting structures and standard operating processes in place that will help us deliver excellent services and run the business on auto pilot.
With the wide range of our service offerings, we are only expected to employ more than it is required to run a conventional charter bus business. Definitely, we will have various employees to man the various job roles available in Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.
As a means of maximizing operational cost, we will contract the maintenance of all our buses to a service provider. We don’t intend to maintain a very large overhead from the onset, but as soon as the business grows and stabilizes, we will assemble our own professional in-house maintenance team.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will employ professionals and skilled people to occupy the following position;
- Manager (Owner)
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Client Service Executive
- Car Washer and Auto Detailers (6)
Roles and Responsibilities
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creating, communicating, and implementing the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals and payment of salaries
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Responsible for managing the daily activities in the organization
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders (clients and member of the board) to review the effectiveness of the business Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily activities of organization.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new clients, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
- Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides management with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for the organization
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.
- Serves as internal auditor for Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.
Client Service Executive
- Monitors the locations of buses rented by clients via car tracker software apps
- Welcomes clients and visitors by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products and, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries
Car washers and Automobile Detailers (6):
- Responsible for cleaning, restoration, and finishing of all our buses, both inside and out, to produce a pristine level of detail
- Cleans up after customers
- Maintains a clean working area by sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning of glass doors and windows, etc. if required.
- Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.
Standby Professional Drivers:
- Responsible for driving, parking and re – parking of buses as required
- Runs errands for the organization
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the manager.
Charter Bus Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
Charter bus services business is one of the many businesses that can easily generate sales with little stress as long as they are well positioned and equipped to carry out their services. We are building a standard charter bus services business with variety of complimentary services which is why we have decided to subject our business idea (company) to SWOT Analysis.
Ordinarily we can successfully run a normal charter bus business without going through the required protocol of setting up a new business including writing a detailed business plan, but because of the nature of the charter bus services business we want to establish and of course the huge startup capital involved, we don’t have any option other than to follow due process.
We hired the services of Dr. Angela Bozeman, a HR and Business consultant with bias in startups to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and she did a pretty job for us. Here is a preview of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.;
Aside from the large fleet of comfortable and highly reliable buses under our rental services, Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is centrally located in a densely populated commercial and residential estate in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; our location is in fact one of our major strengths.
Another strength that counts for us is the power of our team; our workforce and management. We have a team that are considered experts in the scheduled and charter bus services industry, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is a new business which is own by an individual (family), and we may not have the financial muscle to sustain the kind of publicity we want to give our business and also to acquire some of the latest buses. As a new business, we are also quite aware that it will take time for us to build trust with our clients.
We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and we are open to all the opportunities that the city has to offer. Our business concept also positioned us to be a one stop shop in the charter bus service business.
The truth is that there are no standard and well – equipped charter bus services business within the area where ours is going to be located; the closest charter bus services company to our proposed location is about 6 miles away. In a nutshell, we do not have any direct competition within our target market area.
Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. are unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where our charter bus service business is located.
Charter Bus Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
If you are conversant with the latest trends in the industry, you will note that more people now book to rent buses via mobile application and over the internet rather than visiting the charter bus office. Charter bus mobile application usage has seen an increment in recent time.
No doubt, the Charter bus services industry has indeed changed gears over the last five years, growing strongly after being forced into retrogression during the recession period. The industry is anticipated to continue growing going forward driven by an increase in the number of air travelers, rising per capita income and of course rising corporate profit as well.
The industry’s largest companies are expected to retain their competitive advantages over smaller players, such as maintaining strategic alliances with airlines and hotels.
The trend in the charter bus services industry is that most charter bus companies in the bid to survive the recent global economic meltdown included additional services to their core service offerings. It is much easier for charter bus services companies to increase their revenues by diversifying as against increasing the scope of their market.
- Our Target Market
Before choosing a location for our charter bus service, we conducted our feasibility studies and market survey and we were able to identify those who will benefit greatly from our service offerings. Those who will benefit from our service offering are schools, sports clubs, traveling agencies cum tourists, cooperate organizations and hotels et al. They cut across different sectors of the economy.
The demographic composition of those who need the services of charter bus companies cut across the public sector, the organized private sector, and individuals from different strata of the society and from all walks of life. Below is a list of the people and organizations that our charter bus services is designed for;
- Traveling Agencies and tourists
- Organized private sector
- Sports clubs
- Corporate Executives
- Business People
Our Competitive Advantage
Charter bus service business is easy to set up and does not require formal training to achieve; anybody can set a charter bus business if they have the required startup capital. It means that the possibility of similar businesses springing up in the location where our charter bus services company is located is high.
We are aware of this which is why we decided to come up with a business concept that will position us to become the leader in Fort Lauderdale – Florida.
Our competitive edge is that we have a fleet of comfortable buses and affordable fees. So also, we have a team that are considered experts in the charter bus services industry, a team of hardworking and dedicated individuals. We can confidently say that the location of our charter bus business will definitely count as a positive for us amongst any competitor.
For the time being, Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. has no real competitors that can match the quality of services we offer. Our customer service will be customized to meet the needs of all our customers.
Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
Charter Bus Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
The marketing strategy for Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is going to be driven basically by reliable and comfortable buses, excellent customer service, safety, honesty and quality service delivery. We will ensure that we build a loyal customer base. We want to drive sales via the output of our services and via referral from our satisfied customers.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is a charter bus services business that is strategically located and we are going to maximize the opportunities that are available to us which is why we spent more to locate the business in a location that will be visible and enable us to access our target market.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets. Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our charter bus services business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, traveling agencies, hotels, schools, sport clubs and key stake holders in Fort Lauderdale – Florida
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities, airports and train stations et al.
- Use friends and family to spread word about our business
- Post information about our company and the services we offer on bulletin boards in places like schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
- Placing a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our company and the services we offer
- Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients to us
- Advertise our charter bus services company in relevant magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.
- Attend relevant expos, seminars, and business fairs et al to market our services
- Engage in direct marketing approach
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry to market our services.
Sources of Income
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the scheduled and charter bus services industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract both clients on a regular basis. Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will generate income by offering the following charter bus services and other related services;
- Scheduled bus services – interurban transit
- Scheduled bus services – rural transit
- Long-distance charter bus services
- Local charter bus services
We are well positioned to take on the available market in Fort Lauderdale – Florida and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six months of operation and grow our charter bus services business and our clientele base.
We have been able to examine the charter bus services market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below is the sales projection for Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and of course the wide range of related services that we will be offering;
- First Fiscal Year: $250,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $550,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $1 Million
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the charter bus services industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Our Pricing Strategy
Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the charter bus services industry, we don’t intend to charge more and we don’t intend to charge less than our competitors are offering in Fort Lauderdale – Florida.
Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the open market.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our charter bus without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.
Charter Bus Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is set to create a standard for charter bus service business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida which is why we will adopt and apply best practices to promote our business. Good enough there is no hard and fast rules on how to advertise or promote a charter bus business.
Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.;
- Encourage our loyal customers to help us use Word of Mouth mode of advertisement (referrals)
- Advertise our charter bus services business in relevant magazines, local newspaper, local TV and radio stations
- Promote our business online via our official website
- List our business on local directories (yellow pages)
- Sponsor relevant community programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, et al to promote our brand
- Install our billboards in strategic locations in and around Fort Lauderdale – Florida
- Leverage on direct coupon mailing approach
- Engage in roadshow from time to time in target communities
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target area
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our official vehicles are well branded with our company logo et al.
Startup Expenditure (Budget)
We have been able to pull cash that will be enough for us to successfully launch a standard charter bus company with fleets of comfortable and reliable buses. We will leverage on leasing opportunity as against outright purchase of buses. In the bid to cut cost, we will contract the servicing and maintenance of all our buses.
These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital on;
- The total fee for registering the Business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
- Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,000.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $60,800.
- The cost of accounting software, car tracker software apps, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- The cost for leasing standard office facility with large space for parking our buses- $250,000.
- The cost for facility remodeling the facility- $70,000.
- The amount needed to facilitate the lease agreements for the first set of buses – $750,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
- Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, fueling, maintenance, payments of bills et al) – $250,000
- The cost for start-up inventory – $15,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Credit card machine, POS, tables and chairs et al): $4,000.
- The cost of Launching an official website: $600
- Miscellaneous: $10,000
We would need an estimate of $1.5 million to successfully launch our charter bus services business in Fort Lauderdale – Florida US.
Generating Funds/Startup Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will be owned and managed by McElroy Williams and his immediate family members. They decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).
N.B: We have been able to generate about $500,000 (Personal savings $400,000 and soft loan from family members $100,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $1 million from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
Charter Bus Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
It is an established fact that, the future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our charter bus services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Red Star™ Charter Bus Services, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and standard operating processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Acquiring facility and remodeling the facility: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of electronic appliances, office appliances and bar accessories: In progress
- Financing the lease agreement of the first set of buses – In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: Completed
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – bus servicing and maintenance company, bus manufactures and other key stakeholders et al: In Progress
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