Are you about starting a radio station business? If YES, here is a complete sample radio station business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE.

Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a radio station business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample radio station marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for radio station companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start a Radio Station Business?

Over the years, a lot of people have had radio as their constant companion. This is because unlike the television, radio service can easily be connected to with a simple device that you can carry around; the device could be a transistor radio, mobile phone or any internet enabled device.

In the United States of America, radio broadcasting is indeed a major mass medium that serves millions of Americans on a daily basis. Although the invention of television in the 1950s contributed to a decline in the number of people that listen to radio daily, but with diversification by radio stations, they were able to regain some of their listeners.

In recent time, radio stations have become more creative in designing programs that can help them maintain a robust audience. This is important because the larger the number of your audience, the juicier advertisement sponsorship you can attract.

If you are looking towards starting your radio station in the United States of America, you would need a license and a permit from the FCC. It is illegal to run a radio station in the United States without following due process. Below is a sample radio station business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.

A Sample Radio Station Business Plan Template

  • Industry Overview

The total number of radio stations in the United States of America as of 2009 is 3,494 and the number has grown beyond that in recent time. Statistics has it that American radio stations generated a total revenue of 15.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 and out of the total revenue generated within the said period, an estimate of 510 million U.S. dollars was generated via online platforms. In 2009, there were 3,494 radio broadcasting stations in the United States.

It is on record that radio reaches over 68 percent of U.S. consumers aged 12 and older on an average day and 236 million people listen to radio each week. Global radio advertising expenditure is about $35.25bn and radio advertising expenditure in the United States of America is about $15.6bn.

Close to one fifth of Americans are exposed to radio programming while shopping, which is why radio stations will continue to attract adverts sponsorship from corporate organizations, religious bodies and the government. It is perhaps one of the most potent medium to reach out to a larger percentage of Americans. These are the percentage on where Americans listen to radio; Car – 42%, Home – 24% Work – 21% and others – 13%.

The majority of radio stations in the United States run their programs in English language. The second language used by radio stations in the United States is Spanish; this is because Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S.

Other national radio stations in the United States may decide to run their programmes in a languages that can be easy for them to communicate to their audience. This is why you can listen to radio stations that operates fully or partially in Russian, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean et al.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated on their website that loads of people are applying to start their own radio stations in the U.S. For instance, a few years ago, the Commission received approximately 30,000 inquiries in a year from people who wanted to start a radio broadcast station. Hence the demand for radio broadcast license and permit has grown while the amount of available spectrum has declined.

If you looking towards sending in an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), know that the filing of an application does not guarantee a broadcast station construction permit. As a matter of fact, in many areas of the country, no frequencies are available on which a new radio station could begin operating without causing interference to existing radio stations.

So before setting up your facility, ensure that you first secure a radio construction permit from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) office close to you.

It is safer to say that the radio industry is saturated, but that does not stop more entrepreneurs from venturing into the industry. The truth is that if not for the advent of the internet, there would have been a sharp decline or stagnancy in the growth of radio stations in the United States of America.

With the internet, it is now easier to set up a radio station unlike the stress involved when applying for a radio frequency from the Federal Communication Commission – FCC. People are encouraged to start their own radio station because of the wide reach of radio frequency, the less stress involved in running a radio station and of course the in – flow of advertisement sponsorship.

Radio Station Business Plan – Executive Summary

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is a U.S based talk and news radio station that will be located in Los Angeles – California. We have been able to secure a well – positioned office facility in a central business district in Inglewood. We are set to compete in the highly competitive radio industry in the United States market.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. will air live talk – shows and news events from all across the United States and other parts of the world via our mobile app. Our business goal is to become one of the leading Radio stations in the United States of America with high profile clients scattered all around the globe.

Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of talented and highly creative On-Air Personalities, Broadcasters and Media Experts in and around Los Angeles – California. We will make sure that we take all our workforce through the required training that will position them to meet the expectation of the company.

At The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc., our client’s and listeners’ 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 listeners’ needs precisely and completely.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is founded by Thomson Goldberg and his friend and business partner Lesly Henderson. They both graduated from University of California, Beckley with a BA in Mass Communications. Thomson Goldberg is a Certified Radio Operator (CRO) and they have a combined experience that revolves around journalism, news broadcasting, and business management.

  • Our Product and Service Offerings

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. was established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Radio station industry. We want to compete favorably with leading radio stations in the United States which is why we have but in place a competent team that will ensure that we meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.

Our products and services are listed below;

  • Operating broadcasting studios and facilities
  • Producing radio (talk and news) programming content
  • Transmitting programming to affiliated broadcast stations
  • Advertising services
  • Creative services
  • Public relations services for stakeholders
  • Media planning, buying & representation
  • Creating advertising campaigns
  • Disseminating advertising campaigns through our radio station
  • Other related advisory and consulting services

Our Vision Statement

Our vision is to establish a standard radio station whose programs will not only be listened to in Los Angeles – California but also throughout the United States of America, and other parts of the world via our mobile app and online streaming.

  • Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide professional broadcasting services that will provide platforms for businesses to promote their brands. We want to build a radio station that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the industry.

  • Our Business Structure

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is a world class radio station that intends starting small in Los Angeles – California, but hopes to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading talk show and news radio stations in the United States. We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the kind of business we want to own, which is why we are committed to only hiring the best hands within our area of operation.

At The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, and creative, result driven, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Creative Director
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • On-Air Personalities
  • Sales and Marketing Executive
  • Accountant
  • Content Creator
  • Client Service Executive

Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • 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 signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Creative Director:

  • Serves as project manager of the organization; works directly with employees
  • Responsible for designing programs, advertising concepts and winning business proposals for the organization
  • In charge of copy writing and laying out chronological advertisement plans
  • Develops strategic plan by studying technological, and financial opportunities; presenting assumptions; recommending objectives.
  • Accomplishes subsidiary objectives by establishing plans, budgets, and results measurements; allocating resources; reviewing progress; making mid-course corrections.
  • Coordinates efforts by establishing procurement, production, marketing, field, and technical services policies and practices
  • Builds company image by collaborating with customers, government, community organizations, and employees; enforcing ethical business practices.
  • Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
  • Makes certain that operations and marketing department perform efficiently and facilitate communications between management and employees
  • Ensures that the organization work in line with international best practices.

Human Resources and Admin Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization.
  • Defining job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carrying out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Oversee the smooth running of daily office activities

Sales and Marketing Manager

  • Manage external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Model demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customers
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts
  • Writing winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
  • Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Create new markets cum businesses for the organization
  • Empower and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets

Accountant/Cashier:

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc.
  • Serves as internal auditor for the organization.

On-Air Personalities

  • Present talk and news program for the organization
  • Work with the content creators in developing catchy talk show programs
  • Interviews guests in the studio and on the field

Content Creator

  • Responsible for creating contents for the organization as it relates to talk and news program and advertising
  • Responsible for creating buzz words that will help attract listeners
  • Liaising and working effectively with other staff members to generate sales for the organization

Client Service Executive

  • Welcomes clients and potential clients by greeting them in person, online or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
  • Ensures that contact 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 creative director in an effective and timely manner
  • Consistently stays abreast of any new information on promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients when they make enquiries.

Radio Station Business Plan – SWOT Analysis

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured talk and news radio station that can favorably compete in the highly competitive radio broadcasting industry in the United States.

We know that if we get things right before starting our radio station, we will not have to struggle before attracting loyal clients cum viewer base to a level where we can easily breakeven. We hired the services of Dr. Edwards Christopher, a HR and Business consultant with bias in business structuring to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty good job for us.

Here is a preview of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc.;

  • Strength:

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. was established to take the lead in the radio broadcasting industry and we are coming into the industry with robust experience and facility that will no doubt give us an edge over our competitors. We are also not ruling out the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, and our services will be measurable, result driven and guided by best practices in the industry.

  • Weakness:

As a new Radio station with bias in talk show and news broadcasting in Los Angeles – California, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already saturated and highly competitive industry; that is perhaps our major weakness.

  • Opportunities:

The opportunities available to radio stations are massive considering the number of listeners who would want to advertise in our station. As a standard and world class talk and news radio station, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry.

  • Threat:

One of the major challenges that will confront our business is the trend in broadcasting technology. Aside from Television and online streaming services that are pulling attention from potential radio listeners, the internet has made it easier for any online radio station to operate easily. With that, it might make it difficult for us to lock – down a larger percentage of listeners within our target communities.

Radio Station Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

If you are conversant with the radio stations industry, you will agree that in the bid to reach out to a larger listener base, radio stations are now leveraging on internet broadcasting and mobile apps. This goes to show that radio stations will continue to evolve due to the advancement of computer technology and software applications designs.

With the advent of apps, a lot of computer processes have been made as easy as ‘ABC’. All you need to do is to download the apps and follow all instructions given to be able to use it. You don’t need to be a Geek before you can create your own internet radio station. Just go online and search for internet radio packages and sign up for the one that suits your need and in less than 15 minutes your radio station would be up and running.

  • Our Target Market

Prior to starting our radio station, we created strategies that will enable us reach out to various corporate organizations, non – profits, government agencies and individuals who we know can’t afford to do without our services.

We have conducted our market research and survey and we will ensure that we meet and surpass the expectations of our clients. Below is a list of the people and organizations that we will specifically market our services to;

  • Banks, Insurance Companies and other related Financial Institutions
  • Blue Chips Companies
  • Corporate Organizations
  • Manufacturers and Distributors
  • Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
  • Research and Development Companies
  • The Government (Public Sector)
  • Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
  • Hotels
  • Celebrities, Politicians, Public Figures and Public Speakers
  • Sport Organizations
  • Religious Organizations
  • Political Parties
  • Branding and Advertising agencies
  • Entrepreneurs and Startups

Our Competitive Advantage

Surviving in the business world as a talk and news radio station requires more than your expertise but also how to network with key people that matters; decision makers that can decide who will get an advertising contract or a business deal.

We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the radio broadcasting industry means that you are not only expected to deliver consistent and excellent programs cum services, but you must be result driven and able to meet set targets.

Our competitive advantage lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team of creative, result driven and highly proficient radio broadcasting experts, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in radio broadcasting. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, our services will be measurable, result driven and guided by best practices in the industry.

Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category. 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.

Radio Station Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

We are mindful of the fact that there is stiff competition in the radio industry, hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.

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 and the overall business goal of The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc.

Our corporate goal is to grow The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. to become one of the leading talk and news radio stations in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with in the United States of America.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;

  • Introduce our talk and news radio station by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to organizations, government agencies, non – profits, religious organizations and key stake holders in and around Los Angeles – California.
  • Promptness in bidding for advert contracts from the government and other organizations
  • Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, and other publications.
  • List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
  • Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
  • Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still run their adverts or program in our station
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Engage direct marketing approach
  • Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients

Sources of Income

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the radio stations industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to meet and surpass the expectations of all our clients. The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. will generate income by offering the following services;

  • Operating broadcasting studios and facilities
  • Producing radio (talk and news) programming content
  • Transmitting programming to affiliated broadcast stations
  • Advertising services
  • Creative services
  • Public relations services for organizations
  • Media planning, buying & representation
  • Creating talk and news related advertising campaigns
  • Disseminating advertising campaigns through our radio station
  • Advisory and consulting services

Sales Forecast

One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organizations, government agencies, non – profits and individuals who would need to advertise in radio stations to help them increase sales or promote their brands and corporate image.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is well positioned to take on the available market in the industry 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 radio station to enviable heights.

We have critically examined the talk and news radio station marketing space, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projection is based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Los Angeles – California.

Below are the sales projections for The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and of course the wide range of programs we offer.

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $300,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $750,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1.5 Million

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the 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

At The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. we will keep the prices of our advertising services below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance from organizations who would hire our services.

In addition, we will offer special discounted rates to all our customers at regular intervals. We are aware that there are some one – off live promotional contracts which are always lucrative, we will ensure that we abide by the pricing model that is expected from contractors or organizations that bid for such contracts.

  • Payment Options

The payment policy adopted by The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, 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 The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, 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 clients make payment for our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for services rendered.

Radio Station Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc work with her in – house brand and publicity consultants to help map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate and individual clients in the whole of the United States, which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our radio station.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc.;

  • Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our radio station
  • Install our Bill Boards in strategic locations all around Los Angeles – California
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • List The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. in local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertise The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
  • Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company logo et al.

Radio Station Business Plan – Financial Projections and Costing

It is a known fact that in setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. As for the cost analysis for starting a standard talk and news radio station; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money. However, this is what it would cost us to setup The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. in the United of America;

  • Business incorporating fees in the United States of America will cost – $750.
  • The budget for Liability insurance, permits and license will cost – $3,500
  • Leasing / renting an office space in a good location in Los Angeles – California that will accommodate our employees and studios (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) will cost – $250,000.
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the office (broadcasting devices, headphones, voice filters, computers, printers, projectors, markers, servers / internet facility, furniture, telephones, filing cabinets, and electronics) will cost – $100,000
  • The amount required to purchase software applications – $ 3,500
  • Launching an official Website will cost – $500
  • The amount needed to pay bills and staff members for at least 2 to 3 months – $120,000
  • Additional Expenditure such as Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions will cost – $10,000
  • Miscellaneous – $20,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about five hundred and fifty thousand (550,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a small scale but standard radio station in the United States of America.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, Inc. is a business that will be owned, financed and managed by Thomson Goldberg and his friend and business partner Lesly Henderson. They are the sole financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of 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 $150,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stage of obtaining a loan facility of $400,000 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.

RADIO STATION BUSINESS GROWTH: 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 the 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 The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, 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 increase our listener base and of course offer our advertising services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.

The Parrot™ 98.8 Talk and News FM, 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 re – training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as determined by the board of the organization. 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.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Incorporation: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Securing a standard office and studio facility in a good location in Los Angeles – California: Competed
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating part of the startup capital from the founders: Completed
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
  • Design of Logo for the business: Completed
  • Secure trademark for our products: In Progress
  • Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed broadcasting and studio equipment, furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the business: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in various industries: In Progress