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Thread: limousine business plan.

  1. #1

    Default limousine business plan.

    I'm looking to start a limo business soon. I know every business needs to have a great business plan. Is there a certain way to write a limousines busniess plan, or is it the same as writing any business plan? Does any one know were I can see an example of one?

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Smile Marketing

    One of the most important aspects is your marketing plan.

    Breaks down like this:


    Market Analyzes; overall

    Market Segment; who will use you

    Market Target; who you will try to get

    Market Objective; how you're going to get them

    each of these items should be looked at and researched and studied

    each are a key component in an overall plan
    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Default

    Capital. Don't forget your initial investment. How much will you have and how long will it last you?
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  5. #5

    Default Business Plan

    A lot of what your business plan is about will depend on what your objective is in writing one. As a 15 year investment banker / venture capital guy (Park Avenue Ventures) I can tell you that what we look for in a business plan for funding is quite different from what an internal plan needs to be for a typical small business. No matter what you are doing you need a game plan, a road map that tells you how you are going to get where you want to be and estimates the key actions, funding (new ventures always suck up cash and its always twice as much as you think it is going to cost) and time line of key benchmarks (and yes, it will take twice as long to get there). If you are going for funding of any kind, or using this to get partners in, then there are more hoops to add on, including detailed use of capital, offer, breakdown of ownership, terms and conditions, etc., and with the new rules limiting solicitation of non- accredited investors, you need to tread carefully. You may even require a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) or REG D offering or something, depending on what you intend to raise.

    As for internal use, there are some OK business planning software packages out there. When we are doing a start up we typically start with an in house business plan using Business Plan Pro. Then we submit this to our outside contractors to use it as a platform. It covers most key metrics and areas of inclusion and it doesn't take an IT whiz to figure it out... a pretty intuitive program. You may want to start with that. They have a second program called Marketing Plan Pro... and having a good marketing plan is key to the success of any business. Nothing happens until the cash register rings!

    If you have any specific questions, let me know or email me. I would be happy to help. Having owned several limo companies before we started LimoLive24 (Business Process Outsourcing to the limo industry) we are pretty familiar with the drill. It is a togh industry and it takes a good plan to succeed. GOOD LUCK!
    Cheers,
    Kurt von Strasser
    kurt@LimoLive24.com
    http://www.LimoLive24.com
    LimoLive24.com
    Phone: 800.676.9095
    Limousine Business Process Outsourcing
    Reservations Center, Web Chat,Text/SMS
    Customer Care & Marketing Services


  6. #6

    Default

    Kurt@limolive24.com, How long should my business plan be? Should it be at least 100 pages or less. What else should include in the plan?

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Length and Content of a Limousine Company Business Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by smart driver View Post
    Kurt@limolive24.com, How long should my business plan be? Should it be at least 100 pages or less. What else should include in the plan?
    Good questions. Business plans vary depending on their intended use, the type of business model and product or service, its complexity, etc. I have seen great plans we invested in at 60 pages, and others that took 90 or more to explain what they do. Business plans are no longer the best way to get funding in most cases, but the details of the financials of the business and pro forma (forecasts) are critical. Also, if you are seeking an investment partner, you will want to speak to the actual investment itself. Make sure that you address this from the investor's standpoint, not your own. How many shares at what price and why? What type of return on investment is expected and in what time frame? How will you achieve a liquidity event? As an investor I want to understand how I get paid back under what terms and when... and where, when and how I make my profit. Are you planning to build to sell? To earn shareholder income? Go public (unlikely within this industry right now).

    The business plan programs I mentioned have an OK outline of the topics needed and some software enhancements that can help you forecast personnel requirements, costs and the like. You may still need some accounting counsel in this regard to double check your numbers. One key is to look for specific ratios that you can use to forecast larger operations. If your labor to sale ratio (how much you are paying direct labor based on a dollar of revenue for your car) is 63%, you then have a basis to forecast from as revenues from your marketing and sales plan increase. Add on expenses such as fixed percentages for workers comp insurance, unemployment, payroll tax contributions (fed and state) will remain fixed to your increasing payroll, while some economies of scale will occur with hiring, training and supervising once you achieve critical mass.

    Some Key Elements of a business plan that you absolutely must have include (in no particular order):Executive Summary
    1. Company and Business Model
    2. How will you make money? How much money will you make and when?
    3. What is your Unique Selling Proposition and Competitive Advantage? Why will you be successful when others are not or in a crowded market, etc.
    4. What are the barriers to entry in your service and markets?
    5. WHAT ARE YOUR KEY DIFFERENTIATORS? What makes you unique in the market? How is your business model different from others? Why is it more in demand? More profitable?
    6. What is the barrier to entry for others to duplicate exactly what you are doing if you are successful... in other words, how will you protect the investor investment from competition?
    7. What is your product / service offering?
    8. Marketing Plan (how will people find out about your service? Who will tell them and how? Advertising? PR? Social Media? Costs for labor and media?)
    9. Sales Plan (how will actual sales be made, by whom, at what cost, etc.)
    10. Operational Plan (how will you be structured and how will the business be managed? What will your personnel requirements be and when? What are the costs and time frames?
    11. Key time line objectives and benchmarks (points where you hit a key size, or profitability, achieve certain economies of scale, etc.).
    12. Financial Statements (current operations).
    13. Financial Forecasts.
    14. Your management team and why they are uniquely well qualified to make this plan work?
    15. Use of funds report (How will you use any investment capital to achieve your goals). Reserves? Operating capital? marketing? Sales? Fleet? Personnel?
    16. Investor Summary. What is being offered? At what price and terms? Stock? Debt? Convertable preferred stock? Warrants? What is the forecast you are providing for the growth of the investment into a return?

    Again, keep in mind the difference between appealing to an investor or bank, vs. an internal plan that you are going to try to accomplish and work. I have basically combined both sets of info above. An investor is a non-skilled party and must understand most of what you are proposing without having an intimate knowledge of your business first. An internal plan assumes that management is using it, so less explaining of basic operations is required.

    If you don't have the money for the software or you are great with your own financials, check with SCORE...

    http://www.score.org/index.html

    Here is their template gallery and it is all FREE:
    http://www.score.org/template_galler...FQhciAodCmPmIA

    This is the Service Corps of Retires Executives and they usually have offices in every major metro area... they have online resources such as pre-made business plans that can at least get you moving in the right direction. If you have a local office, they are a great resource to use and offer seminars and one on one counseling for business owners. You are talking to educated, successful retired senior executives and they can often help entrepreneurs like you in all sorts of ways, looking at your problems from a different perspective and providing good counsel.

    Best of luck with your business!
    Cheers,
    Kurt von Strasser
    kurt@LimoLive24.com
    http://www.LimoLive24.com
    LimoLive24.com
    Phone: 800.676.9095
    Limousine Business Process Outsourcing
    Reservations Center, Web Chat,Text/SMS
    Customer Care & Marketing Services


  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    Capital. Don't forget your initial investment. How much will you have and how long will it last you?
    Sadly, you would probably be amazed at how many business plans forget or lack that very thing.

    Kurt can probably attest to that as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoBuckeyes View Post
    Sadly, you would probably be amazed at how many business plans forget or lack that very thing.

    Kurt can probably attest to that as well.
    Usually just underestimated. I have seen so many businesses start up, have great marketing, wonderful service, then fold up. Lack of sufficient start up capital. From the beginning they are pulling from the company.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  10. #10

    Default

    Wow, Kurt@ limolive24 that was some great info. To write a business plan like this will take alot of time. How long did it take for you write one as detailed as as the info you give me? Could I use my business plan to get other to invest in my business?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    Usually just underestimated. I have seen so many businesses start up, have great marketing, wonderful service, then fold up. Lack of sufficient start up capital. From the beginning they are pulling from the company.
    Rich exactly!

  12. #12

    Default

    My initial business plan was less than five pages. Since I was going for contract business and understood the service equation, charities for exposure, the use of media, the importance of chauffeurs, and the cycles of the transportation business, etc.-I was able to land a strict, smart, forward-looking private investor. If you don't know the importance of customized service and the service delivery equation no amount of pages in a plan will assist you.
    Dean Schuler

  13. #13

    Default

    Low overhead is crucial. I had home rent and office rent on trade when I started. Before that, slept in my first car for a month until I could trade for an apartment. Later on, had a sleeping bag in my office for years. YOU HAVE TO WANT TO SUCCEED-MOST DON'T-AND THEY HAVE EXCUSES LIKE PILGRIMS DO !! John Wayne called 'em Pilgrims. I call them Civilians. Take your pick but remember the Golden Road is open for those who wish to SUCCEED .....
    Dean Schuler

  14. #14

    Default

    Limo lives post is longer then my original business plan. You have to have insight into the market you plan to work to be successful. You also have to be willing to work it like a rodeo clown if thats what it takes to stay afloat. Otherwise, you might as well get a strait job.

    ps. You should probably start off working for a local company to get insight into the market before you jump in.
    Joseph Busenhart
    Thoroughbred Limousine
    Lexington, KY
    (859)273-3690

    www.thoroughbredlimo.com

  15. #15

    Default Writing A Limo Business Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by smart driver View Post
    Wow, Kurt@ limolive24 that was some great info. To write a business plan like this will take a lot of time. How long did it take for you write one as detailed as as the info you give me? Could I use my business plan to get other to invest in my business?
    Again, my posts state that it depends on what you want to use your Limousine Business Plan for... that is the first question you have to ask yourself. An internal operational plan is much different from an external plan used to set the groundwork for a loan or investment.

    However, ask yourself one key question BEFORE you invest your own money in your own company... If you are not able to layout a plan in enough detail to provide a convincing argument that your idea has a better than 50/50 chance of succeeding, that you know where you are going, how you are going to get there and when, and what the business model and profit is going to look like when you do, then why are you investing in this business?

    Don't get me wrong... I am sure that there are a lot of successful limo companies that were started with no plan and a car. But I would bet that there are far more that started that way and are no longer around. In today's unusually competitive and difficult market, having a plan and making sure you have thought things through is essential, if you want to keep your money. After all, why are you starting a limo business? Is it because you just love the idea and the flashy cars? Or is it to make money? To improve your lifestyle? To provide an above-average income for you and your family? To send your kids to college? If latter more identifies you then you are a businessman first, and your choice of a limousine business is merely the road to get you where you want to be. So making sure you plan for success is paramount, the same way as you should thoroughly review any potential investment.

    Business people are a bit different. Their focus is certainly on trying to be the best operator they can be, to expand the business and improve it, but it also means that the recognize that they run the business.... the business does not run them. They know that a plan means they understand where they are going and have contingency plans and reserves in case things are not perfect. They understand that working 24/7 is not a solution, it is a death sentence. That knowing how the business is structured and makes money and what staffing levels are needed and cash flow required is just as important as which vehicles are used, how they are outfitted and how they will market their company. In the end after all, it will come down to whether this investment will pay off as intended, both in lifestyle and in money returned. Just investing so you can have a job which works you to death, gives you nightmares due to the responsibility, requires you to give up your life and pays you what you would make as a VP somewhere else, is probably not going to indicate a truly successful business for the business-focused operator.

    How long does it take to write a plan? Well that is a good question and depends a lot on the experience of the person writing it. That is why I recommend a program that helps you along, forces you to answer key questions and gets you thinking. Some things will require outside counsel too. There are also companies that will help you to write a plan. They ask a lot of key questions and then get it all down in the proper and complete format. In the end though, it is never done. We usually dust them off every six months and see what has changed and how we have to revise it, at least for internal purposes.

    If you work on it every day, you can get it done in a few weeks I would say. If you use a service to write it, plan on 30 days or more as you will have back and forth question and answer sessions. If you do it part time, it may take months. Some of this will depend on how complete it is and a lot will depend on what kind of operation you are building. A plan for a one car operator and a sedan is probably very simple, but don't count on any investor to put up money to buy you a job. A set up for a three year plan to build a 20 car operation is going to be more appealing and take more planning and time.

    As to raising capital... yes you can raise debt and equity... but both are much harder today after the economy fell off a cliff. Raising capital from people you know or referrals is probably a better bet for a small limousine operation, but capital from banks is still available if you have the right relationships and mix of key components. Raising capital from friends, family and referrals still means you are going to need to show them the care you took to come up with a viable plan, and how that will benefit them. So a good business plan would, in my mind, be important to you and to them. There are still some very active groups that are full of professional investors that typically place $50,000 - $500,000 (or more as syndicates or groups) in private companies and start ups. There are ways to reach these types and many prefer this kind of investment to investing in the stock market, where they cannot get the same level of comfort and continuous feedback from their investments. If you want more on this subject, let me know. Our venture firm operates specifically in this niche.

    Would you hand your wallet over to someone that just walked up to you on the street today, in this market, and said "I have a great idea for a limo company and I know it is going to work... How much cash will you give me?"
    Cheers,
    Kurt von Strasser
    kurt@LimoLive24.com
    http://www.LimoLive24.com
    LimoLive24.com
    Phone: 800.676.9095
    Limousine Business Process Outsourcing
    Reservations Center, Web Chat,Text/SMS
    Customer Care & Marketing Services


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