Starting a Small Business

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Staring a small business require the entrepreneur skills such as self-belief and awareness of the product or service, self-determination, commitment to work for quit long hours, to be initiative and proactive to reduce the possible risk etc.

My business idea is to open the travel and tourism agency here in Muscat Oman which is located in Arab Peninsula. Travel Agency is the private provider of travel and tourism services such as airlines, cruising, hotel packages, tours, car rental and others. It acts as an agent on the behalf of the suppliers and the stock is usually are on hand (Sighn).

My service is new but an existing one whereby there is less risky compare to diversification. I will locate my small travel and tours office in Al-Khuwair because it is at the center of the ministries, offices and the availability of several colleges in nearby in Bawsher where there are bunch of international students, a good example is here in Modern College of Business and Science, some students are from Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan and other parts of the world and so easier travel excellence they will get hence success onto my side.

This kind of business is very attractive to me because first I have the experiences in some airlines and travel agencies such as general sales agent of Marhaba tours and Travel and worked as sales and reservation supervisor in Yemen Airways. I did on-the-job training at Ethiopian airlines in previous year where I used to handle different types of people and work as a team work. Apart from that I used to design the travel ittenaries in travel agent, prepare tourist accommodation and dealing with the embassies and consulates in obtaining the visa. I also was responsible of collecting sales from my fellow staff every day evening, which is among the reasons that I am aware of this job. In addition to that, I undergo some IATA courses of diploma, consultant and the computer reservation system.

The type of the business that I have select is sole proprietorship which said to be owned by one person, I choose the type of the business because it is easy to start and end the business anytime where there is no any special corporate tax that is needed to be paid (Legal Match).

The name of my business agency is Easy to go travel and tourism because it will attract many people as they will eager to easy to go where, when and other details. The slogan of my small Agency will be Awaken and Discover New World and my logo shows the full globe with some airlines pictures, it is of two colors blue which indicates ocean and green which shows the land and peace

Hopefully, my small business will beat the rivals like Zahara Travels and Marmul Travel Agency, both located in Al Khuwair due to my design and my unique selling point that I will introduce. Vision of my small business is to serve people’s travel tour demand and to be the best operator in the region.

In order to provide the best services that would satisfy my customers demand, there are some objectives that assist to accomplish my goal, among those objectives is customers satisfaction, profit as the most important aim of my business and performing a marketing research like competitor analysis, swot analysis and other so as to understand what are my strength, weakness, opportunity and threats. Having the business insurance is very important aspect to consider.

At the first point, I have planned to offer few services like in air travels include dealing with designing the ittenaries, booking, and issuing the tickets, a good example of the major airlines are Emirates, Etihad, Ethiopian Airlines and other carries, advising the customers, importance of travel requirements like visa and informing the clients in case of any changes when occur, refunds, taxes, surcharges and many more.

Furthermore, I will deal in organizing the certain group travel such as expatriates and students. Introducing the loyalty schemes with my frequent customers in which when a passenger accumulates certain amount of points can get free ticket of any carrier, this is my one among the unique selling point, not only that but also for legal couples travel together five times within a year, my travel agency will offer free return air ticket fare with no surcharges and taxes included and for the singles travelers they will be offered one way ticket across the continent destination.

As the company’s vision says that the company wants to fulfill the travel demand to everyone, due to the authorization from the car rental companies like Avis, I will be able to hire a cars for clients for a period of weekly and monthly hence easier tourist to be more comfortable in roving and roaming in town. According to the World Tourism Organization (WTO), every year the rate of tourists increase and so in tourism sector, I will deal with design the cruise shipping. So far Oman is said to be an old town with many historical forts and heritage sites like Bahla which attract many people. Other attractions that Oman has are the dessert Safari, Rock climbing, caving and gallery. All of these I will design as one of my service hence benefit for the benefit for the government because more income in tourism sector (Index Mundi).

Operation requirement that I need are three computers, two for reservation and one for accounts and sales, two printers and one photocopy machines. For the employees, one permanent employee as a reservation staff and myself, one messenger and I will hire a contingent worker for a peak season.

Balancing the personal and business wants is very important strategy to focus on so as to be able to keep them in a good position as well as reduce own stress level which could affects ones health.

Potential profitability estimated sales revenue is R.O 250.000 and 60 % of the cost of sale.

Marketing research is the process of accessing how the product is appreciated by the users, customers through survey, focus group, questionnaires etcetera. Marketing research help to control its target market and to discover its potential customers, this can be conducted by the organization itself or by the third party which specialize in market research (Investopedia).

As I want my small business to be well-known, I have conducted both secondary and primary research. Through this research I will be able to follow the customers demand and build a good reputation for myself as well.

During my research, I was able to visit Zahara Travels since one of my cousins is working there and so I got some important information like ownership and actual additional service charges per every ticket they issue and tour packages they design.

I have conducted a primary research which involves the new out comings that no one has collected before, these include questionnaires, interview, survey in a focused group whereby I used a questionnaires and interview only. I prepared 120 questionnaires which consist of ten questions using qualitative method of research that uses the open ended questions, example of the questions that I have asked are what do you like in travel?, how many have you ever visit, where and why. I distributed my questionnaires to three different locations, in hotels such as Radisson in Al-Khuwair, in the colleges and in some entities. Nevertheless, I put some questionnaires questions in the social media such as face book, instagram and others but I used a closed ended questions. In addition to that, I have collected the figures from the government entities such as from Archive.

Other method that I have used in primary research is interview with the Oman Ministry of Tourism on how many tourists are coming and from which parts of the world mainly outbound.

To gather much information, I also have used secondary research which is said to be the data that are already existed, for instance of these data/statistics are from websites, the competitor’s information, magazines and newspapers. However, I was aware when collecting this research because the data/information from websites may be old and outdated.

Secondary information is divided externally and internally but for the entrepreneurs, only external research can be obtained. External research includes collecting the existence data from outsiders for example from the competitor’s information, for this, I have used main regional rivals such as Marmul Agency and Zahara Tours and Travel.

Furthermore, I tried to concentrate and research about Pestle Analysis to determine the factors that will affect my business. Pestle analysis is a business tool that used by the businessman and entrepreneurs to monitor the political, economic, social, technological and legal factors that affects the business (Pestle analysis).

Politics, a business may be affected by political factors like intellectual properties, consumer protection, taxation, tariffs, environmental laws and others; therefore it is important to conduct research for the health of the business.

Economic factors which may impact the business for instance inflation rate, recession, income, unemployment rate, exchange rate, fiscal policies, labor costs and many more in which I have to be aware and proactive on the certain changes when occur.

Socio-Cultural Factors which I focused and considered include population, education level, health consciousness, and lifestyle, attitudes toward preserving green and cultural Beliefs.

Technological Factors that I have researched about are including technology incentives and communication changes in order to manage my small travel and tourism agency.

Last but not the least; in researching the Pestle Analysis, I have focused on the laws, when there are any new changes I have to go over with it.

I have used Swot Analysis to create and develop my serves according to my client’s preferences and to know my target market which may bring more profit to my business. It is all about Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and threats.

To start with Strength, I have research what I need to do to in order to operate the best than others and knowing the unique selling proposition (USP). My strength include I myself have required skills and qualifications to be a travel consultant, appointed as the authorized general sales agent of the big carries and have efficient and strong distribution channels.

Weaknesses, it is very difficult to lease the place/office due to the high rent in central location and another weakness that i have is that my clients cannot buy travels via mobile.

Opportunities, travel demand is expanding day by day, increasing of the expatriates and international students is one of my opportunities that I have. Not only that bust also many tourists come to Oman for cruising, according to the Times of Oman “Oman attracted 300, 000 cruise passengers from October last year to June this year, compare that to the 2003 season when the number of cruise passenger arrivals was just 3,500” ( Times Of Oman).

Threats, due to the increment of price of oil, the air ticket tend to be very high hence sometimes reduction of customers. Insurance cost becomes higher and higher day by day and Change of climate is considered to be threat also (Travel Industry).

After the research that I have conducted early of the previous month, so far I have prepared and distributed 120 questionnaires with open ended questions as one of the method that I have used in Primary Research. Out of 120 questions, the respond were only 95 with real and clear respond. The first question I have asked is what do you like in travels? About 65% of the respond they mentioned about the customer Relation, they want to have travel agency loyalty programs the same as frequent fliers travelers to the airlines vendors, they want frequent client to the travel vendor locator. I also observed that geographically segmented, my target customers are male expatriates from Europe, America and India, and international students, majority students from Modern College, Middle East College and Financial College, hence I will establish the relationship and agreement to these colleges where my target customers are.

The feedback from the social Medias of Facebook and Instagram, where I have post the close-ended-questions and the sample of the questions were as follow which airline do you like the most? , what is your annual income? a) 6,000-10,000 b) 11,000-15,000 c) 16,000-20,000 d) above. For this question, according to demographic segmentation, the 70% respond were B. Due to these result, I add 10.00 Rial Omani to each ticket I will issue, the second reason that lead me to deduct 10.00 R.O per ticket is when I did the interview with the supervisor and some employees of Zahara Travels, they deduct 15.00 R.O as their service charge, hence I reduced 5.00 R.O in each and every ticket.

After the interview and conversation with the Oman Ministry of Tourism, the respond is many tourists are coming to Oman each year, hence my target market are tourists in a peak season which is in winter in November to early March.

Market Demographics: due to this kind segmentation, my target market is early married couples who are eager to spend their honeymoon outside the country, during summer many students are leaving to their country home.

Initially the pricing strategy that I will use is promotional pricing, it is a short-termed sale to stimulate the buyers to purchase, and then I will introduce the competitive method in the market because if I set the different very low price, people will consider my product as cheap with no guaranteed and my reputation may be destroyed.

Not only that but also, I tried to arrange and calculate the cost of both fixed and variables where I set the margin of safety to be greater than cost of goods sold.

To conclude, that is how I design my small business as an entrepreneur I have conducted a research to determine the factors that can affect my business also to find where my target market are locate and how to price my services in order to obtain profit at the same time win large mass to fulfill customers demand.

REFFERENCES:

A. Scott, (n.d).pricing strategy. Retrieved on February 12, 2015 from, http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/salesmarketing/a/pricingstrategy.htm

Index Mundi, (n.d). Oman International Tourism. Retrieved on February 4, 2015 from, http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/oman

Investopedia, (n.d). Market Reseach. Retrieved on February 8, 2015 from, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/market-reserch.asp

J.Riley, (2012).Online Marketing Reseach. Retrieved on February on February 6, 2015 from, http://www.tutor2u.net/business/marketing/reseachlimitations-constraints.html

Knowthis.com, (n.d). What is Secondary Research. Retrieved on February 3, 2015 from, http://www.knowthis.com/data-collection-low-cost-secondary-research/what-is-secondary-research

Legal Match, (n.d). Advantages and Disadvatages of Sole Propriatorships. Retrieved on February 5,2015 from, http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-sole-popriatorship.html

Lisa, (n.d).Opodo Swot-analysis. Retrieved on February 8, 2015 from, http://www.travelindustry.blogspot.com/2011/11/opodo-swot-analysis.html?m=1

Travel Excellence, (n.d). Mission and Vision .retrieved on February 3, 2015 from, http://www.travelexcellence.com/our-company/mission-vision

Times of Oman, (2014). Cruise industry booming as tourists flock to Oman. Retrieved on February 10, 2015 from, http://www.timesofoman.com/News/43106/Article-Cruise-industry-booming-as-tourists-flock-to-Oman

Pestle Analysis, (n.d). Different between Steep and Steeple Analysis. Retrieved on February 10, 2015 from, http://www.pestleanalysis.com/pesta-analysis/

S. Sukhraj, (n.d). Slideshare Project on Role of Travel Agency. Retrieved on February 5, 2015 from, http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/sukhrajsingh7798/role-of-travel-agency

A. Scott, (n.d).pricing strategy. Retrieved on February 12, 2015 from, http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/salesmarketing/a/pricingstrategy.htm

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