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Is there scope for a new bus service in the area?

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The piece of coursework which I have chosen is 'A' - 'is there scope for a new business in the local area?' The business that I have chosen is a bus. It will operate in the winter as a normal service bus but in the summer it will be quite different. It will operate on a route taking it past or very near major tourist attractions, beaches and through the main areas for hotels. I will generate profits by selling tickets for these attractions, perhaps offering a guided tour both in the day and at night, advertising the attractions both inside and outside the bus and offering a simple bus journey in the winter. I have chosen to do this topic as I was a conductor on the model village bus in the summer of 2000 which operates in a similar manner to the bus I shall set up. Thus, I have contacts with the company which ran the bus: Celebration Travel. My father worked for Wallace Arnold which operated yet another similar bus in the area. He is another contact. I also saw this as a way to interact with members of the public during my fact-finding missions which I thoroughly enjoy. In order to assess the feasibility of this idea I shall conduct a number of tests and investigations. The first will be into procuring the vehicle. I was thinking of an old London Route Master for approximately ten to twelve thousand pounds. It should accommodate approximately 65 people in addition to the driver and conductor. I plan to scour the internet and specialist magazines such as Coach and Bus Week (CBW), Coach Tours and Bus & Coach Buyer. The second will be a number of practical tasks in Torquay. This will include questionnaires for the public, the taking of photographs, foot counts and looking for premises for the bus. The third will be an interview with a representative from Celebration Travel to find out how they ran their service with the Model Village and the costs involved with running such a business. ...read more.


I also looked for other grants from the government which may be available to the tune of �2000 in my circumstances. That, too, is interest free and I do not have to pay it back. The national lottery is likely to be too much of a long shot. They award mainly to charities and things that would benefit a lot of people. My bus does not qualify under either of those categories. So that leaves about �5500 to find. I looked around a number of banks and building societies and I think that the best one to use would have to be National Westminster bank. National Westminster bank offer charge free accounts for small businesses for 18 months provided some requirements are met. The way to get the charge free account from the National Westminster bank is: a) One must already hold a National Westminster bank personal account or b) One must change their personal account to National Westminster bank and c) No more than �1 million is paid from the account each year. As I already have an account and our bus is unlikely to take in �1 million in a year, I qualify for a charge free account. Other benefits of a small business account with National Westminster bank include: * Free consultation with a National Westminster bank small business advisor; * Company cheque books; * Company credit cards (useful for paying for petrol etc) * Availability of online banking; * Availability of telephone banking (National Westminster bank direct business banking); * Over 1600 branches across the UK * Discounts on insurance; * Free COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor) which will help me keep in time with new legislation and key events / dates * Free overdrafts (to a set amount); * Excellent business rate loans; * Free e-mail addresses supplied by National Westminster bank; * Discounted internet ready Gateway PCs with discounted internet charges through the National Westminster bank ISP (internet service provider); * Free business planning software. ...read more.


So, in conclusion I will have to say that the business would be very successful for a business in its 1st year. I predict that profits for the 1st year will come to �1114. This would make us just breaking even. In the 2nd year we may have to expand to stay alive / solvent. This may come in the form of a 2nd bus in the 2nd year. This may well be similar to Stagecoach buses which could be used throughout the year as a simple service buses. Or, I could buy a 2nd hand coach and branch off into holidays around the country. I would definitely pay off the National Westminster bank loan as soon as possible although I may incur charges / penalties but these would not be as great as if I had chosen to continue with the loan until the end of the term. I must say that this project proved to be both interesting and informative. Well, I suppose I must say that about all of business studies really. I found out a lot about financing businesses, how the tourism trade operates, how unhelpful some bus companies can be as well as ho helpful others can be (especially when they think that they'll make a few bucks out of it). I was also surprised at the colossal amount of support offered to small businesses by National Westminster bank. There are holes in my project, however. * I really should have asked more people the questions. The small sum of 50 is simply insufficient; * I should have asked more detailed questions in the questionnaires; * I should also have asked more people about grants; * I should have done more research into sources of other finance; * I should also have investigated the possibility of setting up a 2nd bus at the same time; * Or, I could do a second project (n) into how our firm X could expand. This could be set in a 2nd or 3rd year of my company. ...read more.

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