Business idea: Based in the small rural village of
West Bagborough, Cross-country Cycles strives to suit everyone’s needs when it
comes to having the best experience of cycling along the hills. We offer a
range of services ranging from an hour taster session to a full days ride
accompanied by one of our experienced staff, all along courses and trails of
different lengths to suit all types of riders.

 

Describe
what makes a business successful

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Business
1 example
(Describe the business and the features
that make it successful)

Business
2 example
(Describe the business and the features
that make it successful)

Business
3 example
(Describe the business and the features
that make it successful)

Business
4 example
(Describe the business and the features
that make it successful)

 
Success means different things
to different businesses. Success can be measured in capital, customers, or by
the companies individual aims and objectives, and if they’ve been met
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
Bicycle Chain: Bicycle chain
sells a various range of bikes, including well known luxury brands of bike, including
Trek and Giant. It is successful because it is one of a few shops in the area
and It has 3 stores in total. Bicycle chain is in a prime place, in all 3 of
its local towns. It stocks a range of products form bikes, accessories and
clothing. Bicycle chain charges higher prices for their bikes but this is
still reasonable as all bikes sold are of a high quality.  The business has social media pages to
promote itself1.
It lacks on other formats of  promotion
but the business is still successful

 
Ralph Colman: Ralph Colman is
another bicycle shop in Taunton. It is less high-end than Bicycle chain but
it is still successful. They recently moved to a larger premise on Station
Road. The brands they stock are less luxury than that of Bicycle Chain. Ralph
Colman’s promotion is again lacking but it still has a successful customer
base, enough that it has to move to a larger store in 2016.

 
ND Cycles: ND cycles is owned
by a Sole trader, and is a small business. A feature of this business that
makes it successful is that they specialise in mainly mountain and off-road
bikes, so they have more range than the other Taunton stores. They also
charge lower prices than the competition with bikes starting at £3992.
ND is located on the outskirts of Taunton town centre, so they are in similar
locations to other bicycle stores.

 

 

 

 

CHOSEN BUSINESS

FEATURES

HOW THE FEATURES COMPARE

STRENGTHS

HOW THE STRENGTHS COMPARE

WEAKNESSES

HOW THE WEAKNESSES COMPARE

 Bicycle
Chain:

– Good customer service
reviews
– Wide Varieties of bike, 31
types3
 – Out of Town, warehouse location.

Overall, in terms of stock,
Bicycle Chain is ahead with 31 different variants of bikes compared to Ralph
Colman’s 11 variants. Bicycle chain has an average of 4.3 star reviews and
Ralph Colman has 4.9 star average, according to google. This shows that the
slight difference is customer opinion and they find RC to be the better one.
RC is also located within the Taunton town centre whereas Bicycle Chain is
based on the outskirts of the town, which could separate the two businesses
from the amount of passing trade and foot traffic they get. This could affect
the business.
 

–       Well
established, with three stores locally.
–       Large
product portfolio
–       Finance
available

Similarities.
Both of the businesses offer finance to customers on
the purchase of bikes. This gives the customer the opportunity to buy a
better quality bike and pay for it monthly. They both have a good reputation in
the local area and have very good customer reviews on internet sites.
 
 
 
 
Differences.
 
Both of the businesses are established in their own
ways. Bicycle chain has 3 locations in Somerset whereas Ralph Colman only
have the one store in Taunton. Although Ralph Colman’s store is within the
Taunton Town Centre and Bicycle chain is on the outskirts of Taunton.
 

–      
Out of
town location.
–      
 

Similarities.
 
Neither of the business has any major weaknesses that
I could find after researching. They both have excellent customer service
reviews and are successful

Ralph Colman:

–       11
variants of bikes4
–       Centre
of town store
–       Excellent
customer service reviews

–       Town
centre location
–       Free
annual serving, for life.
–       Ride
to work scheme
–       Finance
available

–      
Limited
range of bikes
–      
 

Differences.
 
 

 

 

Initial Business plan

 

Introduction of business idea:

    My
proposed business idea is a cross-country cycling experience business based at
the foot of the Quantock hills, and using the hills as our track. We cater to
all people whether they are beginners looking for a day out with the family, or
an experienced rider wanting to ride all day long. The business offers all
different prices for different experiences, depending on length, type of bike
and track difficulty.

The proposed product/service including; vision and
concept

   

The
vision for the business is to get more people active by cycling, while also
enjoying the experience and while learning skills about cycling and the area
around them. Using the Quantocks means that all cyclists will be in a
recognised area of natural beauty. This will encourage people to use the
business to see the hills and views of the valley from the top, while
exercising and keeping fit and healthy. We will offer rides suited to everybody
to increase our target market, ranging from an hour taster session, for
inexperienced riders or elders etc., all the way up to a full days riding for
people wanting the full experience. We will also offer the chance to ride with
an experienced rider on the longer rides or for the nervous customers. This additional
staff rider will be compulsory on the hour taster session and the full day
ride, but is an optional extra on any other ride at a cost. Alongside the whole
experience of cross-country cycling, we will offer a various range of products
in the unit where we are based in West Bagborough, such as cycling accessories
like lights, clothing and helmets, for you to use for personal use. These
products will be sold as well as things you may want to use on the day of your
experience like maps of the Quantocks and surrounding areas, food & drinks
and various nutrition bars. All of these products sold will likely increase the
chance of the business performing successfully.

 

The features and benefits of the product/service

   

    The features of my
business are various different standards of bikes. It will range from low-end
bikes, which are cheaper to ride and hire, all the way to the high end, full
suspension, and luxury mountain bikes. Another feature of my business that sets
me apart from the crowd is that we will be the only business that offers any
service like this in this close proximity to the hills. There is no other
business like these less than 10 miles from the peak of the Quantocks. My
business is full of benefits. It is all about cycling; this means anyone that
uses my service will be keeping fit and healthy. This also fits with the
Governments aims and objectives, of trying to make the UK fitter and healthier.
Statistics show that 64% of adults are obese in the UK5,
so my business can help lower this statistic. Another benefit is that the
business is based in the South West of England, in the valley of the Quantock
Hills. Cycling on the hills will make the rider see a well-recognised area of
natural beauty and they can experience something they may not have had the
chance to before. They can also do it while enjoying a new cycling experience
and learning new skills like orienteering and navigating. A benefit to the
environment of my business is that there is no need for major amounts of
pollution because the bikes will be used to cycle up to the hills and then
along the hills and back down. There is no need for any other vehicles.

 

The demand for this proposed product/service

 

    I
feel there is a demand for this business in the local area because there is an
increasing demand in people wanting to be active with the growth is even
higher, with activity having doubled since 2006/76.
The NHS is also increasing the amount it spends on encouraging a healthy
lifestyle by promoting health products and services and investing in businesses
that are solely based around exercise and fitness, with the budget increased by
£8.2 million over the past 2 years7.
My business is focused primarily on exercise and fitness so this gives us an
opportunity to receive funding from the government such as a grant. In recent
years the amount of visitors to the Quantock Hills; an area of outstanding
natural beauty, has increased. This may mean a larger demand for a business
that uses the hills as a main part of their business, such as my initial idea.

 

The market research that needs to be carried out

 

    For
my business to reach its full potential and succeed I will need to carry out market
research. This can be carried out as primary research in the form of
questionnaires. I will ask two types of people, people living in the local area
and people who enjoy cycling. I can ask people in the villages surrounding the
Quantock hills and West Bagborough whether they enjoy cycling and if they think
that a cross-country cycling business is a good idea in the local area. I will
find people that are interested in cycling in either bicycle stores in and
around the local area such as Bicycle Chain and Ralph Colman and ask them if
they think they would use and benefit from a cross country cycling business in
the local area.  If the answer is yes to
these questions, I can ask them what they would like to see from this sort of business,
if they would use it and various questions about their personal exercise
habits. I feel that this market research will give me an idea of what the
target market and customer base want from my business.

 

The target customers

 

    My
target customers are people in the local area and committed cyclists. Although
my business is open to anyone that wants to enjoy the experience of
cross-country cycling, it will be focused mainly on the county of Somerset. It
is targeted to people that are already into casual cycling and may want to
progress into a more professional style with designated tracks, lengths and
difficulties or people living in the local area that want a day out or an
family activity to do on a weekend. The lowest age we can accommodate at our business
will be 15 years old because the health and safety precautions will be too
extensive to go any younger, and also it would require the purchase of
children’s bikes which is more added to the start-up cost of the business. It
will be open to every social-economic group, and both genders and ages can
range from 15 – 65 because any younger or older poses an increased health and
safety risk.

 

 

 

 

 

The competition

 

    As
far as I have researched, I cannot find any immediate competition in the
surrounding local areas. There is one ride that could pose a potential threat
to my business. Ralph Colman occasionally organise rides starting at the same
location as my rides would. They offer a daylong ride to promote new ranges of
mountain bikes they are stocking but this a rare event, about once every six
months, so I do not feel like this an overly large amount of competition. Other
than this occasional event, I could not find any other competition in the area
now. I would need to research this in the future to make sure no new threats
have arisen with my competition.

 

How the product/service will be marketed.

 

    At
the start of business, I will not have a lot of capital to spend on expensive
forms of promotions such as TV or radio adverts. To promote myself at the start
I would begin by putting business cards, posters and flyers in stores that
could help promotion like cycling stores and activities stores in the Taunton
area to begin with such as Go Outdoors. I would also make a website where the
business would be described and bookings would be available. It would also show
miscellaneous details like opening hours, staff members, types of
products/services on offer, and prices. In addition to the website, I would
create social media pages such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. All these
digital promotions would help my businesses name become recognised, and start
to build a digital footprint and reputation.

 

Resources that will be needed – finance, equipment,
skills, time, commitment and area of expertise

 

    My
business will needs various bits of equipment. I estimated I would need 15
bikes at various different prices. I estimated that for 15 bikes ranging from
low end to high end bikes it would cost the business £10,485 for the bikes. I
also estimated that I the maximum I would spend on wages in the first year
would be £56,500. The final cost to start up the premises in Bagborough would be
£4,950 per annum for the unit. This makes the total costs for the start-up year
roughly £75,000. Staff will be needed to help run my business and I believe
that I would need 3 staff member to start-up my business. It would help my
business if the staff had an interest in cycling of any form but ideally
cross-country. They would need to be committed to the job and would be required
to work against a rota. The business would be open 6 days a week, so each staff
member would be required at least 2 days a week, depending on other commitments
with families and hobbies.

 

Any
legal aspects that need to be considered.

 

–      
Health and safety regulations

As
I previously described various health and safety regulations including the main
point about age ranges. There will be a restriction of 15 – 65 years old
because the health and safety precautions will be too much for any other age
ranges. Riders will be required to wear a minimum of a helmet. Any other safety
precautions is at the riders discretion.

–      
National minimum wage

I
will be required to pay staff the national minimum wage, but I will be paying
over that at £8 per hour per staff member.

 

 

Action
plan – what needs to be done/when/by whom etc.?

 

    Before I trading I will need to secure the
premises, a deal with a bike retailer to bulk buy the 15 bikes needed for start-up.
I will also need to visit a wholesaler to purchase all sorts of drinks and food
available at the unit as well as nutrition products. Lastly, I will need to
research and purchase all the accessories and products needed to stock up the
unit, such as helmets, lights and clothing. I will need to do all this by
myself unless I can find a family member or friend to assist me in buying all
the items I need to have before I start trading as a business.

 

D2 – 2 PARAGRAPHS

         After
looking at all the factors that affect my business, I think it will likely be a
success. I will be carrying out market research I will learn what the target
market and customer base will want. The competition in the area is not a
problem because my research as shown that there is no serious competition in
the area. I also have the necessary health and safety regulations to make sure
my staff and my customer & consumer are working and having a safe
experience while using and working at my business. I have thoroughly thought of
and planned all the costs that I need to spend in order to start up my
business, so overall I feel confident that I have planned enough to have a
viable business idea.

 

Things that could affect my business is a
lack of funds as the costs of the first year of trading is estimated to be
£75,000. If the business cannot secure a loan or a grant, finance could be a
problem. Also negotiating a deal with various suppliers and wholesalers to bulk
buy the accessories and nutrition to secure a cheaper deal. Trying to secure a
deal could take some time and effort which may slow down the start-up process.

 

Overall, my business has the potential to
become a success and grow at a fast rate. I am confident that is a viable idea
and I am comfortable with the amount of planning I have done

 

1
en-gb.facebook.com/bicyclechainUK/ 25/01/18

2
www.ndcycles.co.uk/shop/4593530823 24/01/18

3
https://bicyclechain.co.uk/shop/bikes/
(24/01/18)

4 www.ralphcolman.co.uk 25/01/18

5
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25576400
26/01/18

6
https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2016/12/demand-and-activity-nhs-still-rising
26/01/18

7
https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN201.pdf
26/01/17

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