One of the best places to first seek out advice is from local, regional and state tourism organisations. These industry bodies assist with product development and can provide a general introduction to the tourism industry and business planning tools.
Brisbane Marketing is the city’s economic development agency and also the regional tourism organisation for Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Redlands and Somerset. For operators just starting out in the market, Brisbane Marketing has a wealth of research information and analysis about Brisbane tourism, including updates on consumer travelling trends and insights into what’s happening in the key domestic and international tourism markets. Use this research and analysis to help your business planning process.
Specific skills and abilities are needed to run a successful tourism business. These include:
• ability to work with people even under stress;
• capacity to work long and unusual hours;
• industry experience and/or the willingness to undertake training;
• ability to relate to people from different social and cultural backgrounds;
• willingness to accept people with different values and beliefs to yourself;
• sensitivity to meet and understand the needs of groups and individuals;
• ability to solve problems quickly;
• ability to keep cool under pressure;
• total support of your spouse, family and others involved in or affected by the business;
• fitness and stamina to keep your business running; and
• public relations and sales skills to promote your business.
Running a business requires many different skills including managerial, financial and marketing abilities, as well as technical aptitude. Competency in these skills can affect the viability and success of the business. It is important to assess certain skills and abilities before starting a business. This will ensure the required capabilities and knowledge exist for operating and growing a business.
Once research has been conducted into the feasibility of a new business it’s time to write a business plan. The Tourism Queensland Project Feasibility Guide is an ideal resource to utilise and provides tourism operators with a step-by-step guide for planning and determining the viability of new tourism ventures. For more information visit Tourism Queensland’s Resource Centre.
A business plan is essential for any business – it’s the blueprint for the future. It provides the means to think through all facets of a business and to examine the consequences of a range of strategies relative to management, marketing, finance and people.
Furthermore, it sets the direction for your business and keeps you on track once you’re up and running. This document is also a requirement when you are seeking finance.
Depending on what type of business you intend to start, your business plan could include these elements:
• executive summary – a one-page overview written after your business plan is finalized;
• introduction – explains the purpose and objectives of going into business;
• marketing analysis – looks at the industry you’re entering and how you fit in;
• marketing plan – your marketing strategy;
• operations plan – how you’ll set up the business, i.e. structure, location and regulations;
• management plan – how you’ll manage your business; and
• financial plan – how you’ll finance your business, costing and financial projections.
Business planning is an ongoing business activity. You should regularly review and revise your business plan.
For more information on how to develop a business plan visit the Australian Government’s business resource website.
A marketing plan assists you to integrate your total marketing effort. It ensures a systematic approach to developing products and services to meet and satisfy your customers’ needs. The purpose of marketing is to match your product to the right market and market segment/s, providing your business with optimum return on investment.
When you’re writing a marketing plan you need to be clear about your objectives and how you’ll achieve them. A good marketing plan sets clear, realistic and measurable objectives, includes deadlines, provides a budget and allocates responsibilities. A plan can consist of these elements:
• overall business objectives – What is it that your business wants to accomplish?
• assessment of the market environment – What are the factors, internally and externally, that will affect your business and servicing of identified markets?
• market identification – What are the specific markets and segments that are most likely to be attracted to your product?
• marketing objectives – Are the objectives for each target market measurable, achievable, time-specific, non-ambiguous and flexible?
• marketing strategies – What is the best combination of the four P’s (product, price, place and promotion) for each of your target markets?
• action plan – What are the actions needed to make the plan work, who will do it and when?
• marketing budget – How much do you have to spend and how will you allocate the resources?
• monitoring and evaluation – How will you measure the performance of your marketing efforts?
Remember that tourism is a dynamic industry, constantly changing due to seasonal trends, climate and global impacts.
The BIG Marketing Guide
Developed by Tourism Queensland to assist Queensland tourism businesses, the BIG Marketing Guide contains practical information and tips, covering all the basics you need to know in order to successfully market your product to consumers, media and the tourism industry.
• domestic marketing;
• digital marketing;
• international marketing;
• trade and media familiarisations;
• media and publicity; and
For more information, practical tips and handy hints on marketing your business visit Tourism Australia’s tourism toolkit.