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Business Plan 2018-2019

355 Red Gate Road

St. Charles, IL 60175
Phone: (331) 228-6214
Email: horizons.il@veinternational.org
Table of Contents















Executive Summary
Horizons is the next international platform for all needs of travel. A start up company in
the suburbs of Chicago, located in St. Charles, Illinois. We plan to develop the largest brand in
the travel industry, and reach every target market in ways that are more personal than business.
When customers deal with Horizons, they are now part of our family; it is our job to ensure
customer needs are met in a few simple tasks via the Horizon website. Our Travel Agency
provides customers with top of the line excursion packages, those which include: needs of
transportation, leisure events, and a form of public housing with accommodations. Our goal is to
eliminate all stressors the average planner has with devising a foray. After our client chooses
from our wide variety of excursion packages, we also work hand on hand with local charities
depending on area. A percentage of what our client pays goes toward a leading charity within the
vicinity. With Horizons you accompany yourself with our brand, achieve all planning towards
your vacation, and give a little back to the community. We have large plans to be world renown,
and all eyes in our company are moving toward the well being of humanity, across the Horizon.

We operate our business online for customers to tailor their excursions through us. After
a specific location is chosen, Horizons takes the liberty to develop a place of stay, leisure
packages, all at a combined price. When a customer buys a package, 5% of what the customer
paid goes towards the leading charity in that area, a charity of their choosing. Sewing a positive
face to our family brand. When navigating our website, consumers will be prompted with various
options of our worldwide locations, from there, we then give a variety of our entertainment
features. Whether that is local events, restaurants, anything that fits what our clients are looking
for in their global getaway. All of this activity is click-based; meaning the customer can tailor
their excursion however they so please, and our job is cementing it all together. The segment as a
whole consists of location, excursion package, food and drink, then finally choosing a local
charity near the checkout stage.

Horizons has a total of 20 employees, including the Chief Executive Officer who works
at ground level with the rest of the company. A job to overlook the firm as a whole and step in as
large forms of management and ensuring all tasks are done to the Tee. Our firm is broken down
into four different departments led by Chief Executives. Starting with the Chief Administrative
Officer, who is accountable for leading our group of Human Resources Representatives. They
are in charge of ensuring the peace in the firm, attendance for all employees, and company
written forms of firm directories. Next, in charge of our Sales Team is the Chief Operating
Officer; who manages the Sales Representatives, the COO is also in charge of directing the Price
& Product Analysis group. These departments keep track of the numbers to ensure products are
selling how they should be and how we can mesh statistics into bringing in a larger income. All
things accounting, fall under the Chief Financial Officer, underneath him is the team of
Accounting Representatives. Here, they keep track of financial projections and paying all debts
that come are way as a company. And the final department being the Marketing Team, appointed
by the Chief Marketing Officer who manages the Marketing Representatives on top of the well
polished Design Team needed to market our top of the line, family brand. Horizons wants to
ensure a world renown brand, with that, personality is the main thing we plan to develop. No
other way to do better than having a full force marketing team moving forward.

As a travel agency we sell different types of vacation packages. We organize our
products in different locations starting with tropical, urban, winter, and extreme hotels and
excursions. Within all of these locations, we offer an international option and a variety of
excursions with the world range. For each different location, we will take 5% of the expenses
and give it to various local charities. Our product line will change as the season changes, striving
to offer products everywhere, anytime.

The target market entails families with kids as old as 18 and young adults. We chose this
as our target market because we believe that these demographics fit our price range and activity
levels. We are able to market our products to almost all geographics because our location
getaways are for people to leave their houses and explore. We offer a variety of locations and
excursions open to everyone wanting to take on a new adventure.

Our projections as a new firm are definitely on the conservative side. We project a total
of $60,000 in trade show sales. Collectively we plan on attending one trade show this year. Our
break even point this year is roughly 600 units sold. This averages out to $2,000 per unit. As an
online firm we project $100,000 in sales. We hope that as a new firm we can exceed our
expectations and begin making a profit. We are pleased with our opportunities to create a strong
financial profitable company.

Business Rationale
Customer Empathy:
At Horizons, the customer is our number one priority. We understand that the experience that our
customers have on their trips or when booking their trips will influence whether or not they use
our firm in the future. With this in mind, Horizons has made it our mission to help make our
customers experience as smooth and efficient as possible. Although we have extensively planned

on how we can improve our customers experience, there can always be events that we cannot
plan for. In this scenario, we will work to guide our customers through their situation and try to
make their time with us as pleasant as possible.

Problem statement:
Our customer is a traveler looking for easy way to book a vacation.
Our customer is trying to find a quick and easy way to book a vacation
but they are struggling to find the right combination of flights, hotels, excursions
It’s difficult to book a trip that excites you efficiently and effectively
Which makes the customer feel frustrated.

The Customer Problem Statement:

Why we use it? - Helps students to clarify the problem, and find the solution to the customers
wants and needs.
When to use it? - To gain insight on the customer and to see exactly what their wishes are so that
our company can essentially meet them. Also, it helps the company itself come together as a
team and work towards a common goal to help provide the best experience for the customer. It
helps us see the product from the customer’s perspective and how painful the problem is.

Ideal State - At Horizons, our ideal state is to become a popular travel agency that provides an
efficient and simple way to book affordable hotels in exotic and luxurious locations and pair
these locations with fantastic excursions and activities you can embark on while on your trip.

Company Goals –
1. Gross an annual revenue of $1,000,000 within our first year.
 Make each product profitable so that we can reach out revenue goal. Create a sales
contract and receive 150,000 in starting revenue.
2. Create a one of a kind experience by attaining a 4.5 star rating for our trips.
 Book packages that include exotic and limited to that place activities that provide a once
in a lifetime thrill and adventure.
3. Achieve a 95% satisfaction rate through a smooth booking experience.
 The package includes plane tickets, hotels, and activities/excursions that you buy all in
one. This eliminated all the time for the customer searching for these necessities

About the Business
Company Overview:
Horizons, is an international travel agency that offers a unique and a wide variety of destinations
for you to enjoy your vacation, or other inquiries, anywhere around the world. Horizons offers
prominent, authentic, and reliable service to all of our valued customers; making our hotel the
perfect place to plan anything from a romantic weekend getaway to a stress free business
conference suite. Horizons headquarters are located in Saint Charles, Illinois. This will help the
new company prosper because of the new and upcoming atmosphere the town radiates off of it,
impacting and influencing stores, businesses, and people to the standard our company holds. We
are a fast growing company with outstanding determination to change the industry in which we
see a gap in. Join us into the early onset stages of building a new legacy. Our legacy. Horizons.

Mission Statement:
We thrive to show our customers a side they haven't seen before. A side that is adventurous and
bold. A side that helps you step outside of your comfort zone and take on new risks. Our Travel
agency is the traveler's first and independent source of information for finding the ideal hotel and

 We are a new, determined company that is offering advanced and improved services to
our customers.
 Our service is not set in stone yet meaning it would be easier for us to pivot our target
market if need be to increase sales.
 We may not have many proper contacts and haven’t been able to get our name out.
 Since we are a new company, we have little to no revenue at this moment and have few
 There are not many other companies in the VEI that run a travel agency which allows us
to have the chance to grow and expand and not have to worry about many competitors.
 Some threats posed from
other travel agencies is
receiving our loyal
customers and taking the
potential market
opportunities from us.

External Environment
United States Employment Rate

This graph shows unemployment rate in the United States. It shows and discusses the causes,
measures, and how to reduce it. Job creation and unemployment are affected by factors such as
economic conditions, global competition, education, automation, and demographics.

Current Mortgage and Refinance Rates

Product Interest Rate APR

Conforming and Government Loans
30-Year Fixed Rate 4.875% 4.99%
30-Year Fixed-Rate VA 4.75% 5.101%
20-Year Fixed Rate 4.75% 4.906%

Over the past couple years, interest rates have decreased which have benefited the travel industry. For
example, our partner hotels would have favorable interest rates on their properties.

Inflation Rates in the United States

The proportion of a loan that is charged as interest to the borrower, typically expressed as an
annual percentage of the loan outstanding.

Changes in GDP

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second
quarter of 2018, according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent. Gross Domestic Product is a monetary
measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a period of time,
often annually or quarterly. Nominal GDP estimates are commonly used to determine the
economic performance of a whole country or region, and to make international comparisons.

Changes in Trade Balances

How this information affects our industry- With the increase of GDP and Employment levels
success is observed through our economy. With the staggering rates US Goods and Service
Trade it does place us into debt which will affect how well we are able to match and help clear
the debt by our company alone. Interest also is at a steady increased and has an assumed outcome
of mainly remaining the same throughout the next decade which helps our stock market and big
and small companies grow.

Industry Analysis: Companies in the hotel business sell rooms as well as snacks and other
amenities. Rooms are the most common purchase. On average customers use around 62% of the
rooms. There are about 52,900 hotels and motels in the United States. The gross profit margins
are about 30% on average.

Virtual analysis: After researching using the VEI directory, we found many competitors in the
same market although none of they do not provided activities as well as travel and hotels. One of
are direct competitors is 99 @dventures, they sell travel packages including hotels, airfare, and
rent a car. All competitors sell directly to customers.

Competition Horizons sells and markets products that compete with other firms in the virtual
marketplace. Our hotel brand is a direct competitor with many other hotel companies and travel
agencies. Although we have a lot of competition, we offer a variety of different packages from
all over the world that many other companies don't offer. After analyzing our top competitors,
we strive over other companies offering affordable international packages. You may manage
these packages yourself anywhere, anytime. Our competitors don’t offer as much of a variety of
products as we do and this puts our company over our competitors because of the variety of
products we offer. Also, our packages are more affordable than our competition which proves
that Horizons is the best travel option as we provide people with seasonal packages, that are in
international locations, for an affordable price.

Marketing Plan
Target Market:

At Horizons, we target toward two specific groups in which our products and services
appeal to. These two groups were created based on psychographics. We target customers that are
adventurous, love getting out of their house, and those who are seeking a relaxing vacation ready
to make memories. Our products and services tend to range fairly high in price, so we target our
services to people that are a little bit more wealthy and can afford our services as a leisure.
Horizons not only targets two specific groups, but we target based on specific seasons and events
going on as well. By targeting to different events and concerts, we can appeal to a wider variety
of potential customers which may lead to greater profits.

One of the main groups Horizons targets is parents that have children under the age of 18.
In 2017, 41.4% of households have children under the age of 18. This is a large target market for
us because many families take vacations during school breaks and love spending time as a
family. Parents love treating their kids and making memories as a family. Not only are we
targeting to the parents, we also target our ads and promotions to the kids. Teens and kids are all
about doing the coolest things to impress their friends. In this day and age of social media, it is
all about what you post, so kids want to go on extravagant vacations to show off. Households
with children tend to go on more extravagant vacations in order to keep their children occupied
and have a good time. Families with older children or without any children tend to go on more
relaxing and luxurious vacations. Our vacations are designed to attract the families seeking both
adventure and luxury around the world.

Another target market is younger adults typically ranging from ages 20-25. Young adults
are either finishing up their college experience of getting a job for the first time. During this time
of their life, they value spending time with their best friends. Going on vacation with friends is
one of the most memorable things. We are creating vacation packages to places that you would
typically see a group of college kids or young adults having a great time. Younger adults spend
more money based on experiential wants.

Discussion of Business Risks
1. Retaining customer loyalty
 Due to our select target market and moderate to high prices, we need to bring in new
customers and retain sales of existing customers. Our marketing team will figure out
the best way to reach and communicate with our customers to ensure satisfaction with
our vacations.
2. Not owning our own hotels
 Horizons is a travel agency, so we have to book hotel rooms for our customers
directly through a hotel. Hotel prices peak when vacation times peak. That means we
will be having to pay more to the hotels in order to get the rooms, so we will have to
raise our prices as well.
3. Not appealing to all consumers
 Due to our high prices, we cannot appeal to the lower and lower middle class. We try
to keep our prices somewhat affordable while still making a profit. Most of our
vacations are made for groups, such as family or friends, so older adults without kids
may not see this company as appealing and useful to them.

Market Segmentation

Horizons International consumers are typically parents between the ages of 30 and 65. Their
peak economic situation and prominent role in their children's life, makes them prime to buy
travel packs for themselves and their kids. Overall, 35% of families went on vacation this last
fiscal year with is higher than the 27% of unwed people. Horizons specifically targets adults with
the average income of about $55,000+. This range is upper middle class. The estimated salary of
a VE student is about $57,564. Many of Horizons marketing strategies, such as trade shows,
social media, and advertisements, specifically target this demographic. It is easy to reach this
target market due to the high use of technology and this specific demographics’ knowledge of
The psychographic point of view Horizons will focus on is the adventurous consumer and appeal
to their desire to get out and explore the world and experience new things. In our marketing
campaigns, we will put the idea of broaden your horizons and enjoy the views. Horizons wants to
give you all your imaginable dreams at your fingertips. There are so many benefits that will
come from buying our services. The vacations will be giving them an escape from their everyday
lives. We want people to experience new things and enjoy their time to themselves or with their
Horizons has a wide variety of geographic locations that it can target to in different seasons and
kinds of events going on. We are planning to target to all geographic locations in order to
diversify our product line. We are selling vacations, so we are offering packages so they can get
out of where they live. VE firms are spread out around the world, so we are able to target
everyone. Someone in Chicago may want to go somewhere tropical in the winter, so we have
them covered. We also offer colder destinations for those looking for a winter getaway. We are
able to sell services world wide due to the large target market.

Marketing Mix

Products: Horizons Hotel and Resorts offers an array of hotels and activities catered to
any age and ability. From Luxurious 5-star resorts with multiple swimming pools, a spa, and
world ranked golf courses to activities such as zip lining, skiing, and scuba diving, we have
everything for everyone to have a great time.
We will market our products based on the seasons and the type of events going on such
as Lollapalooza, Coachella, The Olympics, and Carnaval in Rio. When tickets come on sale for
these events, we will start to promote and sell these packages online. These large events will
draw in lots of customers because these events directly correlate with our target market. Young
adults are highly likely to attend these events because they are globally known and very popular
around the world.
Our seasonal products will be targeted toward the weather such as in the winter, we sell
hotel rooms and excursions in warmer climate places, and in the spring/summer, we will sell
services in places such as the mountains and more moderate climate places. In the winter, some
of our places will be the Bahamas, multiple Florida locations, and Mexico getaways. In the
summer, we will sell hotel rooms and excursions in moderate temperatures. We will sell
vacations in places such as Colorado, Utah, and California. In the summer, those places have a
lot of outdoor activities and beautiful views.
Some of our year round destinations include places such as Turks and Caicos, Dubai,
Swiss Alps, Aspin, and New York. These are some places where it does not ultimately matter
what the weather is, but people will still travel there.
Price: We here at Horizons categorize ourselves as a premium travel company. What that
means is that we have upheld the higher pricing model because of the quality of vacations we
want to sell. We try meet our customers needs by keeping prices at a moderate price. Smaller
destinations are on the lower spectrum of our price range. Some of our more luxurious
destinations seem to be on the higher end of our pricing spectrum. In order to price our
vacations, we take into account the price of the hotel room (depending on the length of stay),
what excursions and activities are included in the vacation, and where our customers are
traveling. In order to maximize our profits, we have decided to markup our vacations 25% of the
wholesale price.
Placement: Horizons is an online travel agency firm that relies on our website for a
majority of our profits. We also attend a regional Chicagoland trade show and a national trade
show in Tennessee in which we have the opportunity to network and promote our firm
nationally. We hope to have a high percentage of sales at our two trade shows but our other
source of sales is our easy to navigate website in which customers can buy from at any time or
especially during our online tradeshow. It is very important to prioritize our selling skills in order
to maximize our profit at large events like the trade shows.

Promotion: A majority of Horizons original promoting will come from the trade show in
Tennessee we will be attending. We want to draw in new customers with the uniqueness of our
vacations and our company image. At each of the trade shows we attend we will have a vacation
that is not usually sold on our website. For example, at the Tennessee trade show, we may sell an
original getaway that you can only buy there. Since this vacation isn’t always sold, our
customers will feel more obligated to buy from us. We will be handing out things like pens and
laptop stickers to get the flow going. Throughout the year we will have different deals that you
can get from our website just to keep our sales consistent, and everything else will be based on
people coming back because of our great products and look. Throughout the year, we may also
create promotional codes to send out to our past customers to draw them back in to buy more
Positioning: Horizons vacations are meant to highlight memories that will be made
through our vacations. What sets our company apart from other travel agencies is the variety of
vacations and excursions that we have at a fair price. Our goal is that our customers can identify
which vacation fits their needs and wants for their family and friends. We expect that our
customers will continue to come back and be pleased with our vacations, which will allow for
consistent sales. Our plan is to target the people who have the money to spend because others
may not be able to spend it on leisure vacations.

Financial Planning

Sales Revenue


Break Even Analysis

Financial Write-Up:
November 1st, 2018 was the start of this year’s fiscal period for the Horizons firm. As a
new firm, we hope to achieve our goals, and set the foundation for a successful business in future
years. Looking at this year, we have set our sales goal at 275 packages sold. We are striving for
success as a new company and are determined to be one of the leaders in the travel industry.

In 2018-19 we plan to set our sales at a reasonable number of 275 packages. Our net
income projection for 2018-2019 is set at a slight loss of $139,000.
We project a loss this year, as we are a new company and have a lot of startup expenses. We
project a total of $100,000 in online sales and $60,000 in the trade show sales. We hope that we
can meet and exceed our projections in hope of breaking even and making a profit in our first
year of operation.

Our breakeven point this fiscal year is roughly 600 units averaging $2,000 per sale. We
feel that we can sell this many travel packages because our average price per product is low
compared to competitors. As a firm, we hope that our salary expenses can be met with a contract
sale of $663,000. We also have taken out a small business loan of $150,000 and have hopes of
paying that back over the following three years.

Loan Amortization Table

Bank Balance