How to open an agency?
Have you decided to open your own advertising or travel agency? Or maybe a real estate agency? Our article provides guidelines for the creation of an agency of one type or another, including legal nuances, as well as a plan for preparatory activities.
How to open a travel agency
When opening a travel agency, start-up entrepreneurs usually have a lot of questions related to legal subtleties. Of course, some of them can only be answered by qualified lawyers, however, most questions will disappear if you carefully read the law “On the basics of tourist activity in the Russian Federation”.
Well, directly the organization of the tourism business begins with the creation of a business plan. However, you first need to decide exactly what direction of tourism you will be engaged. And this is not only specific countries and regions (it is clear that it is impossible for a small developing company to cover everything), but also the definition of a price niche and related services.See how your potential competitors work, what exactly they offer.
The business plan should also spell out the possibility of providing additional services to customers - for example, selling air and railway tickets, issuing permits to enter certain countries, insurance, the provision of guides and translators. Of course, all this should be legally registered. As for the finished packages of proposals, here you will have to take into account a lot of nuances. This is not only a list of services included in the price of a ticket, but also a route plan, and monitoring the quality of services, and paperwork.
An important role in the final success is played by advertising. You will have to carefully consider the advertising campaign - where and how to conduct it - as well as highlight the appropriate amount. Today, the most effective Internet promotion of their services, however, and this requires certain costs. Do not forget that your offers must be competitive, otherwise potential customers will remain so. And one more detail: think about the place where your office will be located.If it is not possible to rent a room in the city center, then it is advisable to choose a place with high traffic: for example, near a shopping center, hypermarket, train station, metro station.
How to open a real estate agency
If you decide to open your own real estate agency, you need to consider that it will be profitable only if the following mandatory conditions are met.
- Solid start-up capital (several hundred thousand rubles, preferably more).
- The ability to contact people and incline them to their side.
- The established customer base, and the more it is - the better.
As for the start-up capital, it is necessary to consider that you will have to immediately spend money on the following:
- office rent (about 10-30 thousand rubles - depending on the region);
- advertising (at least 20 thousand rubles - and this is the price of advertising in only one print publication;
- expenses for office equipment (at least 200 thousand rubles). This includes the purchase of office furniture (for 3 employees - 30 thousand), computers (45 thousand for 3 employees), server and software (approximately 50 thousand), an accounting program (15 thousand), office equipment and a phone with a mini-PBX (minimum 60 thousand rubles).
We have not added items such as Internet payments, taxes, employee wages, marketing research expenses (as discussed below). In total, according to minimal estimates, only in the start of a business it will be necessary to invest about 300 thousand rubles, and most likely, even more. Therefore, it is desirable to have other sources of income, because the first few months will have to spend to bring real estate agency to self-sufficiency. Of course, it is strongly recommended that at least some experience as a realtor.
Organizing your agency begins with a marketing research that will help you find out the sales volumes for the real estate market in your region and for major competitors, the projected costs for advertising and promotion of services (newspapers, Internet, etc.). Also, with the help of marketing research, you can make an approximate price and plan a discount system, understand how many and which specialists you will need for the first time, and decide on the location of your office. Such a study can be conducted independently, but it may take too much time.Therefore, it is best to entrust this procedure to specialists of a consulting firm, and this, again, additional costs (at least 30 thousand rubles).
After the marketing research is completed, proceed to the design of permits. The easiest way is to hire a qualified lawyer, but you can try to do it yourself, though, in the latter case, you will have to spend a lot of personal time. The cost of law firm services here is low (3-5 thousand rubles), and the documents will be ready in a week. Next you need to develop a price list. Here, experienced businessmen advise, firstly, not to lower prices (otherwise it will be suspicious to customers), and secondly, to offer full support for transactions, that is, in fact, without the participation of the client.
With regard to recruitment, the best solution would be to invite familiar realtors, even beginners. Do not forget to pre-determine and fix the level of wages and the distribution of bonuses. Next, you need to pick up an office space (preferably the average option between a luxurious office in the center and a room in a residential area) and conduct an advertising campaign. And of course, do not forget to purchase the necessary furniture and equipment for work.
How to open your advertising agency
First you need to decide what kind of advertising agency you want to open. The fact is that there are several formats of the advertising business - for example, branding, direct advertising, event marketing or BTL. Branding is the development of corporate identity for companies, trademarks and everything connected with it. Here we also assign various printing products (brochures, price lists, etc.). With direct advertising everything is clear: this category will include street advertising, indoor advertising, as well as advertising in various media and the Internet.
Event marketing is the organization of various promotional presentations, conferences and other events related to the promotion of a product, and BTL (from the English “Below the Line”, which can be translated as “under the line”) is a complex of means of so-called indirect advertising, there is an organization of various actions that stimulate sales (sweepstakes, discounts, gifts), sponsorship, etc. In other words, BTL is an advertising activity that is not related to direct advertising on radio and television, in newspapers and on the Internet, on the street and in the premises. Sometimes the above directions of advertising can be combined, but it is always better to start with something one.
Having defined the scope of the future advertising agency, you can begin the actual process of the organization. It begins with the search for a suitable office space. And here, in contrast to the cases we considered with a travel agency and a real estate agency, everything is much simpler. An advertising agency needs an office only to receive calls and process customer correspondence, and negotiations usually take place on the client’s territory. However, some customers may come to you, so the office should be at least clean and tidy.
From the property it is necessary to purchase several decent computers with technical characteristics with a printer, scanner and copier. If you plan that designers will work in the office, do not save on components. Their computers must be productive and with good widescreen monitors, the savings here will not even come to the designers (they will wait), and you (the customers will not wait). We will not talk in detail about such obvious things as Internet access and at least a multi-channel telephone number (or better, IP telephony).
Employees working for youthere may well be freelancers (that is, work remotely and not even be on staff), but it’s good to have 4-5 full-time specialists - for example, a secretary, two designers and two sales managers. And the last thing: control over the work of specialists, of course, is important, but I do not advise you to go too far, because I know a couple of advertising agencies that collapsed precisely because of the rigid framework in which management tried to keep employees. This led only to indifference in relation to their work and, as a result, to the leakage of valuable personnel. Choose talented specialists who want to work, offer them a decent wage, a more or less free schedule - and you will be pleasantly surprised by their performance. Agree, it is important to know not only how to open an agency, but also how to organize a long-term and profitable business.