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Student Trips To Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester  
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1409 times:

Some of you may have read my previous thread concerning the organization of a for-profit scheme, whereby trips would be organized from the University of Wales, Bangor, to Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester for nights’ out – primarily because the nightlife in the Welsh city is, at best, standard.

I was to charge £15 for a ticket to Liverpool, £16 to Manchester, and £17 to Leeds – all including one ‘free’ 440ml (i.e. the normal-sized can) of lager. I have since found means of charging considerably less, while concurrently earning quite a bit more profit per-seat sold.

If I hire a 49-seat coach, it will cost me £230 to Liverpool and £280 to both Manchester and Leeds – all including a driver, fuel and parking fees. If I then divide the cost by the total capacity, so £230/49 equals £4.69 per seat and £280/49 equals £5.71 per seat. I then add to those costs additional costs, as below:

Liverpool:

£4.69 per seat
£0.50 advertising and admin (envelopes and stamps) per seat
£0.63 the per-person cost of one 440ml can of Carling (based on £15 per crate – there’s normally special offers, so I expect to pay less and so earn more in profit)
£0.51 shared cost of 5 cool bags, in which the beer and drinks are kept
£0.09 the cost of my seat divided by the remaining seats (£4.69/48)
--
£6.42

The per-seat cost, based on filling all 49 seats, is £6.42.

I could charge £10 – including a FREE drink – which would mean I would earn £3.58 profit per seat sold. If I sell all seats, I’ll therefore earn 171.84 (£3.58 times 48) profit for this trip.

Leeds and Manchester:

£5.71 per seat
£0.50 advertising and admin (envelopes and stamps) per seat
£0.63 the per-person cost of one 440ml can of Carling (see Liverpool)
£0.51 shared cost of 5 cool bags
£0.12 the cost of my seat divided by the remaining seats (£5.71/48)
--
£7.47

The per-seat cost, based on filling all 49 seats, is £7.47.

I could charge £11 – including a FREE drink – which would mean I would earn £3.53 per trip and per seat sold. If I sold all seats, I’d make £169.44 profit for each trip.


There are two ways of reducing my costs and to thereby earn more profit. Firstly, I could not offer a free drink and so would not need the cool bags. This would mean my total costs for the Liverpool trip would become £5.28 (from £6.42) and so I’d earn £4.72 profit per seat sold (from £3.58), so I would earn £226.56 profit if I sold all seats – an increase of £54.72. For both my Leeds and Manchester trips, my costs would reduce from £7.47 to £6.33, meaning I would earn £4.67 profit per seat sold, and so a total profit of £224.16 per trip assuming all seats are sold – an increase of £54.72. Secondly, I could still offer a free drink but not keep them in cool bags. For the Liverpool trip, this means I could earn a total profit of £196.32 – an increase of £24.48 – and for my Leeds and Manchester trip, I could earn a total profit of £193.92 per trip – an increase of £24.48 (assuming I sold all seats).

Profit differences (all based on filling every seat):

1) Excluding free can and cool bags = total earnable for all 3 trips = £674.88
2) Including free can but excluding cool bags = total earnable for all 3 trips = £584.16
3) Including free can and cool bags = total earnable for all 3 trips = £510.72.

The difference between excluding free can and cool bag and including them is £164.16.

I am conscious of the need to fill all my seats, hence my preference to offer an incentive – the FREE drink – and to make it sound like it’s better value-for-money. What I am not sure about is whether I should keep the cans in cool bags, especially as the trips would be undertaken during the winter.

Some questions:

1) Do you think I should offer a FREE can? If so, do you think I should keep them in cool bags?

2) Do I need cool bags considering it’ll be the winter?

3) Do you think £10 to Liverpool including/not including a free drink is good value, and £11 for Leeds or Manchester?

My advertising costs will be very low: I will be initially printing 500 ads (a ream of A4 paper costs under £3 and I can get free printing at my local library) and handing them out to students around the SU, around the halls of residence, in student pubs, etc., while putting up A3 ads in key areas.

As an additional means of increasing my income, I will be providing cans of Carling and Stella (hopefully for £1 per 440ml can); Smirnoff Ice (hopefully for £1.50 per bottle); cans of Coke and bottles of water (for about £0.50 each); and crisps (for about £0.20 each). I should sell quite a few of the above – and my profit on a can of Carling should be at least 37p.

PLEASE GIVE ME AS MUCH CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK AS POSSIBLE!

Thanks very much indeed for your help!

James.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRJ100 From Switzerland, joined Nov 2000, 4119 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Hi James

1) yes/yes (keeps the customers in good mood and they don't get bored)
2) I think yes. The bus driver will heat the bus (hopefully for the passengers  Big grin )
3) I would say it is very good value. It is a safe way to travel for the students and they don't need to think about "who is driving this time".

BTW, if you drive more than once you can divide the costs of the cool bags again of course. Let's assume that you will offer this tour for 20 times it will reduce the costs of the cool bags per seat to a minimum.
What about taxes? I don't know the situation in your country. If you repeat the tours I am sure that you should include taxes in your cost listing above.

Did you think about sponsors? Maybe you'll find a few companies that are able to sponsor you with drinks or money. In return you could print their logos and name on the ads.

Hope this helps,
Tom



none
User currently offlineMYT332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 70
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1390 times:

wow James, i looked through your post, saw all those facts,figures and numbers and just gave up reading it.....


Sorry i cant help more  Big grin

Lazily yours,
Alexander



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1381 times:
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Think about what if you do not sell all the seats? Maybe at first price it higher and plane to sell only 60% to 75% of the seats and price it that way. Maybe after the first outing offer a coupon for a special price for the next one if they book right there or give them a window to book and use the coupon.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1381 times:

Tom - thanks for your useful reply.  Smile I will initally be operating 3 trips (one to Liverpool, one to Leeds, one to Manchester), so can carry a total of 144 passengers (excluding myself). The total cost of providing the cool bags is 73.44 pounds, which I divided by the total capacity (144) = 51p each.

The trips are being marketed as an easy, convenient, worry-free alternative to doing it yourself. Add to that the fact that it's cheaper than doing it by public transport, as it's a very good deal indeed. And then there's the fact that you can go out and enjoy yourself and relax without worrying about who's driving home, as you rightly said.

Luv - yeah, good point. My university has about 8,000 students so I'm not expecting it to be difficult to fill the 48 seats per trip, especially as the nightlife in Bangor is not that good. I thought about charging the proposed price and then evaluating the situation about 1 month prior to departure - if I don't have all the seats booked, I'd produce another set of leaflets offering a discount of anything to the breakeven point.

Cheers chaps!  Smile

[Edited 2004-06-18 19:19:07]


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1372 times:
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James.

Why not price the coaches at 40 seats to make a profit and then that gives you that much more profit if you manage to sell the last 8 seats! Incentive to fill the bus, then less worry if it does not happen. Maybe find one or two people to fill the buses for you and offer them a commission or incentive for each 5 seats they sell they can keep half the money of the 6th seat or so....



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1370 times:

That's an interesting idea, Luv! If I divided the 230 by 40 instead of 49, it'd be 5.75 per seat. Add to that the additional costs, totalling 1.73, and the total cost of production is 7.48 per seat. The profit earned by selling the 40 seats would be 100.80 instead of 3.53 (based on 49) and thus 141.20. The remaining 8 seats would enable me to earn a total of 66.16 (at 8.27; I'd have to still pay the other costs), so by doing what you suggest I could earn a total profit of 166.96 instead of 171.84 - which is less.


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1365 times:
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When I use to work for a tour operator that is how we did it. Certain times of the year the planes would sell out so the pricing reflected that, other times it was harder to fill so we priced higher yet only expected to sell a certain percentage.....


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineWorldoftui From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1361 times:

Pe@rson

Luv2fly beat me to it!

Have a lower profit / break-even point, so you are almost guaranteed to make money. Are you really sure that you would make less money by having, say a n 80% break - even point?

Like you said, people will be queuing up to leave Bangor I am sure (no offence  Big grin )

With regard to the drinks cooler, I would imagine it wouldn't be necessary. Driver can leave them under the coach where they put the luggage as it is not heated down there. Or you could chill them before and hand em out as they get on. Then, say if you stop at a services on the way, you could "open up shop" in the car park to flog whatever stock you have left.

As for your pricing, from your my previous post on this, I still think you are undercharging for Leeds. Even if it is not much further from Bangor than Manchester, there is a perception that it is as you are crossing the Pennines. Call it £15 mate - still a bargain, and people will pay that I bet. Do the Leeds one last and let the word of mouth spread from the other two as well, so that your biggest profit trip will sell quickest! And the ones with the smaller financial risk will build up to the biggie!

To reduce the costs still further: Sponsorship - would it be worth you getting hold of a club in the relevant cities? They provide you with a little money for drinks etc. Get them well "lubricated" on the journey. You turn up on their door with 50 - odd merry people who want to drink and have a good time, spending all night? Might be worth enquiring about.

Keen to see how this works out Pe@rson. Thinking of doing something like this myself, so keep us up to date!

All the best,


Mark


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 1350 times:
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James.

Good idea about partnering with a local club or two. Might sell you the beer at cost, supply napkins with there logo free of charge, some promo items to raffle off during the trip.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineKLM777 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2003, 372 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 1349 times:

Please allow me to pop in with some comments:

- Have you thought about the effects of alcohol on the homebound leg? It could be that a group of four people become very aggressive, and while the rest is probably drunk too, you on your own are not going to stop them. The people you target are most probably the heavy drinkers, not the people who can take responsibility.

- In that context: Would a coach company be prepared to continue the service after a couple of these events? (okay, it's not difficult to step out of business if it's not a success)

- How many times a month are you planning to go? Each week to all of the three cities, or once a week to another city? Since you'll be doing it all by yourself, watch yourself for creating a too busy schedule as it probably won't be as perfect as in your dreams.

Anyway I like the idea, but I hope you have considered my first comment...

Kind regards,

Jeroen



Every landing is a controlled crash
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 1338 times:

Thanks for your replies.  Smile

Jeroen - at first, I'll only have one trip to each city from Setember 2004 until June 2005. I'll see how it goes before increasing frequency.

I understand your concern about the level of intoxication. The firm I'll be using apparently happily does nightclub trips, so I arrange something with them.

WOT/Luv:

I had to slightly alter my costs, but I can now confirm that my breakeven points are thus:

1) Liverpool trip – at £10 per seat = 31 people;
2) Leeds trip – at £15 per seat = 24 people; and
3) Manchester trip – at £10 per seat = 36 people.

The above are based on 48 people.

The maximum profit I could earn, assuming I fill all seats on all three trips, will be £858.57.

About the sponsorship suggestion. Yeah, it’s a good idea, but to reap the benefits of it, you’d have to ensure that the majority of the total capacity of the coach would wish to visit it. Accordingly, the deal you secure will be surely less for 20 people than for 48. Also, it would restrict the consumers' freedom about where they want to go. Furthermore, because people like different types of music – some like dance, some pop, some heavy metal, and so on – you can’t really fully cater to those preferences by going to one club. Accordingly, I we will drop our consumers in the ‘heart’ of the nightlife areas, so that they can go as they please (people will obviously be in groups) and go to whichever pubs and clubs they so wish, based on their musical preferences, the look of the lads or lasses, their budget, etc. The only condition will be that they return to the pick-up location (the same as the drop-off) at the designated time. To help them decide where to go, I will research the clubs and pubs in all three cities and produce a small nightlife guide (complete with a map showing the location of each pub and club, plus the drop-off and pick-up location) with the key area/areas so that they can construct a plan of where to go.

I would like to raise my price for my Manchester night out slightly to enable the breakeven point to reduce, but the risk would be that I’d put off potential customers.

Because students aren’t at university over the weekend, the nights’ out will be held on Saturdays. The dates are thus:

1) Manchester – 13th Nov. 2004;
2) Liverpool – 5th Feb. 2005; and
3) Leeds – 30th April, 2005.




"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1333 times:
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James.

After your research the local pubs you could put together a flyer of sorts and sell advertising to those clubs who want to attract your bus of people.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1332 times:

Aye, that'd be a good means of increasing my income.

If you were a potential consumer, would you want the freedom do go to the pubs/bars and clubs with your mates as you choose, or be restricted to a particular club?



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineWorldoftui From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1330 times:

If I were a customer, I would like to have a VIP entry to a club. Especially if its winter, who wants to queue outside in the rain? Admittedly, it could reduce the choice so you would have to be careful about the choice of club, especially as you will be catering to a multitude of tastes.

Having said that, surely most people will be going for the clubs right? I am sure Bangor is pumping on a Saturday  Big grin but the real attraction of Leeds / MAN / LPL would be the clubs. Free entry into a club - saves em probably £10. That's beer money! If I know students, that is music to the ears. I would probably go for that! Doesn't mean I don't have the choice, but means that a choice I do have is extra attractive, which is good for me, and good for you.

As for the effects of alcohol for the journey home, easy answer is before you let them on the coach, hang a plastic bag on the hook on the handle on each row of seats. Also good for rubbish as well as puke, and should keep driver happy too. Plus less cleaning up for you if the worst comes to it  Sad


Mark


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1326 times:

This might be a bit more expensive, but how about trips to Dublin ? Bangor is not far from Holyhead, you could load the drunken scruffs on the ferry and have them barfing Guiness in no time flat ! Dublin is a great place for a night out. You could get a group ticket off the Ferry company.

Or else how about to somewhere like Alton Towers (yes OK, but students are kids at heart - there's a market !) - could negotiate a group rate I'm sure.


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1325 times:

I suppose that 'FREE VIP entry' could be a good marketing ploy and it does seem attractive considering the weather during the winter. People need not take advantage of the free entry, but they can if they wish to. I bet most people will, if they get free entry to a very good club. I'll do some research and see if there's one well-known and well-liked club in each city which offers a variety of music. Cheers!


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1324 times:
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Maybe some of the clubs would allow you to sell cover for there clubs, cover that you would get at a reduced rate and then you mark them up for a profit, and then you could turn back the ones not sold. That would also be a way to increase your bottom line.

Also for the return trip have snacks to sell, after a night of drinking the munchies set in.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1322 times:

JGP - yeah, I was planning to add DUB to LBA, LPL and MAN in 2005/2006, assuming it all goes well. Possibly LON too, with overnight accommodation. The SU organises a trip to Alton Towers. If it didn't, I would have!


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1321 times:

Forward planning - good thinking, Carruthers ! I guess you could, if you were very brave, organise weekends in AMS flying U2 from LPL, with hotac included. If you were interested, you could negotiate a reasonable flat rate with U2 - airlines love group bookings, very easy to manage and it fills planes quick, especially in the off season.

There are plenty of reasonable fleapit-esque hotels in AMS in the central area (ie. within staggering distance of the rude bits) that again would probably do you a good bulk rate out of season. Easy enough to locate on the web.

You could insist that everyone provides proof on insurance before they can book, so you'd be covered (incidentally, are you covered for your other trips - liability etc ? Not just for the bus either - I don't know what the law says, but it might be wise to check out your legal liability in case anyone falls down drunk and cracks their head open).


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1319 times:

Didn't really give AMS a thought! I like it, though, so will be thinking about it some more.

I will enquire into the insurance.

Cheers for your help!  Smile



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1315 times:

Creation in central Leeds looks good on a Saturday, as it has a variety of rooms all catering to different tastes. The entry fee is normally 8 pounds, but I'll enquire into getting it heavily reduced or free. Nowt like economies of scale, eh?  Wink/being sarcastic

[Edited 2004-06-18 23:51:33]


"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineWorldoftui From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1308 times:

Pe@rson

If you ever need hotel accommodation for a trip in the UK, give me an email. Still have a few contacts left over from my days at Lunn Poly - may be able to get you a lower group rate.


Mark


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

Thanks for the kind offer, Mark. I'll email you when necessary.  Smile

Night night all.  Smile



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19230 posts, RR: 52
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1297 times:

Hi folks,

I now agree that doing a deal - like free entry or heavily reduced entry - with three clubs would be beneficial: if we're charging 15 pounds to Leeds, including a FREE drink and FREE VIP access, then that's absolutely brilliant value-for-money.

Thankfully Creation replied saying "We'd love to do a deal for you" so that's looking promising.

I'm after clubs in Manchester and Liverpool which play, on a Saturday night, different types of music - Creation plays commerical dance, chart/pop and RnB in three different rooms - to appeal to as many people as possible. I also require the clubs to be known and liked, and in an area with a selection of good pubs. Any suggestions for Manchester and Leeds?

Cheers!



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
25 Post contains images Pe@rson : Hi folks, I am to charge 15 pounds per ticket on my nights' out to Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. For this, you will get a return trip b
26 Post contains images Worldoftui : Pe@rson Such an entrepreneur! The next Branson perhaps.....? Mark[Edited 2004-06-26 23:10:16]
27 Post contains images Pe@rson : Haha WOT. Right, each of my four nights' out (Brill Birmingham, Lively Liverpool, Loveable Leeds and Mega Manchester) will be 15 pounds and include: 1
28 Worldoftui : Pe@rson Nice work. Keeping the price the same is also good idea I think. People aren't gonna moan as the price is steady, where as the lower priced tr
29 Post contains images Pe@rson : I can no longer offer the ‘free’ drink, as it presents too many financial problems, particularly because no pub is willing to reduce its prices to
30 Pe@rson : I can report that there have been some developments, most of which go someway to hinder the achievement of a fair balance between offering good/very g
31 Post contains images Worldoftui : Pe@rson Bloody Hell. What a lame excuse from the coach companies. I am well impressed with this - wish I had though of something like this. I could ha
32 Post contains images Pe@rson : Hi Mark, Thanks a lot for your reply. I don't yet have enough time to evaluate what you have written (the meet calls), but I have made a note of your
33 Worldoftui : Pe@rson Just another thought. If the coach companies wont play ball, how about contacting the local bus companies (ie the sort you get on to go to tow
34 Post contains images Pe@rson : Hi Mark, Thanks for your suggestion; I'll look into it shortly. James. P.S. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the get-together.
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