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Free Passage Theatre Company
Scott Bellas, Róisín Diamond, Kyle Haddow, Corin Beattie, Matthew Howdon
Free Passage Theatre Company
20 (1f1) Barony Street
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I. Table of Contents
I. Table of Contents .................................................................................................................................... 3
II. Executive Summary ................................................................................................................................ 4
III. General Company Description ............................................................................................................. 5
IV. Our Productions ...................................................................................................................................... 5
V. Marketing Plan ......................................................................................................................................... 7
VI. Operational and Managerial Plan ...................................................................................................... 120
VII. Personal Financial Statement............................................................................................................. 153
VIII. Financial Plan ......................................................................................................................................... 14
IX. Appendecies ......................................................................................................................................... 166
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II. Executive Summary
Write this section last.
We suggest that you make it two pages or fewer.
Include everything that you would cover in a five-minute interview.
Explain the fundamentals of the proposed business: What will your product be? Who will your customers
be? Who are the owners? What do you think the future holds for your business and your industry?
Make it enthusiastic, professional, complete, and concise.
If applying for a loan, state clearly how much you want, precisely how you are going to use it, and how the
money will make your business more profitable, thereby ensuring repayment.
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III. General Company Description
The artistic aims of our organization are to explore popular culture and important issues in today’s society in
an interesting, entertaining and insightful manner. We would like to focus on new writing and bringing people
to the theatre who might not ordinarily think to go and see a play. It is important that our work be easily
understandable and appreciated by people from a variety of different social groups and cultures.
We could build on our current project by speaking to different writers to get a variety of opinions and ideas
about our initial theme i.e. should we make it a comedy or focus on the more serious repercussions of the
game etc. We could also talk to actual players of the World of Warcraft game to get their views on what they
would like to see and information about their real life experiences to ensure our performance is appealing to
its main target audience.
With regard to future projects, we could talk to new writers about what they are passionate about writing and
see if any of their ideas coincide with ours or if we inspire each other to create something completely new and
exciting. An example could be one of our initial ideas about a play commenting on the drinking culture in
Britain. We could propose this idea to a group of writers and get their feedback on how they see it coming
together so we have many different takes on the one theme. With such a topical theme as this one, we could
also create a survey and put it to different demographics to get real people’s opinions and hopefully this
would again make the play very honest and engaging. I think getting a lot of people involved at an early stage
could also make the play more popular as people will want to come and see the play that they have
Our company will be operating within the creative arts and live entertainment sector. This industry is always
changing and although the recent recession has damaged the creative arts, it is still faring better than many
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IV. Our Productions
Our initial production is based on the online game, World of Warcraft and follows one man’s quest to find
love through playing the game. It will show his relationships both in real life and in the game and his feelings
for both worlds as he struggles to find which woman is the right one for him. We will explore his quest in a
dark yet humorous manner using a variety of different multimedia such as film and projections as well as live
We appreciate that there are a number of competitive disadvantages; however, we believe that the quality and
value for money that we offer will outweigh these aspects. We are a new and dynamic theatre company,
which means that we are very excited and enthusiastic about our first production and will do all we can to
ensure that it is entertaining and good value for audience.
It may be seen as a disadvantage that we are just beginning our careers but we have put a lot of thought and
work into this production and we think that it will be as good as shows by other more established companies.
The fact that we are performing this first show at The Fringe can also be seen as a disadvantage as there are
so many shows on at the same time. We will constantly be competing with hundreds of other theatre
companies, however, we plan to spend a lot of time marketing our production in a variety of interesting
manners so it stands out and we will still have the advantage. Our theme is also very specific, which could
possibly be a disadvantage but the World of Warcraft game has over 11 million players worldwide so it is
bound to still attract a very large audience with many fans of the game wanting to come and see our play. We
plan to price our tickets at £8.00 and £6.00 for concessions, which is cheaper than most of our competitors
so this is a big advantage for us as audiences will be keen not to pay too much and we will offer a great show
at a fair price.
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V. Marketing Plan
Market research - Why?
We carried out market research for our initial production, in order to get the best possible knowledge of who
the company’s target market is. This gives a good insight into which marketing materials to use and how best
to use them, this is our strategy.
Market research - How?
Our market research was carried out in two main ways:
Primary sources, through direct questioning of the public via questionnaires and talking to a focus
group. (see appendix i and ii)
Secondary research, through in reading into our competitors and their target markets. This
information has been gathered from vendors, company’s web sites, the yellow pages and other
Our company will be appealing to our market as...
Features and Benefits
Describe the most important features. What is special about it?
Describe the benefits. That is, what will the product do for the customer?
Our market research suggests that our target market will likely to be made up predominantly of people who
fit the profile below:
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18-32 year olds
Students or young professionals
Not regular theatre goers
What companies will compete with you?
List your major competitors:
(Names and addresses)
Will they compete with you across the board, or just for certain products, certain customers, or in certain
Will you have important indirect competitors? (For example, video rental stores compete with theaters,
although they are different types of businesses.)
How will your products or services compare with the competition?
Use the Competitive Analysis table below to compare your company with your two most important
competitors. In the first column are key competitive factors. Since these vary from one industry to another,
you may want to customize the list of factors.
In the column labeled Me, state how you honestly think you will stack up in customers' minds. Then check
whether you think this factor will be a strength or a weakness for you. Sometimes it is hard to analyze our
own weaknesses. Try to be very honest here. Better yet, get some disinterested strangers to assess you. This
can be a real eye-opener. And remember that you cannot be all things to all people. In fact, trying to be
causes many business failures because efforts become scattered and diluted. You want an honest assessment
of your firm's strong and weak points.
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Now analyze each major competitor. In a few words, state how you think they compare.
In the final column, estimate the importance of each competitive factor to the customer. 1 = critical; 5 = not
Table 1: SWOT analysis (appendix iii)
Table 2: PEST analysis (appendix iv)
We plan to create performances that will really entice and inspire an audience who might not usually think to
go to the theatre. We will also make sure that our performances are accessible and welcoming to traditional
theatre-goers but we plan to base our plays on popular themes from today’s society that will hopefully pique
the interest of a wide range of people. Our first play, for example, is based on the online game, World of
Warcraft, which has more than 10 million players worldwide. Its players come from a variety of different
countries and walks of life but their love of the game unites them and would hopefully encourage them to
come and see our play. Our work will be welcoming to a very international market and could be appreciated
in a variety of countries and venues. Our ability to easily take our performances on tour will hopefully ensure
an interesting and successful future for our company.
We plan to use a combination of web and print advertising to market both our company and our
performances. In this technological age, we appreciate that most people will initially turn to the internet for
information so we plan to have both a website and a dedicated Youtube channel. We will also have our own
Facebook and Twitter pages so that people can easily follow us and share our information with an even wider
audience, hopefully generating more support. We appreciate that some people still like to have a physical copy
of the information so we also plan to use print as part of our marketing strategy. We will use a combination
of flyers, stickers, posters and advertisements in key magazine such as The Skinny.
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As mentioned previously, we plan to use a combination of web and print marketing to promote our company
and our performances. The internet is now used as the primary source for most promotion as there is so
many avenues that we can take. We will create our own website and dedicated Youtube channel where we will
post promotional information and videos. We will also have our own Facebook and Twitter pages so that
people can easily access and share our information. Our followers will hopefully help us with our promotion
by generating word of mouth by perhaps “re-tweeting” our posts and sharing them with even more people,
thus widening our audience and generating more support. We will update these weekly, however, in the
fortnight before the show, we will increase this to daily posts for a final push to ignite interest and support.
We appreciate that some people still like to have a physical copy of the information so we also plan to use
print as part of our marketing strategy. Along with ourselves, we will use a distribution company to hand out
stickers and our A5 flyers and distribute our A3 posters in bars, student halls etc where we think they will be
received by our target audience of young people. For this particular show, we will also go to shops such as
GAME and Forbidden planet where players of the World of Warcraft game may be found. We will also put
advertisements in key magazines such as The Skinny and The List as these are some of the top events listings
magazines and will definitely reach our target audience.
We accept that there will be some initial costs, however, we feel these will balance out as, once our website
has been created, it will be free for us to use as often as we want. Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are also all
free to use so this is a very economical method of promotion. With regard to print marketing, there will be
the cost of printing and the distribution company but we plan to only use this company at the start and the
end of our promotion and we will do the rest by ourselves to cut down on costs. We also plan to do role-play
in various venues such as Arthur’s Seat and these will be filmed for the Youtube channel. The live show will
also be a preview of what is to come and is another free method of promotion. The internet also allows to
work out an organised list of all our members on our various sites so we can send a mail-shot out to everyone
without it costing us any money. We can also see who has been to see any our performances so that we can
easily get in contact with them for future offers for repeat customers.
Ultimately, we want our audience to see us as a young, diverse and dynamic group. This will be reflected in
our promotion as our websites and flyers/leaflets will all be very bright and vibrant like us. We will also be
using creative methods such as our live-action role playing and videos. Our approach is aimed at younger
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people and, being young ourselves, I think we will be able to understand what young people want and
promote ourselves accordingly.
*All costings for our promotion are laid out in our financial plan.
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VI. Operational and Managerial Plan
On a day to day basis we will operate from a home environment in order to keep our overheads at a
minimum. We will follow a functional management strategy with each company member managing specific
parts of the company’s operation.
Development and Production
When producing new shows we will operate from a number of different locations depending on the stage of
the process. Each stage requires a different set of physical /special requirements for example:
Writing and creating ideas will be done from home along with customer services will be run from
o The amount of space needed is minimal
o The building type has no bearing on the outcome
o The location needs to have good public transport links and parking spaces for company
members to be able to get there
o There needs to be power, bathroom facilities, heating, a telephone line, a post box and good
Rehearsals will be held in a rented space because:
o The space needs to be large enough to have a blocked out area of the stage
o The building type is not important, however the space needs to have even flat floors
o The location needs to have good public transport links and parking spaces for company
members to be able to get there
o There needs to be good lighting, bathroom facilities and heating.
Production venue will be rented for performance because: ( see appendix v. for initial project venue )
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o The space needs to be large enough to have a good sized stage and at least 25 audience seats
o The building type needs to have disabled access
o The location needs to have good public transport links and some parking spaces for
company and audience members to be able to get there
o The space needs to have a fully functioning lighting rack, power, seating and bathroom
Our estimated running costs for rent and utilities of all spaces will be an average of £500 per week as much of
our costs are paid in kind. This is broken down in our financial plan for our initial production.
We will operate on flexible hours depending on the stage of production. When in development we will try
and work from 10am – 6pm and then extend and diversify these hours as rehearsals and performance begin.
As a company we run under the legal structure of sole trader and deal with public performance. The company
therefore has a number of legal requirements to adhere to. These are:
Abiding to all health and safety law which is consistent with running a performance
Gather any wrights for material used in performance.
Provide tax returns and other financial documentation to the HMRC
Be covered by public and employee liability insurance
We have five employees in our theatre company:
Corin Beattie – Treasurer.
Corin plays a vital role in the financial management of the company, she makes sure our finances and
accounts are up to date and she works closely with our secretary which is Scott. All expenditures
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must go through her. Corin is the most suited to this role as she has experience in setting up a theatre
company and working in a media company, where she dealt with financial issues.
Scott Bellas- Secretary.
Scott organizes the general running of our company, he takes minutes at our meetings, sends out
agendas, hands out assignments and makes sure we are aware of/adhering to any legal requirements
effecting our company. Scott has worked as secretary for a solicitors company and has managed
private projects in the past.
Róisín Diamond- Head of PR.
Róisín is in charge of how our company is perceived by the public, how our image as a company is
presented in the media, and the overall management of the flow of information between us and our
target audience. Her experience includes work at her local newspaper; she has been involved in many
promotional events for well-known brands as well as organising charity events. She works very
closely with Kyle our head of marketing when developing campaigns.
Kyle Haddow- Head of Marketing
Kyle is in charge developing marketing campaigns her role includes planning, advertising, public
relations, organising events, product development, distribution, sponsorship and research. She has
worked in the uk theatre school and has been involved in the promotion of their events.
Matty Howdon- Audience Development.
Matty is in charge of sustaining and expanding existing or regular audiences or visitors, creating new
attenders and participants, and enhancing their enjoyment, understanding, skills and confidence
across the art forms. Matty has a wealth of experience of working in the promotional side of the
hospitality industry as well as being involved in the promotion and research of many theatre projects.
The employees of the company work as volunteers in the initial instance. After the first year we will look
to pay our employees a nominal fee which will be a percentage share of any profits made.
For certain jobs such as set designers and lighting engineers, the company will employ specialists on a
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VII. Personal Financial Statement
Include personal financial statements for each owner and major stockholder, showing assets and liabilities
held outside the business and personal net worth. Owners will often have to draw on personal assets to
finance the business, and these statements will show what is available. Bankers and investors usually want this
information as well.
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VIII. Financial Plan
The financial plan consists of a 12-month profit and loss projection, a four-year profit and loss projection
(optional), a cash-flow projection, a projected balance sheet, and a break-even calculation. Together they
constitute a reasonable estimate of your company's financial future. More important, the process of thinking
through the financial plan will improve your insight into the inner financial workings of your company.
12-Month Profit and Loss Projection
Many business owners think of the 12-month profit and loss projection as the centerpiece of their plan. This
is where you put it all together in numbers and get an idea of what it will take to make a profit and be
Your sales projections will come from a sales forecast in which you forecast sales, cost of goods sold,
expenses, and profit month-by-month for one year.
Profit projections should be accompanied by a narrative explaining the major assumptions used to estimate
company income and expenses.
Research Notes: Keep careful notes on your research and assumptions, so that you can explain them later if
necessary, and also so that you can go back to your sources when it’s time to revise your plan.
Projected Cash Flow
If the profit projection is the heart of your business plan, cash flow is the blood. Businesses fail because they
cannot pay their bills. Every part of your business plan is important, but none of it means a thing if you run
out of cash.
The point of this worksheet is to plan how much you need before startup, for preliminary expenses, operating
expenses, and reserves. You should keep updating it and using it afterward. It will enable you to foresee
shortages in time to do something about them—perhaps cut expenses, or perhaps negotiate a loan. But
foremost, you shouldn’t be taken by surprise.
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There is no great trick to preparing it: The cash-flow projection is just a forward look at your checking
For each item, determine when you actually expect to receive cash (for sales) or when you will actually have
to write a check (for expense items).
You should track essential operating data, which is not necessarily part of cash flow but allows you to track
items that have a heavy impact on cash flow, such as sales and inventory purchases.
You should also track cash outlays prior to opening in a pre-startup column. You should have already
researched those for your startup expenses plan.
Your cash flow will show you whether your working capital is adequate. Clearly, if your projected cash
balance ever goes negative, you will need more start-up capital. This plan will also predict just when and how
much you will need to borrow.
Explain your major assumptions, especially those that make the cash flow differ from the Profit and Loss Projection.
For example, if you make a sale in month one, when do you actually collect the cash? When you buy
inventory or materials, do you pay in advance, upon delivery, or much later? How will this affect cash flow?
Are some expenses payable in advance? When?
Are there irregular expenses, such as quarterly tax payments, maintenance and repairs, or seasonal inventory
buildup, that should be budgeted?
Loan payments, equipment purchases, and owner's draws usually do not show on profit and loss statements
but definitely do take cash out. Be sure to include them.
And of course, depreciation does not appear in the cash flow at all because you never write a check for it.
A break-even analysis predicts the sales volume, at a given price, required to recover total costs. In other
words, it’s the sales level that is the dividing line between operating at a loss and operating at a profit.
Expressed as a formula, break-even is:
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Breakeven Sales = Fixed Costs
1- Variable Costs
(Where fixed costs are expressed in dollars, but variable costs are expressed as a percent of total sales.)
Include all assumptions upon which your break-even calculation is based.
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FREE PASSAGE THEATRE COMPANY QUESTIONNAIRRE
1. How many shows, roughly, do you go to see at the Fringe Festival?
2. How much are you likely to spend on each show (maximum)?
3. Where in Edinburgh would you most likely go to see a show?
4. What do you expect from the shows you go to see?
5. Are you drawn more towards contemporary or traditional shows?
6. Would you be more interested in seeing a show by a Scottish company?
7. Where would you look to find out about a show?
8. Would you go to see a show based on a flyer you were handed?
9. Would you be interested in a show based around the online game ‘World of
Warcraft’? Please state why:
10. Do you visit the theatre regularly?
11. Do you prefer theatre or film?
12. Would you look out for a company at future festivals if you enjoyed one of their
shows this year?
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It would help us a great deal if you could now take a moment to fill out the following
information; which remains completely anonymous and is strictly for the purpose of market
Are you from the UK (if yes, please state where):
If you are from outside the UK please state where:
Are you in full time education:
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More than 10 answers which
suit our company / show
More than 5 answers which
suit our company / show
Less than five answers which
suit our company
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C Soco (studios 1 and 2)
o Format: up to 58 seats, end-on open stage (black box auditorium) – studios 1 and 2 are the
o Auditorium: 5m W x 15m D
o Seating: upholstered, six rows deep, raked on rostra
o Stage: 4.5m W x 4.5m D, black dance floor, headroom 2.8m to lanterns, 3.5m to ceiling
o Lighting: 24 ways of dimming, manual/memory lighting desk, comprehensive general
lighting rig; specials by arrangement
o Sound: CD, corded microphone + stand, mixer, amplifier, speakers; additional equipment by
Mid to Late afternoon. We don’t want to be competing with live music and comedy acts which are
predominantly shown in the evenings. Fringe audiences are more likely to attend theatre during the
This space is designed for the size and type of show we want to put on. It is big enough to
accommodate for our needs but not to big that it feels too intimate. It is in a central location and
they have in house advertising and are equipped with the necessary technical facilities.