Supporting business owners in an acquisition at Oneplanet Adventure

oneplanet adventure

Programme type: Acquisition
Sector: Leisure and tourism

The challenge

The owners of Oneplanet Adventure Limited, a mountain biking visitor centre in the Llandegla forest in North Wales, wished to acquire the facilities and car park they rented from the landowner. Their vision for the visitor experience was more ambitious than the landowner and would necessitate significant expansion to achieve a doubling in visitor number. A revised business plan, with a clear linkage between investment and growth was required and the owners’ skills and experience were not advanced enough.

The solution

Over a three-month-period we supported the owners in their analysis and specified a business plan template that their accountant was able to create for them in Excel. The analysis of historical data revealed some discrepancies with previous plans, it provided a more granular analysis of different visitor types; mountain bikers, pass holders, walkers, families; and the revenue they generated per visit; in the specialist mountain biking shop, in courses, in the café. Assumptions were made and tested and a working model of the base-line visitors and revenue streams was confirmed. A list of investments; in new trails, in a new car park, in the expansion of the visitor centre, in showers and toilets; was planned and assumptions were made about the resultant impact on different visitor types and hence revenue. A multi-year profit and loss plan and cashflow forecast by month were prepared. The owners were able to forecast the amount of borrowing that would be required to fund the plan

The outcome

The acquisition process was lengthy but in December 2018 it was finally concluded. The two banks that were providing substantial funds for the initial acquisition had received and accepted the business plan.

The owners have engaged with local authorities and regulatory boards to begin the process of detailing their plans. They have engaged a specialist design company to provide options for the developments to the centre and car park. Maintenance of existing trails and planning and building of new ones is in progress.

Follow on activity

The financial analysis revealed an opportunity to improve margin in the café that would reduce the required level of borrowing and potentially accelerate some of the owners plans. We completed a detailed analysis and benchmarking of the café with other tourist attractions and some local food outlets. Changes are being implement to procurement, pricing and stock management.

Jim Gaffney a Director of Oneplanet Adventure, said

“Bill provided a clear focus for our business planning effort. He made us think about our current business and our plans for its expansion in a very organised and factual manner. The link between our business plan and our plans for development are now crystal clear. We have clear budgets and targets. Bill has ensured that as we go through a significant period of expansion we will retain control of the business and its finances – we have clear decision points are criteria to assess them against. He got the best out of us. The input on the café using Liz, one of the Profit Ninjas, has provided an affordable boost to our short-term profitability which is great !”.

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