Radio Station Business Plan

This article specifically explains how to start radio station on FM band to cover a city specific crowd. (maximum approximate broadcast radius of 40 miles). It more specifically explains a step-by-step process to formulate a radio station business plan, without having to spend huge money to hire consultants in the beginning stages.

Let’s begin –

The process of setting a radio station business is divided into two broad parts –

(1) Conceptualization &

(2) Ground execution.

Conceptualization or planning involves studying all the aspects that go into drafting a detailed radio station business plan. Be informed that most of the successful radio station start up spend anywhere from 3-15 months in conceptualization alone. The actual ground work execution hardly takes 3-4 months to complete.

While most of the conceptualization process does not entail costs, execution involves spending money. You definitely do not want to be spending thoughtlessly on some equipment only to repent later. Therefore, anyone who is thinking of getting into this business is advised to follow this time tested approach.

Activities to be undertaken during conceptualization phase:

The conceptualization process begins with approaching the broadcast licensing authority of your land to get the application form and to explore about the availability of transmission frequencies for allotment.

This should be followed by a detailed study of the license application form to start collating necessary information and resources to build a great business plan for setting up your radio station business.

A business plan is primarily serves three important purposes

1. It defines the key actionable: This ensures that you start taking progressive action towards starting your radio station business. It clearly defines down the entire chain of activities, so that you do not get caught into doubts mid way after you have started the ground work. It also ensures that -YOU- the business owner understands the business well before spending even a penny.

2. It is a ‘must-do’ to improve your license application worth. The licensing authorities want to be sure that the applicant knows exactly how to take the business forward after the license is granted.

3. If you are financially capable, well enough. If you are not, a radio station business plan is the only way to raise funds from banks, investors or venture capitalists.

Contents of a radio station business plan

This by no means is an exhaustive list. it should nevertheless give you some indication on how to draft your business plan.

1. Begin with collating all data required for completing your license application form.
2. Analyze the demography where you want to start radio station, in terms of the specific tastes and preferences.
3. Prepare and study the list of applicable legal and statutory norms of your land.
4. Decide your niches – i;e target audience, contents and other specialties for your station.
5. Obtain quotes from various equipment providers and compare them to choose a final solution provider. (It is advised to buy all equipments from a single supplier as it would bind him to give you solutions and not just equipments)
6. Decide on the studio design, layout, location and other technicalities
7. Decide the organizational structure and the constitution
8. Do a comprehensive financial planning to ensure that you do not land in any financial trouble when setting up a radio station or later when you have to pay salaries and bear several other expenses.
9. Undertake a human resource planning to decide on your staff job description and key personnel requirements.
10. Study and choose a ‘performance rights organization’ to build your legitimate song library and to manage royalty payments
11. Device a marketing plan, promotional plan and pricing of your advertisement slots to ramp up your revenues
12. Decide the broadcast program and promotion content.

When you collate all this and more at a single place, you are ready with your radio station business plan. Mind you that you are not spending even a single penny up till this stage.

After you obtain a license with the help of a well drafted business plan, you get into execution with your chosen solution providers like equipment vendors, production designers, software suppliers etc.

This is the ideal time to take the services of consultants and other specialists. You will be quite versed with the business modalities by this time. This will protect you from being duped as it happens with several ignorant new entrants in any business.