How to Start a Ticketing Business in Nigeria
Ticketing is lucrative business if you know what to do. But why go into it in the first place? Remember those events organized by big shots in the music, fashion and comedy industries, including cinemas? Or even some sporting events when a stadium has to be used for both local and international games? These guys need tickets to organise their events permitting entry to those who have the ticket. The number of events that need tickets have continued to increase steadily in recent times as people find their way to cinemas, concerts and comedy shows in droves usually as a means of relieving stress after a hard day’s job. The airline and rail transport system also use ticketing to make reservations. Airline reservation systems (ARS) are part of the so-called passenger service systems (PSS), which are applications supporting the direct contact with the passenger.
The major advantage of starting business in Nigeria is that because of the population, you always get a few people to patronize you. This doesn’t mean there are no risks but like any other business, you need to have the passion, right information and strategy that can make you compete in the market. Another advantage is that the ticketing business is not as time consuming as the financial freedom and flexibility it offers.
WHAT TICKETING ENTAILS
The idea here is purchasing blocks of tickets for popular events in advance either online or from brokers. Through vendors, your website or other forms of online marketing, you attract buyers who will pay you much more than the price you previously purchased the tickets. In some cases, especially for shows and concerts, the price of the ticket continues to increase until the event commences or is sold out. The price of tickets varies greatly usually depending on the popularity of the event, popularity of the artist or comedian and the place or area the event is taking place. Ordinarily, the tickets are produced for various classes of people such that you have tickets for regulars, VIP, VVIP, etc where the lowest priced ticket is for regulars and the highest is for the VVIPs (Very Very Important People). It could be arranged according to the sitting arrangement too, where some people will sit in the front roll, some in the middle, some behind and some in the gallery and this will reflect on the ticket prices. So, it’s important to understand that fewer people will buy the more expensive tickets and avoid taking the unnecessary risk of purchasing many expensive tickets that will remain unsold after the event to avoid unnecessary losses.
Recently, for airline ticketing in Nigeria, one must be recognized by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria through the ticketing association due to the prevalence of fraud among unlicensed ticketing agents.
The Electronic Ticket
An electronic ticket, which has become more widely used over the last couple of years is commonly abbreviated as e-ticket is the digital equivalent of a paper ticket. This term is mostly associated with the airline issued tickets. It is also used in the entertainment industry. The electronic ticket system is a more efficient method of ticket entry, processing and marketing for companies in the airline, railways and entertainment industries. When they are used in sport, concerts and cinemas, the eTickets as they are commonly referred can be received via email or through a mobile app. Electronic tickets allow for spectators to download their tickets rather than wait for physical tickets to arrive in the mail. A printed copy of these tickets are expected to be presented at the venue. These tickets now normally also have a barcode, which may be scanned on entry into the venue to streamline crowd processing. The major advantage of the eTicket is that consumers are able to buy tickets wherever they discover an event. It also helps agents to buy and keep tickets on their phones and organizers can track sales from their phone. This way the issue of fake tickets are not likely to occur. With eTicketing, an agent can be in Lagos and sell a ticket to someone in Porthacourt or Kano for an event taking place in Abuja. If this happens, sometimes, there can be other offers by the agent to offer more customer services by assisting such clients to book flights and hotel for the duration of stay.
TIPS ON STARTING YOUR TICKETING BUSINESS
Now that you have an overview of what the ticketing business entails as well as its benefit, it will be handy to equip you with the necessary information on how to go about it as well as succeeding at it. To the tips;
Find Ticket Brokers and Resellers
It is necessary to bear in mind that this is a money venture and you should be smart in starting as well as running the business. Since you are new in the business, you will need professional advice from time to time. The best person for this is a ticket broker who will not just give advice on staying in the business but will help you in selling tickets as well as getting discounts and promotions to improve profits. It may also be necessary to involve resellers to either help you in selling tickets or linking you up to other brokers. The good thing about purchasing tickets from brokers is that you can save some money as brokers offer some deals. As earlier stated, it is important to only purchase tickets that you are sure of selling.
Budgeting and Market Survey
It is impossible to sell tickets for events you don’t know of therefore, a lot of effort needs to be put into being up to date on events taking place in an area or across the country. There is also the need to sell tickets that have higher demands to ensure that you can make more profits. Before you begin purchasing tickets it is important to look at your budget in deciding how much you want to invest. There is no need to invest all your savings at a time rather determine how much you can easily afford. Unless you are sure that the process is paying off, that is, yielding higher profit than the overhead costs and other expenses in running the ticket business, do not invest more. The idea if business is to make money, not take unnecessary risks and lose huge amount of money.
Find Authentic Tickets
It is essential to deal with licensed ticked brokers so as not to worry about authenticity of tickets. You can still purchase from local outlets but it is ideal if the broker can assist in recognizing fake tickets otherwise you may lose a lot of money. If you are passionate to promote the event, you should sell tickets as soon as the event is announced. You would have to figure out the event onsale time, and ideally the first presale time and buy the tickets the second they went onsale. It is not wise to hold large amount of tickets in the hope that the prices will rise as the event draws closer. It would be better to have sold enough purchased tickets and made profit and only then you can benefit from higher prices as the event nears.
Take the Web with You
In this times where the web has become a serial marketing tool, it is advantageous to use it as you can sell tickets virtually rather than physically. You should set up a business website that is easy to understand and navigate through. Choose a business-friendly domain name and choose a well-established ticket selling website template and customize them to suit your needs. Ensure you use a payment processor with a rock-solid reputation for security and safe payments so that your customers will be confident enough to put in their credit card details on your website.
Your website may also carry adverts of future events so you are sure that a number of people who have visited your site to purchase one ticket or the other will return to purchase for the next available event.
On the other hand, make sure you do thorough research and read reviews about any web development firm before you pay for their service.
Set-Up Payment Method
You will need a very efficient merchant account to collect money, through credit cards, from those who want to buy tickets from your website. Payments could be through credit cards, POs or through website payment platforms. Those who want to purchase through your website credit cards want to be sure that their information is safe. Since the process of setting up this account could take between 4 to 8 weeks. It is important to start the process very early so it does not cause unnecessary delays. You may open up an account for credit card processing through your bank, or use a well-known payment processor like Quickteller and PayPal. Whatever you do, make sure payment is safe and easy.
Develop and Use an Effective Marketing Strategy
When starting a ticket business you should not forget to secure the necessary permits and licenses to make your business legal. After that, grow your ticket selling business by marketing it aggressively therefore you must create a winning marketing strategy that will help you to attract more buyers than your competitors. The most effective marketing strategies are those that are targeted towards a specific audience, focused on key benefits based on the audience’s point of view and interests and deliver at an appropriate time – when the audience is most likely to be attentive to and interested in the message being passed. Make effective use of search engine optimization (SEO), search marketing and PPC, Facebook ticket marketing, Twitter, Google, Instagram and all other forms of internet marketing. Also, you should work hard to keep your existing customers so they can become repeat buyers. Do not limit marketing options. You could place flyers in malls and restaurants and other public places that guarantee that an event advert is seen. Ensure you don’t expend funds that will increase expenditure and limit returns disproportionately.
Growing Your Business
If you intend to last in this business as it is with any other business, you must remain competitive. You could even become a broker one day if you are able to be prudent without taking unnecessary risks. Here are some ways to help grow your customer base. Research the competition, get to know your customers, create a loyalty programme, offer great customer service, look for new opportunities, use social media and lastly measure what works as you go.
There is much potential in the ticketing business if you are prepared to follow these tips. It is important that you expand your knowledge base beyond this article and take practical steps in ensuring that as associated industries are expanding, it is important to position yourself to benefit maximally.
Reference: Airline Reservations System – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_reservations_system
How to Start a Ticketing Business in Nigeria © www.businessplan.com.ng