Every day, countless ordinary citizens travel outside their home country. This may be due to an irresistible desire to travel and explore the world or to forced trips to countries and cities in connection with work. Whatever the purpose of the trip, you will need to go through the bureaucratic step of obtaining a visa. It is for these reasons that to open a visa center is to start a profitable, promising business with high profitability. The constant increase in interest in traveling abroad makes the business idea relevant and has great chances for development in the future.
Relevance of a business idea
Opening a company such as a visa center means creating a company that helps ordinary citizens get the coveted permission to travel to another country. The staff of the center helps clients to deal with the necessary documents, help in their preparation and sending them to the embassy for consideration.
Also, such companies are not responsible for whether a person gets permission or not. Unless, if the refusal was provided due to incorrectly executed papers. The center does not bear full responsibility, acting as a simple intermediary, but at the same time, it provides irreplaceable assistance. It is the complexity of preparing all the papers that makes you turn to the company for help, which makes them relevant.
Reasons for the popularity of the visa center
Previously, only travel companies and tour operators selling vouchers were involved in visa processing. Over time, people have learned to plan their own vacation, choosing hotels and accommodation. But, if everything is easy in the case of planning a trip and booking seats, then not everyone can collect and correctly draw up documents for a visa. That is why agencies with specialized specialists have become so popular.
Also, it becomes a problem to visit the embassy of another country, which is mainly concentrated in Moscow. The opening of a visa center solves this problem as well, personally sending papers to the desired embassy. The only thing that may require a personal visit is if you need to pass an interview or pass biometric data.
Before you open a visa center in your city, you need to understand whether you need one. To do this, you need to find out several factors:
- Find out the number of the population, the percentage of people leaving the city.
- How popular is the visa destination.
- The number of the population is “middle class”, they often travel a lot.
- Are there visa centers in the city?
Opening a visa application center for a franchise: advantages and disadvantages
To save time on staff search and training, office decoration, study of all the intricacies of the case, you can simply buy a franchise and get support from the head office.
After analyzing the idea, its pros, and cons, you can come to a final decision – whether you need a center in the city or the idea is unpromising.
The main disadvantages of the case:
- A lump-sum contribution that doubles the amount of start-up investments.
- Business will not be relevant for all cities. If the population has a low level of income or the majority do not like to leave the country, then the opening in the end will only bring losses.
- When buying a franchise, one should not hope that an influx of customers will immediately appear, having seen only the name. Most of the companies are unknown, and clients only value a job well done.
- The constant strengthening of control over visitors from different countries complicates the work of the agencies. For example, many countries have introduced a new rule for obtaining a visa – the provision of fingerprints. Considering that commercial organizations cannot take them, clients will still have to go to the embassy in Moscow, thus the need for a visa center drops sharply.
Where there are downsides, there are upsides. Franchising has the following benefits:
- Buying a franchise brings its advantages – supporting the entrepreneur with information about organizing a business, the rules for issuing visas to other countries.
- You do not need to train employees yourself, the franchisor recruits and trains personnel on their own.
- There is also a consultation on complex issues from clients.
Knowing the pros and cons of buying a franchise, an entrepreneur can choose what is more convenient for him to do.
What do you need to open a center?
To create a legitimate business, you need to officially register by writing an application and paying the state fee for the selected form.
Opening a large, serious business requires registration in the form of an LLC, and for a simple small business, individual entrepreneurship is suitable.
After registration, the step-by-step implementation of the planned plan begins.
Step-by-step plan for opening a visa center
Many entrepreneurs wondering how to open a visa center, what is needed for this, can skip several important steps. Therefore, it is important to draw up a business plan that will outline a step-by-step sequence of actions.
You need to go through the following stages:
- Official business registration.
- Market analysis, target audience and competitors.
- Search for premises, rent, repair.
- Purchase of the necessary equipment.
- Staff recruitment for the center.
- Conducting an advertising campaign.
- Preparation of courier delivery of documents, organization of a hotline, website development.
Creating your own website has a positive effect on the image of the company, the influx of customers. A customer-friendly resource should include:
- List of services provided.
- Prices for each service.
- Forms for filling out online applications.
- Contact Information.
- Various feature articles and news.
A well-thought-out business plan with detailed points will help an entrepreneur not to get confused and create a business without organizational problems.
The best form of registration for such a business is LLC, which allows working with all structures and constantly expanding. For registration you will need:
- LLC Charter.
- Minutes of the meeting of founders.
- Agreement confirming the establishment of the LLC.
- Receipt for payment of state duty – 4000 rubles.
- Copies of passports of all founders.
You can also register as an individual entrepreneur (IE), since the business is not considered costly. For this you will need:
- To write an application.
- Attach passport, TIN.
- State duty receipt (800 rubles).
If necessary, you can write a statement on the transition to a simplified taxation system.
In any case, it is necessary to indicate the OKPD code – 96.09 “provision of personal services”.
The selection of competent employees is 50% of the success of the visa center. This is because the business visa center is built on helping and solving employee problems. If the staff is not qualified enough, they will not be able to solve the problems that have arisen, which will lead to the loss of the client.
It is necessary to look for employees with experience so that they do not make mistakes when filling out the papers, because of which the embassy may reject the request.
If extended activities, additional insurance services, hotel reservations, plane tickets, and so on are planned, then additional personnel will be required – administrators, call center operators. You will also need to hire an assistant manager and technicians.
Advertising campaign: attracting customers
Another important point affecting the further development and income of the center is the marketing strategy to attract customers. The first step is customer acquisition, and the second is customer retention. This is the formula for business development.
At the start, you can involve small travel agencies that have no connections with embassies and get clients from them. In addition, the main clients will be independent tourists who take care of their travels personally. It is for them that you will need to develop an advertising campaign.
The business plan of the Visa Center should contain all possible advertising moves that help to attract and, most importantly, retain a client. Also here comes in handy a site that attracts customers and provides an opportunity to read useful information, contact the hotline with questions.
A good method is considered to be “working out” people who have shown interest, you can send them information, promotional offers, remind them about yourself.
Before opening a visa center in your city, you need to draw up detailed financial calculations, including start-up capital. To do this, you will need to calculate the number of employees, the cost of renting premises, select the countries that the center will focus on.
To open a business with several employees and provide assistance only in preparing, collecting and sending documents, a start-up capital of 100,000 rubles will be enough.
But to open a large-scale business, an amount of up to 1 million rubles will be required to organize a large office, hire enough employees, organize jobs and business trips for them.
The income will depend on the number of clients and the complexity of the services provided to them. For example, applying for a visa to the United States or Australia is an expensive procedure, but leaving on a Schengen visa is much easier and cheaper.
In large cities, such as Moscow, there are embassies where you can apply for a visa. But in most other small and even large cities, such an opportunity does not exist, and in order to obtain the coveted permission to leave, you need to make long trips around the cities. This is inconvenient and not profitable.
It is to help in such matters that visa centers are being opened. Not many travel agencies can help clients with paperwork, plus most refuse tours, drawing up a trip plan on their own.
When opening a visa center, the business plan should contain the main nuances of the idea:
- In settlements, villages and large cities with embassies, there is no need for such a business. The target audience of a business idea lives in medium and large cities where there are no such organizations.
- In the visa business, there is no middle ground – either a small intermediary company or a large-scale firm opens.
- At the start, you need to choose the main directions and countries with which you will work. As the case expands, the list may grow as well.
The standard work of the center looks like this:
- The client signs up for a consultation and comes on the appointed day.
- The staff assists in filling out the questionnaire, collecting documents.
- On-site photocopying services may be offered, photographs taken for documents.
- Additionally, you can take out medical insurance.
- The consular fee is paid.
- The employee takes the prepared papers and goes to the embassy, submits the papers and waits for the result.
It is important to remember that the Visa Application Center does not guarantee an entry permit. Employees must constantly remind the client of this, focusing only on their assistance.
At the same time, even if the embassy refuses, the services of the center are paid in full.
An entrepreneur who decides to start a business such as opening a visa center must familiarize himself with all the nuances and rules of doing business. Also, a great responsibility lies in the recruitment of personnel, because inexperienced employees can make mistakes when filling out paperwork, which is why the embassy will refuse to issue a visa. The business of providing such services is still relevant among independent tourists, businessmen, and suppliers. But every year, countries tighten their controls by introducing new rules – as a result, this adversely affects such companies. This is all due to the fact that people still have to go to the embassy to conduct an interview or submit biometric data, so it makes no sense for them to pay twice if they still need a personal presence at the embassy.