TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN BECOMING A TRAVEL AGENT
Learn more before you commit to Starting Your Own Travel Business
Work from Home
A Home office is a great way to commence a travel business. You save on start-up expenses immediately, while you are learning how to Manage and Operate your New travel business for success. Generally, you will want to set aside a small section of your home for operating your travel business.
The area should be approximate, 10m2, or around this. If you have space, make it bigger. Please don’t work from the Dining table, as your main office. This may sound great, but eventually, it will be a big mess, disorganized, and cause you stress and problems. Create a separate location, be organized, so you can work in comfort, with little distractions.
A catchy Business Name
This is a very important part of establishing a successful business. What are you going to name your new travel Business? Please, don’t rush into this, as it distinguishes you as a person and a company. Write down, suggestions, keep your name short. Make it a name that people can easily spell and remember.
You are establishing a business in Travel, so we suggest using the word or words associated with travel. These are some examples to include in your business name – TRAVEL, TOURS, BOOKING, TICKETING, HOLIDAYS, etc. The choice is still yours what you choose to name your travel business.
Use minimal colors, as you will then create a Logo for your travel business. This logo will appear on your stationery, documents, invoices, booking vouchers etc. The more colors involved the more expenses you will incur, for printing. Printers can charge by the numbers of colors they have to print.
The business name and logo will also appear on your Calling cards. So inherit a color for your business, so people will know who you are and will be able to relate to your colors. These colors you select will then be transferred to your website design, to keep everything in relationship with your business. Generally, with a well-designed website, there are only four prime colors, plus beautiful and simple white!
Work with what you already have
Your business has the best chance to make money, and therefore be successful and sustainable, if you keep costs down. A great way to do this is to start with what you have.
When you look at your resources with new eyes, you’ll be amazed at how much you have that you can put to use. If you already know what you need for your business, challenge yourself to be as resourceful as possible with what you currently have. It can help you save a tremendous amount of costs.
Creativity allows you to bypass many startup costs. Who do you know who can help? Which connections might be able to assist you? The connections you already have can help you get around your biggest expenses — like a workspace. With a little creativity, you will always have more options than you think.
Treat your business as a business
There’s a difference between a hobby and a business. A business makes you money. A hobby costs you money. It sounds simple, but many people miss this reality.
So if you want to turn your hobby into a business, you must treat it as a business. That comes from recognizing and accepting the reality that in order for it to work, it has to make you money.
Have a national focus
Although you may be a local independent travel agent it doesn’t mean you should have a narrow local focus. You need to appeal to a national audience to ensure success because the market changes so fast.
A national focus will mean tour operators will be keener to deal with you and therefore your holiday selection will be more extensive.
When to go for profit?
Don’t work just for profit. This attitude will distract you from your real goal! Build your travel business to be Different and Respected by your clients and peers. Profits will flow and increase as you grow.
Go all out to make your business name known to achieve as much business as possible. Once this is achieved you’ll have increased bargaining power for your commission and profit rates with more access to a greater number of quality holiday selections.
Solve a problem
Businesses exist to help people, so your business needs to solve a problem that people face. Consider what needs you fill, what problems you solve and why people should care about your business.
This is the value you provide, and it’s what you market and ultimately charge for. Always strive to improve your personal Customer Services – people are not Robots!
Keep your accounts separate
Bookkeeping is the No. 1 failure of 80 % of businesses. Know where your moneys come from, know where your moneys are going too. It’s no good always spending more then you earn. We all know what happens next.
Your business needs to have its own checking and savings accounts instead of co-mingling with your personal finances. This helps keep your money separate, which makes life much easier for you – Never mix business assets with personal assets!
Look after your staff
Staff are your Greatest Asset! Your staff is the people that will operate your travel business. You will be responsible for Managing your staff. Always remember, it is Your Business. There are many ways to enhance your staff’s production, commitment, and Loyalty to you and your business. You can offer Reduced rate holidays.
This is a proven powerful incentive for lots of people wanting to work in the travel industry. But you need to attract and retain good people. People who are interested in travel work and who can communicate with customers will represent your business well. Offer training and incentives and if you can, pay above-average salaries. You’ll be rewarded with loyalty in a competitive industry.
It’s ok to be scared
So many people have the dream in their heart to start something, but they stay stuck because they are scared. They aren’t “ready.” Entrepreneurs face real fears every day at every stage. But the successful ones do it anyway.
If you’re waiting until you’re ready to try, you’ll never try it. Ready is a myth — so push past your fear, put in the work and it will be worth it.
LEx. Travel Agents Training will share many more Tips for a Successful Business during your Training
IATA offers comprehensive training and professional development services, among which the IATA/UFTAA International Travel and Tourism Training Programme is globally recognized as the best and most complete Travel and Tourism qualification. As you grow, you may like to checkout IATA – Visit IATA www.iata.org/training/travel_tourism/