Are You Ready To Go Solo In Your Travel Career?
If you have been working as a travel agent under a business for some time then you may think you have done it all. You might be wanting to step away from working under somebody and spread your wings in the self-employed travel industry. This is completely doable but it needs confidence and self-belief.
The first step in going solo in your career is to have enough money to do so. This means having a lump sum to be able to start a business or purchase an existing one. If you don’t have the money to hand you will need to apply for a business loan through the bank. Be aware that in doing so you will need to pay this back, be sure to include this in any outgoings you work out.
When you are working out how much money you need, you will also need to factor in any other costs that your business will have. This includes any stock or products you need to be able to entice the customers.
When it comes to your business you need to ensure you have put enough time aside to start it. You may still be working at your regular nine to five while you are in the process of starting your business so time management skills need to be on point. Without this, your business will struggle to get off the ground and you may find that it fails before it has even begun.
If you learn how to prioritize tasks then you will find it much easier to manage both jobs. Making a list as jobs come in and doing them as soon as possible will show you are keen to get this business off the ground.
Now it is time to research the different elements associated with starting a business. The first thing you need to look into is if your business is needed. Remember, a business doesn’t always have to be a brand new idea, it can be improving an existing one and putting your own spin on it. Take a look at other businesses similar to yours and find out if it is worth starting and if they do well with theirs.
You will also need to work out other aspects such as will you need employees to help your business succeed, and if you need premises to work from. You will also need to ensure your business website is up and running. This needs to be user-friendly and allow your customers and clients to find what they want within three clicks. If it takes too long for them to find the page that is needed then you could find yourself losing custom. Some companies can help you design your website if you are not sure how to go about this.
You are only as strong as the team holding you up. If you decide to hire a group of employees to work for you then you need to make sure they are the best you can get. It can take some time to find the right employees but when you do it can completely transform your business. You may find it easier while you are setting up your business to use a recruitment agency. They will handle everything from the advert to narrowing down the applicants.
You can do it alone but it may take you some time to whittle down the applicants to a select few. You will then need to interview them all in your own time and double-check the references they provided. If you do choose to use a recruitment agency then be sure to check the user reviews beforehand.
Owning a business gives you the freedom to do it from anywhere in the world. You will need to decide if you are running your travel business from the comfort of your own home or an office. If you choose to run it from home then you will need to have a system in place for all your employees to work in complete harmony. There are apps out there to help keep everyone on one platform and server.
If you choose to work in an office then there are several factors to think about and consider. The first is where will your offices be located? This is important because if you want people to walk in off the street then you need to be somewhere you can be found. This could be on a busy high street or in a business district. If you are set back from the street then think about making use of boards showing the way to your building.
Find Your Niche
When it comes to starting a business you need to make it unique and offer something different to your customers. This is known as your niche or your unique selling point. This could be anything from offering champagne on arrival to free kids’ places up until the age of 15. Think about different ideas that can help your business stand out and draw the customers in.
You also need to work out what kind of travel business you want to be. If you want to offer one specific type of holiday or be an all-rounder. You might also like the idea of creating amazing excursions and activities for your clients. If this is the case then take a look at using a tour operator software within your website. This will make it easier to book activities and trips away.
Branding & Marketing
Finally, you will need to think of a business name and sort out which marketing techniques you are going to use to promote your business. This is important as it spreads the word to others that you have opened and are ready to serve the general public. When it comes to your branding, think about using a catchy slogan to get people’s attention. On your website, you could make use of video marketing and create a welcome video explaining who you are and what you can offer.