This article on how to become a successful travel agent is a compelling business guide on how you can plan, kick start, and grow your own travel business from nowhere. It is a business guide that worth millions of dollars but here in 9JATODAY.COM, we are giving it out to for free.
Are you a person that derives pleasure in traveling? Do you like helping others to plan their travels so that they can have great exploration? Why don’t you consider becoming a satisfied travel agent and begin your own travel business from the middle of nowhere?
Don’t be scared because I said: “become a travel agent from the middle of nowhere”. Travel agent business is fairly inexpensive, you can start with little cost upfront and get away with few staffs, as the business progress, you can put other things in place.
That is one of the sweet sides of the business…
Be that as it may, for a travel agent business to succeed, it depends largely on venturing into the right and perfect niche in the competitive market. So, if you really want the business to see the limelight, it is at its own good to concentrate on your feasibility studies, market survey, business branding, marketing, and host of others. Know the kind of people that will be needing your expertise and what they could be able to offer you in return.
By and large, if you are finding these tips to start a successful travel agent business helpful and interesting, then keep reading, and don’t forget to press the share button at the of this article.
A FULL GUIDE ON HOW TO START A PROFITABLE TRAVEL AGENT BUSINESS
Step 1: Draw up a business plan
First thing first, the first thing you have to do before you venture fully into the travel business is to create an effective plan for your proposed travel business. Don’t get this misconstrued, regardless of what business industry you are in, writing an effective business plan is very important.
Though a formal business plan may not be required of you unless if you are going to seek out for a loan or capital investment for your travel business but nevertheless, you can’t skip it. Writing an effective business plan has been scientifically proven that it helps businesses grow faster.
So, no matter how busy or tight you are, don’t overlook this step!
Essence, if you are planning to become a successful home-based travel agent, it is ideal you look for a host travel agency so that you can be an independent travel contractor. So if you are going to base your traveling business in such regard, your business plan should be simply straightforward.
In the same vein, if you are planning to start your own travel agent business from the scratch, then you will need to write a lengthy business plan that contains flexibility contents that will assist you to build your travel business all on your own.
However, whatever type of travel business you will be starting, the most vital thing is you don’t write a business plan more than one. A killer business plan will assist you in standing out in your business and it will let you have a clear picture of your mission, vision and goals are in the future unseen.
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Step 2: Define Your Niche And Conduct Market Survey
Having put down a working and efficient business plan, the next thing you will do is to specify a particular niche you will be dealing with and conduct thorough market research on it. What travel niche will you be filling? If you don’t have one in mind, begin by carrying out your research on the travel industry as a whole. Know more about the big players in the industry, know who your potential customers are, where they are and learn more about what they exactly want.
Or better still, ask yourself the kind of travel agency you will like to venture into and what niche of travel business does your community actually need the most. In a bid to find a correct answer to those questions, embarking on a market survey to find out the kind of travel agent your local community really needs.
Check if there is an empty niche you can conveniently fill or if there is a vacancy in the travel market like rendering a honeymoon adventure for the latest couples. So look around and critically think about the inhabitants of your community if they need specific kinds of travel agencies.
Step 3: Develop Your Own Brand
What kind of expression do you want your seasonal and potential customers to have whenever they use your services, view your advert or browse through your website? Do you ever ask yourself why your potential customers will use your services instead of them to book for a trip themselves? It is very paramount you have a unique brand and some kind of expertise that others probably can’t provide.
One important thing that your potential customers will use to identify your travel agency is the brand that you developed. So immediately you know what the traveling market entails and you’ve decided on the niche you will venture into, the next cause of action is to create an incredible brand image.
It very obvious that it doesn’t need an announcement that the travel industry is fiercely competitive, so the only thing that can let your target audience know of your presence in the competitive market is to have a well-developed and creative business brand that will make your travel agent business stand out.
Step 4: Go for the Necessary Paperwork
If you want your travel agent business to have smooth sailing without any problem from the government or any of its agencies, then it is a must for you to deal with the necessary legal issues. What I mean by this is, get your business registered and go for the necessary license that is required of a travel agency.
Moreover, a travel agent business is, without doubt, a fairly easy to set up a business venture. The process you have to undergo can’t be as rigorous as starting a brewery company. There is not much legal red tape attached to becoming a successful travel agent and starting a profitable travel business.
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However, you need to take care of the following legal issues under this section.
Apply For License where necessary
It is very important you study the environment you are going to situate your travel agent business. In most locations, there are no licenses or certifications required specifically, so travel agent licensing requirements differ by state or country.
Define Your Business Structure
Having determined whether or not the location you will be using requires a license before you kick start the business, depending on your business structure, there exist some general licenses any wannabe entrepreneur is expected to secure. So let your business structure be defined and go for the necessary paperwork as an entrepreneur.
Give your business a name and request for the Federal Tax Identification number
Also, you will also like to consider giving your travel agent business a formal name and this involves going to the CAC bureau to check for the available names. Plus, you will also have to request for the Federal Tax identification number which is popularly known as the Employer Identification Number (EIN) or the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) in some other jurisdictions.
Step 5: Identify your funding strategy
Since you will be starting your own travel agent business from scratch, how do you intend to finance this lucrative business of yours? Do you plan to meet investors or you have a family member in mind that you are confident that he will loan you some funds? Whatever means you plan to raise funds for the business, identify it and let it be clearly defined.
Premise on this, the capital needed for a travel business is fairly low as the business doesn’t require buying any expensive equipment, and at the same time it doesn’t need an extensive space as an office in to begin with – if you even plan to start the travel agent business from the comfort of your own home, there is no need for any office space at all.
All in all, make sure you have a plan at hand on how can obtain the business funding. After all, you will need money for business marketing either online marketing such as creating your own business website or offline marketing such as printing of flyers, business cards, posters, billboards and many more. So the funding budget you plan initially may likely be spent on any kind of branding, marketing or advertising, and you may at a point in time also decide to rent an apartment for your office, hire more staff, etc., all which are fairly a large expense.
Be enlightened that many travel agencies are usually self-funded since their initial overhead is very small and the business is fairly easy to start although they often face stiff market competition. As such, there is no form of tried-and-true way or means for financing a travel business, unlike many other businesses. They move from their personal funds to the business venture capital, everything is all about possibility.
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Step 6: Office Location
The next thing in line after your business funding strategy has been defined is to look for a perfect place suitable for travel agency business. If you are kick-starting this travel agency business from the comfort of your home, this section may not be relevant to you but if you are starting out of your home, then it is very crucial you find a better place.
In the same vein, in determining the best place to situate your office, it is not necessary that it has to be somewhere with foot traffic but rather anywhere other than a remote area that is spacious enough to accommodate you plus reflects your travel agent business brand image.
If you are starting in your local community, setting up your office in an open place where people will be reflecting on your brand image as they pass the office will be better. This will motivate them to try your brand out whenever they plan on traveling.
7. Hire the needed staff
Having found a suitable location for your travel agent business this means you are too close to kick-starting the business but before then, you will need to hire some employees who will be assisting you in doing one thing or the other. After all, you alone can’t handle the business.
Now, the question is how many staff do you have to hire? Well, this depends on how big your business firm is but nonetheless, since you are just starting out, you may have to wait until your travel agency expands and become well known.
Step 7: Launch Your Travel agency
Now is the time to make your travel business go viral. The moment you are done putting all the necessary things in place, the next action in line is to launch the agency officially. Invite people from far and near to the launching occasion, enlighten the attendees what your agency has in stock for them, etc.
8. Advertise Your Travel Agency
This step has to come in to play a role the moment you launched your travel agency. In fact, it can begin at the luncheon by giving out your travel agency fliers, handbills, brochures etc to the people.
The only way your seasonal and potential customers can know of your existence in the travel industry is through advertisement. Even if you are starting out in your local community, the only way your target audience can understand your mission better is through advertisement.
So it is up to you the kind of advertisements you will capitalize on. But it is advisable you go for both online and offline adverts if your marketing budget can afford both. And mind you, you don’t have to put all your advertising efforts in paid advertising, make sure you explore the social media advert, too.
If you are passionate about the travel agent business, having put together all the above-discussed steps, your patience, persistence, and ability to take risks will determine whether or not you are ready to explore the good things in the business.