Travel Business Startup – The Adventurer’s Guide
Last Updated on October 21, 2021
What is a Travel Business?
Travel business is not meant for most people. They take a lot of time and effort to get off the ground and maintain. For most, it is just easier to travel as a part of their everyday life and let someone else handle the business aspects.
However, there is a large group of people who want to start up their own agencies – either because they feel that they could do better than the existing companies or because they do not agree with those extant companies’ thoughts on travel (such as ‘travel is bad’). In order to make this endeavor constructive, some basic information will be outlined here from the perspective of those starting a Travel Business from scratch.
A business can be defined as any organization or enterprise entered into for profit. This definition means that there are two aspects that must be met. First, the organization must make money. Second, it must be planned and conducted for making money (i.e., it is an enterprise).
Whether you will make money depends on what kind of business you enter into, how much effort you put into it, and your ability to manage your resources well. You will need to keep records of all your income and expenses; you will need to understand basic accounting principles in order to do this successfully. This book provides only enough information for you to retain a profit at the end of each month after costs have been deducted – not enough for accumulating wealth or investing in real estate! However, successful travel businesses can earn $30-50 per hour just from the U.S., so it is possible to live well on the income of even a small Travel Business agency.
Why to start a Travel Business?
Businesses can be classified according to who operates them and whom they serve: retail and wholesale and consumer and producer businesses. A retail business, such as a grocery store or record shop, sells directly to consumers for their own use rather than resale or further processing. An example of a wholesale operation would be bread manufacturers selling bread to restaurants, which in turn sell it directly to the public as sandwiches. Consumer businesses are those whose products are purchased by individual users; examples might include tourism agencies or auto repair shops. Producer operations sell their services or products exclusively to other businesses for resale or further processing – examples might include printing companies or catering operations.
Consumer businesses are usually more profitable than producer businesses because the latter must set aside a portion of their proceeds to cover costs associated with serving other producers. It is also harder to find buyers for certain products that consumers need rather than want. Producer businesses often enjoy greater stability because there will always be someone who needs what they have to offer, but their success is not always due to qualities intrinsic to the business itself (for example, sometimes even bad service can be quite profitable if it has an exclusive government contract).
Travel agencies are primarily consumer businesses; most states require this designation for any agency that sells vacation packages directly to the public. A small percentage of travel agencies (estimated at 5% by some sources) are actually wholesalers; these agencies book flights, hotels, and rental cars for tour operators.
Travel businesses can be classified according to the type of service they offer: travel agents (or general), destination specialists, cruise specialists, etc. A business that offers multiple types of services will usually only specialize in one or two; this is how it makes its money. For example, an agency cannot afford to hire experts on every form of vacation available because the experts all need salaries! An agency must therefore limit itself to either general or specialized operations in order to succeed.
How to Choose the Right Location for your Travel Business Agency
Choosing the right location for your agency is important because it will affect both how much you pay in rent and the day-to-day operations of your business. It’s certainly possible to find a location that won’t meet all these criteria, but certain locations are more suitable than others. Here are some points to follow:
- Good Accessibility
Having good accessibility means living within 20 minutes of an airport or major bus/train station, with easy access to the surrounding highways (a must). There should be parking available at the airport or train/bus station; if not, then at least there should be ample street parking available. You will also need access to public transportation (buses, subways) no more than 10 minutes away from where you live. These things together determine how easy it is to travel from where you live to potential clientele.
- Good Address
Your travel agency’s address has to be easy to remember and spell, or else people won’t know how to contact you! A good rule of thumb is that your phone number should be short enough for mobile phones (most mobile providers shorten any message more than 120 characters), so don’t give out just a fax number if there’s no fax machine at the location – this confuses everyone. Your local chamber of commerce can provide information on choosing an address that will help boost your business; they’re usually aware of the best locations in town.
Remember that there are other agencies out there, and yours will need to stand out if you want people to use it.
- Good Signage
When choosing signage for your agency, many factors need to be considered – but the most important one is how visible it is! You have to make sure that your sign can be seen from anywhere within a 10-minute drive (remember street parking!). Positioning your sign so that drivers see it as they enter the area may seem obvious, but this isn’t enough – remember that everyone who lives around you goes into their house the same way every day, so everyone knows where they’re going without really paying attention to where they are or what’s going on around them.
Depending on your location, the sign design should match the local architecture. You can save a lot of money by keeping your signage straightforward and simple – don’t go overboard with it! The right sign can give a great first impression to new visitors.
- Good Atmosphere
Having a good atmosphere can be the difference between attracting new clients and turning them away at the door. Even if you’re not located in a big city, you need to make an impression that will prompt people to stop by for a visit at least once. The best way to ensure that your agency is pleasant-looking from the street is to use nice signage and matching color schemes – but this isn’t enough. If you want inspiration on interior design, browse some magazines or look online for images of agencies similar to yours (e.g., ones that specialize in the same destination). Good Atmosphere — A good atmosphere within your agency makes everything seem more exciting, while the poor design might give off negative vibes that can put people off.
- Good Layout
Having a good layout is crucial to a business – if you want clients to feel welcome, they need to be able to find their way through your agency without getting lost. If the door happens to be locked and they can’t see any signage, chances are that they’ll just turn around and head for another travel agency down the street instead of coming back later (or calling you first). Good Layout — Clients won’t visit your agency if it’s hard to navigate. Make sure that everything looks well-organized so that there aren’t too many obstacles for them! Also, try adding “door art” which will prompt people who walk by to stop in for a moment; this might not seem like much but it can make an impression.
Marketing Your Travel Business Agency
As a travel agent, one of your main goals should be to market your agency and take advantage of all its benefits. Marketing is an ongoing process; the more you do, the better off your business will be. Here are some tips on how to make money with marketing:
1. Optimize Your Travel Business Agency’s Online Presence
When was the last time you updated your website? According to Comscore, 40% of all consumers search for products online before they buy them. By simply optimizing or updating your website, customers can find it much easier than before. Make sure that customers know what you’re selling and that they will get everything they need from buying through your sites such as deals and customer support services.
2. Explore Social Media Networks
Social media is one of the top ways to reach your audience. Facebook has over 1 billion users worldwide, so it’s a great way to get started! Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest are other great networks that you should explore as well. Try using hashtags for specific audiences and always ask questions to engage with your viewers.
3. Get Creative With Your Content
No one likes reading long articles or looking at boring imagery. You have to be interesting and grab the attention of your audience in order for them to buy anything from you or use any of your services. That means you need quality content on all fronts: visuals, words, and actions. Having good content will bring customers through the door as well as keep them searching (and buying) more.
4. Use Your Twitter Account to the Fullest
How many times have you seen a tweet that isn’t clickable? If it’s too much, keep scrolling! Though your tweets may be short, they can still attract people’s attention if they’re relevant enough. Try including keywords or hashtags for specific audiences and engage with customers by asking questions to make them feel involved in your business. To take using Twitter even further, you could schedule posts ahead of time to save time later on.
5. Avoid Over Posting Online
One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is overposting on Twitter and Facebook. You don’t want people to avoid interacting with your agency because you bombard them with content every hour, do you? The only time you should post more than five times a day is if you have a lot of things going on that are directly related to your agency.
6. Give Your Customers Extra Value
What do I mean by extra value? I mean, give them a personal experience. For example, when customers buy a travel package from you, show them around the city where they’re going and show them all the hidden gems. Doing this will make your customers feel appreciated and keep coming back for more!
7. Try Out Social Media Management Software
I’m sure everyone has heard of Buffer before but did you know there are other options out there right now? Hootsuite is one of the most popular ones because it’s really easy to use and allows you to schedule posts for days, months, or even years ahead! If you are looking to maximize your time on social media, this is the way to go.
8. Try Repurposing Your Content
Repurposing is simply taking content that’s already been created and transforming it into something new. For example, if someone quotes one of your articles, turn it into a general quote with a call-to-action. This increases engagement because people are more likely to retweet something that they can relate to. You can also take certain parts of blog posts or articles and turn them into tweets or Facebook posts.
9. Watch Out For Competitors
Track your competitors by using a tool like Hootsuite, which allows you to schedule social media posts going out at different times throughout the day. This way you know how often they’re posting and their best time to do so. You can also compare yourself to them by looking at engagement rates or numbers of followers/following counts. If they have more than you, ask yourself why. If they have less, then you’ve got the upper hand!
10. Ask Your Customers What They Want
This is a great way to engage with your customers and find out what they like and don’t like about your business. If you’re looking for travel tips or advice on where to go, just ask! There are probably other people around who would love to help out someone else who’s planning a trip. You can also use surveys or short questionnaires that pop up before checkout, asking if there’s anything specific the customer would want to be included in their package.