7 Ways to Make 2017 Your Travel Agency’s Best Year Yet
Written by: Amanda Bates on January 05, 2017
Whether you are a brand new home-based travel agent or have been in the industry for years, a new year is the perfect time to examine your small business and re-focus. The following tips will help get your agency on track for its best year yet.
1. Determine your “Why”
“Discover Your Why” is the training theme of our 2017 Crystal Conference and Awards, but even if you aren’t attending, knowing and following your reasons for becoming a travel agent are essential for success. Your “Why” will help you formulate your goals, which will shape your business plan, which in turn should drive the daily activities of your agency.
2. Set specific, achievable goals.
Once you’ve established your “Why,” setting goals should come naturally. However, your goals will be much easier to achieve if they are realistic and precise. Rather than telling yourself you want to gain more clients, write down an exact number. If you want to up your sales numbers, set a specific target, whether it’s $50,000 or $500,000. If your goals aren’t measurable, you won’t have any way to know if you’ve reached them!
3. Brush up on the basics.
No matter what your goals, a new year is always an ideal time to strengthen your business’s educational foundation. The “basics” somewhat depend on your specialty: If you sell cruises, make sure you review the latest trends and products, and get an idea of new ships you can be promoting. If family travel is your focus, refresh your knowledge of our Preferred Suppliers’ family-friendly products.
4. Attend at least two networking events a month.
In the most recent issue of The Compass Magazine, our staff and agents shared many ideas on where and when to network. If you haven’t read it, not to worry. Networking possibilities are literally everywhere — online, in your community and at travel industry events! Even your kid’s basketball games could turn into opportunities to connect with prospective clients, if done right!
5. Try at least one new marketing strategy or technique.
This doesn’t have to be a major investment of time or money. It could be just contacting your local newspaper about writing an article with expert travel tips. It could be compiling an email list of your prospective clients and sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter with trip ideas. It could be broadcasting via Facebook Live on a regular basis! Whatever it is, commit to it and remember to evaluate its effectiveness afterwards.
6. Set aside time to unplug.
Your “Why” for your business is hopefully tied to something meaningful and positive, like traveling more, spending more time with family, or feeling rewarded by others’ happiness. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind, especially when you wear many hats as a travel business owner. Taking a vacation of your own is necessary, not just for the research, but to remind yourself of what is important and to recharge your battery.
7. Give back.
Helping others is at the heart of a travel agent’s job. Giving back is great PR for your business, and it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you anything but time. It could be volunteering with a community organization or participating in a charity fundraiser. If you are an experienced agent, giving back is as easy as providing advice or encouragement to a newer travel agent. Not all forms of “giving back” are large gestures — just helping out others when you can always sends the right message!
What are your resolutions for your travel agency in 2017?
If you’d like to learn more about starting your own rewarding career as a home-based travel agent, fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 to gain access to our free Travel Agent Information Guide.