Archive for the Category "Start A Travel Business"

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche
Nov 15

How To Use Travel Incentives as a Niche

As a travel professional, you need to look at all the opportunities that are out there to promote your agency. When settling on your area of specialty, have you considered travel incentive programs? If not, you might want to carefully consider if this highly profitable specialty could be your niche.

When looking at small to medium sized businesses, most organizations do not have in-house resources for travel, yet they are looking for ways to incentivize their employees. Travel incentive programs work for businesses, employees, and their families. More and more companies are beginning to follow the latest trend of offering travel incentives instead of cash bonuses or rewards. And you can be the link to help them with this highly effective program.

Statistics have shown that a much-needed vacation, a new travel experience, or inclusion in a corporate event at an exciting destination are far more effective than offering cash. Cash may get used for bills or spent in minutes, while travel memories can last forever. Even more exciting is the travel adopter generally experiences as much as a 4:1 return on this investment, increased cash flow and profit…and most importantly a more engaged workforce.

Did you know that most businesses struggle with an engaged workforce and less than 25% of American workers operate at their full potential? Disengaged workers are costing the US economy 300 billion dollars or more annually. Disengaged workers that have been surveyed also have feelings of being overwhelmed, undervalued, and suffer from burnout. A well-defined travel incentive program will ultimately increase overall performance, and better yet, an employee who becomes more engaged ultimately leads to better sales, profits, and customer service for that organization.

When looking at specializing in incentive travel for businesses, think of these ways that businesses can benefit from well-defined travel incentive programs:  
• Travel rewards can be used for sales or production quotas.
• New hire travel incentives may eliminate the need for costly recruiters.
• Offering a vacation to reward employee anniversaries or tenure is far more effective than a tangible item like a watch or cash.
• Offering travel certificates or a family vacation can be extremely effective for employee recognition.
• Travel programs for executive retreats, corporate business meetings or trade shows at luxurious resorts can be enjoyed by both the attendees and their families.
• Travel can be used for consumer incentives and even as a sales closing tool.

As a travel professional, consider approaching businesses and offering travel vouchers or even cruise certificates to organize, promote, and manage a sales contest or to organize and book a corporate training event or meeting.

Begin by querying organizations in your area to find if there are any corporate headquarters located near you. A key point of contact would be anyone at the Executive Level including the President, VP, Sales or Director of Human Resources. Simply ask them these very pertinent questions.

1. Do you want to motivate your employees?
2. Would you like to strengthen your relationship with your employees?
3. Would you like to entice your employees to achieve higher performance?
4. Would you like to increase your employee retention?
5. Would you like to increase sales or production numbers?
6. Would you like to attract and retain talent within your organization?
7. Would you like to improve your competitive position?

If you find any business that meets these objectives, this could be a potential travel incentive client for you today and in the future. Think how this can also lead to referrals and repeat clients. Remember that travel is a huge motivator for both the employee and their families. Travel incentive programs give organizations a properly structured way to incentivize their employees and provide you with a solid and profitable travel client!

Interested in starting an exciting new career as a KHM Travel Group Agent? Visit www.KHMTravel.com or call 877-220-9260 ext. 2200 to learn more about our unique and comprehensive travel agent program that can be the gateway for you to start your own business, earn money and travel the world!

 

FAM’s Over…Now What
Nov 06

FAM’s Over…Now What

For professional travel agents, FAM trips are useful tools to boost your product knowledge. But what you do AFTER the trip is vital to making the most of your FAM experience.

The first step is to organize all of the materials you brought home.

You probably collected business cards from resort staff members or tour operator representatives. On each card, jot down a quick note of the place, date, and circumstances of how you met each person. This will help you jog your memory if you need to make contact later on.

Sort through all of the brochures, manuals, or other promotional items you acquired. Keep some for client distribution, and others for your own personal reference. If you picked up resort maps, fact sheets, or other similar items, it is useful to scan these and save copies to your computer.

Review any notes that you took during your property tours, and decide how you want to store them for future use. You may want to write your thoughts and observations on the applicable pages of your own reference copy of a property brochure or training manual. Another option is to use note-taking software, such as Evernote or OneNote. These programs allow you to organize and categorize your personal notes, pictures, and other media. The key is to make the information easy to find when you need it.

Lastly, download any of the photos and videos that you took from your camera to your computer. Once again, organization is important. Sort them into folders that are labeled by property name and the date of your visit.

Now that you have organized your materials, it’s time to put them to use. You want to share your knowledge and experience with as many clients, and potential clients, as possible.

One way to do this effectively is through social media. Add photos to your personal and business Facebook pages. Place each property’s photos in its own unique folder.  You don’t need to use hundreds of images. Carefully select specific photos that highlight the property’s main features and room categories. Label each picture with a brief description so that viewers know what they are looking at.

Another way to share your experience is via a travel blog. This allows you to share more detailed thoughts and observations. You can add in tips such as specific types of travelers that would enjoy a property, differences in room categories, or other useful information. Add in a few key pictures, and don’t forget to include a link back to the complete album on your Facebook page.

If you think a specific client would benefit from learning about your trip, make an effort to contact them directly. Send an email with a personal invitation to view your Facebook album or blog post. Or call to tell them that you recently visited a property or destination they would love, and offer to meet up with them to share your experiences.

Finally, make an effort to follow-up with any of the key contacts that you made during the trip. Send an email or card thanking each person that gave you a guided tour or conducted a training session. Ask them any follow-up questions that came to mind after your visit. Send them a link to your Facebook page or blog, so that they can see how you are actively promoting their products. This will help you to establish a useful network of professional connections. Also ask the suppliers to add you to their email lists to be informed of any specials, booking incentives, or news about the properties and ships you toured.

Taking the time to properly follow-up after your trip will help you to turn your FAM experience into increased sales and greater client satisfaction.

Are you ready to go? KHM Travel Agents can look under “Meetings and Events” in their Agent Portal to view upcoming FAM opportunities. Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your own home-based travel business.

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Money Matters
Nov 01

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Money Matters

There are many advantages to beginning a travel agent career with KHM Travel. As much fun and enjoyment as a travel agent career may provide, the bottom line for any business venture should be, well, the bottom line!

Working as a home-based travel agent with KHM Travel Group provides several financial advantages:

Unlimited Income Potential – Whether you are pursuing a full-time business or supplementing the earnings from another job, there is no limit to the amount of income you can earn in your travel agent career. It is up to you to decide how much time and effort you can invest in your business!

Higher Commission Rates – By combining the purchasing power of a nationwide network of home-based agents, KHM Travel helps you to qualify for higher commission percentages than an individual agent may receive. Commission levels for many major travel suppliers are at the industry maximum!

Cost Savings – Operating a home-based business cuts down on many employment-related expenses. Eliminating your daily commute saves money on gasoline and tolls, and you may find yourself spending less on work-related clothing and dining out. A tax professional can also advise you of potential tax deductions related to operating your vehicle, maintaining a home office space, and other business-related expenses.

Travel Discounts – Qualified agents may be able to take advantage of hotel, resort, and cruise discounts offered by travel suppliers. KHM Travel regularly schedules familiarization trips, often at reduced prices, so that agents can gain firsthand knowledge of the products they sell.

Want to learn more about starting a profitable career with KHM Travel? Contact us at 877-220-9260 ext. 2200 for more information, or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Flexibility
Sep 30

KHM Travel Agent Career Benefit: Flexibility

One of the ultimate benefits of beginning your adventure with KHM Travel Group is the amount of flexibility that your travel agent career provides.  Forget the feeling of being chained to a desk or a slave to the time clock!  As a home-based travel agent, you have the ultimate control over when, where, and how you want to run your own business.

Whether you choose to pursue your travel agent career as a full- or part-time endeavor, you are not limited to working specific days or times.  You can arrange your schedule to allow time for taking care of personal or family obligations.  You can even begin your travel business a second career, perhaps while working around a traditional “9-to-5″ job.

Although we usually say that KHM Travel Agents work from home, they really can work almost anywhere!  With a mobile device, tablet, or laptop, almost any location with Internet service can become your temporary office.  You can even travel to tropical destinations and still keep in touch with your clients.

One of the most exciting aspects of flexibility as a work from home travel agent is the opportunity to create a business that is molded by your own preferences.  You can choose the type of travel products that you would like to sell, perhaps focusing on a destination or experience that you love.  You also have the opportunity to create your own brand, and select how you would like to market your travel business to potential clients.

When it comes to flexibility, you just can’t beat the opportunities provided by a travel agent career!

Are you ready to get started?  Contact KHM Travel Group at 877-220-9260 ext. 200 for more information or visit www.KHMTravel.com and let the adventure begin!

How To Create Your Home Office
Sep 23

How To Create Your Home Office

As an independent KHM Travel Agent, you will enjoy the many benefits of working from home.  You are able to set your own hours, with no rigid schedule to keep or time clock to punch.  Your commute time may only be as long as it takes you to walk the few steps to your desk.

You also have control over how you would like to set up your office.  Creating a comfortable and organized workspace is key to making sure that your time spent working at home is as productive as possible.

First, choose a location in your home to use as your office.  Even if you can’t devote an entire room to your business, try to find an area that can be set aside exclusively as your workspace — even if it is just a quiet corner or a converted closet.  Having a dedicated spot where you can work and make phone calls without being interrupted is ideal.

Next, assemble the key equipment necessary for your business.  The main things you will need are:

  • Work surface – A desk or table that allows enough space for your electronics and keeping any vital paperwork close at hand.
  • Comfortable chair – You may spend a considerable amount of time sitting, so make sure to choose something that is comfortable and provides proper back support.
  • Computer – You will need reliable internet access, and the ability to print is a bonus.
  • Telephone – You may choose to have a dedicated landline, a cell phone, or both.  Consider purchasing a headset or other device for hands-free talking, which will come in handy if you are trying to take notes during a call or keep busy while on a lengthy hold.
  • File Storage – You will need to keep track of paperwork related to running your business, as well as client information.

There are many other items that can be added to help keep you organized:  A calendar or planner to keep track of appointments, a memo board on the wall to plan out projects, a spot to keep reference material from suppliers.  You may also consider shelves or bins to hold brochures and marketing materials, although these don’t necessarily have to be stored directly in your main workspace.

Your office décor doesn’t need to break the bank.  You may be able to find used furnishings at a thrift store or for sale online, or you could repurpose some items from other areas of your house.   Start off with a smaller space and basic equipment, which you can add to or upgrade as your business grows.

Once you have the basics in place, don’t forget to add a personal touch to your workspace.  Have some fun with it!  Display pictures from your travels, frame certifications you have earned, or add other decorative items that bring a smile to your face.  Being happy in your office will help you look forward to sitting down at your desk each day to work, and you will be off to a great start in your career as a KHM Travel Agent!

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet?  Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

How To Handle Competition
Sep 16

How To Handle Competition

Competition – a dreaded word in any business. Most people don’t like to deal with “competition” as it means there may be someone out there that could sell the product or perform the function better. Competition in any form can be healthy. It keeps you sharp, on your toes, ensures you are always trained, and it encourages creativity and innovation.

Since the travel industry is not immune to competition, the key to overcoming it is to earn the competitive EDGE. It all starts with being “pro-active” and knowing how to deal with each competitive situation with confidence.

First you have to identify your competition. Once you recognize who your competition may be, it will be easier to strategize how you will overcome and win in each situation. Here a few examples of potential competitors.

Other Travel Agents – It won’t take long before you run into a client who may know or have used a travel agent before. Instead of looking at another agent as competition, view it as opportunity. Another travel agent is one more person out there that can sell the “value” of using a travel professional. Educating the public is important and you can’t do it all by yourself. Get to know the travel agents in your area, learn about their specialties, and you may even be able to send each other leads. But more importantly, learn their strengths and weaknesses so you can capitalize on them.

Travel Suppliers – It is no secret that the travel suppliers who train agents and pay commission can also be your biggest competitors. The best way to combat losing business to travel suppliers is to “nip it in the bud” from the very beginning. Let your client know that the supplier you are using sells directly to the consumer. Be sure to explain to them that suppliers always encourage the consumer to use a travel professional if at all possible. Since not all consumers know and understand the value of using travel agents, suppliers have to be prepared to work with travelers that call and book direct. Being aware of this issue and educating your client from the very beginning will ensure that your client will feel comfortable using your services.

Online Booking Engines – It’s a fact that online booking engines have been around for awhile, and will probably be your biggest competition. However, they can be one of the easiest competitive situations to overcome. This is where educating your prospect and selling yourself effectively will help beat the online booking engine almost every single time. Follow these few simple steps and online booking engines won’t even be an issue.

First, build a relationship before you start selling. This is key because online booking engines don’t have the ability to build relationships. And generally travelers want to work with people they know and like.

Second, educate your prospect on the history of online booking engines. A decade ago, the online booking engine was a viable option when storefront agencies started to close their doors. But now the world wide web of travel has become so populated, that it is a confusing place for any consumer to navigate. The consumer gets faced with far too many options and pictures and they can’t even tell what’s real and what’s not. Booking online has become an extremely overwhelming process for the traveler. This is where you can step in as a travel professional.

Finally, sell the value of using a travel professional versus booking it online themselves.  You will save your client time and money, and offer them sound advice based on your training and/or firsthand experiences.

Competition is basically a confidence game. And that confidence begins with YOU. Once you find your niche and get trained, your confidence will grow. Don’t be afraid to let others know how confident you are about your industry and the product that you sell, which is yourself. You will find that confidence is contagious and your prospects will want to do business with YOU! And more importantly you will be able to welcome and deal with the healthy competition the world of travel will bring you.

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents
Sep 09

How to Change Common Perceptions of Travel Agents

As a travel agent, the way your customers feel about you is important. The more you show you care about them, the more likely it is that you will get repeat clients that will provide valuable referrals. With that in mind, providing good customer service to your clients should naturally be a major priority in your day-to-day schedule. It is important to develop a reputation to live up to. And for many, it all begins with breaking away from the perception and stereotypes of what it means to be a travel agent.

Your clients‘ perceptions of being a travel agent can be different based on where they live, their ages, and their past experiences working with travel professionals. For many, you may find that their perception of a travel agent is someone who sifts through travel deals and websites behind a computer for hours at a time, trying to locate the best price for clients. People may even think what you do is easy and they could do it themselves, especially if they believe they could save some money.

Your friends and family may perceive travel agents differently especially if they observe you traveling to exotic destinations for training and site visits. However, this is where you will gain credentials, and firsthand experiences that will set you apart from your competition. Your friends and family may actually believe that you are always on “vacation” and what you do is more of a “hobby” it is than an actual career or business.

Society, in general, may believe that all travel agents do is book airline tickets and hotel rooms. Why? Because back in the 1990′s, the storefront travel agency did just that. They focused on corporate travel where the bulk of their business was airline ticketing. In fact, at that time, only about 20% of their travel business was leisure travel or vacations. Many people also think that using a travel agent costs more…that the commissions you are paid get added to the cost of their trip. You will need to help educate consumers on the fact that the commission comes directly from the suppliers, and booking through an agent does not increase the total cost of your their trip.

When you first became a travel agent, your initial perception of yourself is that you need to be “everything to everyone.” Some new agents may fall into this trap and actually become good at planning a lot of different types of travel, but not an “expert” at anything.  This overwhelming need to learn and do everything can be a dangerous and slippery climb to the top and generally the reward of success takes much longer.

To truly know how to break through all these different perceptions of what people think you do, it is important to really understand and appreciate the value of what you will actually offer your clients as a travel professional.  That’s right…you really aren’t a travel agent, you are a travel professional.  So, what does that mean?

As a travel professional, you are passionate about helping to plan memorable travel experiences for your clients.  It’s a vacation they may have saved years for that may even offer them a “lifetime of photos and memories.”  You will be a part of making all of that happen for your clients.

You may help plan that perfect destination wedding or honeymoon with all the amenities to offer exquisite romance.  Or perhaps you may be sending a struggling couple on a much needed vacation alone together to get reacquainted.  You may be involved in planning a “vow renewal ceremony” for a second wedding the couple will never forget.  Or you may even help plan that “affordable” summer vacation for a “family of 7″ that would have never been able to travel if it wasn’t for your help in making it happen.  They say just “one vacation can offer a lifetime of memories,” and YOU can be a part of all of that.

What you do as a travel professional breaks away from all the perceptions of what others may believe you do.  And part of the process of living up to that image of what you actually do for your clients starts with how you take care of them from the very beginning until they return home.  Remember, you are a travel professional, an expert, and a consultant that helps plan unforgettable getaways!

Not a KHM Travel Agent yet? Visit www.KHMTravel.com to learn more about the training and support available to start your career as a home-based travel agent.

Become a Travel Agent – Work with Royal Caribbean’s Partner of the Year
Mar 10

Below Is a Video That Is Normally Offered Exclusively to KHM Travel Group Agents:

In this short video, our agency director, Burt Kramer announces Partner of the Year with Royal Caribbean, giving credit to KHM Travel Group’s excellent agents. Other announcements made in this video are examples of weekly updates the staff put together to keep KHM Travel Group agents the most informed agents in the industry. Enjoy!

KHM Travel Group is proud to announce that it was recently named one of Royal Caribbean International’s Partners of the Year. Our host travel agency was selected as the Partner of the Year for the Mid-Atlantic Region because of our outstanding achievements which include 150% growth in 2009 and an ongoing commitment to helping a person become a travel agent and realize the benefits that are available to those who choose to start a travel agency online.  Royal Caribbean is one of KHM Travel Group’s preferred suppliers, which along with several other profitable companies, will offer a person who wants to become a travel agent a convenient way to connect to industry-leading organizations that will offer high commissions. Access a List of KHM Travel Group’s Preferred Suppliers Here.

Some of the other honorees that were acknowledged along with KHM Travel Group were Miami-based America’s Vacation Center/Avoya Travel, Cruises-N-More, Cruise Planners in Coral Springs, FL, and Buy the Sea.  KHM Travel Group differs greatly from these other winners because in addition to our retail sector, we also provide assistance if an individual wishes to become a travel agent and start a travel agency online from home. KHM Travel Group is not only reputable, but this award shows the dedication that KHM Travel Group puts forth for their agents’ success!

KHM Travel Group has a positive reputation in the community as a leading host travel agency that will provide guidance and support for someone who wishes to become a travel agent, but being recognized on a national level from a global cruise company is certainly an accomplishment for any company that strives to provide the best customer service and agent support.

This distinction is a high honor that is reserved for the leading travel agencies in the country and is just another indication that KHM Travel Group is the best host travel agency that will provide an individual with all the necessary knowledge, tools, and resources to become a travel agent.  Enrollment with KHM Travel Group includes free training, free information, booking engines, free marketing materials, and access to over 40 hours of video that explains everything you need to know to start a travel agency online and begin face-to-face networking with family, neighbors, and other potential clients.  With the ability to work from home, a KHM Travel Agent can experience all the benefits of owning a successful online travel agency without having to sacrifice time spent with family.  Our host travel agency provides free training and travel agent education at an affordable price that won’t make you take a huge financial risk in order to become a travel agent from home. People that wish to become travel agents and start a travel agency from their home can do so by enrolling with KHM Travel Group.

Royal Caribbean assists KHM Travel Group as we help a new agent with immediate marketing needs that arise when a person decides to become a travel agent.  The Internet marketing issues that occur in the beginning stages when an agent wants to start a travel agency online can seem overwhelming, but we make it easier for the agent because of our comprehensive training, information about email marketing, and our free website hosting program.  Royal Caribbean offers KHM Travel Agents a sales and marketing kit that includes help with advertising once you become a travel agent and promotional materials that will be essential once you start a travel agency online.  In addition to the sales and marketing kit, Royal Caribbean will also provide KHM Travel Agents with Royal Caribbean postcards, magazines, free DVDs, and other printed promotional materials.  These professional marketing pieces are great ways to get your clients excited about booking a vacation and can also serve as additional ways that you can share with prospective clients your decision to become a travel agent.

For free information and to learn more about how you can become a travel agent, start your travel agent career, and start a travel agency online, contact KHM Travel Group at 1-877-220-9260 or visit KHMTravel.com

Things You Need to Start a Travel Business from Home
Nov 13

Planning to start a travel business from home is not really that impossible to achieve. Even at a time when people are tightening their belts to save money, the travel industry will continue to prosper for as long as the packages being offered are budget travel plans. If you are the kind of person who wants to discover places, meet different people, and learn more about other cultures, then the travel business may really be appropriate for you. However, you have to realize that being your own boss and managing a travel business is not a walk in the park. You need to work hard in order to ascertain that you have all the skills necessary to make your business prosper. Below are some of the things that you need to consider when opening up your own travel agency in your own home.

The first thing that you need to consider if you are going to start a travel business from home is training. Even if you have a degree in rocket science, it does not mean that you can provide ticketing service and other things that are needed in a travel agency business. What you need to look for is a company that can provide you with the best training on travel business operation at an affordable price.

The next important step if you want to start a travel business from home is to learn about marketing. No matter how good you are and how much training you get when it comes to managing your business, you won’t be able to have a successful business if you do not pay attention to marketing. Remember, you need to attract people to buy your products or services. Even if you have great deals and spectacular packages, if no one visits your website or your travel agency, you will really not have enough sales to keep your business afloat.

Instead of trying to start a travel business from home on your own, you can try to avail of a turn-key system that will provide you with a complete package in running a travel agency in the comfort of your own home. Aside from training you to become an ace travel agent, such a turn-key solution would provide you with marketing help, booking engines, access to different travel suppliers, and also a great commission scheme. If you start your business this way, you wouldn’t have to think about where you will be able to get clients. For more information, visit www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.

Start a Travel Company: How to Go About It
Oct 12

When you start a travel company, you can enjoy both your passion for traveling and having a profitable business model. Basically, you would earn by helping people decide on their perfect vacation. Plus, hotels and airlines will also give you huge commissions for all the successful referrals you make and you also enjoy exclusive deals in any destination on the planet. But before you set up your travel business, let us discuss some of the most common issues about starting a travel agency.

First off, you may want to know who your target customers are. Well, you will really have a wide market for your travel business. There are corporate and business travelers, families planning on their vacation, and young professionals who simply want to take a break from a busy work life. However, remember that there are many independent travel agencies competing for these market segments. The key is finding your niche, for instance you can specialize in family Disney tours.

Next, you may want to know about the equipment you need to start a travel company. Frankly, you do not need any special equipment to operate a travel agency. You will only need a computer, a reliable Internet connection, and a telephone to set up shop. If you like, you can also invest in specially designed software that can automate airline ticketing or hotel booking.

To be successful in the business, you need to formulate your own pricing scheme right after you start a travel company. Whether you like it or not, most travelers put utmost importance on the price when deciding on vacation packages. For this reason, some independent travel agencies do not charge service fees to make them more competitive. Large agencies tend to charge service fees to cover their overhead.

Finally, you can also work with a bigger host agency and earn huge commissions for every successful sale. Under this setup, the host agency will accredit you as one of its independent agencies and you can work on your own pace. One good thing about working with host agencies is that you do not have to worry about any paperwork.

Always remember that when you decide to start a travel company, there are many options open for you. You do not have to rush in setting up your business only to fail in the end. If you like you can even avail of a turnkey solution for your travel agency. With this system, you will be provided with everything you need to setup and run your business. For more information, go to www.KHMTravel.com or call Burt Kramer at 1-877-220-9260.