Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Travel Business
Written by: Stephanie on March 03, 2023
Let’s face it: There is a lot of information online about becoming a travel agent at home. In fact, a Google search for “become a travel agent from home” turns up more than 580 million results.
It’s easy to get inundated sifting through the heaps of commentary and advice, especially if you have absolutely no knowledge of the travel industry or what travel agents do. Many successful travel agents start out with piqued interest in travel.
Without travel agent training or experience, you can still start a travel business from home. All you need is a passion for travel, an entrepreneurial spirit, and the right host agency!
Working with a host travel agency gets you on the fast track to education, support, and earning commissions.
Ask yourself these key questions before starting travel business with a host agency:
1. What type of travel are you going to sell?
Some host agencies focus on a specific travel niche, like romance travel or corporate travel. If you already know the niche you plan to specialize in, making this match might be a good approach to launching your travel business. If you’d rather not limit yourself right away, work with a host agency that provides education for a broad range of travel types.
2. Would you prefer a large or small host agency?
Some host agencies work with thousands of independent agents; others with a few dozen. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, although larger host agencies often employ a larger staff to support their agents’ efforts. For instance, KHM Travel Group has separate departments dedicated to Education, Marketing, and Agent Support. Larger agencies also typically have agents all over the country who assist with supporting fellow travel agents.
3. What kind of training does the host offer, and how is it structured?
Knowledge is power in the travel industry. Determine how much time you’ll be able to spend on training before researching hosts, because finding one that fits with your schedule will be key to getting your business off the ground. In addition to start-up training, explore the ongoing travel agent training opportunities the host offers, like webinars, FAM (familiarization) trips, and other in-person events.
4. What kind of marketing support and resources does the host offer?
Whether you have marketing experience or not, you don’t want to have to start from scratch building a brand and professional presence online. Ask your potential host what kind of marketing support and materials they offer. It’s also a good idea to check out the host’s own website, Facebook page, blog, and other social media accounts, like Instagram and TikTok. How the host agency promotes itself is a solid indicator of how they’ll help you promote your business!
5. What is your budget?
Know your budget before committing to a host agency. Some hosts have monthly fees, some have one-time start-up fees, some charge a fee per booking, and some charge a combination of these. Don’t automatically assume you’ll get the best deal with the cheapest host – remember, these companies have to make money somehow.
A smart host agency will use fees to invest in their agents, whether that be through support staff, technology upgrades, or marketing resources.
6. How much are you expecting to make in commissions?
Some host agencies might pay agents 50% of the total commission from the supplier; others offer 100% commission programs. Obviously you’ll want to ensure you get the highest commission rates possible, but compare the commission rates with your membership fees. For instance, a host agency that pays its agents 100% of the total commission might charge higher monthly fees. This might benefit established agents who have developed a steady revenue from their business, but could be tricky for brand new agents who are still immersing themselves in travel agent training.
Asking yourself these questions before starting travel business will help you make the right decision.
A top-tier host agency will have the commission structure, education program, marketing materials, and industry accreditations clearly defined for you.
With a host agency like KHM Travel Group, your path to success will be crystal clear! For more information on getting started, fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call our team at 888-611-1220.