Setting Up Your Home Office for Success
Written by: Amanda on May 14, 2020
After you make the incredible step to start your own travel agency, your next step is setting up your home office. What does this mean? It’s time to think about where and how you will run your business. These are a few important things to consider.
Designate a Space in Your Home
Set aside a space in your home to keep files, brochures, etc. This doesn’t need to be a desk. It can be a portable file box that allows you to move from room to room. There is no need to spend a lot of money. You just need a system or space that will contain your travel “stuff.”
Determine Your Office Hours
Many of you have gotten into this business to complement an existing profession or enhance a lifestyle. Therefore, it is important to communicate to clients when and how they can expect to hear from you. This can be done proactively through your email signature, on your website, and on any business social media pages. Setting specific hours from the start will also help you keep a work-life balance as your business grows.
Set Up Your Professional Communication Channels
It is important to have a professional email address associated with your business. Simply set up an email via Gmail or any other free provider using your business name.
It is also important that clients have a way to reach out via phone. Many of us don’t have designated business phone lines, and if this is the case, be sure to have an appropriate and professional outgoing message that will tell people they have reached the correct number for your business
Figure Out How You’ll Stay Organized
Organization is key in this business. It is important to set up processes and procedures for taking care of clients and their bookings. How you do this will be up to you. You may prefer having paper hard copies of documents, in which case a folder for each client containing confirmations printed out and notes on the booking is one way to go.
Others prefer the electronic route setting up a file folder for each client with trip communication inside. For some, it might be a combination of both. No method is better than another, it just depends on what works for you. However you choose to stay organized, it is important to keep track of payment dates and client information.
Track Your Finances
Finances are fun for some; for others, they are the tedious part of the job. However, keeping track of expenses and income is essential. No one is in business to lose money; we are in business to make it. Record and keep track of your financials in a simple spreadsheet or a more sophisticated software program like Quicken or Quickbooks. Whatever you choose, be consistent, consult a tax accountant, and always keep some money in your business account in the event of emergencies or errors.
Check out these additional posts on building your travel business from home:
Finding a good balance when working from home
Staying focused and productive when working from home
4 tax tips for travel agents
6 secrets to maintaining a productive home office