If you are someone who loves travel and enjoys the process of planning, as well as helping others to have a wonderful experience, you may be considering starting your own travel agency. There are many benefits, but there are also challenges to starting a travel agency that you should consider.
On one side of the coin, starting a travel agency may be fairly inexpensive, since you can typically start with a very limited staff and low upfront costs. On the other side of the coin, it is a very competitive market, so being successful may require a large amount of effort with regard to market research, marketing, and overall branding. This is just one of several challenges of starting a travel agency.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Business Plan
In any business, you should start with a business plan. Whether you are aiming to be a home-based travel agent with a host travel agency or you are aiming to start a business from the ground up, there will be plenty of work required. However, for those starting from the ground up, the process will be more lengthy, while you will have more flexibility since the business is all your own.
Conducting market research and finding your niche is definitely one of the other challenges of starting a travel agency. Figuring out what kind of agency the travel industry needs, or what your local community is searching for in an agency is a vital step in providing a valuable service. This means conducting market research to see what your niche will be, which players you will be competing against, as well as who your ideal customer is and what they want.
Concentrate on Branding
Once you have figured out what the market looks like and what niche you will fill, it is important to establish a strong brand image. Having a well-developed brand will help your business to stand out amongst the rest. Part of this requires you to determine how you would like your customers to feel when they visit your website, see your advertising and utilize your services. Though totally doable, this is another one of the challenges of starting a travel agency.
Pay Attention to the Legal Aspects
Another of the greater challenges of starting a travel agency is related to dealing with the legal side of the travel business. There isn’t as much legal red tape to deal with as there are in other types of businesses, however, you do need to determine if you will require any specific licensing or certifications. These requirements can vary from state to state. Choosing your business structure, naming your business and applying for a Federal Tax ID number are other steps that need to be completed in setting up a travel agency.
Other challenges of starting a travel agency may include determining your funding strategy, choosing a location, and hiring reliable (and knowledgeable) employees.
Marketing and launching your travel agency are the final steps in setting up a travel agency, though the work has only just begun at this point. Working out your communication systems is very important during the setup process and it will remain necessary throughout the entire process of running the travel agency.
For an entrepreneur, setting up call forwarding can be extremely helpful. Running a business on your own, whether from home or an office, can be challenging, so having your communications working as efficiently as possible is necessary. Particularly in the beginning stages, you don’t want to miss a single call because you’ll be busy building your customer base. In these instances, call forwarding could mean the difference between gaining a new customer or missing a call and losing out on the opportunity. With the purchase of a virtual phone number, calls can be forwarded to a mobile or landline number of your choice, so you never miss the opportunity to gain a potential new customer.
United World Telecom offers virtual phone numbers, both local or toll free, in almost every corner of the world. United World Telecom also offers a call forwarding feature that you can control from an easy-to-manage online control panel. There are undeniable challenges to starting a travel agency, just like any other business, but they can be more easily overcome with sufficient research and the right tools at one’s fingertips.