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Becoming a travel agent may be a natural fit for you because you love travel and want to create immersive experiences for your clients.
But if you’ve been working in the industry for one year or more, you may not have experienced the success you thought you would.
You may not have realized that owning a travel agency or being a home-based agent requires you to think like an entrepreneur, not someone who wants a hobby.
If you’re ready to become a successful travel agent, keep reading to learn the top six tips that will help you get one step closer to realizing your dream and earning a great living from it.
These 6 Tips Can Help You to Become a Successful Travel Agent
Create a One Page Business Plan
Develop a one page business plan and include the following:
• Company/executive summary – Explain your travel business, includes your objectives, mission and vision, ownership, and start-up summary (funding).
• Niche/services – The more specialized or clear on whom you serve or your travel specialty the easier it’s for you to market yourself.
• Financial plan – You’ll want to create a projected cash flow, profit and loss, assumptions, balance sheet, and more. Don’t panic if you’re not an accounting whiz! Do the best you can. Although, you may want to consult with a CPA or business coach.
• Sales and marketing strategy – List your sales and marketing techniques. You may use direct mail, social media, paid advertising, email marketing, etc. Of course, you’ll want to create website.
Get the Proper Training
Keep in mind that consumers want to work with experts; therefore, you’ll want to get the proper training. Organizations such as Travel Agent Campus, The Travel Institute, the Travel Academy, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and others offer courses that can help you learn about the travel industry, includes niche markets.
Choose a Niche or Specialization
Instead of being a generalist, choose a niche or specialization and own it. For example, you may have enjoyed planning your honeymoon and want to help other brides do the same. You can become the go-to- travel agent in your area and grow your business and income quicker than you thought possible.
“I decided a few years back that most of my business should be from the following: 1. Destination Weddings/Honeymoons 2. Group Cruises. 3. Family Reunions. Once I did it’s easier to focus on ways and means to grow those portions of my business. And my yearly sales have increased in all of those areas, leading to greater businesses growth.” –Dilworth E. Daley.
Focus on Marketing
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Determine which path is right for you
As with any business, you must market yourself and ask for the sale. Create an optimized website and 2-3 strong social media networks where you share amazing images from your vacation and create sponsored ads. Consider using email marketing. If you don’t like marketing, you need to embrace it to become a successful travel agent.
Build and Develop Relationships
Want long-term success as a travel agent? Build and develop relationships with clients and travel suppliers. Not only will customers book with you year-after-year, but they can refer others to you, regardless of any changes happening within the industry. You’ll want to get to know your business development managers because you don’t want to be another name in the system.
Join a Travel Host Agency
Have you ever wished you could pick the brains of experienced travel agents? Join a travel host agency and you can do just that. How? By attending local team meetings, informational webinars, and conferences where you can learn from seasoned professionals “who’ve been there and done that.”
“I chose TPI for their reputation and their technology. I also chose TPI after several interviews with others because of their relationships with vendors and so much more. I look forward to many years with them. We got this!” –Kim Webster-Jahn
Are You Ready to Become a Super Travel Agent?
Becoming a successful travel agent may not happen overnight.
But you can make it by accepting that you’re starting a business, not another side interest.
Don’t let your entrepreneurial dream slip through your hands.
Create a business plan and get on with your career.
Come on. What are you waiting for?
You know what it takes to be a travel agent. Don’t waste another minute. Your success can inspire others, and you can be a role model.
Want more information about becoming a travel agent? Download this brochure now!