Travel agents offer different services to their customers. Among them are, for instance, booking hotels and plane tickets, finding cruise packages and many more. Today, the profession offers a lot of flexibility. Despite that, there are a few simple steps you should follow in order to start travel agency business on the right foot.
Step 1 – Solo or not
Your small business can either include an entire travel agency or just one independent travel agent – you. If you choose to work solo, you will receive commissions for the agencies with which you connect. Working as a consultant sounds less glamorous. However, you will be able to work from home. In addition, it is much more affordable. Nevertheless, a travel agency can specialize in more services and it can easily build partnerships with other travel companies.
- Read more: How to work from home and look good doing it
Step 2 – Services
No matter which of the two you choose, you will need to decide on the type of service you are going to offer. For example, you can focus on resort and hotel reservations, transportations arrangements, cruise tours and etc. Also, you can select a particular sphere like corporate, family or honeymoon travel.
Step 3 – At home or at the office
As it was already stated, independent travel agents can work from home. The same goes for travel agencies, as long as they are not too big. However, if you can afford to hire an office space, don’t think too much. This type of travel business will often require you to meet with your clients. Therefore, an office may be even a must.
Step 4 – Come up with a business plan
To do that, you may need to have some more knowledge on the sector. If you don’t, do consult with an expert or someone who has an experience in the field. When writing your business plan, try to consider all the possible scenarios.
Step 5 – Estimate startup costs
Here you do not have much flexibility. Regardless of whether you intend to work as an independent travel agent or to run a travel agency, you will need to invest some money in your idea. Estimate the amount of capital you will need to start your business. Take into consideration everything, including additional costs.
Step 6 – Get to know the local government policies for starting travel-related business
Depending on where you live, the rules and regulation on founding a small travel agency business tend to differ greatly from one another. Therefore, take the time to research all the paperwork and licenses you are going to need.