Last updated on October 4th, 2017
Are you planning to start a travel agency? It is a lucrative business. But you must be prepared to face competition from all around in your niche market. People generally prefer taking services of old and established companies because of their quality services and resources. Then, many new entrants are also there to give you a tough fight in the market.
So, you should be ready to face hurdles in your initial days of starting a travel agency. You will need to maintain a consistent flow of cash also to meet urgent personal and business needs as your company may take many months before it starts earning on its own. Then, you need to create and implement a marketing plan and hire an expert team of professionals, and so on.
Here Are 9 Easy Steps On How To Start A Travel Agency
Step 1. Find Your Niche
Find out which type of a travel agency you want to launch. The travel business is vast as it covers different traveling needs of people. Your small resources cannot cover most of the travel business areas. So, find out your niche. Do some market research to know which travel needs of your local community you can fulfill easily. For example, people in your locality may be in need of an agency that provides destination adventure honeymoons who love to go backpacking rather than relaxing on the beach. Think of people’s specific needs in your city to find a niche you can fill.
Step 2. Make An Effective Plan
First, know that your business plan matters the most for successfully running a business including a travel agency. A business plan is all about having a road map that you will be walking on in the coming days. So, have a clear picture of how you will be financially dealing with some crucial business issues and how much you will spend on hiring a staff or equipment if any.
But make the plan depending on your choice, if you want to run a home-based travel agency or you are looking for a host travel agency. So, plan your business accordingly. Note that you must give a lot of time, possibly months, in planning your travel agency. During this period, you should attend industry events and know about crucial products or services you will be launching.
Step 3. Do Some Branding Exercise
Brand building is an important exercise for any business to undertake. It is on becoming a brand that a business can build confidence about its products or services in the hearts and minds of consumers. But creating a strong brand image is not easy. First, you must have a unique travel logo for your company. A logo is a business symbol that visually represents a company’s business values and brand message.
Make sure that your travel agency has an attractive logo that can convey a message to your potential customers. If you find creating a logo expensive, then think of crowdsourcing your travel logo design to platforms such as Designhill. It’s a leading marketplace where you can launch your design contest and get your design job done in a week or so at an affordable price.
Find out what should be your travel agency’s branding strategy so that you can determine who you are and how you should project your company in your niche market.
Read More Similar Post: 3 Effective Logo Design Tips For Travel And Tour Industry
Step 4. Cover All The Legal Aspects
Although unlike starting other businesses such as a brewery and a dispensary, there is no legal red tape involved in starting a travel agency, still you will require some documents. In the U.S Federal, generally, there is no requirement of specific license to start a travel business. But states and counties will require specific licensing requirements. For example, you will need to produce a Seller of Travel license in California, Washington, Hawaii, Florida and Lowa. You may also be required to get general licenses
Step 5. Acquire Funds
When starting own travel agency, know your funding strategy as well. You may be starting your agency on a small scale, possibly from home. In that case, your family members and peers can provide you financial support. But if you want to start from an office and with some staff, you will need to think seriously about obtaining funds. You will have to meet some expenses toward offline and online marketing.
For example, a business website is necessary for marketing your travel agency on the web. Your website design must be such that it is user-friendly and it has all the relevant information about your services. You need a good amount of funds to maintain your website at high search rankings on Google. For your increasing needs for funds, you should look for venture capital funding. You can also explore loans and line of credit.
Read More Similar Post: Top 5 Design Tips For Creating Travel Websites
Step 6. Pick Right Location
Once you have put a business plan, marketing strategy and other things in place, now is the time to decide on a nice location for your traveling agency. If you are not running your individual traveling business from home, then you must find out a convenient location to open your travel agency to the public.
When finding a business location, foot traffic is one of the considerations. But the most important thing is that the office space is enough to accommodate your employees and future expansions. The location should also reflect your brand image.
Step 7. Promote Your Travel Agency
You will also be promoting your travel business aggressively in your local market. Make sure that your business is visible to the local people for most of the days. So, put in place a business promotion plan for your agency as soon as possible. You will be spending a lot of money toward business promotion and marketing.
But you must first have a creative business card design for your travel agency. The card design must be such that it introduces your business to make a lasting impression on the recipients of your card. Also, focus on creating a lot of marketing material for business promotion. Give advertisements in local newspapers and put your ads on billboards for consistent visibility of your agency.
Step 8. Put Your Agency On Social Channels
Social channels such as Facebook and Twitter are where your potential customers of travel agency are. They are active on many other social platforms. You should take your travel business amid those people.
So, first create a dedicated social media page for each prominent social channel. For example, create a great Facebook page, Twitter page, LinkedIn page, and other pages. Such social media page should be able to convert your visitors into your loyal customers.
Step 9.Focus On Building Customer Relationship
No business can thrive without paying attention without building a rapport with customers. Your travel agency must take steps to build up relationships with various individual customers who have used your agency or are likely to use in near future. Make sure that you train your staff on how to treat your traveler guests while they are enjoying their vacations. Your local cooks, tour guides, and drivers all staff should be aware of the value of treating your customers well.
Make sure that you train your staff on how to treat your traveler guests while they are enjoying their vacations. Your local cooks, tour guides, and drivers all staff should be aware of the value of treating your customers well.
If customers come with some complaints offline or on your website, address them and resolve their issues right away.
To conclude, you must find out your travel market niche and get a business plan in place. A nice location and sufficient funds also are required for a sound start. You must create impressive marketing materials such as logo, business cards, websites, and many others to promote your travel business.