Working in the travel industry can be incredibly lucrative, but many people don’t know how to get their foot in the door to start their own agency. However, getting started isn’t as difficult as you may think. Here’s how.
1. Keep overhead low.
A travel business can be run from a home office, which allows you to keep overhead low. By making a single room in your home the basis of your business, you can take deductions on taxes for a home office while avoiding the cost of renting an office elsewhere. People expect travel businesses to be based online, so face-to-face interaction isn’t expected or required.
2. Understand the different types of bookings.
To run a successful travel business, you need to understand the different types of booking: hotel, airline, car rental, etc. Different clients will have different needs. Some may ask that you book them an airline ticket for a low price, while others will need an entire trip designed for them. Being able to meet every need of the client is the key to success.
3. Learn how to make an itinerary.
Understanding how to make an itinerary and schedule for your clients is essential. You should be able to provide them with a list of things to do from the moment they touch down: what taxi to go to, where the hotel is, what restaurants are in the area for them to eat at, and more. A travel business involves a large amount of research about places you may have never been to yourself, so knowing how to use search engines to find the information you need is important.
4. Contact travel companies.
Airlines can offer lower-priced tickets for referrals. By becoming a referral agent, you can get your customers better deals than they would be able to find on their own. Use this as a selling point for your services. Get in touch with different airline companies and ask about the process of becoming a referral agent; alternatively, you could work out a deal to make a commission as an independent contractor.
You should research and look into incorporating yourself as an independent business or sole proprietor. This protects your personal assets from lawsuits while allowing you to benefit from the tax opportunities allowed to businesses. It also allows you to purchase business insurance, which can help further protect you from monetary risks.
Take your time and do your research beforehand. Learn everything you need to know about the travel industry before getting started. Once you’re confident in your knowledge, starting a travel agency is easy.