It's the little things. The little things that lead up to big things later.
When you first start a business, you don't think about all the little things. You get a couple of sales, and you move about your day. A couple of months down the line you are getting more and more sales, and it's harder and harder to keep up. You're excited about the increased business, and so far so good - you can handle it. Then, it starts to become a little difficult to keep track of your day to day operation costs, and commissions that are due to you. So what do you do? You start looking for solutions. Only to find that they have high costs attached to them, and they may have too much or not enough of what you need to run your business properly.
You aren't alone. There is rarely is a perfect solution for everyone. Not all companies fit into a particular box. Maybe you sell just hotels. Or maybe you have a great host agency but really want to branch out on your own. Or maybe you run a tour operation and need full control of your business.
Our top 5 affordable investment picks for any size, any age business
Make a Business Plan
We know it sounds cliche, but it is so important. Often times when Entrepreneurs set off on their money making path, they forget to make a plan. Would you buy a home without a plan? Would you go on a vacation without a plan? Would you plan for your kids college without a plan? Then why would you start a business without a plan? It is easier to do than you think, and worth every minute. A good business plan will help guide you and keep you on track to reach your end game, whatever that might be. So take an hour, a day, or a week, and come up with a solid doable business plan.
Time, People, and Money
Time, people, and money - the three biggest challenges of a new business owner. Make sure you have a system in place. Invest while you still have full control. Do some research, real research, to find the best tools out there for your niche. Budget them into your monthly expenditures. Make sure to choose resources that grow with your business. There is nothing worse than outgrowing your infrastructure and having to start from scratch. There are many tools out there for start ups and small businesses that come free or very low cost in hopes for eventual upgrades.
Technology and what we do with these days are so important, especially in business. Customers want timely, accurate information that helps them. They want to be able to access from anywhere, and especially from their phones and other mobile devices. Mobile devices are very quickly surging to the top of online travel booking platforms. Work with this and not against, get permission to text message your clients, make sure your site is mobile responsive. Make sure to count technology in when thinking of the big picture and caring for your clients.
If you are not constantly out there making your presence known, then the old saying will ring true... "out of sight, out of mind". Find a circle of like minded business relationships that are beneficial to each other. For instance if you sell Honeymoons, network out to all the wedding shops. Offer incentives and referral programs. Talk to your suppliers periodically, make sure they are happy with your performance, and you with theirs. Make sure you are taking advantage of all of their networking opportunities and incentives. Don't discount trade shows and industry networking events, always make time to meet with your peers. It is always a good idea to have strong Business to Business relationships.
Good, consistent marketing is the staple of any size business. Start training your audience immediately. Marketing will make or break your business. Talk to your customers often. We recommend that at least once per week, you send out a newsletter of offers. Periodically you should touch base, like on a holiday wish them well, keep them engaged. Have a good marketing platform so you can track your engagement and see what works and what doesn't.
WebKinex deals with hundreds of agents and their successes and failures each year. We know what works, and what doesn't. We see time after time the same issues come up when it comes to the travel industry. Planning, resources, technology, and marketing. We know that if you take the time when you have time to have a solid infrastructure, the rest will fall into place through hard work, dedication, and passion. Happy Selling!
Please contact us anytime if you have questions about this post or any others. We look forward to hearing from you!