If you have a passion for travel, planning and advising others on the best places to visit, it would be well worth considering setting up a travel agency business. This particular start-up can be extremely inexpensive and you could even do without staff in the early days, which will make the whole experience much more straight-forward.
With that being said, it’s an extremely competitive market with the rise of online travel websites that you’ll be up against, so it’s all about finding the right niche to branch into.
Here are some top tips on how to set up your own business as a travel agent:
1. Create a business plan.
Regardless of the industry you’re in, having a business plan is essential. Although you may already have the adequate funding for start-up, you should never skip this process, as it could help iron out any issues you could potentially face along the way. A business plan should cover several elements, including sales, objectives, goals and potential problems, alongside the amount of profit you’re hoping to turn over.
The travel industry does break into several sectors, so you’re going to have to outline your niche and the key selling points of your business; which is especially important if you’re hoping to secure funding to get your business up and running.
2. Carry out market research and find your niche.
What type of travel agency do you wish to start-up? Moreover, what does your industry need? Are there any gaps in the market which you could fill?
All of these questions will depend on you carrying out fundamental market research to find out which niche would be best for you. Maybe there is an opening for exotic holidays for young couples, or on the other hand, a specific niche for pensioners on the lookout for relaxing breaks away during their retirement.
Most importantly, you must work in a sector that you find enjoyable. It may be an idea to travel to different countries and gain an understanding of the locations you will be promoting, so you can become an expert. Do be aware that this will mean having to do all of the groundwork beforehand, from booking Newark airport parking to flights and hotels; the costs of which will come out of your profits.
3. Work out how you’ll be funded.
Luckily, in the early days of starting up your business, you won’t have too many expenses to pay. You won’t need any expensive equipment or even rent an office in the beginning, as you can work from home until you can afford to grow the business. Most travel agencies are self-funded, but there are financial help offers to consider, should you need it.
You will need funds for a marketing strategy though, so people are aware that your business exists. At the very least, you will need a website, social media accounts and flyers, posters and business cards to post through local doors or advertise in shop windows.