There are a number of travel agencies in the world today. Unlike a few years back, you can now directly book tickets at discounted rates from dedicated booking websites. The Internet has further improved the way people want to travel. Due to all these changes, today, people expect different things from a travel agency. You don’t only have to stand out among other agencies, but also serve people with a difference. Through these tips, we’ll tell you what you can do to survive without many financial blows in the first few months, how you can get noticed among all the other players, and on what idea you can sustain your reputation for a longer period of time.
Before you Begin: The Prerequisites
Decide the services you want to provide.
A travel agency provides a lot of services such as consultation, ticketing, bookings, insurances, visa procurement, etc. However, it’s perfectly alright to provide just a few at the very beginning. If you have experience of working in this industry, and have a good team to back you up, you can consider providing as many services as you want. Also, know that customers prefer getting all their work done from a single stop; it is thus better to cater to as many requirements as possible.
Make a list of things you need for all the legal procedures.
The first thing you need to do is think of a name for your agency and patent it. The next step is to register your company. Every state has its own laws; you will get a list of required documents, along with details of the procedure, through the Internet. Once your company is registered, you can open bank accounts in its name. If you are going to rent a place, get in touch with a broker. If you don’t want to pay the commission, you need to look for places yourself. Then comes the list of services you need to offer. Each of these is going to need some sort of streamlining; do it before you open up for business.
Look for competitors and conduct a study on them.
Competition can benefit you if you research it, while it can scar you if you take it for granted. Look for competitors and try to understand their business module. Make a list of services each competitor is providing and his USP. This will help you in finding your USP. It might also help you in choosing your location; preferably an area that doesn’t have a travel agency. Once you know what is being offered by other agencies, you can offer something that is different.
Spend a good deal of time and money on marketing and advertising.
Don’t hold back on advertising―it is the only way you’re going to reach out to potential customers, who are going to get you the money. Device a good marketing strategy and back it up with creative advertising. Use social media to your advantage. Don’t just share things that come to your mind, but draft campaigns that people will tend to follow. Engaging your customers through advertising should be your main aim.
Tie-up with multiple partners for more discounts.
A lot of your work is going to be done with the help of other people. Contacts in airlines, for visa formalities, and for discounted rates in hotels are very important. Start building these as soon as possible. These tie-ups will help you offer multiple discounts, which in turn will help you provide better rates. Always file everyone’s contact information. In case your usual agent for visas is sick or on a long leave, you can immediately get in touch with someone else.
Do whatever it takes to offer a cheaper, better travel experience to your customers; it’ll keep them coming. Best of Luck!