You are fresh out of tourism school and are looking at starting your own service based travel business from home. There is a lot one can do in this industry by assigning a small office space for yourself in the confines of your home. Not only does this make for a cost-effective business investment, but it also gives you the freedom to scale up based on the success of your business without any major financial risks.
Taking up booking and reservations for your clients is a great way to start your own travel agency. Here is how you can start your own home based tourism business –
1. Before you start your own travel business, it is important for you to make the most of all kinds of academic and professional training opportunities that come your way. Get familiarized with the software that you need to use to run your business for the purpose of bookings and reservations. Also, familiarize yourself with the legalities of the business.
2. Before you start your business you need to choose between becoming a referral agent, affiliating yourself with a host agency or starting your own travel business from scratch. Understand the prospects of each one of these models. For example, as a referral agent you will end up referring your clients to other travel agencies that are more established and receive a fee per reservation as remuneration. Consequently, as an independent travel agency, your will have to network on your own and negotiate deals for your clients as well for yourself depending on the volumes of business you are able to bring in.
Figure out the type of products and services you want to offer. Who will be your target audience? Are you looking at business travellers, vacationers or any other type of travellers?
4. Networking is the key to success in any service based business. You need to start building relationships with travel companies, airlines, hotels and other vendors to ensure that you are able to pass on the best deals to your customers and incorporate a commission fee for the bookings that you make.
5. If you wish to play it safe, it is recommended that you sign up with a host agency where you make all your reservations using the system of this agency and also leverage from their contacts. In this understanding, you will need to split your commissions with the host agency as well.
6. If you wish to start your own independent business, you need to first invest in a computer reservation system that allows you to make a range of reservations directly through the vendors.
7. It is important that you create a business plan and factor in all aspects of the business such as expenses towards getting a travel license, the probability of hiring an assistant and all the other outgoings vis-à-vis your projected income. Highlight your income streams and how you intend to tap these sources for business success.
Now that you are all set to start your own home based travel agency, make sure you get all the necessary licenses and insurance covers to start the business. Consult a lawyer, a business consultant or an industry expert before you make major investments.