If you find business consultants to be at best mystifying and at worst expensive and intimidating, then you are operating at a disadvantage. You can’t get value from something you don’t understand; and in the current travel industry environment you cannot afford to pass up value in any form.In order to be of value to you, the consultant must know beforehand, and in detail, the critical aspects of your company: market, competitors, customers, capital structure, personnel, etc., and the only reasonable way he/she is going to learn them is from you. From that it follows that you have to know them yourself.You must be absolutely certain that you could describe your agency to a consultant in useful terms – write some rough notes on what your market is like; who your customers are; why they do business with you; what facets of your operations are important in keeping their business; and how your compensation plan meets the needs of your employees and at the same time rewards them specifically for meeting your needs as well. Try to state clearly the most important goals you have achieved during the past few years; the opportunities and threats you anticipate in the near future; and exactly how you intend to respond to those opportunities and threats.If you already know enough about your business to use a consultant, then certainly everything the consultant does will be couched in terms of things you know inside out. Conversely, if the consultant comes up with something that is truly dazzling in its originality, it probably will turn out to have very little relevance to what you can actually do with your business.The best consultants are rigorously tied to what the client has done in the past, can do in the present, and wants to do in the future. Anything else smacks of showing off at the client’s expense and is symptomatic of lack of value from the project.Remember: It is your business and you should know a lot more about it than any consultant, no matter how sophisticated that person may be. If you have done your homework and can meet this requirement, then you have a hunting license to structure consulting assignments that can give you a significant competitive edge in many aspects of your business. And in today’s travel industry we all need every edge we can get.
Reliable statistics reveal that 90% of home based entrepreneurs tap out within five years. If you are currently a fledgling home based businessman, you have the responsibility and must wield the ability to sustain your undertaking. Do not be convinced that passion is all what it takes to succeed, because documented testimonies divulge otherwise. The cold fact remains: it’s only you and your serious efforts that can make your business fail-safe.The internet is replete with pseudo business gurus who render carelessly crafted instructions on how to reap success in your chosen home based business, and because most of these missives were just re-clones, no tug was being done to even correct the misinformation, and they continue to get passed on as feasible. It is not your fault that you believe that because you are a pet-lover, you will infallibly reap wealth in any business concerning pets, and, withal, this trite epistle of “starting a home based business that you are passionate about” – is flagrantly posted all over the web. Verbose talk eventually benefit you zippo.JT Keys, a staunch business mentor recommends to home based business novices to focus deliberately on two key determinants for a start, and then tough it out until it pays off.First, size up the demand for the product or business niche you are contemplating to get into. Popular does not necessarily connote profitable; buckle down into some stern research to find products that command huge demands. JT Keys exhorts, “One niche I will not hesitate suggesting is travel marketing. The demand for travel is brimming such that the market will never reach a point of saturation.”Secondly, specify who your targeted buyers are. Stretch your perception to include your consumers’ purchasing habits and repurchasing options. Online travel marketing is voted the growth business opportunity of the 21st century. Do you know that 79 million American adults purchase travel products online? Would you not want to score a slice of this profitable industry? Every minute in the United States, $1,110,000 is spent by resident and international tourists on travel and tourism. Almost 640 million passengers board one of the nation’s 24,535 flights each day, 2.6 million hotels rooms are occupied each night, and more than 80 percent of the nation’s 1.8 million rental cars are used for business or leisure activity daily. The travel market is limitless. People from all walks of life consider travel as a necessity. In fact, 91% of Americans take vacations every year.Realistically, there are no cloak and dagger methods to having a successful home based business venture. Just inculcate in your mind the two aforementioned factors and take clear-cut action. Is there a whopping calculable demand? Who are your buyers?Cruise to Cash home based travel business, the latest innovation to online travel marketing, targets a plumbless niche because practically every breathing human being love to travel. It is a novel business idea contrived to satisfy men’s irresistible yen for leisure and profits.
You’ve made the decision to start some type of home based business, but you just aren’t sure which one. There are as many business opportunities to choose from as there are flavor combinations at Cold Stone Creamery. But, the one thing you know for sure is that you want to do something fun – something completely different from what you’ve done before (and possibly what you need to continue doing until you start making an income at home).Wading through all the “fun” home based opportunities, being a travel agent catches your eye. It sounds exciting. Plus, you already love to travel. It sounds too good to be true. You ask yourself, “Can I really make an income as a home based travel agent?” You wonder, “Will I really be able to build a legitimate travel business from my home and one day be able to quit my full-time job?”There are a couple of factors to consider when making such a decision. First, do you know anything about the travel business? If not, it would be imperative to align yourself with a good host agency who will help train you, show you the ropes, and provide excellent support to its agents. You ask, “What’s a host agency?” Basically, a host agency is a travel agency who has already established a relationship with various suppliers. They are already doing business and have experience. They also have travel agency credentials, as well as an errors and omissions insurance policy that often covers independent agents. The best type of host agency is one whose main objective is to support its outside or independent agents. They don’t sell travel to consumers. They don’t have an in-house sales department. Their customers are independent travel agents, and they work hard to give great customer service to the agents who contract with them. You don’t want to affiliate yourself with an agency that is actively seeking consumer business too. This often creates a conflict and you’ll find that your host agency is trying to juggle pleasing too many clients (you, as well as their consumer clients).The second thing to consider is whether you’ll do what it takes to build your business if you become a home based travel agent. Let’s face it, sales is the biggest part of just about every home based business out there. In order to sell something, you have to love it and have a passion for it. That enthusiasm has to be genuine and contagious. You need to determine if you love travel enough to talk about it all the time. You might be interested in specializing in only one area of travel that you love – cruises, for instance. You’ve been on a cruise and talking about your experience on your cruise really turns your crank. That might be your passion. If it is, then your chances of success are much greater. Find that area of travel that makes your face light up when you talk about it. Once you find it, your enthusiasm about it will translate into sales success.Lastly, do you have the self-discipline to work for yourself at home? Can you leave that pile of dirty laundry until the weekend in favor of taking care of your business? Can you say “no” to all the distractions that tug for your attention all day long? If you have the self-discipline to follow through with the day-to-day affairs of your business, then you’re well on your way to being a successful travel agent.The bottom line – the opportunities are certainly there to make a good income from home as a travel agent. The conditions are ripe for consumer business. More and more people are traveling each year. Some travel suppliers – especially the cruise lines – are doing so much advertising that most people are already familiar with what you sell when they learn you sell cruises. The sales pitch has already been made. All you need to do is close the sale. Plus, with the advances in internet technology, home based agents can easily access supplier sales tools and reservation software, keeping them on par with traditional storefront travel agencies.With perseverance and a little hard work, you can definitely make an income as a home based travel agent. The clients are out there. All the tools you’ll need are available to you. With the right host agency partner and a savvy business plan, the sky is the limit.