Interested in small travel agency business ideas? If YES, here is how to start a travel consultant business with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?
How to Start a Travel Agency
Are you planning to start an online travel agency from home? Today, traveling has been much easier than it used to be a decade ago. There are many travel agencies these days taking care of everything that has to do with traveling. Starting a travel agency at this present time won’t be a bad idea.
Travel agency provides a lot of services to clients starting from booking of flight, to find a good taxi, to booking hotels and resort reservation, to providing information about specific destinations.
If you have always had a love for traveling and providing traveling advice, you should start a travel agency so as to compliment your passion. Though relatively competitive, it is a very lucrative business and doesn’t require too much capital to start.
It is also an industry that is not affected by the economy because people must travel and some are too busy for the running around and so will need traveling agencies to do the running for them.
So, without wasting much of your time, here are steps to starting a travel agency and live your passion.
1. Conduct a Market Research and Find Your Niche
The travel agency is a vast industry with many niches. You have to conduct a market research to find out the kind of travel agency that is hot in the market and would suit you. Use the needs of the market to decide on the niche you should launch your travel agency in.
For example, corporate or academic travel may be what might be in high demand from a travel agency in your locality, but you won’t know until you conduct a market research.
During the research, also inquire about the startup cost for the niche that you might choose. Travel agency expenses are not more than office rent, office equipment like computer and phone lines, furniture and electricity.
So, don’t skip this step as if you do, you will find yourself to blame.
2. Check Local and State Laws
After you must have decided on the niche of travel agency you want to embark on, you need to make sure you are complying with the applicable laws concerning starting a travel agency.
Depending on your location, some paperwork will be needed to become established as a recognized business in your state. You will need to register your travel agency with the appropriate agents of government and apply for a Tax ID number.
Also, have it in mind that you will be needing a corporate account to operate this business.
3. Create a Business Plan
Not only does a business plan help you run your agency effectively, it also helps you secure funding from investors in the case you might need additional capital. If you will need financial backing from investors for your travel agency, your business plan must be professionally written to include a great deal of information.
Don’t rush into creating your business plan. Try to gather enough information before coming to conclusion. Notwithstanding, if creating a business plan is something you are not sure of yourself that you can do, kindly outsource it to a professional business consultant.
Also, you may likely find samples of a travel agency business plan if you search online. There is also business plan software that can ease the process for you too.
4. Get a Location
I know you must have heard about home-based travel agency. Yes, they exist. But, check out the top travel agencies, are their offices located at home? if you want to join the top players in your market, you will need to get a location for your travel agency.
Contact real estate agent to find a good retail space for your business. Space should be large enough to accommodate clients while also housing furniture, marketing materials, and office equipment. There should also be enough car parking space too.
Location most suited for this kind of business is where the business is needed which include places like flight booking channels, hotels and airports. Your location should also reflect your brand image.
5. Market Your Travel Agency
You don’t just start a travel agency and sit down waiting for clients, you must market aggressively to your target clients. Making your business visible to the local people in your city is also a way to position your business for success.
You will need to have a promotional plan in place and be ready to spend money on the business card, logo design and also online marketing. Advertise your business in newspapers, billboard, hangout fliers etc.
Social media is still another channel you can use to market your business. you will have to create an account on social media platforms specifically Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These are social sites your potential customers are always visiting. You should take your business to them.
Creating a website is also a must. This is where you will be directing your traffic from social media to so as to engage them with your content. A well- designed website conveys professionalism to potential clients and it is the best way to convert interested customers.