Are you thinking of starting your own mobile travel business? Whilst the lure of freedom and being your own boss is strong, what does it really take to be a home-based agent?
With some working within my own business, here are my top tips on becoming a successful mobile agent:
It takes time to build a business. Like starting any new business, have a contingency plan to support yourself in the first 12 to 24 months whilst you focus on building. Don’t jump ship with everything to lose!
Love business development
If you don’t like networking, speaking to people at events, hosting or running information sessions, then it will be hard to build your own travel business. You have to be prepared to put yourself out there.
Be consistent at marketing
Love it or hate it, social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your customers on a regular basis. By understanding how to use marketing tools offered by Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, you can track how affective your campaigns are, what your customers like and add to your database Australia-wide. Sending a professional weekly EDM to your database alerts your clients to the latest deals and also keeps you front of mind.
Community is important
Starting a business can be isolating. Ensure your chosen travel company has a great mentor and a team that is willing to share and has regular monthly training. There is plenty of business to go around, so sharing and learning from each other helps the whole team grow. Make sure your family is onboard with your decision to start your business and surround yourself with cheerleaders (friends, family, parents).
Work the numbers
Make sure you know your financials – the money you spend on your business and the money you earn on your business – and engage a good accountant. Keep aside your super contributions and your tax so you don’t have any nasty surprises at tax time and continue to plan for your future.
Starting your own business is not for everyone, but there are so many work and life benefits if you’re ready to be realistic, consistent, work hard and to get yourself out there.
Marie Sulda is the director of Kaleidoscopic Travel.