The great thing about the travel market is that consumers want what we provide. If you are reading this then you probably want to run your own travel business – a travel wantrapreneur. I'm Simon Hargreaves, Chairman of The Travel Network Group, and I've written this site to help those who currently work in the travel market and aim to set up on their own, or those new to the industry. Here at TTA we are genuine experts on helping other people set up and run their travel business. We have over 450 travel business members, some small and niche, some large and more mainstream.
It has been incredibly hard to work out what to describe and what to leave out for now. We finally landed on the seven topics below. For each we give you the bare minimum to get you on the way. If you are new to the industry then it will be a lot to take in. Once you have read this, why not contact us on 01483 545784, email George@traveltrust.co.uk or try why TTA. We can see whether we can help you further.
Our approach takes you through seven areas to think about:
1. Travel market
Like any market, the travel industry has divided itself into different sectors and has different types of companies. The first section introduces you to the travel market and its lingo. It then helps you think about what your business will do for your customers.
The founders of TTA had set up a travel business many years ago. At the time it was quite a difficult process. That inspired them to set up a company that helped others set up their own travel businesses, and navigate through the regulation and legalities. While this might look like one to skip, there are some big costs to consider here. This section will make you aware of the regulation and how it impacts the way you set up and run your business.
3. Cash, surviving the first year
The immediate question for you to answer is: 'How many bookings do I need to sell per month to survive?' This section helps work through to the answer. It then helps you model cash flow to understand any borrowing requirements you might have for your first year of operation.
4. Marketing and sales
We live in a cluttered world with consumers being bombarded by marketing messages every day. Unfortunately, the travel market can deliver far more bookings than than customers want to buy. As a small business you are likely to need marketing and sales knowledge to stand out.
5. Travel business operations
This section helps you understand what is required to fulfil the sale and deliver the holiday to the customer.
6. Travel business network
You will need to decide which parts of the customer proposition to deliver yourself (in-house), and which to get other companies to deliver for your customers (out of house). Similarly, which parts of the operation will be performed in-house, and which out of house. For some of these components there is little or no choice, like a credit card facility to take customer payment which is going to be out of house as it will be performed by a financial services company.
7. Travel business leadership
Many people decide to set up their own travel business as they want to enjoy how they make their living. A big factor on enjoyment and success is who you choose to work with. Deciding on what sort of people to hire and your approach to managing them is worth thinking through.