How Some Travel Businesses Miss The Boat
By Business Desk
Friday, October 7, 2016.
The good news is that setting up your own travel agency is relatively cheap. The bad news is that the industry has a dark side, and some companies can completely miss the boat. Here are some of the top mistakes startup travel companies make with worrying regularity.
Failing To Be Different
The travel industry is packed with many small companies, all looking to generate their own business. From the customer’s point of view, this is great. There are plenty of choices. And there are many different styles of agencies to choose from. For new travel agents, however, this can be problematic. The data suggests that there are around 1,000 different travel choices available to consumers in each state. So it’s imperative that you do something that helps you stand out. The first thing to do is to make sure that your prices are competitive. If they aren’t, think about why they aren’t. Sometimes this is because the packages that you offer are of higher quality. But often it is because you are missing a trick when it comes to saving on costs.
The second thing to do is to avoid big deals before you have the relevant experience. New travel agents often take on much bigger clients than they can service. This means that they end up getting snowed under and not being able to provide an adequate service. Bad reviews start turning up on Google, and when that happens, it’s often game over.
Failing To Find Leads
Don’t just think that if you have an excellent website, customers will come pouring through your doors. They won’t. To get them to buy your product, you’ll have to go out of your way to generating leads. One of the best things you can do is use timeshare owner leads. People who own timeshare are more likely than other people to want to buy a holiday package. And that means that they should be prime targets for your business.
Not Bothering With The Back End Of The Industry
People entering the travel business want to focus on the glamorous end of the industry. They want to offer travel packages and jet off all over the world. But that side of the sector is heavily oversubscribed. Right now there’s a big opportunity to make a difference in the travel community. Many companies are still using legacy software from the 1980s and 1990s. The interface is horrible, and the compatibility is non-existent. There are significant opportunities right now for startups to enter this space and capture the market. New firms that can build better systems will have a captive market, desperate to escape older platforms.
Not Segmenting Your Market
How did some of the biggest startups in the world get their breaks? Facebook started its global efforts by focusing on university campuses in the states. Airbnb got its break by offering services to international business customers. These examples illustrate the importance of segmenting one’s market. Create a stage-by-stage approach, addressing one part of the market at a time. Focus on a small area, and then grow from there.