The summer doldrums are here | TravelResearchOnline

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The summer doldrums are here

So, how’s business? I have talked with several colleagues and they are in the same boat as I am—in the summer doldrums. The phone is not ringing; the email inquiries have slowed to a trickle, the Facebook and Twitter interaction has dropped, and well… if I need to be honest, I am bored.

For me, it happens like this every year. Right after spring break, it begins to slow down and then will remain slow through the middle of September except for a flurry of last-minute activity in July for eleventh hour bookings on our August groups for a final fling of summer. For those that are big in the wedding-moon and destination wedding niche, June has come and gone! You may be seeing something different depending on your specialty—but the advice I am going to give is relevant to everyone—no matter their slow time.

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Despite your boredom and lack of business, don’t slack off. If you can, I do suggest refreshing yourself. Take a week off and vacation—not work. Maybe it is a long weekend getaway with your significant other. But when you are refreshed, it is the perfect time to get caught up on the leftover minutiae of your busy season, and also the best time to start looking forward to… wait for it… 2017!

Yes, 2017 is right around the corner, and right now is the time that you need to start putting together your 2017 financial plan and your 2017 marketing plan. Run your reports. Find out who your top customers are (and why). Identify your true partner suppliers versus the ones that merely provide a product for you to sell. Put it all together and make 2017 a better year. Set your goals and then massage them for the rest of the year so when you do get to January 1st, you can hit the ground running with a fast and solid start.

Look around your office. Is it a mess? Mine is. I have made the decision to attack one file or desk drawer each day for the next two weeks. I just bought three storage bins from Office Depot and I will be dividing up each file drawer into bins—“must keep long term,” “probably will never need this again, but I probably ought to keep it just in case,” and “needs to be handy.” The rest will taken to a local company that does shredding. Hopefully by the end of June, my desktop will be clear and my file drawers will be re-done and organized. And if you do this—get rid of most (all) outdated printed brochures unless there is some very strong reason to have them. The destinations are different. The properties are different. The pricing is different. Why do you need them?

Finally, if you are not all tech-ed up, consider it. Ask around and see what other successful agents are using tech-wise to make their jobs easier. I use a free app called Evernote that works on my computers and mobile devices for client notes, task instructions, etc. I paid for the upgrade, but the basic one is awesome. If I go on a trip, I can keep a notebook with my notes, drawings, photos, contacts, and more. ClientBase Online is my CRM of choice and it keeps all of my client notes and (more importantly) reservation information at hand. I am hoping that Sabre will come out with a ClientBase app for smart phones.

Unfortunately, we cannot be busy all the time. Take advantage of your down time and make it work for you. Do you find that summers are slow for you? Any other tips? Leave a comment!

 

 

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