The travel bug is alive and well, and once it gets a hold of you it is very difficult to shake. There are a number of ways the bug takes hold, but that is another story for another day. Today, I want to focus on the five mistakes you must avoid making if you have an interest in sustaining a healthy (spelled profitable) home-based travel business.
- Relying on your past success as a travel mechanic. Chances are you decided to launch your own business as a result of your love for travel. You wanted to share your passion with others. This sounds wonderful, but it has little to do with running a business. There will be little need for your knowledge and expertise if you have nobody to share your wisdom with. Your primary job and responsibility as a home-based entrepreneur is to get more of the right people to know you, like you and trust you. Then and only then, can you display your talent. This spells “marketing.” You must become the consummate marketer.
- Treating your new business as a hobby. You probably dreamed about being your own boss believing that you would have the luxury of working just a half-day during the hours of your choosing. I am quick to mention, based on my personal experience of more than 30-years, that this is absolutely true. The question becomes: “What 12-hours do you choose to work each day?” The answer is entirely up to you.
- Promoting yourself as a generalist. The nature of the travel beast helps support this strategy. You can assist just about everybody with their plans, dreams, and bucket lists. After all, every person with a desire to leave town can benefit from what you know and do. The truth is, that you will soon know very little about an awful lot of destinations. As a result, when push comes to shove, you will appear to be a less-than-attractive resource. Don’t make this mistake. Become a specialist. Focus.
- Allowing yourself to become lonely. Working alone is fun and can be relatively stress-free as a result of not having to deal with other people’s quirks and interruptions. You can work at your own pace. It can also be quiet and therefore, rewarding. The downside is that it can become tiresome listening to your own breathing patterns. It can get lonely. It is imperative that you establish some degree of social interaction while getting out of your working environment on a regular basis.
- Failing to understand that you are in the marketing business. This brings us back to #1. I can’t emphasize this mistake enough. It is the single reason why you will succeed or fail. It may be spelled “travel” and it might involve airplanes, cruise ships, hotel rooms and rental cars, but the word that encapsulates your home-based existence is, was, and always will be called MARKETING. You have to get up, get out, and make more people glad that you are alive. Believe it. Breathe it. Sleep it. Practice it. Live it. Do it.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
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