The recession really hit my bottom line this past year. I am looking forward to a better 2010 as far as bookings are concerned.
There have been many changes for me this past year. First I tried to implement research fees. This worked well with a select few clients. Since I sell mainly all inclusive packages I have found that charging research fees has cost me some clients. I went back and forth all year on charging fees and not charging fees. Finally my mind is made up. For all inclusive packages I will not be charging research fees. I will price match if possible and I will monitor prices post booking and give my clients the lowest price. This way I stay competitive and increase my business. It is working very well. My business has seen an increase already. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a robust fall for travel, but not for bookings. This spring I made a lot of bookings that are traveling now. At least I know money is coming in. Unfortunately there are few bookings being made now for the future. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Patience is a virtue. Read the rest of this entry »
August was one slow month! Only a small handful of sales. I had to check my phone hourly to see if it was working. As we all know, the “back to school” month is slow; but this was downright sluggish. September is here, “they say” the economy is “picking up” so I look forward to more sales.
With so much free time on my hands I completed the Magic of Mexico online course (www.magicofmexico.com) and updated my websites. I also discovered Joomla Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve spent the past month working on my websites. This has really paid off with better organic search engine rankings and more leads. Unfortunately, out of all the leads I get, very few are realistic. There are so many people looking for that “great deal.” The problem, is that they are generally unable to identify a great deal when it is under their nose. There is no magic price point that screams “great deal”. All they know is that the media is telling them that travel is cheap. So if I quote a couple, $3000 for a week in October at a 5 star all inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya, including airfare from New York, transfers, taxes and gratuities I am told “that’s too much money, travel is cheaper than that.” Read the rest of this entry »
The only thing in business that is constant is change. I’ve implemented several changes this month in my business and continue to work on refining others. I guess you can say I am constantly changing!
A couple of months ago I implemented a fee structure. What I’ve found is some will play and some won’t. So now I need to figure out what’s next. The fee structure is the single best thing I’ve done this year as far as change is concerned. Read the rest of this entry »
Money talks. When I request a research fee I am letting the client know that I am knowledgeable and worthy of respect. Those who are serious about their vacation and have the ability to respect my knowledge will readily pay. So far this month I have three more bookings than last month. It pays to work with only those who are serious and respectful. Read the rest of this entry »
Search engine optimization is an internet marketing strategy that considers how search engines work and what people are searching for. You can optimize your website for keyword phrases people would search for when looking for the types of vacations you provide. For example “all inclusive vacations” is a search phrase. When you do a search on any search engine (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.) you will get a list of results. The top three, usually shaded and described as “sponsored” along with the results on the right and the bottom are “pay per clicks.” These companies are paying for each time a person clicks on their listing. This can get costly and typically only agencies with large advertising budgets can afford these. The rest of the results are natural, or organic results. There is no cost to the company for these results. Read the rest of this entry »
The light bulb finally went on. I have begun to realize that I allow potential clients to “pick my brains” and not give them a reason to book with me. I have stopped hiding behind “how can they do this to me” and now understand that not all people think like me. Certainly I would never gather information from someone like me and book elsewhere. Well, while I would never do such a thing I have come to accept that the majority of people in this world will. Thus the light bulb is now on. Read the rest of this entry »
How’s business? This is the question my friends and family ask on a weekly basis. I suspect this question is more of a barometer on how the economy as a whole is doing. If I have a good week my friends and family think the economy is getting better. If I have a poor week it reinforces what the media says. Such is life in the Great Recession of 2009.
Last month I implemented Live Person (live chat) on each of my websites. I am happy to report that I have made Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve got to say that I’ve been quite frustrated with my business these past few weeks. My website hits are up as are my leads; unfortunately I’ve had few bookings. It seems like everyone I talk with wants an unrealistically low price.
“The economy is down, so travel should be cheap” seems to be the mantra from the crowd of would be travelers. Over and over I hear the surprised disappointment from these would be travelers that there are no $2500 all inclusive vacations for a family of four for a week in Cancun during Spring Break at a 4 star resort. Read the rest of this entry »
TRO is going to follow the progress of a few travel agents and their business over the course of 2009 to allow our readers the opportunity of comparing notes and experiences with other agents. These brave souls have promised to write about both their successes and failures this year. Be sure to leave them some comments if you would like to share some of your own experiences.
How many people can actually say they feel fulfilled with their “work?” So many in life go through the motions and never enjoy what they do for a living. I am so fortunate to say that I love my work and find what I do fulfilling – from the joys to the frustrations. My name is Patricia Saizan and I am the owner of Saizan’s Travel, LLC, a home based travel agency located just outside of Orlando, Florida. Read the rest of this entry »