Last month found me taking a look at my website, business cards and working on my marketing plan. I was starting to make progress. Then August came. School is just around the corner with a last minute vacation with the kids, a class reunion, and a few weddings, block parties, pool parties, etc.. Add to that the craziest weather I have ever seen—one minute hot & humid the next we are in the high 50’s. Is it any wonder my brain seems to have taken a vacation. What happened to summer? It just started! It can’t be time for school supplies, backpacks and all the other fun stuff. Can it? It’s enough to make me want to retreat under my covers and not come out till spring again.
But I can’t forget that there is a business to run. And travel seems to be on a roller coaster these days. One week I am doing great with lots of bookings and the next week nothing. Oh, the phone did ring the other day and someone proceeded to tell me how she thought the airlines were evil and wondered if I could get her a better price on a last minute flight? Where do they find me? Someone sent an email saying she had met me at some function I attended and wanted me to do an itinerary to the Grand Canyon. She already had hotels and flights. I told her I charge $250 to do itinerary planning and we solved that problem. Speaking of retainers, I have started fazing them in. But, I need to be more consistent and stick to my business plan. Being wishy-washy isn’t cutting it or paying the bills. I need to get in that mindset that I add value and if people want to price shop they will and I have no control over that. I have also taken a couple of online business and marketing courses to brush up on my knowledge. My office has been cleaned and de-junked. I went to a seminar called Finding Your Authentic Self, which helped yo to selct goals and map out a route to get there. It was a great kick in the pants. Plus, I met some awesome women who are also in business for themselves. And, I have made an effort to get out of the office more and network.
Our school starts next week. While a part of me is sad. Another part of me will be glad of the uninterrupted time I will gain. September is the time when people seem to get serious about business and travel again. Networking and Chamber meetings crank up and hopefully business will pick up significantly.
I am still a work in progress. Stay tuned for the ride. It should be fun.
Mary Stephan is the President of Allons Travel based in Powell, OH. For more information, you can contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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