Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign.
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?
– The Five Man Electrical Band, 1970
Downtown Nashville is difficult to get around. There are a number of one-way streets. If you are a newcomer to our city, you might find yourself going in circles because of your unfamiliarity with the direction of the streets. The same holds true for travel agencies. Sometimes we find ourselves going in circles and not accomplishing anything. That’s where our signs are leading us in today’s column.
Fact: Most travel agencies, especially home-based agencies, start without a business plan.
Fact: Most of these agencies fail.
In a nutshell, your agency needs a business plan.
A business plan will greatly improve your chances for success. You must have a marketing plan within your business plan if you want to obtain co-op funds from your suppliers. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, then email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – and ask about our book on writing a business plan for a travel agency. I’ll be happy to send you the specifics.
A good travel agency owner understands that a marketing plan is the first key to their success. The secret of a marketing plan is that it will enable you to see your ultimate goals with clarity, making minor setbacks and failures along the way.
A plan helps you communicate your vision to your employees, if you have employees, and preferred suppliers. When completed, your plan will outline eight critical elements in your approach to marketing.
- Your customer’s benefit for using your agency.
- Your positioning in the marketplace.
- Your target market or markets.
- Your advertising strategy and positioning.
- Your budget
- Your goals and objectives and strategies to obtain them.
- The tools and techniques you’ll use to reach your clients.
- A month-by-month implementation timetable.
Operating without a marketing plan is akin to driving a car with the windows painted over, no brakes and no steering wheel. A marketing plan is essentially a map to your targeted destination.
During these economic downturns, are you going to survive or thrive? It is not enough merely to survive. The goal is to succeed and thrive. Without a marketing plan for your suppliers, there is no course to take in achieving your goals. “Are you planning to fail, or failing to plan?” – Old Saying (author unknown)
Are you going to survive or thrive during this time of change in our economy and industry? The three most important questions to ask yourself are:
- What do I want?
- How am I going to get it?
- When am I going to do something about it?
Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Plan your work; then work your plan.” Sounds like a plan to me.
- Sitting on your assets won’t correct the situation
- SOLVE THE PROBLEM!!!