For the past five years, TRO has worked in depth with travel professionals assisting to put together their marketing plans. One thing we have learned is that great travel agents are not necessarily born that way. Thankfully, it is possible to nurture and plan your way to greatness, especially with the proper mentoring.
Not much in business has come easy over the past few years. The travel industry has been bounced between economic collapse, environmental and socio-political events and minor pandemics. Although the concept of planning seems to be an impossible task in the face of so much turmoil, failing to plan only adds to the sense of living impromptu.
In a few short weeks, the 4th and final quarter of 2011 will be over and 2012 will be underway. When you are in business, time passes fast, as do opportunities. Now is an excellent time to begin working on your 2012 marketing plan. Passion is a great start, but of equal importance is the ability to channel your passion into a real, workable plan.
There is always the temptation to work without a marketing plan. After all, you know what you need to do, right? Provide your services to more consumers, hold your expenses in check and your business will grow. Unfortunately, improv is best confined to comedy. Unless you have charted a clear path to both acquiring new clients and retaining your current ones, 2012 is likely to be less than you hope.
Would you like some assistance? From now until the end of December, TRO’s 365 Guide will provide you with the key elements of a marketing plan. Follow along as we begin with today’s first installment on a marketing plan audit. Each day for the next three weeks, we will be providing you with a step-by-step guide to putting together your 2012 marketing plan. We will provide the theory and some practical advice each day so that by the beginning of the year, you will be equipped to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way.
This effort is in keeping with our editorial mission to assist travel agents in the professional development of their travel planning practices. Whether new to the industry or an experienced old-timer, we hope to give you some real, practical advice that you can use in your business next year. As we do, please feel free to comment on the advice being offered and to support other agents with your own insights and contributions.
Luck has a lot to do with success, no doubt about it. Equally true is the maxim that the better prepared you are, the luckier you will seem to be. We look forward to working with you over the last quarter of 2011 and meeting 2012 prepared for luck.