There is absolutely no doubt that a failure to plan is one of the biggest mistakes many business people make. Without a solid business plan, even the best travel consultant can fail to act consistently in any given aspect of their practice. Planning is truly essential.
But so is action.
I see far too many travel agents planning their lives away, getting ready to act and then…not acting! Too many times we over-plan and over-perfect and in the process lose valuable opportunities to others who are quicker to act.
Advice like this can be easily misunderstood. Certain essentials have to be in place prior to marketing. Don’t throw out your business plans and your careful research. But also do not let those things become excuses for not moving quickly and decisively. In fact, one of the key failings of many businesses is to believe they are executing a plan simply because they have one.
It is not enough to have a plan: you must act on it! Now is a good time to check your progress.
Action works. You have to DO something. Put yourself on the line – freshen up your marketing collateral, enhance your image, write some articles, start a newsletter, find speaking engagements. That is the glory of business life. Each of you are in charge of your own business trajectory. Put yourself in gear and begin reaching out to your partners – your best clients and suppliers. Now more than ever, the travel business is about relationships on both end of the spectrum – relationships with clients and relationships with suppliers. Nothing good comes of indecision and inaction. Brand building is ALWAYS important, perhaps never so much as when sales are down and everyone rushes for the tactical sale by discounting their wares.
How many “plans” do you have to seek out a speaking engagement? How often have you thought about writing an article for a local newspaper? Still planning to launch a personal website? Still planning to write a business plan for this year? Do you have plans to launch out into a new niche or to put more effort into your website/blog/marketing collateral?I understand there are actual highways paved with good intentions. Planning is actually easy, because the line between planning and day-dreaming is only a few hours thick. Putting plans into action is the hard part. Here’s the thing – good marketers ACT. They promote themselves, they are in motion. They are a part of what is happening in the arena, not a spectator in the stands.
The solution is simple: make a marketing calendar a key component of every business plan. Force the plan onto your marketing calendar. If during planning you have to re-calendar once, do it reluctantly. If you have to do it twice, get serious – refuse to re-calendar a third time. Do not let the process of planning defeat your plans. Be sure to write an Action Plan (how and when) along with your Business Plan (what to do).
Act decisively, act intelligently, but for goodness sake ACT!