Sadly, today will be my last post for Travel Agent Diaries. This past year writing for TRO has been a truly rewarding, and eye opening experience. Rewarding in that I’ve gotten to share my personal experiences and war stories with all of you, and eye opening in that I now see the many areas of improvement I need to focus on moving forward in 2015.
2014 will go down in my book as one of the most difficult years I’ve experienced in a while. Through personal struggles in helping my sisters to care for my Dad, to finding time to help our travel agency grow and thrive. I am so thankful for the wonderful ladies I work with, and their amazing work ethic to keep everything running smoothly while I was gone so much. They went above and beyond all year long.
A few of the great things that happened in 2014:
- We achieved a record setting year in sales for Destinations.
- All of our agents earned new certifications this year.
- We got our travel agency mobile site designed and up and running, and are planning a new marketing strategy around it.
- I learned that I love mentoring my fellow travel professionals, and got to spend some time solidifying new friendships with other TA’s this year. I wish there was a way I could make money mentoring full time.
- Both our luxury business, and our Destination Wedding business exploded in 2014.
- I put in place a great succession plan, in the event that something happens to me. I know that the agency will go forward, business as usual, and will be a great success with the people we have in place.
- We added two new Independent Contractors in 2014.
A few of the not so great things that happened in 2014, and the areas of opportunity:
- For me personally, I did not devote the time to my existing customers that they deserved. I am going to do better in reaching out to them, through personal notes throughout the coming year.
- I did not get to complete my Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association certification, as I planned. And while I signed up to fast track my CTC in late July, I’ve yet to crack a book on the curriculum. Good thing it’s on personal development, cause I seriously need to get my stuff together, and get organized. And I need to do it for me, and no one else!
- I will likely not meet my personal goal of doing 1 million in leisure sales, in 2014. The agency WILL meet our goal of reaching 3 million in sales.
All in all, it was great year for Destinations, which is what really matters to the owners of the agency. For me personally, it was less of a success in my mind, as I know there were many things I let go due to the amount of time I was out of the office. I am not using that as an excuse, but as a learning tool to see where my strengths and weaknesses are, and go after fixing them and doing things smarter for 2015.
I’d love to stay in touch, and hear from you. I always wonder if my thoughts have touched anyone, and were of help or hindrance to them in their personal and professional lives. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Facebook.com/traceewilliams, or Twitter @trvlagt4u. Wishing you all a joyous holiday season with your family and friends, and a prolific year in 2015!
Tracee Williams is a 32 year veteran of the travel industry. She has extensive experience with both corporate and leisure travel agencies in Northwest Arkansas. She specializes in Honeymoons, and Luxury Travel. She is a CTA, ACC, Platinum CSS, and a Sandals Weddingmoon Specialist. She is currently studying to get her CTC. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband Darrell, and their fur babies, Callie, Annie, and Peanut.