Did you know that with more than 300 people living in the US, that The United over 27 million are entrepreneurs? And for the record, I really hate that word; but for this column, it is probably the most fitting. An entrepreneur runs most travel agencies. It might be a multi branch retail agency, or a very small home-based boutique one. While some of the challenges and nuances of both are different, the core concepts are held in common. There are three of them. And no matter if you are home-based selling $200,000 a year or own a corporate multi-branch agency with several hundred million in sales per year, you need to get these three right in order to succeed. And remember, 50% of businesses fail within the first 5 years!
Get The Concept Right
Your businesses starts with an idea. You are thinking outside of the box to deliver a solution to a problem. Your main objective is to make people’s lives easier or more enjoyable in some way. And that is true if you are selling travel or widgets.
Your business does not need to be something new. After all, we all (in a very basic sense) are doing the same thing. A new concept is great. You will own the market. But if you can look to improve on an existing product or service, you can own that as well. Amazon took the concept of shopping (old as dirt) and made it easier with online ordering. They moved again with next-day delivery. And they moved once again in some markets, with 1-hour delivery. Can you do something different? Remember how everyone has harped on niche travel for decades? Find yours.
But coming up with the idea is only the beginning. And unless you have someone looking to buy you out of your idea, there’s more.
Work Your Tail Off
Hanging an “open” shingle or launching a website does not make you a successful businessperson. You need to walk the walk now that you’ve talked the talk. Owning a business is not all fun and games and you do need to pay your “dues” from a physical and financial aspect.
Gone are the 9-5 days. Expect interrupted holidays. And remember, at the end of the day, you are the one responsible for it all. And that includes the trash, the vacuuming, the missed deposit, and so forth. But most importantly, you need to do what you said you were going to do!
Figure It Out
Now that you have this great idea. You have brought it to fruition. You need to make sure it all works out. Easier said than done. Expect challenge after challenge!
If determination and launch were all that was required, 50% of the businesses would never fail.
Think of your agency as a three-piece puzzle. The two are already laid out (concept and existence) and you need to bring the third—your expertise…your niche…what it is that makes you stand out.
Only with that third piece are you ready to potentially succeed. Notice I said “potentially” because there are no guarantees in life. None!
But if you do beat the odds (and many do) and you find yourself with a success on your hands; here’s a final tip. Don’t let it get to your head. With success comes financial stability, clout, and envy.
Remember, nothing is forever. As soon as you think you have it made, some “Amazon” is right on your tail making a better mousetrap. Keep on your toes and keep growing and thinking and scheming.
It’s a true rollercoaster ride and one that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying. I would not have it any other way! Are you ready?