Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting. ~ Yogi Berra
I hope nobody told you the travel business was easy.
For the next year or more, we will all be pulling out of a slump of a magnitude we still cannot truly comprehend. By any measure, the challenges we will face will be not merely difficult, but nearly astronomical in proportion to anything like it we have ever seen. I can only see one solution.
Get to work.
I have always believed down-turns in business can be reversed if you take appropriate measures. Immediate action is the key. The worst thing you can do is “wait and see”- a slump is psychologically tough to handle, but giving into depression is self-defeating and prolongs the misery.
Let me suggest a few tactics that can put you back on track:
- Evaluate Your Business Mix -This is not business as usual. Are you a European specialist? Consider the possibility of adding some US National Parks and road-trips to your considerations and study. Consider looking to Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Belize to your line up. Will this be hard to do? Yes.
- Revisit your marketing plan and calendar – Are you doing the necessary marketing to generate sales? Remember marketing drives sales, but today’s sales are typically the result of much earlier marketing efforts. Don’t ever quit marketing, your future sales depend on it. But now, your marketing has to have a more delicate touch. When your clients are ready, they will travel. Be there for them, but be ready to listen, to empathize, and accommodate. But you must remind them you are there. See the next step.
- Keep touching clients – go to your best accounts and touch base. How are they doing? Is there anything you can do for them? Be pro-active in your outreach. Generate your own momentum. Write some blog articles, keep up with your social media marketing, don’t “hard sell” but market by inspiration.
- Coaching and training – keep educating yourself, especially in marketing, sales and customer service. Ask a business coach to assist you. Investing in yourself is always important, but especially if you are unable to determine what the problem is on your own. A third party can often see issues and opportunities easier than you.
It is important to keep perspective. Giving up is always an option, but even this slump will be temporary. It may be traumatic and extended, but it is best solved by putting yourself into gear. Action cures a lot of ills. Resist the temptation to commiserate with others who are in their own funk. Reach out and begin to act, plan, strategic. Avoid negativity. Move your associations to people who can help you generate some enthusiasm and determination. Give yourself a break from social media and the 24-hour news cycle, regain your focus and your balance. I’m not talking about “positive thinking” – what I am describing has more to do with hard work than whistling while you work. But once you are up and running again, a little music can’t hurt.
Six times down, seven times up. Sometimes you win just by showing up one more day.