Did you know that with more than 300 million people living in the US, more than 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. And if they want to continue running them in a post COVID world, here are three steps that must be taken without a stumble.
Get The Concept Right
Your business starts with an idea. Post-COVID, you may be re-thinking your model. Are you switching to a niche from a generalist? Leisure from corporate? Regardless of your concept, your main objective is to make people’s lives easier or more enjoyable in some way.
Remember, your model 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?
But coming up with the idea is only the beginning.
Work Your Tail Off
Hanging an “open” shingle or launching a website does not make you a successful businessperson. Post-COVID, people will need a reason to work with you. And that reason cannot be “because you exist!” You need to walk the walk and talk 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 meals. 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 perhaps payroll. But most importantly, 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 and it is smooth sailing down the road. Ha! Never let it be said that the travel industry is one for smooth sailing! Expect challenge after challenge! Remember, if you survived 2020, you are well prepared for nearly anything that comes your way!
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…
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.
We’ve made it this far, I am ready to tackle the last half of 2021 and beyond. Are you with me?