Minimize the Minutiae With These Five Tips | Travel Research Online


Minimize the Minutiae With These Five Tips

Owning and managing a business is no easy feat. It’s tough! And when push comes to shove, it all falls back on your shoulders. It is easy to become overwhelmed, but there is help. Whether you are a large storefront agency with multiple locations or a small one-man show in the middle of nowhere, these five tips are guaranteed to help streamline your business and let you breathe a little easier!

Automation is your friend.

Ever heard the adage – time is money? It’s true. For every minute you spend on non-sales tasks, that is time you lose from actually selling.

Make every minute count by taking advantage of automation to increase your efficiency. There are apps and programs to record sales, track your groups, manage your back office, and more. Productivity apps can automate your to-do list, making it easier to keep track of urgent tasks and plan out your busy days. For projects, I use mind mapping apps to keep me focused. Hundreds of apps and programs are designed with small business management in mind; select the ones that are right for your practice.

Some of this automation costs money upfront, so you’ll need to weigh the cost against the amount of time you expect to save down the road. Other types of automation, such as setting up automatic bill pay through your bank, are free and a no-brainer in my book.

Invest in tech your customers want. 

I have been evangelizing that it is imperative to be where your customers are—mostly when it comes to social media platforms. But today, technology is moving at a blinding pace, and to help make your job easier, look to the tech your customers want. Does your website offer critical information (face it, your customers will probably prefer not to talk to you too)? Can you make appointments online? Is there a chat feature if they get stuck?  I advise asking your clients what they want and going from there. Of course, there is a cost vs. benefit calculation in there, but I bet you’d be surprised at how much time can be saved. The other suggestion is to look into what other travel professionals are using.


I tend to be “that guy.” The one who thinks no one can do the job as well as I can. In the end, I run myself ragged, often because I refuse to give up small tasks that are easily delegated.

If you have regular employees, you can train them to do things that normally would fall on you. I know one agency did this and empowered their employees to the point where the employees bought the agency when the owner retired. Virtual assistants are another great option (and surprisingly affordable). You might spend an hour creating your latest newsletter, or you could spend an hour closing a sale or presenting to a local Rotary.  Which is a better use of your time?

Remember your budget.

Of course, the budget is the real captain of your ship. You need to make sure you are on budget throughout the year. And be sure to check in on your budget at least monthly and adjust as needed, keeping in mind that unexpected expenses are called unexpected for a reason. It’s always a great idea to have cash reserves, just in case.

Set your goals.

Never let that daily grind of running a business overshadow your long-term goals for growth.

The best way to keep an eye on the big picture is to set concrete, quantifiable, long-term goals and check in regularly to ensure you’re on track to achieve them. Your goals are different than mine. They could be profit, the number of transactions, fee revenue, or any other number of metrics.  Measuring the goals will allow you to grow. For example, if you want to open a storefront, before taking the plunge, make sure that the goals are headed in the right direction.

Owning a business requires wearing many hats. But there are ways to minimize the minutiae of running the business so you can focus on growth. These are only some tips I have discovered over the years; one size does not fit all!

And if you have some tips of your own…we’re all ears. Please leave a comment!

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