Several weeks ago, I was consumed with negative thoughts about my agency’s constant flow of bookings throughout the spring and summer worrying about what would happen if business started slowing down. What if all the new business was a fluke? What if it was just a “summer rush” or worse yet, what if everything I had put into this business was a waste and I’d find myself searching for a corporate job again? The very thought makes my skin crawl! Read the rest of this entry »
I hope all of you have been as busy as I have lately! Who doesn’t enjoy being busy and booking business, selling products and services that change people’s lives and create ever lasting memories? It definitely beats worrying about where your next booking is coming from – or your next dollar for that matter!
Have you ever been so caught up trying to catch up that certain aspects of your business fall by the waste-side or slip through the cracks?
Maybe it’s sending out those thank-you-cards or taking time to reconcile your incoming commission checks. Recently, I fell back into what I like to call “subscription hell.” Read the rest of this entry »
When you think about the month of July, do you think of fireworks, barbecues, 4th of July celebrations and summer vacations? I certainly do. July is probably my favorite month of the year because of those very reasons; and because the 13th is my birthday! In ancient Rome, July was the fifth month of the year and originally called “Quintilis” translated as “fifth” in latin. When the Gregorian calendar was adopted, it became the seventh month of the year. It still kept the name “quintilis” until the death of Julius Caesar, also the month of Julius Caesar’s birth so it was renamed in his honor.
Although, I was in the travel industry before launching my agency, Vacation Side Travel itself is relatively new and I’ve had to navigate the travel industry landscape to figure out what works best for me and my business which is a totally different ballgame than being employed by an established travel agency. In the past few months, I’ve learned a lot, including: Read the rest of this entry »
I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend that you’re well rested and as excited about growing your business. I certainly am! This week, I want to start my entry with a question – the same one in fact that’s been playing over and over in in my mind lately. I hope you’ll take a moment or two to share your own thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. What goals do you have for your business? If everything played out according to plan, what does your business look like in 5 years? What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been on a mission to find effective tools to use in my business, namely, CRM, social media and proposal-building solutions. Believe me, there are tons of them out there and this process ended up being much more involved than I originally anticipated. In fact, I don’t feel any closer to finding the perfect fit now, than I was when I started!
I spent almost 5 of the 10 years I worked for Dell on finding and integrating tools into the sales team’s processes which would result in increased productivity, better sales effectiveness and higher customer satisfaction. It only stands to reason I’d be able to do the same for my own company, right? Read the rest of this entry »
Every trade publication I pick up these days has at least one article in it where the best practice of focusing on a niche market is shared as a key to success. Well, I finally decided to focus any marketing, training and client acquisition on a specialized area of travel! It took me a year to make the decision and it didn’t come easily because my goal was to book anyone and everyone I possibly could to build my business.
The specialty I chose was a natural one for me – the gay and lesbian market. Primarily, because my partner and I happen to be gay Read the rest of this entry »
Greetings from Music City, USA – home of genuine southern hospitality, the Tennessee Titans and backdrop to ABC’s hit show “Nashville”. My name is Steven Talbott and I’m so excited to be part of Travel Research Online’s sixth year of the Travel Agent Diary series! I hope to use this opportunity not only to be re-introduced to the wonderful community of travel industry professionals but also to become part of the conversation and best practice sharing already going on. You may be asking why I titled this piece “Easy Ride” and if you happen to be a Madonna fanatic, you may be able to connect the dots; but for those who aren’t, I promise to reveal the reason I chose this title for my first post but you’ll have to come along with me on this journey to find out! Read the rest of this entry »