Startups are comprised of many major risks, but also several fine rewards; the activation of either (or even both) is caused by the actions of the company’s members, as well as the circumstances of the external environment. Like any start up, a new travel agency follows such an equation of risks and rewards, and it is up to the independent travel agent to balance the equation to their favor. The following list analyzes the factors that should be considered when establishing a travel agency (specifically, a home-based travel agency) and allows for potential travel agents to understand whether such a business fits their professional needs and goals:
There are thousands of different travel agencies currently operating in the United States. Before starting your own, you must ask yourself the question of what your agency will offer in contrast to others. Why will a customer want to purchase from you, and not a different independent agent? Too often companies mistakenly choose a strategy that is too broad; they want to be the cheapest, the most luxurious, and also the most unique. In reality, this is rarely possible, and companies with such strategies often fail. In order to avoid such an outcome and grant your work a focused vision, it is critical to narrow down your business plan and classify your travel agency into just one specific category. For example, your travel agency could mainly focus on organizing low-cost backpacking trips to Asia or simply selling the cruises and all inclusive vacation packages to Caribbean.
Before employing any ideas into practice, you must find out whether they are actually legal. There are very specific regulations and laws regarding the travel industry that vary based on the state in which the operations of the company or individual take place. Several states (e.g. Florida, California) require travel agents to register and get licensed before providing travel services. As an independent travel agent, you much research the legalities of your business or hire a lawyer to do so for you in order to ensure the success and smooth progression of your work. If you don't want to deal with it, then it's easier for you at the beginning to find a host travel agency and start to work under their license.
Choosing your target consumer closely aligns with determining your business strategy. Thus, segmenting your customer pool and targeting a certain segment is quite methodical once you choose your strategy, and can be done through the “pizza scenario.” Let us refer to our previous example of a business strategy centered on selling low-cost backpacking trips to Asia. Imagine a pie of pizza, or your entire customer base; if you are starting a travel agency in Delaware, this base could consist of the residents of the state. Now, you could cut (or segment) the pie based on age, forming eight slices, each with a different age bracket. Since the trips that you are selling are low-cost, you want to pick (or target) the slice that represents customers that are able to travel but are most likely not making a significant amount of money. You could infer that that the slice with the age bracket of eighteen to thirty-five years old most closely aligns with these qualities. Next, you want to add toppings to the slice (or target even more specifically). Customers that would be interested in a backpacking trip are probably those who do not have children. So, you add the topping of “no kids” and identify your target consumer- a Delaware resident between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years old with no children. You could even add more toppings, or segment your consumer base according to a completely different set of criteria from the aforementioned. Nonetheless, as an independent travel agent, you will now be able to adjust your marketing campaigns, selling techniques, and promotions to this customer.
Work through host travel agency or just by myself?
If you do not have an experience in travel business you should consider to work through host travel agency and not having risk of starting your new travel business alone.
Why? Mush less startup costs, no investments, no risk! Travel Agent's support, highest commissions, instant contracts with most tour operators, cruise lines, airline, etc.
Learn more why you should work with host travel agency