The beauty of becoming a home based travel agent is in the fact that lesser overheads are incurred and therefore chances of earning
megabucks are significantly high if you will be persistent. In case you are willing and ready to venture into this lucrative industry, you need to be acquainted with the specifics on how to start and successfully operate your home based travel agency. This goes a long way in giving you an edge considering the fact that this is an industry that is characterized by massive competition.
How to start a home based business as a travel agent
First of all you need to establish the niche that your home based travel agency seeks to serve and the types of travel services that you intend to offer. These may include making hotel and resort reservations, purchasing airline tickets, cruise packages and many other specialized tour packages. You may also choose to exclusively specialize in senior travel, family travel, academic or corporate travel. The benefit of selecting a specialty is that it makes you stand out an expert. Once you’ve figured out this, you need to research on a travel host agency that you’d want to work with if you’re not willing to start your own agency from scratch. While there are countless travel agencies out there that you can partner with, you need to ascertain that the company you want to be affiliated with is indeed a reputable one. There are actually some host travel agencies that offer training and customer leads to independent consultants and you can advantage of them.
How to build Customer/Client base
One way through which you’ll be able to build a solid client base as a home based travel agent is by persistently spreading the word about your business. A good idea is to think of your friends, family and neighbors as well as your colleagues. You also need to go a notch higher and create contacts with special groups, associations, book clubs and other relevant groups from which you can find potential clients.
You also need to come up with a marketing strategy that will keep your business ahead of competition. This involves designing promotional materials such as business cards, brochures, newsletters and flyers and then distributing them to your prospects.
Setting up a home based travel agency does not incur substantial expenses firstly because you don’t necessarily need to rent office space. All you need to start a travel agency is a computer, a good website, reliable internet connection, phone and marketing materials to keep the business up and running. These accessories may however be provided for if you choose to work with a host travel agency. You need to have a website and it is imperative that you enlist web designer who’ll be able to design an attractive site that will eventually attract more clients into your business. The website should have content that is interesting and up-to-date so that it benefits clients planning to travel for business or vacation.
Other expenses that you may also incur in the process of setting up a home based travel agency are in terms of purchasing insurance policy. This is because you need to be cushioned from lawsuits or settlements that may arise in course of doing business.
Potential earnings as a home based travel agent
Your knack for attracting and retaining clients is what will largely determine the amount of money you will make in this business. If you are an experienced travel agent, you could end up earning an annual income of between $40,000 and $100,000. For a new travel agency, you stand a great opportunity of making $20,000 in your initial years of operation. This is in addition to discounts that you’ll be getting once in a while if you have a host travel agency.
Permits and licenses required for this business
You need to be in possession of an employment identification number (EIN) as you start a travel agency. This is because it’s is what proves to the federal government that your business is tax compliant. A sales Tax License may also be needed, more importantly if your services include selling tour packages and airline tickets. Another requirement is the IATA number, which is issued to travel agents after meeting a certain revenue requirements for running an agency. The IATA number is quite essential in giving you recognition within the travel industry and so it helps quite immensely in making your business grow.
canstock photo: Madhourse