Traveling is a simple pleasure that makes you richer without money. Seeing other parts of the world just brings about a feeling of happiness and for some, the desire to make a career out of it. If you happen to be someone who loves to travel, you may have decided that you want to help others do it as well. You could start a blog and tell your own personal wanderlust stories.
Alternatively, you could open a travel agency and create customized packages that inspire others to explore more. If this sounds like you, you've come to the right place. While opening any kind of business can be tough, opening a travel agency is different, especially if you already have inside scoop on the best places to visit. In this guide, we'll discuss the easiest, not to mention fastest ways to open a travel agency.
As with any type of startup, you need to figure out your finances first. While operating an online only business model will significantly cut costs, you'll still need money to get started. Bootstrapping your company is a viable option, however, you may need more capita once your agency takes off. Unless you've been saving for a while, you might want to consider AOF small business loans. Typically, you're privy to additional resources like mentoring, educational resources in multiple languages, such as English and Spanish, as well as other online resources like how to do your taxes and become an LLC.
Choose a Travel Niche
Even if you've been all over the world, it's still better to choose a specific niche. If you know all there is to know about Florida, you could specialize in helping families find low-cost vacation packages to Disney. The same holds true if international travel is more your forte. You could create itineraries for solo travelers in Europe or honeymoon packages for newlyweds. The goal is to set yourself above the competition and show your target market that you have real knowledge of their bucket list locations.
Create a Logo and Website
You'll also want to take some time and think about your logo and website design. You want to choose something that represents how you feel about the travel experience, which in turn, will be conveyed when someone lands on your website. Keep in mind that it's perfectly okay to change your logo or color scheme when you're just starting out. However, once you become established, you only want to change things if you have a substantial following and can use rebranding for marketing purposes.
How does a new startup let the world know their open for business? Simply put, by marketing to the right people at the right time. Remember how we mentioned about becoming an expert in one sector? You need to use that to its fullest advantage and market to the people most like to respond to your efforts. If your target audience are spring breakers, then you'd want to start promoting your services in the fall or winter when twenty-somethings are planning for spring vacation. You should be on TikTok and Instagram, creating high-quality videos and snippets of inside info to get people interested. You can then run PPC ads and have them check out your site.
Online or In-Person
This is where things can get tricky. You need to decide whether you want to be exclusively online, or if you want to have a physical location to meet and greet clients. Both have their pros and cons, so make sure that you're not choosing one over the other just because it seems like the right thing to do. Remote can help reduce operational costs, so if you're more of an online kind of person, then you should roll with it. If you prefer to see clients in person and know a spot that gets a lot of foot traffic, then a brick-and-mortar location may be right for you without impacting your bottom line.