Starting a Home Based Travel Business
By: Antony Mosley
Considering a home based travel business requires serious thought, and travel includes serious fun. Just follow these simple steps to get your business up and running as fast as possible.
Now that you know you have made a good choice, you need to conduct a little research with your friends and colleagues. Why? Because all the business development skills, new computers and extra phone lines for your home based business will have little value unless you know your market.
Remember, research is not necessarily selling. In fact, try to keep them separate. This research is best conducted before you actually start your travel business.
Here is research scenario one: Ask a friend what they spend on vacations.
A friend of mine has five kids and he travels to the same beach each year with the whole family. So I asked him, "How much does your resort cost each year?" He did not mind telling me at all that it was around $3,500 for a one week stay each year for the resort, plus their travel costs, which were relatively low since they always drove.
I then told him how his family could stay at a higher quality luxury resort for $3,500 this year, and for only $300 to $800 per week each year thereafter, and in a wide variety of higher quality international resorts. That was a real eye opener for him.
Now remember, this was research, and for research reasons alone, the fact that my friend was recently unemployed was a plus, as I knew that he was not in a position to buy a membership right now. He had already booked the family vacation for this year, but was more than glad to know about my discount luxury resort membership, and that he could travel during any week of the year, or even several times each year at the same rate.
My conclusion for this research was that I was in the right business. My friend's happy face let me know that this was the right business for me to be in.
Here is research scenario two: I went to a timeshare presentation. I have avoided these for years, because everyone knows that the high pressure sales techniques of the timeshare sales force have turned many a No into a Yes.
True to form, those very nice timeshare sales professionals turned into pit bulls during the course of the presentation. I went through four managers on account of my unyielding No, and they even employed the good cop/bad cop technique on me. Their last offer was substantially better than the initial offer (from $55,000 down to $14,000), but there was no getting over the math; timeshare ownership was a substantially inferior investment when compared to the timeshare alternative I was selling from my humble home office.
This was exceptionally valuable information for me. The math and inconvenience of timeshare ownership was not compelling at all. It's no wonder that so many have negative feelings toward timeshare ownership. Unfortunately, a lot of them developed this distaste after their timeshare purchase.
So these two scenarios give you a little more insight into starting your own travel business. Your mileage may vary, but asking simple questions for research purposes is the key; talk to a few people about their recent travel adventure, and ask good questions. Go to places that may enhance your understanding of the travel industry, such as golf, ski, wilderness or beach resorts, or maybe even a tour of a cruise ship if that is available. Before your start your own home based travel business, get into the mind of the customer, learn from the market, and you will have more than enough excitement and energy to run your new business.