Becoming a home based travel agent (HBTA) is not as simple as you might think. There are many facets of the business that need to be learned and handled accordingly. It takes a lot of planning and a small investment to become a HBTA.
- Create Dream Vacations
People no longer contact a HBTA just to secure a flight. Those days are long gone. Most travellers use a particular home based travel agent because they have created the perfect package for a dream vacation.
The HBTA must consider the whole picture before marketing a package. Small additions can make or break the success of a vacation deal. The key to making the deal successful for your business is to find great things to add to the package that have minimal cost.
Let’s say that you want to create a package for a trip to Nassau, Bahamas. There isn’t much that you can do to change the price of the airfare. It just isn’t going to happen.
Hotel prices are always negotiable. The HBTA needs to get the best deal the manager will give you and then ask for a free breakfast or complimentary cocktails. Get as much out of the venue as you can without spending money.
Contact local venues that have live entertainment. Ask if they can provide your clients with a free pass for the cover charge and a free drink. Most will be happy to oblige as once the patron is in the establishment, they don’t leave after one free drink.
There are so many ways to add great things to your client’s package without much cost to you as the travel agent. It will take a bit of research and time but in the end, you will make a profit.
- Become A Presence On The Internet
It is absolutely pertinent that you have a web presence. Without a website, any attempts that you make will be futile. You must have that internet office that people will go to for your services.
Creating a website for your HBTA business does not have to be costly. There are many web entities where you can purchase affordable web space to build your site. Be sure that your domain name is easy to remember and not too long. The easier your URL is to recall, the more repeat HBTA business you will get.
- Save On Start Up Costs
So you have already purchased your domain name but now, you need an actual website. The cost to pay someone to design the site and create copy for it can be astronomical. You can save money by utilizing programs such as Yahoo! Site Builder. This enables you to create your own internet office rather easily and without special IT help or knowledge. Who doesn’t love a “No HTML needed” approach to web design?
- Play It By The Book
It is always prudent for the HBTA to know the laws that pertain to their business. State and federal laws must be strictly adhered to if you don’t want a notice from the IRS. Let’s face it, nobody wants that. Ever!
- Wrap The Package With A Pretty Bow And Sell It
The HBTA needs to make the package sound like it is the best thing since sliced bread. The client needs to believe that this particular package cannot be obtained through any other agent or travel site. You need to market the package as unique, reasonably priced and a once in a lifetime deal.
Although your office is technically online, marketing your travel deals in a newspaper will grab non-web clients. The more potential clients that are informed of your fabulous vacation offering, the higher the possibility that someone will purchase your trip.
In a nutshell, find a way to offer your clients the greatest trip at the least possible cost to you and advertise it so people buy the excursion. Home Based Travel Agents have the potential to make a ton of money. It is all a matter of the time, effort and ingenuity that the home based travel agent expends to make the business succeed.