17 Apr How to Set the Right Expectations for Your First 30, 60 and 90 Days With Your Host Agency
Joining a host travel agency as an independent travel advisor is a great opportunity to start your own travel business. Host agencies help you establish and run several key areas of your business, while also offering development opportunities to help you grow. But starting your own business puts you in the driver’s seat, and it’s important to set the right expectations for yourself starting out. Here’s what you can expect in the first 30, 60, and 90 days of joining a host travel agency, and what steps you should take to set yourself up for success and make those crucial first sales.
First 30 Days
The first 30 days are all about building the foundation of your business. Here are some important things to focus on during this time:
- Create a Business Plan: Your business plan should include your target market, goals, strategies, and financial projections. It’s important to have a clear roadmap for your business so you can stay focused and on track. Be sure to include expected revenue and number of clients you want to gain. We also recommend setting up a plan for how you want to handle taxes as an independent contractor, either setting aside 20% of your income or paying your 1099 taxes quarterly.
- Book One Client: Your first client can be a friend or family member, but it’s important to get your first booking under your belt. This will give you the confidence you need to start building your client base.
- Learn as Much as You Can: Take advantage of the training and resources provided by your host agency. Attend webinars, read articles, take FAM trips (which are typically less expensive and still provide all the educational benefits) and ask questions. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to serve your clients.
The second 30 days of joining a host travel agency are all about embodying the role of a travel business owner.
- Think Like a C-Suite Exec: Not only are you the CEO of your new travel brand, you’re also the chief marketing and finance officers. As a travel business owner, it’s important to think about all strategic sides of your business.
- Build Relationships: Networking is crucial in the travel industry. Attend events, join Facebook groups, and connect with other travel professionals. Building relationships will help you grow your business and learn from others.
- Start with Your Circle: Tell everyone in your life that you started a new travel business and you’re ready to help them plan their vacations. Start seeing your circle of friends and family as potential professional connections.
- Training: Continue to learn and improve your skills as a travel advisor. Take advantage of the training and resources provided by your host agency, and attend industry events and webinars
In the final 30 days, it’s important to focus on growing your business and improving your operations. By focusing on expected revenue, marketing and operations, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful travel business.
- Expected Revenue: By the end of the 90 days, you should have a good idea of what your expected revenue will be. Use this information to set goals for the next 90 days and beyond. And the more travel you sell, the greater the discounts you’ll receive.
- Operations: Focus on improving your operations to streamline your business. This can include automating tasks, improving your booking process, and providing excellent customer service. This can all be done with the help of your host agency. Utilize the tools you have access to!
- Keep What’s Working, Stop What’s Not: Your first 90 days is a good milestone to start measuring what’s working in your strategies and client outreach, and see if there are improvements you can make. This also applies to the resources you trust and look to for industry information. You can expect to receive a lot of content as a new travel advisor, and it can be overwhelming to sift through everything in your inbox. We recommend flagging those publications, newsletters, and emails you think are important, and unsubscribing from those you don’t find as valuable.
- Marketing: Develop a marketing plan to reach your target market. This can include social media, email marketing, and networking. The more you market your business, the more clients you’ll attract.
By following this 90-day plan, you’ll start off your travel business on the right foot. It’s important to set the right expectations as you jump into a new adventure, but with this realistic timeline, you’ll look back in a few years and be able to see how far you’ve come. And you can always reach out to a Levarté Travel team member for additional help and resources. We’re here to help you grow!