With a home-based travel agency you can work at your own pace, enjoy some travel perks, and even provide travel services for your family. You can either work independently or act as a conduit between a host agency and the public. Follow the instructions given below to properly market your business.
What you need:
- Desktop or laptop computer with internet access
- Background knowledge about the business
- Computer literacy
- Proficiency in more than one language
Firstly, you have to decide whether you want to be a referral agent or booking/selling agents.
Referral agents. This type of agent refers customers to the agents who can actually book their travel. They can work out a commission structure and set up a referral system with selling agents, but they are unable to access some of the resources the host travel agency provides.
Booking or selling agents. These are the agents who can actually book the trips and sell travel packages. They also have all the information and resources they need after applying to a host agency, and can even work independently.
Either way, you will have to market your business to attract your customers. You can use the following methods to market your business.
Market with friends and acquaintances. Mingle with people at gatherings and functions, and be sure to have several business cards to hand out. This will make your business appear more professional and may even attract more potential customers. Talk with your friends and acquaintances, and ask them if they can refer your business to people they know. If they agree on doing it, give them some of your business cards, so they can hand them out to interesting parties, too.
Establish a website. You can run a personalized website for free because your host agency if you host these on free services. Having a website for your home-based travel agency shows how serious you are about offering travel services to customers. You can also run a blog, which can be focused on travel. Here, you can showcase places you’ve booked for clients, or visited for yourself.
Advertise your travel business
Make use of printed advertisement to your advantage. Purchase ad space in the travel listings of local newspapers, post flyers around town so your business will appear visible to the public, and put up banners, so people will know how to get in touch with you. Make sure that the media is informed about your business by getting in touch with travel journalists.
Determine your business’s niche
With a niche in mind, you will have an easier time to find and cater to your specified target audience. Be sure to highlight this niche in your advertisements so you can have a steady traffic of customers from that specific demographic. Also, be proficient in the language your target audience uses. Also try to learn sufficient background information on the places your target market will likely be visiting.
Whether you are a referral or booking/selling agent, you need to have an effective marketing plan and strategy to attract customers.