If you’ve ever wanted to go places and help others do the same, then a home-based travel agency may be the dream job you’ve been seeking. These days, there are many options for in-home travel companies. You can work as a contractor for travel agents, provide travel incentives to your customers or specialise in a niche market like group travel.
The great thing about the travel business is that it can be run online and from home with very little overhead. If you have experience with commission sales or the travel industry itself, then you are well-positioned to begin your own travel company. In fact, the more experience you have, the more profit you stand to make. However, there are ways for the inexperienced to profit as well.
Of course, like any other business, your in-home travel company will require careful thought. You will need to construct a business plan that outlines several aspects of how your business will work. And this may require the assistance of a professional.
If you are Inexperienced
If you have no experience in the travel industry or with commission sales, you can still make a profit. This will involve the purchase of a franchise. Franchises offer many benefits; not only are they already established with a proven business model, but many will also provide you with support for web development as well as provide technical assistance.
If you are Experienced
There are several business models on which experienced individuals can base their business plans. Depending on your experience, you may even be able to combine one model with another. For example, you may choose to offer travel packages or incentives for families or newly-weds. In addition, your expertise may afford you with the benefit of additional assistance through professional associations or assistance with financial planning.
Regulations and Licensing of your Business
Any travel business will be subject to regulations on the local and government levels, as well as licensing. As a home-based business, you will need to take the initiative and apply for any required permits. As well, something that will be vital to your success will be trade associations. Travel regulations are another item that will need to be considered in order to start your travel business.
Trade associations can help start-ups like yourself to obtain the necessary licensing as well as any bonding that may be required as an independent agent. Depending on the association you choose, you may be able to run your travel business independently under your own name.
When writing your home-based travel business, you will need to keep in mind that there will be costs for many items, not the least of which is your membership fee for whichever trade associations you’ve decided to partner with.
If you’re running the business alone, your costs may be lower, but should all be included in your plan. This will include things like your personal computer, cell phone for communicating with clients, and internet charges.
Depending on your financial situation, your business plan may need to be aimed at investors. Funding may be necessary when considering the purchase of a franchise, as these can cost £10,000 or more. When you add marketing, membership and registration fees to that, the amounts can quickly add up. Having an investor can mean that you don’t need to worry about coming up with these costs yourself and/or all at once.
All of the above elements need to be in place before you present any business plan for review. Included with these elements should be a list of vendor and potential customer contacts. Indicating the presence of such a list, as well as seeking out opportunities and partnerships with travel associations may also open up more avenues for funding.
An at-home travel business can be time-consuming to plan and build on your own. Where this is the case, it can help to have the advice of a seasoned travel business plan professional on your side.