If you are like me, you might be asking, how did we get here!? How is it January 2022!?
The past year may seem like a blur to many and undoubtedly some of us are still processing all that has happened (and is still happening!)
As we start the new year, there is no better time to pause and reflect on where your business currently is, where you want it to be this time next year and take some time to make some New Year’s resolutions for your travel business.
If you are stumped for where to start, Independent by Flight Centre hopes these suggestions can help!
- Take note of what you are happy with and what you are unhappy with in your business. While there is always room for improvement, if there is something that you are really unhappy with, it can be a good indicator of where you should focus your attentions.
- Have you noticed any changes in your clients/market base over the past year? We have heard from many of our agents that their clients are stepping outside their comfort zone for travel experiences. They are eager to experience something brand new, a bucket list destination, they kept saying they would get to someday, and someday has become today! If this is the case are the destinations or products that you may need to increase your knowledge of?
- Is there a niche you have always wanted to specialize in but have never gotten around to it? Put a plan in place to make it happen. Break it down into small achievable goals, such as taking 1-2 online courses a month to help increase your knowledge and expertise, start to introduce more niche focused marketing in your social media posts, newsletters, websites etc. Plan for an online or in person product night with a BDM/supplier that specializes in it and invite your clients
- Find efficiencies in your business. Look for ways you can make your day-to-day business easier and more organized. Some ideas could be learning to create rules in Outlook to avoid a cluttered inbox, block out a certain amount of time each week in your calendar to dedicate to items such as client touch bases, working on quotes, scheduling social posts, marketing etc., learn to use Reminders, Task Lists or Sticky Notes to help stay on top of your ‘To Do’ lists.
- Create an SLA (Service Level Agreement) between you and your client, if you don’t already have one. This clearly outlines what your client can expect throughout the booking process and ensures everyone is on the same page. This can help minimize the risk of customer service issues during the booking process. It can include things like turnaround times for quotes, responses to phone calls or emails and outline service/travel management fees. If you have been debating or holding off on implementing fees there is no better time than the New Year to introduce your new SLA and fee structure to your clients.
- Utilize an online appointment booking tool. This allows you to have a rough outline of your day (we all know unexpected things pop up!). It also helps eliminate back and forth emails and phone calls with clients by allowing you to just send them a link with your current availability. They can book a time convenient for them and you can block out times you know you are not available.
- Have you considered specific sales/business goals you hope to accomplish? Whether it is year on year improvement, a certain number of vacations sold, reaching a tier level with a supplier or your agency, make sure you write it down into small achievable targets that will help you reach your goal.
- Personal goals… let’s not forget we are in this business because we LOVE travel. How lucky are we that our personal goals can also benefit our businesses? Do you have certain destinations you have waiting on your list? Pick a few to check off in 2022 and celebrate each one that you do…. be sure to share your experiences with your clients and remember travel is a form of self-care which should be a priority for us all as we enter this New Year.
2022 will be the year of the travel advisor. Your knowledge, guidance and expertise are needed more than ever to navigate the fluid travel landscape as people begin to explore again. It is advisors like each of you that will re-ignite the spark of wanderlust in 2022.