The modern travel industry has changed drastically. The internet offers consumers many ways to search for travel destinations and decide on the ideal one for them. They can easily and quickly access information about different destinations, requirements to travel there, and other elements of the trip. And of course, consumers can independently book all aspects of a trip online from their accommodations to airfare and other logistics. In order to compete in this changing landscape, it's important for travel agents to offer personalized attention, time and money savings, insider destination knowledge, and other valuable services.
What this all means is that a travel agency business has to do more than it initially did to stay relevant and stand out from the crowd. It has to strive to offer value-added services to appeal to consumers. However, many travel agencies are stuck on how to streamline their business and maintain viability in the market as consumers have more access to travel information than ever before. This article provides ten ways to streamline your travel agency business to attain competitiveness and improve your bottom line and efficiency.
Written by Angie Habiger
So, you’re thinking of joining Travel Quest? That’s great to hear! My name is Angie and I’m typically the main point of contact at Travel Quest for agents new to TQ. I thought it would be helpful to do a little write up on the typical process of signing up with TQ.
Researching and Interviews
Starting way at the beginning, the best piece of advice I can give you is to research and compare host agencies. That way when you make your decision, you know it is the right one for you! If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend reading the Tips on How to Find the Best Host Agency post from HostAgencyReviews.com. It is full of really great advice and even has a nice Excel spreadsheet of questions to ask a host agency.
We think interviewing host agencies is so important that we actually have an ‘interview’ stage with agents looking to join TQ. It isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds - we just want to make sure that all of your questions are answered on us and, if you’re a newbie, the travel industry in general!
Registering Your Business & Getting an EIN #
Registering a business name in the state you reside in is a good place to start setting everything up for your business. It is also something Travel Quest requires in order to sign up with us! We often get asked is it best to register as a Sole Proprietorship, DBA, or LLC. Any one of them works for us. To make sure you are doing what’s best for your business, we suggest consulting with a tax professional or accountant. Each state has different costs and processes set in place so be sure to check with your State Agencies for what you need to do! The Small Business Administration has a great list of filing requirements for each state.
After you register your business, you’ll also need to get an EIN (Employee Identification Number) through the IRS. This is super easy to do online at IRS.gov.
Travel Quest’s Sign Up Process
Alright, you’ve been researching and interviewing host agencies and have made your final decision. I know that once you make that decision you want to get started right away so our sign up process is streamlined to get you set up in a jiffy.
We send all of our documents via an online signature program to make things super-fast and easy to track. Once you let us know you want to sign up there are just 3 stages:
The length of time it takes from start to finish depends mostly on how fast we get the documents back. Typically you receive your log in sheet 3-5 business days after you fill out the TQ Sign Up form! If you have any questions along the way, everyone at Travel Quest is there to help! Now that you know the sign up process, I hope we get to chat soon!
Written by Nicole Marson
Networking is a crucial element in the world of small business owners. That’s why I wanted to go over the importance and benefits of networking.Then I’ll go over some networking opportunities, essentials and best practices to get you going!
Benefits of Networking
Networking with fellow agents, vendors and other business owners can really help you grow your business and expand your reach. Whether it’s client referrals, partnerships, speaking or writing opportunities; networking can help connect you with people who can help you grow your business. Looking for more specifics on how networking can benefit you? Here you go!
Attending networking events on a regular basis is important. Not sure where to look for local networking events? Here are a few ideas to get you started!
The thought of attending your first few networking events may seem daunting but don’t worry - you’re not alone! Many people struggle the first few times out of the gate when walking into a room full of strangers and having to introduce yourself. We’ve put together a list of best practices to help you out!
Making conversation and knowing what to ask people can be just as terrifying as walking through that door. I’ve found that having a few questions prepared eases my anxiety and makes my interactions a lot more engaging and meaningful. The people you chat with will appreciate you taking the time to ask quality questions instead of the usual “Where are you from? What do you do?”. Here are some example questions to help you get started!