How to Start a Travel Agency
Are you planning on starting a travel agency business? Read this article for some tips on how you can get your travel agency off the ground.
The worldwide travel and tourism sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you want to earn some extra income or open a full-fledged travel agency, the exciting world of travel is a great business opportunity. Nonetheless, it is important to note that there are certain challenges involved in starting a travel agency.
This article will explore ways you can get your travel agency off the ground as seamlessly as possible. You can also check out our online guide for more lucrative business ideas.
Develop a business plan
It is essential that you write a plan for your travel business. It will not only give your business direction, but will also prepare you for what you may need to overcome in the future. Moreover, having a clearly defined niche will help you stand out. You can start creating a business plan by:
- Choosing the services that you will offer
- Conducting market research and selecting the market segments that your travel agency will be targeting
- Defining obtainable objectives for the first few years of operation
- Determining the resources available for you to start a travel agency
- Identifying constraints that you might face in operating the company
Choose a business structure
It is then important for you to choose your business structure. This will largely depend on your plans for your business, and how you intend to fund it. For instance, if you seek to receive outside investment, you may want to look into starting your business as a cooperation. Alternatively, you may also choose to join franchise networks to gain access to product and booking systems. Flight centre, for example, operates large franchise networks and its growth is expected to rise.
Do Some Branding Exercises
Branding is an equally important step for all types of businesses including your travel agency. It revolves around creating a perception of your company and the products or services it sells. Creating an impressive logo, for example, could be one of the effective ways to build a positive perception. Additionally, you could design other items such as brochures and business cards.
Cover all the legal aspects
Your travel agency must also fulfil all the legal requirements. From July 2014, travel agents do not need a licence to operate. However, there are other important legal considerations for starting a travel agency. Firstly, it is important for you to register your business and your business name.
Also, consider using employment agreements for any hires you make. Employment agreements in this industry commonly have restraint of trade clauses, as experienced employees will have good knowledge of the industry’s products. Having employment agreements will also protect your intellectual property as the employees leaving your company will not be able to use your IP assets.
Determine your funding strategy
How do you plan to fund your new travel agency? Make sure you have a funding strategy in place when you start your travel agency. Even if you plan to start the agency on a small scale from home, it needs a constant flow of money to meet various expenses.
Promote your agency and build a customer base
It is equally important for you to launch a strong promotion campaign to target customers since not many people know your new agency very well. Then, consider all means of marketing and advertisements for making people aware of your agency.
You would also want to create some distinguishing characteristics that will convince people to seek your services. For instance, some of the services you can provide are insider knowledge of deals; the ability to handle complex itineraries; and the reduction of time, headache and hassle for people who are too busy to do it on their own.
While starting a travel agency can be an exciting opportunity, it can be equally challenging. You need to formulate a clear business plan, acquire funds, cover all the legal aspects and build customer relationships. Thus, if you need help setting up your travel agency, contact one of our business lawyers for some advice.
Anupa is a Legal Intern at Lawpath, and is currently in her final year of studying Bachelor of Laws at Macquarie University.