You’ve made the decision to start some type of home based business, but you just aren’t sure which one. There are as many business opportunities to choose from as there are flavor combinations at Cold Stone Creamery. But, the one thing you know for sure is that you want to do something fun – something completely different from what you’ve done before (and possibly what you need to continue doing until you start making an income at home).
Wading through all the “fun” home based opportunities, being a travel agent catches your eye. It sounds exciting. Plus, you already love to travel. It sounds too good to be true. You ask yourself, “Can I really make an income as a home based travel agent?” You wonder, “Will I really be able to build a legitimate travel business from my home and one day be able to quit my full-time job?”
There are a couple of factors to consider when making such a decision. First, do you know anything about the travel business? If not, it would be imperative to align yourself with a good host agency who will help train you, show you the ropes, and provide excellent support to its agents. You ask, “What’s a host agency?” Basically, a host agency is a travel agency who has already established a relationship with various suppliers. They are already doing business and have experience. They also have travel agency credentials, as well as an errors and omissions insurance policy that often covers independent agents. The best type of host agency is one whose main objective is to support its outside or independent agents. They don’t sell travel to consumers. They don’t have an in-house sales department. Their customers are independent travel agents, and they work hard to give great customer service to the agents who contract with them. You don’t want to affiliate yourself with an agency that is actively seeking consumer business too. This often creates a conflict and you’ll find that your host agency is trying to juggle pleasing too many clients (you, as well as their consumer clients).
The second thing to consider is whether you’ll do what it takes to build your business if you become a home based travel agent. Let’s face it, sales is the biggest part of just about every home based business out there. In order to sell something, you have to love it and have a passion for it. That enthusiasm has to be genuine and contagious. You need to determine if you love travel enough to talk about it all the time. You might be interested in specializing in only one area of travel that you love – cruises, for instance. You’ve been on a cruise and talking about your experience on your cruise really turns your crank. That might be your passion. If it is, then your chances of success are much greater. Find that area of travel that makes your face light up when you talk about it. Once you find it, your enthusiasm about it will translate into sales success.
Lastly, do you have the self-discipline to work for yourself at home? Can you leave that pile of dirty laundry until the weekend in favor of taking care of your business? Can you say “no” to all the distractions that tug for your attention all day long? If you have the self-discipline to follow through with the day-to-day affairs of your business, then you’re well on your way to being a successful travel agent.
The bottom line – the opportunities are certainly there to make a good income from home as a travel agent. The conditions are ripe for consumer business. More and more people are traveling each year. Some travel suppliers – especially the cruise lines – are doing so much advertising that most people are already familiar with what you sell when they learn you sell cruises. The sales pitch has already been made. All you need to do is close the sale. Plus, with the advances in internet technology, home based agents can easily access supplier sales tools and reservation software, keeping them on par with traditional storefront travel agencies.
With perseverance and a little hard work, you can definitely make an income as a home based travel agent. The clients are out there. All the tools you’ll need are available to you. With the right host agency partner and a savvy business plan, the sky is the limit.