Read the updated version of the article.
Presently, the tourist business occupies a huge niche in the services market and it is a pretty competitive industry. However, nothing is impossible, and if you are serious about starting own biz, then we’ll try to help you with this.
1. Focus on the essentials. First, you need to determine the direction of your future work. The tourism sector opens up many possibilities. Therefore it is important not to get lost and to define clearly what exactly do you want. Will you be a travel agent? Or maybe an operator? Or will it be a mixed activity type? What are the main services are you going to provide? What the additional ones can you ensure your future customers? Answering these and other questions, don’t forget to consider your geographic location and such an important factor as seasonality.
2. Explore. You should study in detail your competitors as soon as possible. Find out what services they offer, their prices, their weaknesses, and shortcomings. Look for information on the Internet, come to their offices as a potential client. Remember: forewarned is forearmed. Thus you can define a blank sector and get a good start.
3. Create a plan. Proper planning is one of the keys to success. First of all, write there your main goals (which you have already defined in step 1), and after that, you can proceed to the next points, namely:
- Budget. Here it is necessary to consider all the smallest details. Start with simple – minimal costs. Calculate how much funds you need to open an office (rent, equipment purchase, staff salaries, etc.). Then try to calculate how much money you will need to arrange the first tours. Thus you get the necessary minimum that you have to provide.
- The development strategy. Describe how you plan to run your biz, mark the goals for the next six months, a year, etc., imagine what growth you want to see in the future and think how you’re going to ensure it.
- Services. Now you should describe in detail what range of services you want to provide your future clients. Do not forget about the additional services. They may be minor (from booking tickets for clients till providing them with necessary SIM cards and other), however, they significantly increase the comfort level for customers, and that is a huge plus for you.
Also, do not forget that you need to register this kind of activity, and obtain the necessary certificates.
4. Advertising and Marketing. As you know, Advertising is the engine of commerce and the life of trade. For newly businessman advertising is one way to attract customers. You can place the information on your city billboards, newspapers, magazines, you can use social networks, etc. However, you should understand that nowadays it is not enough. No one billboard will not be able to provide a person with all the necessary information, so you need to create own website. Try to provide there as much information as possible: tours, rates, services, special offers, etc. Also note that the website design also plays a very important role, since exactly the design creates the first impression. It can be designed from scratch (during the site development) or you can purchase a predesigned template. For example, you can use Book Your Tour PSD Template, which allows you to build a stunning excursion booking online website using the pre-build layout and elements. You also can customize the existing graphics to create your own unique interface.
5. Get started! Perhaps, this is the shortest but the most difficult step. Just move from commitment to action and go straight to your goals.
Of course, this is not all, you still have much to learn. Don’t forget that everything comes with experience, so work hard, stay positive, and always look for new opportunities. Good luck!