Whether it’s an actual passion of yours or you want to capitalise on one of the world’s most lucrative industries, starting a travel business can be a great idea. However, like most great business sectors, the travel industry is very crowded and fiercely competitive. That’s why you only have a small margin for error and have to find a way to stand apart from the competition if you want to make it. You’ll also have to steer clear from some of the common mistakes people starting in this business often commit. Here are a few tips for people who want to build a successful online travel business from scratch.
Look at all the Possibilities
If you want to be able to differentiate your product offering, you have to look at ways to specialise yourself. You could specialise in cottage rentals in and around Plymouth specifically and form partnerships with people in the region. Or you could offer local tour packages.
As a new provider, you can’t just enter the market and offer what everyone else is offering. Chances are you’ll have to compete with bigger players with better deals than you. Inside knowledge of your local market is a strength and one that will be important when building packages. Also, make sure to go to industry events and learn from what others are doing. Try to find something that is missing in your market and capitalise on it.
Don’t Neglect your Website
A recent article on travel website availability and performance that was published by StatusCake stated that a whopping 81% of all travellers booked their travel online. That means that if you don’t provide visitors with the best online experience, you might lose on a lot of their business. Also, the clients that you do send to your site might bounce right back or be so unimpressed by the whole experience that they decide to spend their money elsewhere.
The same article also stressed how much of an impact site downtime and performance could have on your business. They tested 47 travel websites for downtime and performance and found that 23 of those experienced absolutely no downtime during their test period, which is impressive.
The average load time for these websites was around 0.36 second, which is way lower than the accepted tolerable period for users, which is two seconds. What that means is that in order to compete with the best in your industry, you have to go above and beyond to make sure that you use reliable hosting, streamline your site to improve loading speed, and make sure that you constantly monitor your site for downtime so you can correct the situation fast if there are issues.
Work with a Host Agency First
Some people may not like the idea of having to split profits with a host agency, but it’s often the best way to get started and learn the ropes. Start-up costs will be lower as well. Look for an agency that will offer the resources needed to succeed, like extensive 1-on-1 training, guidance, mentoring, and easy accessibility to assistance. While large agencies will often have more financial resources, smaller hosts might give you more access, so it’s up to you to choose what kind of relationship you want with your host company.
Starting a travel business is rather simple but building a successful one is a whole other thing. Whatever you do, we suggest you ask assistance from someone with actual experience in your field and make sure that you’re ready to deal with the realities of this highly competitive industry.