How To Compete In Your Business

TRAVELERS…ON YOUR MARK!

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Competition is at the heart of the Corporate world in both big and small businesses.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product or providing a service, there will always be another travel agent, travel business, franchise or tour guide to competewith you and retain those clients they sign on.

For instance, take Cruise Planners American Express Franchise Business.  What do they have that other agencies have? You must view your competition often, and consistently find new ways to stay ahead of the competitors.

Competition presents a challenge in business…but as a franchise owner of Cruise Planners American Express you are already ahead of the competition due to the fact that you are with an award winning franchise!

Tools of the Trade

CPU University

  • You are sure to succeed with the training and education you receive from Cruise Planners University. How many businesses offer this valuable FREE education to get help you get your franchise started?
    • The University covers more than 20 topics to in their curriculum that includes courses in public relations, technology, product updates, sales and marketing, web marketing, just to name a few.

Finding your Niche

• Once you have found your niche, you learn how to build your business step by step so you don’t make the mistakes of overdoing it right at the get-go.
• What are the needs that you will focus on for your clients? Find it and perfect it, then sell it.

Know your Competition

• What do you see other franchise owners do? What are their strategies for attracting customers? Attract them to YOUR franchise so they too can become your client.
• Once you network with other franchise owners, they can recommend you for travel and you can recommend people to use their product or service.

What are the big guns doing?

• Never be afraid to try big corporate strategies on your small business. If it worked for them using creativity on a smaller scale to fit your business can work for you too.
• Go to conferences, meet business people and potential clients…THEY are your future business clients. Try joint venture strategies.

Get involved locally.

• It is not unusual when one starts a small business that they tap into family and friends first. In the cruise business, this is perfectly acceptable because YOUR product fits anyone wanting to travel or go on vacation.
• Don’t forget to seek clients locally. Clubs, Schools, Businesses- big and small, Organizations, and just about the entire town, are all potentials to your business because you are selling FUN!

WHERE IS YOUR POT OF GOLD?

Your POT OF GOLD is joining the franchise team of Cruise Planners American Express! Tis no Blarney, nor just luck of the IRISH, it calls to all the little and big people!

May the wind be at your back as you turn your green backs into a pot of gold!  You don’t have to be Irish to have the luck of the leprechaun’s!  They jumped on board ships to sail the green isles to find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

America is big on holidays…America is big on opportunities…and America is big on small businesses.  The map to success is just a leap into the world of franchising such as what the award winning (for many years) Cruise Planners American Express offers.

Funny thing it tis though…you don’t need a four-leaf clover to get into this business, or a huge pot of gold…no blarney, we promise.  You just need the willingness to be trained, be willing to attend conventions and seminars overseas, put forth a small cost to get into the business and have the four-leaf clover belief that the rainbow will bring you your pot of gold.

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY…HERE’S TO

YOUR GREEN BEER AND RAINBOWS

FROM THE CRUISE PLANNERS

AMERICAN EXPRESS FRANCHISE TEAM!

TAX SEASON: KEEPING RED FLAGS FROM FLYING

Hey, how are things going…business wise? What worked well for you in 2014 and what changes are you making in your small business for 2015? Here are a few tips for your 2015 tax strategies that will assist you during tax time.

1. Check out your cost of using professionals. According to The National Association of Accountants the average cost for basic Federal tax preparation is anywhere between $600-800 dollars. It is far better to spare the expense rather than the huge cost of not filing your business taxes appropriately. A CPA is not only a tax preparation expert, they can help you in determining where your business stands financially and help you measure goals for not only the future of your business, but also the future of your tax guidelines.

2. Get the most out of your travel expenses. As an at-home based business, you probably meet potential customers for lunch, dinner or business meetings. Normally, your commute from home to work is not deductible, however, since your business is at home and designated as such, traveling to a client meeting counts as deductible business miles.

3. You know to keep every receipt for your small business expenses. Travel expenses for a convention or seminar is deductible and considering that you are in the travel industry, you will want to prove that the trip was not a fun-filled vacation to a small island. But keeping the receipts for airfare, cost of the seminar, dates, fees, rentals, etc., will all matter when you travel for your business.

4. Office equipment can be depreciated as long as you keep those records. Furniture, computers and even landscaping can be depreciated although as a home-based business, again, you will probably have to show the need for landscaping for your home business. You will need to put the description of equipment/purchase; The date the item was placed into service for your business use; the purchase price plus shipping and installation costs and any improvements or additions to the original cost basis.

RECORD KEEPING
You can do your record keeping by using an account book log statement of expense forms, trip sheets or any records of that written type.
Computer Programs are also used for record keeping. Excel does the work for you and helps you with its many functions to maintain accurate records. The many worksheets that Excel offers can help you keep sorted throughout the year, a file for depreciation, one for car expenses, and another for income and expenses. It will add and sort your items easily at tax time.

Quicken is just one of the many programs that help small businesses integrate your banking expenses and expenditures record keeping and is downloadable for you when you are prepared to do your taxes. Software programs are a very important tool in small businesses, and permits you to activate the red-flag proof your tax information.

LOVING YOUR BUSINESS!

Are you looking for marketing ideas for Valentine’s Day for your franchise?

Here are some ways to let your clients know they count, even on Valentine’s Day!

• Use Social Media to send out a special note on Valentine’s Day. “Love having your business!”

• A bounce back coupon when they book a cruise within the next month

“Show your love” to your employees by acknowledging time off from work to go show their love to their family, friend or significant other.

• Post rave reviews of your customers on Social Media sites.

• Post special pictures of the cruise couples celebrating Valentine’s Day for promotional/marketing of your business.

• Show your business cares by bringing awareness to soldiers, cancer victims, charitable events or contributions “in memory of”, on Valentine’s Day.

Holidays are an easy way to show appreciation to your clients, staff, business associates and potential markets for your business.

It doesn’t have to be all schmooze…just remind your customers that –

They LOVE to Travel
They LOVE other countries
They LOVE ships and cruises
They LOVE fun and fine weather
They LOVE the water
They LOVE the opportunity to purchase an Cruise Planners American Express Franchise

Yep…it’s ALL about LOVE.

Happy Valentine’s Day!