There are several options that entrepreneurs may take when researching how to start a travel agency business from home;
1) Starting an Independent Travel Agency – Go the independent route when starting a travel agent business, in order to become an independent travel agent. Being an independent travel agency is very similar to the travel agency franchise business model. Independent travel agents can either work from home, or open up a brick and mortar travel agency store to provide a physical location for their clients to visit them. The independent travel agency model was a very popular model for opening a travel agency in the 90’s, before the age of the Internet, when clients could either call up a travel agency, or walk into an agency. It was guaranteed if the travel agency had a visible storefront, they would get walk in travel clients.
The pros to starting an independent travel agency is that the travel agent gets to keep most of the commissions. The independent travel agent also gets to work on his or her own time. The success of the business is completely up to the travel agent, as well as the niche of the travel business.
The cons of the antiquated brick and mortar independent travel agency is that the travel agent will be starting from scratch, having to learn how the travel industry works, building their network and partnerships, while also managing several parts of their startup travel business all by themselves. If the independent travel agent chooses to rent out a storefront, that’s monthly rent being paid while learning the business. One of the most important aspects of running a travel agency is to establish partnerships between various travel companies in order to retain and offer better travel deals to clients. Travel partners are not willing to hand out the keys to their travel resources to unproven travel agents, unless they are a part of a trusted brand such as Cruise Planners that takes the time to train and provide travel agencies with the tools for success.
2) Join a Host Travel Agency – Another option when starting a travel agency business is to join a host travel agency network. The pros to a host agency is that the travel agent gets some back end help with being provided a starter reservation system along with a website with Balkan capabilities. Some, not all host travel agencies offer a beginner turn key solution. The downside is while it’s a very minimum investment, you will be giving up a significant commission split with the host travel agency, while working just as hard as you would in all other scenarios of starting a travel agency, and that is not even the major concern. With most host travel agencies, if you decide to leave the host agency and really start your own travel agency company, the book of business you’ve worked so hard to establish, stays with the host travel agency when you go elsewhere. In the host travel agency scenario of starting a travel agency, you stand to lose the most in time, clients, and commissions. Once travel agents that are part of host agency’s figure this out, they tend to seek other options quickly.
3) Open a Travel Agency Franchise – One of the most popular options for those researching how to start a travel agency business, is to buy into a travel agent franchise business for sale. When you start your business as part of a franchise, you are in effect, still and independent travel agent, but with the backing of a major brand, providing you with proprietary travel technology tools that are constantly being updated, and you’re also given access to a vast travel network.
Find out more about what a franchise is? You’ll understand that starting a low cost travel franchise, is an investors best investment for the short term, and long term when starting a travel agency business.