You are probably considering the travel industry as a home based career choice because travel is fun and always in demand. If that is the way you think, you are absolutely right! Travel is always in demand and fun. So to be in this business you absolutely must have a dominant dose of the 'fun' gene.
Now that you know you have made a good choice, you need to conduct a little research with your friends and colleagues. Why? Because all the business development skills, new computers and extra phone lines for your home based business will have little value unless you know your market.
Remember, research is not necessarily selling. In fact, try to keep them separate. This research is best conducted before you actually start your travel business.
Here is research scenario one: Ask a friend what they spend on vacations.
A friend of mine has five kids and he travels to the same beach each year with the whole family. So I asked him, "How much does your resort cost each year?" He did not mind telling me at all that it was around $3,500 for a one week stay each year for the resort, plus their travel costs, which were relatively low since they always drove.
It was easy for me to explain to him that he could take his family to a higher quality resort for $3,500 this year, and only spend $300 to $800 for a week every year thereafter. That was a real eye opener for him.
My friend was not in a position to purchase a membership on account of his recent lay off, but the insight he gave me into his travel routine was very useful. He had already booked the family vacation for this year, but was more than glad to know about my discount luxury resort membership, and that he could travel during any week of the year, or even several times each year at the same rate.
My conclusion for this research was that I was in the right business. My friend's happy face let me know that this was the right business for me to be in.
Here is research scenario two: I went to a timeshare presentation. I have avoided these for years, because everyone knows that the high pressure sales techniques of the timeshare sales force have turned many a No into a Yes.
True to form, those very nice timeshare sales professionals turned into pit bulls during the course of the presentation. I went through four managers on account of my unyielding No, and they even employed the good cop/bad cop technique on me. The price got better as the time moved on of course, but the math was not compelling. They went from $55K down to $14K; timeshare ownership was a substantially inferior investment when compared to the timeshare alternative I was selling from my humble home office.
This was exceptionally valuable information for me. The math and inconvenience of timeshare ownership was not compelling at all. It's no wonder that so many have negative feelings toward timeshare ownership. Unfortunately, a lot of them developed this distaste after their timeshare purchase.
So these two scenarios give you a little more insight into starting your own travel business. Your mileage may vary, but asking simple questions for research purposes is the key; talk to a few people about their recent travel adventure, and ask good questions. Go to places that may enhance your understanding of the travel industry, such as golf, ski, wilderness or beach resorts, or maybe even a tour of a cruise ship if that is available. Before your start your own home based travel business, get into the mind of the customer, learn from the market, and you will have more than enough excitement and energy to run your new business.