By Emily Peters
Ah, new year’s resolutions! Tomorrow lies ahead as a glittering white page, ready to showcase an uplifting new chapter of your life’s story. And despite what naysayers say, there are still more positives than negatives involved in making resolutions.
This year, we grant you permission to take the focus off of your bathroom scale and put it back on your career as an independent travel professional. We’ve gathered some of the best new year’s resolutions you can make for your travel business, in 2017 and beyond. Print these out, hang them up in your workspace, and keep motivated all year long!
1. RESOLVE to attend a professional development conference.
It is an indisputable fact that MTravel’s most successful agents are those who are actively invest in networking and professional development. Model yourself after the best in the business and make attending an educational conference a priority for your travel business.
2. RESOLVE to pick up the phone instead.
Want faster responses from your clients, your supplier partners, your colleagues? Don’t hide behind email and texts. Revive human contact and personal conversation by letting others hear your voice in 2017.
3. RESOLVE to develop a relationship with or become a mentor.
No one finds success in a vacuum. For new agents, leaning on the wisdom of experienced business owners (whether in the travel industry or not) is an incredible way to uncover helpful business strategies, boost your confidence, and keep you motivated when you’re overwhelmed. For experienced agents, serving as a mentor channels your leadership skills, validates your knowledge as a professional, and shapes and secures the future of entrepreneurs and explorers alike.
4. RESOLVE to travel somewhere I’ve never been before.
When time and money are limited, it’s tempting to revisit places we love or sell only areas we know well. Yet this can stagnate your business growth, destination knowledge and even your enthusiasm for travel. This year, pick one new place—in your own state or across the world—that will stretch your understanding as a traveler and travel consultant. As Morgan Rice wrote, “surprise is your best weapon”—so keep your clients (and yourself) intrigued by letting yourself be surprised by someplace new.
5. RESOLVE to only work with clients who value my skill as a travel professional.
Year after year, I witness even the most sensational travel agents buckle under the frustration of difficult clients. You work too hard to spend your time and energy on clients who endlessly undermine your skill as a travel consultant. Resolve to give this year to those who trust your talent.
6. RESOLVE to give myself a raise
As Forbes observed, lowering your prices is NOT a substitute for a real marketing strategy. Instead of competing to be the cheapest, identify and strengthen the skillsets that directly impact your marketability—i.e., set you apart from industry poseurs. Then introduce a fee scale this year and watch your bottom line curve into a smile.
7. RESOLVE to embrace the terror.
Too often, we stifle our success by focusing on smaller opportunities because those big ones are just straight-up terrifying. This year, instead of talking yourself out of a scary travel request (which just gives business to your competitors!), wrap your arms around it and squeeze ‘til it submits. Whether it’s your first group trip, corporate client or international FIT, remember: your host agency is with you every step of the way.
8. RESOLVE to deliberately analyze my progress.
Is this a hobby, or a calling? True travel professionals know where they’re headed and how they intend to get there—because they’re paying attention to their progress. Every three months, resolve to evaluate how you’re doing with marketing, gaining new clients, referrals, time management and your financials. It’ll give you the insight you need to make 2017 a banner year.
Are you interested in starting an independent travel business with MTravel? We are here to help! Contact us here or call us at 800-870-5799. Be sure to check out our website at www.MTravel.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.