Effective planning can make a critical difference to travel agents and agencies survival and prosperity, Lee Rosen, president of TRAMS, Inc., says in his online newsletter. (www.trams.com).
Citing worst-case scenarios - a recession-driven 25% decline in leisure travel sales, for example - Rosen believes having a contingency plan in place makes sound business sense.
"In the retail travel business, planning is very challenging because so much changes so quickly. Our products, tools, commissions, clients, agents - basically everything changes all the time. A five-year business plan written five years ago would look nothing like successful business plans today!" Rosen says.
"Make sure you have your plan - actually plans - in place. Think through what could happen to your business and what you would do about it. Take the lead! Rather than being reactionary, be pro-active and have your marketing plan in place to insure your highest repeat business and success."
Agents must plan more diligently, he says, and think through possible scenarios and their impact on their agency and then determine just what they would do in each scenario.
"And if things do get tougher, marketing - especially to your past clients - becomes more and more important. Driving those prior clients back to your agency for their next trip is the number-one determiner of success for any agency - regardless of a good or bad the economy. Having less than 30% of your clients repeat or return to your agency is just flat out not good enough. With targeted marketing and real reporting - so readily available today - you can do so much better," Rosen says.
Rosen will be a keynote speaker at TRAMS Technology and Marketing University (TMU) will be held April 22-24 at the Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. For information: www.trams.com (GD)