These quick tips are designed to help you get through these hard times. If you have any tips that you want to share, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org(opens in a new tab)
We’ve recently heard from a lot of people who want to start a new business but, due to the current travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, are hesitant to take the plunge. If you are sure that once travel restrictions are lifted you’ll still want to start a business as a tour & activity operator, then this is as good a time as any. Maybe even better, and here’s why:
Travel Market Shrinkage
Everyone’s in the same situation at the moment. Using the phrase that is receiving unprecedented usage: ‘we are in unprecedented times’. Each region is following its own processes and protocols to combat the virus and positions, and tactics seem to be changing on a daily basis as the true scale of the situation unfolds. Due to this uncertainty, a lot of tour and activity operators are scaling back or changing their focus. This means that as a newcomer, you have space to grow. Once the borders (and front doors!) reopen, people are going to want to make up for lost time. If you’ve been using this time to invest and grow, you’ll be in the perfect position to get their business.
One of the things we’re used to hearing from Tourism Tiger clients is how busy they are. They’re too busy to write a blog post. Too busy to reply to their TripAdvisor reviews. And definitely too busy to make major changes to their businesses. Right now, it’s likely that you’ve got the time to focus on your new business without any distraction. Build your social media profiles(opens in a new tab), apply to OTAs(opens in a new tab), write articles for your blog(opens in a new tab). You’ve got an opportunity to build your company without the usual time pressures. This means you can build it exactly the way you want it to be, rather than rushing and then having to find time for changes later.
A lot of businesses are unable to serve clients right now so they’re using the time to talk to suppliers and potential partners. There has never been a better time to improve business relationships(opens in a new tab). If you put your launch off until we’re “back to normal”, you’ll be trying to network and make introductions as your potential partner is too busy with their newly liberated customers. Grow your roots and your network now to prepare yourself for the wave of expected business.
In order to keep the open market flowing, companies are trying to entice clients with huge discounts or great package deals. It seems to be Black Friday every week at my local department store! Even Tourism Tiger is not immune to this(opens in a new tab). Use this opportunity to cash in on these offers. Get your office space painted! Get your brochures designed and printed! Once things get back up and running, I can guarantee that you’ll be paying more.
Start your business from your spare bedroom or home office. Until you start taking bookings, you’ll have no staff to pay or vehicles to run, just a brand to build. Right now, all you really need is a computer and an idea. Start getting people excited about you and worry about guides and a storefront later. When else in history have you been able to start a business with so little?
No one knows when things will “return to normal”. Everyone is waiting for the green light. If you start your business then, instead of now, then while everyone else is taking bookings, you’ll be building your website, getting a lease on vehicles, sorting out insurance, finding booking software, trying to get listed on OTAs, and everything else that comes with starting a business. Get everything in order NOW. Once the restrictions are lifted, you can be there and ready rather than being weeks or months away. This is a rare occasion where you can be competitive right from the start. Don’t waste it.
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