JTG pronouncing flat growth? Qantas going bust? Internet bookings surging? Carbon Tax Horror stories? More Euro Bail Outs? Unstable currencies?
Depending on who you believe, its all doom and gloom for every travel agent. But at the same time, roomsXML is thriving (some of our local competitors say the same) and we also have tonnes of clients growing.
So what to make of all this?
The travel industry is in a weird cycle, where it will end, nobody knows. But here’s some sound advice worth considering to assist with not only surviving, but thriving when the doomsayers are saying “nay”.
- Keep your core values, keep positive
18 months ago a competitor of roomsXML sent their sales force out to tell our customers that we were “going broke” and even questioning our multi-cultural work force. We worked harder and prouder than ever. Not a good look for their reps who looked like they lacked confidence in their own product and management.
The negative gossip is again running rife in the Australia travel industry with talks of going broke’s, buy outs, take overs, bloated management structures, greedy back office kick backs, so on and so forth. A lot of it is competitors undermining one another.
Winners survive by keeping positive about themselves. What will your messages contain?
- Consider where the bad news is coming from
We started noticing a media trend a few weeks ago about how travel agents were going bust, losing business to the internet, over priced insurance…. published by groups who have an interest in driving their own B2C sales engines? Someone trying to bring you down? Seek the truth – its out there! Fear sells, just don’t buy into it.
- Naval gaze…with action!
Reconsidering everything, but do something. I’m always sad to hear “if only we had done this 12 months ago when we thought about it …..” You are more likely to regret what you don’t do than what you do .
- Check out your business model
Are you still doing it the same way as 15 years ago? 5 years ago? Using the same sources, suppliers, commissions and “arrangements” without question? It’s a good time to analyse what’s best for your operation.
- Technology investment vs people investment
Clever technology investment may reduce your need to find another chair in your office and in turn make your profit margin higher.
Does being a destination or experience specialist gain the most leverage from your resource’s and experience? What else can you offer to boost the bottom line? Something new that needs an airing?
No use cutting back now only to suffer for it later on. So if you need to trim, fine, but don’t starve your future.
- “Clever” cost cutting