I remember working at Trailfinders on Kensington High Street and the anticipation of January. Peaks. Busy Season. Silly Season – whatever you want to call it.
I used to think of January a bit like swimming. As it approached you to prepare, take a big deep breath and get your head under until you reach the other side. I’d do pretty much nothing else in January. I’d take all the extra days thrown at me, and do daily overtime to keep on top.
Some of the team members were brilliant. They had the same mindset as me – ‘now is the time to make money’, and they’re the types of people that I would LOVE to see running their own travel business because it’s that type of mindset that can’t be taught.
I loved it. I loved chasing a big target. I loved the competition amongst my colleagues. I even loved the quick 4pm ‘lunches’, allowing more time to speak with more clients.
It was hard work, but the payoffs we’re great, and surely these are the times we’re in it for??
Speaking with new customer and planning their dream holidays. Really adding value to their trip with amazing experiences that otherwise they might overlook & miss out on.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business and you can’t get motivated for the busiest season of the year or if you go into ‘peaks’ fearing them, then owning a business possibly isn’t for you.
It should be seen as a golden opportunity to help as many customers as possible arrange their dream trip.
One of the things a successful franchisor should be looking for is that self-drive that can’t be taught or installed. It’s either in you, or it’s not. But it’s possibly one of the hardest things to get a true answer to because nobody really likes to admit they don’t like to work hard.
Patrick Mouratoglou, coach of Serena Williams, says:
“When I consider a player, the first qualities I would look at are her ambition, but I don’t listen to what she says, I try to hear what she thinks, because they all say they want to be number one, but most of them don’t believe it. I’m looking for people who deeply believe in themselves and would not give up.”
You’re starting a business and should expect it to be hard work. You’ll notice there are no shots of people working on a beach on our website. It’s hard work but remember you’re building a business and brand for yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely enjoyable. Just ask anyone that has worked in travel and they’ll tell you that it has its own gravity that keeps pulling people back.
But as a business owner, you’ll be the centre of your own universe, and the work that you put in will decide your own future. Isn’t that the most exciting prospect of all of this? Taking control?
So, two questions to ask yourself if you’re seriously thinking about starting your own travel business are:
1. How do you feel about the ‘busy season?’.
And when you answer this, don’t listen to what you say. Try to hear what you think.
2. Are you ready to take control?
This isn’t a trick question. With control comes responsibility. If you don’t put the work in you’ll it’s unlikely that your business will be successful, and you’ll need to be comfortable looking yourself/family/friends in the eye and taking this on the chin.
On the other hand, if you put the work in you’ll be responsible for something great!