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By; Sandy Saburn, CTIE[/caption]With the new year just days away, it’s a great time to take a look at your business and identify what worked, what didn’t, and what you want to do differently next year.Here are the three things I think you should do now to prepare for the amazing year 2022 is looking to be:
- Evaluate your fee structure.
- Look at your marketing mix.
- Set goals for 2022.
Evaluate your fee structureFees are an important revenue source for travel advisors. The days of “working for free” are over in the travel industry! If you charged fees this year, think about what you are charging. Does it feel appropriate for the amount of time you put into bookings? Do you need to increase the fee? If you just have one fee you might consider adding a couple more to provide a menu to clients so they can determine what level of service, they want. Finally, be honest about how consistently you charged fees. Did you say, “I’ll waive my fee” too often? If you are delivering service, you should be paid for it.Look at your marketing mixTaking a look at your marketing mix is equally important. You need to see what is working and what needs adjustment. Evaluating marketing can be more complicated than you might think. There are so many factors that go into it from social media to networking and even email campaigns. Look at each item and see what might need tweaking for the new year and you might even find things to stop doing or start doing.Before you drop a component of your marketing mix, keep in mind that travel marketing isn’t linear – you don’t get results from everything you do, but in large part it is a cumulative effect. Listen to your gut about what is working and what isn’t, but if you remove something you probably need to add something else to replace it. Don’t forget to look to your host agency or consortium to see if there are marketing opportunities you can take advantage of.Set goals for 2022Setting goals for the new year helps keep you focused as the year progresses. Spend time now while things are quiet (or at least quieter than they will be in January) thinking about what you love about your business and what you want to change. Maybe it is time to hire a virtual assistant to free you from tedious tasks. Perhaps you are ready to refresh your image, so your brand better reflects the business you want to build. Whatever it is you want to change, now is the time to get clear on it.As you look to 2022, one other thing I would encourage you to look at is your community. Are you part of a community that inspires you? Travel advisors that are part of a community – whether that is a host agency, consortium, mastermind, accountability group, or coaching program – are more successful than those who are completely out there on their own. If you need to find a community or change the one, you’re in, 2022 can be a great time to do that. You’ll likely find it catapults you to new levels of success.