Happy New Year, and Welcome to 2023!
2022 was nothing short of a phenomenal year for us here at GTN. We up-leveled our brand, won our sixth Magellan Award and surpassed our travel sales goal for the year. Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Vanessa McGovern was named Godmother of the Emerald Luna, we added 11 new staff members to the team, and we continued to build our partner relationships and deliver excellent service to our members.
As we start the year on a “clean slate” we often find ourselves thinking about the new resolutions and goals we want to set and accomplish over the next 12 months. As you take the time to reflect on 2022 and establish new goals for 2023, we want to help! Our network of GTN advisors shared their tips, tricks and best practices to setting themselves (and their businesses) up for success in the new year.
1. Start with a strategic planning session.
“I am having an offsite strategy session this Thursday & Friday; I booked a hotel room in town to focus solely on goals, processes, and strategy for 2023,” said GTN advisor, Heather Parker of Bliss Travel Experiences.
Whether you plan to stay in office or book a hotel room in town, it is crucial that you take time to focus solely on your goals and strategic initiatives for your business in 2023. Review your goals from 2022, did you hit every single one? Then take a look at the strengths and weaknesses in your business from the past year? Reviewing your goals, statistics and overall business strategy will help you focus in on creating an action plan for the year ahead.
2. Pre-schedule uninterrupted time on your calendar each week.
“I have two weeks of uninterrupted time without distractions to get my financial processes in order, improve my workflow and complete my to-do list. I really think dedicating this time will be key for me going forward,” said GTN Advisor Patricia Castoro of Acacia and Lime Travel.
“I am setting my calendar to be more intentional this year. A few examples are - I am only taking consult calls two days a week, my Fridays are set aside for working in my business and not client work, and one night per month I am meeting with ICs for collaboration and brainstorming ways to grow," said GTN advisor, Niki Edwards of TH Travel Designs.
It is easy to add something new to your to-do list and say that you will get to it later, but how often do those tasks stay on your list? Sometimes days, weeks, and even months before you can sit down and focus on getting that task completed. Scheduling specific dates and times on your calendar now, will help you get into a rhythm early in the year so once wave season hits, you will thank yourself for setting this time aside later.
3. Conduct a brand audit.
“I am updating my website to reflect my refined niche. Once that is complete, I will be working on Facebook ads for my two lead magnets,” said GTN advisor, Erin Smith of Cultivating Connections Travel Planners.
Conduct a brand audit to evaluate your brand's position in the marketplace. This will help identify the strengths and weaknesses and how to better position yourself in the market. If you have recently refreshed your brand or refined your niche, it is important that every piece of communication to your clients, including your website and social channels, are cohesive and reflect this new change!
4. Build and strengthen your relationships.
“My team and I will be meeting another GTN team in Arizona to see properties, brainstorm, and collaborate. We always make each other better, and I treasure the connection I have with the other leader, hoping our team members will benefit in the same way,” said GTN advisor, Katie Crago of KHC Grand Travel.
With the world completely open again, it is time to prioritize networking events! Start by making a list of the networking opportunities in your community, and industry. Then set a realistic goal to attend at least ___ events per ___. While it is important to build relationships, it is equally as important to maintain and strengthen them. GTN Advisor, Debbie Ellis of is pre-scheduling her uninterrupted time on Fridays for “follow-up Friday” where she will meet with former clients to check-in and continue to nurture their relationship.
5. Stop wasting your time on the small "stuff."
“I am focusing on utilizing my assistant properly while also outsourcing more tasks, especially if it's just not getting done and I'm the one who is supposed to do it," said GTN advisor Anna Harrison of Travel Observations.
If you are finding that the small tasks or administrative work is taking time away from your important “to-do’s” it is time to hire an assistant. Here at GTN, we often say "stop working ON your business, and start working IN your business."
So now its your turn! What tips, tricks and best practices will you put into place for the new year ahead? We would love to hear from you!