October 17, 2019 #AskMeredith, Blog

Imagine deciding to become a travel advisor, telling a few people about what you are doing and within three months you have $60,000 in bookings. You think you are set, right! Not so fast. It would be amazing if that happened to everyone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.

So, why could this possibly be a bad thing? In this case, the agent was able to book some great trips for friends and family as soon as they announced they were going to be a travel agent. They didn’t even have a business name yet! They were super excited and expected that their business was on course to beat all of their expectations.

Unfortunately, those initial bookings in the first two months were followed by no bookings in month 3, 4, 5, or 6. By the end of the sixth month, the agent was completely perplexed. They were sure that initial success meant they were doing everything right. When that didn’t prove to be true, they were at a loss at how to recreate that magic.

The reality is that they skipped the first important steps in designing a business. They didn’t spend time getting clear on their ideal client and what they can offer that client. Those decisions are critical to being able to make effective marketing decisions. But they can be hard decisions to make, so many people just skip that process and default to trying to be everything to everyone.

In today’s marketplace, people aren’t looking for generalists, they are looking for specialists. That is how you set yourself apart – by bringing something unique to the market. Something you are passionate about.

In this case, the agent had some great early success, and was right to be thankful for it. If they had followed up those initial sales by continuing to create the right infrastructure for their business and make those key early decisions, they would have been off to a great start.

The good news is that it is never too late to course-correct. In a lot of business schools they teach, “fail early and often.” In other words, sure you are going to have some things that work well and others don’t, but no one is going to have success 100% of the time. The best approach is to keep improving.

By Sandy Saburn