Hope is not a business strategy
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Right now, the world is still rapidly changing and I know, we are all starting to feel a little bit tired. And it isn't going to get any easier in the coming weeks or months. But I know, you are in this industry because you love what you do.
You will do everything to rise up again and weather these storms. So am I.
Nobody said that having a business was easy, but, it won't get any easier if we won't take action. Simply hoping for things to happen is just like planning to fail.
In this episode, I won't let you do that to your business or to yourself! It would be a bit of a tough-love but I want you to open your eyes and start taking action.
We have a couple of tips and strategies in this episode. These are all about re-building your business and connecting with your clients during this tough time.
I know that you are doing everything to survive. Let us help each other.
Links Mentioned in the Episode
Quotes from this Episode
“Business has felt like a rollercoaster in the past few months”
“I don’t want you to just hope you will get through this. I want you to be prepared, take action and be ready to go when we can.“
“The more action you take, the stronger you will be against your competition”
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Announcer: Welcome to Travel Agent Achievers! The place to learn how to grow your travel business and have fun with it. Join Roslyn and her guests as they walk you through proven steps to a fulfilling and profitable business.
Hey there, everybody. Welcome back to Travel Agent Achievers. I'm so glad that you're listening in, and hopefully smiling today. I'm Ros, and I'm your host of this podcast.
The world is still rapidly changing. And I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel a little tired. What do we do? Because we do what we do because we love it. Right?
And I know that you've been working around the clock over the last few months with no revenue, and no income. It's been really, really hard. I know. And you guys know this as well. I mean it with you.
It's nonstop and you've been ensuring the safety of your clients and navigating the field of suppliers and carriers and hotels and cancellations. It has just been mind blowing.
It hasn't been easy. And I know things aren't going to be easy for the next little while.
One thing that I do know is that your clients come to you for your expertise and knowledge. I'm sure they are aware that if you don't charge a service fee for your skills, that you're compensated by a supplier.
So who else is going to pay right? And hopefully they are accepting of the fact that you can't necessarily give them back all of the money that they've given you right now.
It's such a tough place to be. It's really confusing. It's really hard and there is no easy answer.
Just navigating those conversations and emails is really tough. Trust me, believe me when I say this, I'm normally really good with words, but corresponding with clients at the moment. It's a minefield.
Nobody ever said the business was easy. However, we also weren't expecting what has happened to actually happen, will not like this on a global scale anyway. And it isn't going to get any easier in the coming weeks, possibly months, maybe even longer.
Now, if you are in this industry, it's going to be tough. You're here because you love it. And together, I want you to know that we will get through this.
Even if for the short term, you're having to take up another job. You're able to get a government allowance to see through a few months or even if you're able to take a break. I know that everyone's situation is different. I'm in exactly the same position.
Things are all a bit chaotic, but just know that I'm here with you and I want to help you get through this time.
Have you guys been watching the news? I've really been trying so hard not to, not to buy into the fear and the attacks on people and their livelihoods and welfare. It's, it's really heartbreaking.
I know that as travel agents and travel consultants, we also need to keep a roof over our heads. Clients come to us for expertise and knowledge.
The media here in Australia hasn't been so favorable to a number of organizations. And I know that this may also have an impact on you and your business. I just want to highlight here that I want you to act within your own integrity.
You do what you need to do to come through this time. Just make sure that you can back it up and you're covering yourself with sharing the exact wording of policies and credits and procedures.
And this right now is really highlighting the fact that we need to have things like this in place, you need to know the exact wordings so tough I get it.
If you're a mobile travel agent and you work from home normally, I actually think that you're in a much better position right now to come through this time. T
he media has really highlighted to me that In travel and in our own businesses, we also need to look at our customers, right? We've seen some of these guys on TV. We need to look at who we want to look after and the type of business we have moving forward.
We don't have to look after everybody. We are the experts in what we do. I know that I acted my own integrity for that and I do everything I possibly can for my clients. But I honestly think this time has bought out the good and the bad parts of people.
The fear is real. So a people's true form personalities and their integrity. It's it's really hard and really sad. Some conversations that I've even had with my own clients have blown my mind.
There are people that honestly I thought wouldn't be the way that they've now shown themselves to be. It's really scary but a great eye opener. I know who I want to work with. And this is bringing me today's topic that hope is not a business strategy.
Are you hoping that we'll see our borders open and your clients will simply come back to you?
Are you hoping that the clients that you want to take care of will still be able to travel when we can travel again?
Are you hoping that clients will understand that you want to keep all of your commission or a supplier will only provide a partial refund or credit and hope that the client is okay with that?
Hope is not a business strategy. And this sort of attitude and behavior is really like sticking an animal sticking their head in the sand. And we can't be that right now.
Hoping for something to happen is exactly like planning to fail. If you don't take action, and put some plans in place, then you may as well just sit on the couch and watch Netflix all day and honestly not even have your own business anymore.
It's a little tough love, but you guys know me, you know me well enough to know that I'm going to give it to you straight. I don't muck around.
Now, I don't hope that you will take action.
If you are downloading our resources, you're listening to this podcast, you're accessing our website and getting the free information and joining our programs, then I'm also assuming that you're taking action.
And you want to build your travel business that you are looking to have a stronger business as we come through this, and I want you to come through this time. I want you to be tough, I want you to be stronger, and I want you to be ready.
When we're looking at what we can do in our businesses right now, there are many things and I feel like my list has just grown and grown and grown because there is so much more than we can actually do right now.
So if I hear someone say that they can't do anything in their business right now that they're hibernating, to say the least I'm going to call you out because there are things that you can do. It may not be generating you a financial income right now, but it's going to help you in the long term.
Now, you already know this about me as well that the last few months have been like an emotional roller coaster. I think I've spoken about it again and again on this podcast. We are all on that same roller coaster.
For some it might be a little bit scary than others. Now one thing that you don't know about me is that I hate roller coasters. My stomach is in knots just even thinking about it and the dread of the fall it's so not my thing. I've been cleaning out some closets here to make way for some other things happening.
I have and I found that some photos of my husband, Clint and I on a roller coaster, and a number of them because the photos were just too hilarious not to buy at the time. But these are at Disney World and Sea World Orlando.
Many years ago before Jackson, so he's now five. So I think these are probably like, seven or eight years ago, maybe.
But Clint is laughing his head off and I am screaming, like, I am not going to come off that roller coaster. The fear in my face on those pictures explains so much.
So much so that apparently, the G forces or one of the roller coasters just totally stopped me from speaking, I couldn't actually get any noise out. So I hate roller coasters.
And over the last few months, businesses felt like a roller coaster. There's been the fear of the business crumbling, the terror of the drop, the elation and the excitement when a client you know accepts a reply from a supplier or credit or they've sent me something as a thank you or a gift.
It really has been an up and down. And this is challenging.
Now over the last couple of months and I've been doing this for quite a long time now, but specifically over the last couple of months, I've spoken to several hundred small business owners.
And these are on the phone. So these calls, particularly in the last month, and I'm going to be doing this again next week and in future down the track. I have asked them about their three month plan, or what we also know is the 90 day plans.
I've been asking them out how these plans are going, whether as a business they were still sticking to them, or have they completely been thrown out. And every single one of those calls. The person that I was speaking to would say back to me, well, how's yours Ros?
And personally, in my travel business, and even with travel agent achievers, I've had to throw out the 90 day strategy plans as a business that I have in place because things haven't been as I planned.
I know you feel the same way about this.
So for me, I set out this year 2020 with a full content calendar for my travel business. And for you guys, as part of this podcast for travel agent achievers, I set out another content calendar and I put all my heart and soul, all the learning and training that I wanted to provide you guys with. I put it out on paper, I knew exactly where I was going.
I was so excited. I knew what I needed to talk about each month, and particularly my travel business and your breakdown of the details. The suppliers that I wanted to promote the trips that I'd planned in the group travel,
I felt in control to an extent.
Now I wasn't hoping for success. I knew what needed to be done to achieve the goals that I'd set for myself. My business, my travel business and also Travel Agent Achievers and a number of other things that I run.
Those are run off systems and processes. I have a team of staff that I absolutely love working with. I'm gonna say there. It's a small team. But Gee, they're mighty. And they all know exactly what needs to be done.
We're all on the same page, we have weekly meetings to determine what's next and what needs to be done, just to keep moving forward and taking action.
Now, in my travel business without these systems, I could tell you that things over the last few months would have been so much more stressful, coping with the changes that we've had to make more so than what it was.
I also made a point in my travel business to be quite visible with my clients. I put together a number of videos, even when things were changing so fast and on a day to day basis. I was doing a daily video on Facebook going live, letting my clients know what was happening and where I was prioritizing my business and what needed to be done.
It actually allowed us quite a good opportunity to look after those that were moving straight away and allow the other ones that were traveling a bit later to sit back, but it gave them the confidence and the reassurance that we were still there.
Now I had about 500 people that would travel between February and May, that I actually think that's quite a lot of business. And it has had a very big financial impact.
We also still have another 300 people or so that are due to travel in the next few months.
Without a plan without systems and without taking action. I would have been in a really big mess and much bigger than what we had to deal with.
So I don't want you to just hope that you're going to get through this. I want you to be prepared.
I want you to take action and I want you to be ready to go when we can hit the go button.
There are things as I said that you can do. Last year, I planned for what would happen this year. And even again, I reviewed it earlier this year. Now, it may not have gone to plan for what I wanted for the first six months, however, our business is small enough, and we're nimble enough to be able to pivot.
And that's exactly what you can do, too.
I want you to change those plans, I know that I'm able to move them to a later date. I can adjust things right now and look after the things that we can control and the things that we can work on and work through for the next few months.
So there are a number of things that you can also do right now.
If you don't have it already, I just released a brand new PDF download for you on the Travel Agent Achievers website. It's five things that you can do to be visible and present right now with your clients even when there are no bookings.
I am a huge advocate of client relationship management. There are also a number of strategies There are strategies that I know you need right now for when the doors open again, I have several tools that you can use, you can download, and you can take action on.
But I want you to have the strategies in place so that you can come through this time, not just to put out the fire right now.
When those borders open again, when those clients are once again booking their travels, I want them to come to you.
So, have you even thought about the strategies step or the strategy phase or what the future could look like for you and your business? I know that you've been hurting, and the pain and the shock of your business diminished almost overnight.
You know that and I'm here with you. I am here walking in the trenches with you. And I feel and I understand exactly what you're experiencing and that roller coaster.
I want you to acknowledge and know that those feelings and those emotions and everything that you are going through. It's okay I just don't want you to push them down. It's okay to cry. It's okay to be emotional. It's okay to feel the loss and the pain of everything that's happened over the last few months for your business.
I just want you to come through this time, and I want you to know that it's normal. I also know that you've probably just pushed through this phase, you've done everything that you need to do just to survive.
So it may have been only in the last couple of weeks that you've taken a deep breath, and actually thought, ``What do I do? It's like our sense of identity has actually disappeared.
So guys, that download is there for you. The five things that you can do to be visible and present with your clients right now are there and ready for you when you are.
That isn’t all. I've just been speaking about having a plan and a plan to take action and to be ready to be able to not hope for business strategy, but to actually have one.
I want you to be nimble. I want you to be focused, I want you to be available and aware of exactly what you want in your business. I'd love for you to know who you want to work with the clients that matter to you, and what you can do to ensure that in the future, you're ready to go.
You know that I work with hundreds of small business owners on a monthly basis. I'm coaching mentoring and helping them move through things and, and working with them to get them unstuck.
Insane that I also have spent years with top business coaches and mentors around the world, learning and implementing moving forward. I love that stuff.
Now I'm all for a supportive learning environment, my heart, in my heart and in my guts, I just want success for everybody that I work with. Now, whether these are my friends, you guys colleagues in travel are even in another industry. I'm here to help. And I want to see you come through this time.
One of the biggest things that I can do right now using the knowledge and the information that I have that I know works is to step forward and really be able to give back to you guys.
So I spoke to a number of different people. And I've set up a six week program, you're going to be able to take this at your own pace. However, I'm also going to have a weekly check in.
I'm going to be checking in on how you are going and how you are progressing through this program.
I want to make sure that you're working on your business at this time, and working through a step by step system and process that helped me for several years build a business that I absolutely love. And I'm still able to look after now.
My background is in sales and marketing. I've worked across the travel and tourism industry, hotels international education, customer service and client relationship management is what I love.
People matter to me, I care. And that's just like I know they do to you too. I'm not somebody who really enjoys cold calling, actually, I don't do it because I hate it.
I like to build relationships. And one of the things that I know has really worked for my business is I don't do advertising. My clients refer me to other people.
So I know that the business will grow. But that is because I take care of who I look after. And I want you to come through this time and be ready. So I'd love to hear from you. And I'd love to welcome you into this program.
We're going to walk through these are some of the things so that you get an idea of what's going to happen.
So we're going to walk step by step through a number of areas in your business, and you might be the doer, you might be the person who's in there every day, looking after the bookings. Looking after refunds and cancellations. But now is the perfect opportunity when things are quiet and those bookings aren't necessarily coming in to work on the business.
So we're going to look at setting it up. When I say setting it up, we're looking at what do you even want out of your business?
Who do you want to work with?
Do you want to have a multimillion dollar business? Are you happy, just with what you've got, because it keeps you busy and you are able to do something that you love.
So we're looking at how we're going to structure it and set it up.
We're also then looking after the clients that you currently have and that you've worked with in the past. We'll look at the client relationship we'll look at the supplier relationship and how these can come together to build stronger bonds in the future.
Also looking at getting new clients. I am all for referrals, testimonials, feedback, you name it, that is my jam, and I want to see you get more of this business because it doesn't cost money.
Being a small business owner, we don't have hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars or anything like that to go out and spend on big Facebook ad campaigns or in the print media or TV.
So we need to get creative. And I'm going to give you some of the tools that I use in order to get new clients.
Week Four, we're looking at social media, marketing plans, calendars, having a plan so that you can be prepared. And also having a plan that's flexible enough to move it if you need to.
You may not want to sell ski travel again, you may not want to look after corporate cycling again and that's totally okay. Because the business is yours and you get to redesign it however you want.
Finally, we'll look at finances so looking at your numbers, making some predictions and plans and and then working out the fundamental numbers that you need to know in your business who you need to work with to ensure that you're on track and just not spending everything that you earn, learning how to manage your money for the quiet times as well.
Now, I am not a finance expert, but I do surround myself with them. I'm going to bring in guests to help with this side of building your business because it's really important. It's not something that I think that we talk about enough, but finance and money is something that we just really need to do.
We're also going to discuss systems and processes, because as I said, right at the beginning, if I didn't have these in my business, I would be in a much bigger mess than where we all ended up.
So all you need to do to get more information on this is go to travel agent achievers.com and then look for the six week rebuild your travel business runway program. I'm also going to add a link to this in the show notes just for speedy access.
But check it out. I want to know: Are you ready to take your travel business to the next level? Are you ready to really take action, are you ready to reopen your business and serve the clients that make you smile?
Are you ready? So if this is you, I want you to come and join me. I want to see you get up and I want to see succeed. My heart sings when I see a smile on somebody else. And that's exactly how I want you to be as we move forward.
The more action you take, the stronger you're going to be against your competition. I can assure you that those that are learning those that are implementing right now are going to surpass those that don't do it and don't put these things into place.
I know things have been tough, but I also know you are strong. You are going to get through this. And I do hope that you'll allow me and help me, you know give you the opportunity to guide you as you navigate this time now and into the future.
It's going to be a bumpy ride, but I am digging in. I may not like roller coasters, but I am in this for the long haul. So this roller coaster isn't going to just be a two minute fear factor for me it's actually going to be a lot longer. I think we can all ride it together.
Let's just hope that we don't have the upside down jumbles again cause that's just gonna make me sick.
Anyhow guys, please make sure you subscribe to the podcast. If you love the podcast and you're loving the content , then please post me a review. And you can do that on your favorite podcast site. It absolutely makes my day to see them and to get your feedback, the messages and the emails that you're sending through.
Thank you so much.
If there is an area in your business that you want to learn about, just click me an email let me know send me a DM on your socials Travel Agent Achievers, I'm here for you.
I can't wait to see you. Hopefully inside the 6 Week Rebuild your Travel Business Program and working with you to see come through this time, you are absolutely awesome.
Go and have a great weekend and I'll speak to you soon.
Bye for now.
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