Because of the many benefits associated with working from home, and because of the convenience of starting a business using the Internet, many people are starting online businesses that they can run out of their homes. One of the easiest of these businesses to set up and maintain is a travel business. With the low overhead cost of operating from home, and with the advantage of a business that is designed to take reservations automatically, you can make a little extra cash for your family, or even make a travel business your primary income.
Even though the travel industry has its ups and downs, worldwide it is a relatively stable $4 trillion industry. In order to break into this industry, however, you need to figure out your clientele, and it helps to involve your family and friends. And that is another benefit to a travel business. You don’t feel bad about asking your acquaintances to use your product.
Really, all you need to get started is a computer and an Internet connection. A broadband connection is best. A high-speed Internet connection can be had for as little as $30 per month (although the average cost is around $50). This is not a huge amount of money to spend as a business expense. Plus, broadband allows you to be on the phone and on the Internet at the same time, should it be necessary.
Setting aside a room to use as your home office is also a good idea. Your tax advantages are greater when you have a set space that serves as your home office. Additionally, if you get a computer that use mostly for business, you can pro-rate its use for further advantages, and the Internet connection can also be pro-rated. If you are worried about people visiting you and seeing a shabby home office, you can always arrange to meet clients (if necessary) at their homes. This adds a personal touch, and shows that you are willing to accommodate them.
With basics arranged, you can get started on acquiring an interface. There are some very reputable travel companies that will allow you to sign up, much like a franchise, through their sites. You can personalize a Web site and make percentage of each reservation booked via your site. There is, however, software that allows you to make your own site and take reservations. However, it can be complicated to install and use. Many people find it easier to just use the franchise system.
You can operate entirely by phone. You can scour the Internet to put together packages for clients and then tack on a surcharge and quote the entire amount as your price. However, this can start to get tricky, and it means that people can’t just log on and make reservations easily on their own through a site.
Once everything is up and running, it is time to let people know that you are there. Local ads in the paper’s Classifieds and flyers are inexpensive ways to advertise. But you should also be sure to ask your friends, coworkers, and family to use your Web site when they have reservation and vacation needs. Word of mouth is a great way to get some publicity.