If you are starting your own home-based travel agency business, it's time to choose between teaming up with a host agency or going out on your own and being completely independent. This is not a simple decision, and it's one of the most important you'll make for your business. You can always change your mind later on, depending on any contracts you sign, but the choice between the two options will really affect how you do business and how your comfort level will fare as you make contacts and get business. These three issues are ones you'll need to think about now to make the best decision for you.
You're New to the Field, Not Just New to Being Independent
You could be setting up your own business after working in another travel agency for years, or you could be completely new to the business. If you're completely new, signing up with a host travel agency is likely to be your best bet. While the host agency might not send you leads, it will give you guidance regarding unusual or strange situations that you might encounter. You'll also have contact with other colleagues and possibly be eligible for group discounts and other perks. The host agency provides a community that can help you along as you get used to the world of arranging travel for others.
If you're not new to the field, though, then joining up may be less urgent for you. It can still be beneficial, and if you want that association with a community, signing up is best. But if you prefer to be totally independent and know what you're getting into, not signing could work out well for you.
Bonding and Accreditation
If you sign with a host agency, you won't have to worry about getting bonded or being accredited by ARC or BSP, the systems that travel agents have to use to get airline tickets. If you join with a host agency, you can start working then. If you stay independent, though, you have to seek accreditation and bonding yourself and may not be able to work until you get those.
Work for yourself and all the money you get from customers is yours, minus taxes and overhead costs. Work through a host agency, and you work on commission, meaning you get only a percentage of the money. However, the host agency might also take care of some of your costs, such as software or licenses, without dipping into your commission. You could end up with more money in your pocket in that case than you would if you were independent. If you can find out the commission percentage plus any other costs the host agency pays, compare those to what you'd have to pay on your own.
Host agencies can be extremely helpful for agents of any experience level, and if you do have a lot of experience already, don't dismiss the idea of going with a host agency.Share
8 April 2016
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