How to get a marketing budget from thin air for your Travel Agency….

What New Year Resolutions did you make this year? I’m a sucker for resolutions and while I can’t always keep them up for long, I have taught myself that making a resolution that works is the key and one that is easy to keep.

This year one of my personal resolutions gave me an idea for a business resolution for Travel Agents. I have signed up to a Dryathlon for Cancer Research following the passing away before Christmas of a close friend. I have 3 kids and a very busy life so for those of you with a similar set up I’m sure you know how difficult this will be! But Day 2 and I’m still OK…

dry

The thing about charity fundraising is that everyone asks for something these days and so it can be a little awkward raising money. If you are like me you end up adding in funds because you have not managed to collect as much as you intended then the difficulty is how much to personally contribute. How much is enough? Have I got any money left? What else could I spend the cahrity money on?

The brilliant thing about the Dryathlon is that the money you raise comes directly from another pot. By not drinking the money you save from alcohol eacxh day can be redirected to the charity. So at the end of this month I will have saved a whole heap of money from not drinking and instead I can send that money direct to Cancer Research.

So – how does this help me as a travel agent with my marketing?

Each month as I travel around travel agencies I hear the same thing – there is no money left for marketing. At the same time, the very same agents are struggling to find new clients and market to existing ones.

What some of my clients don’t know is that my business management experience does not just come from having run Specialist Tour Operators. Professionally I am also a Qualified Chartered Accountant. This gives me the ability (having also been a business ‘fixer’) to very quickly isolate areas of the business that cost more than they should. In the past year this has spanned from saving an agent £’000’s on their IT set up to £00’s on simple things like the amount of money an agent spent on email marketing (saving them nearly £700 on the use of the right software alone). In the past I used to go to companies and ‘audit’ their expenses and find cost savings. It’s something that business owners should do as a matter of course but nearly never do.

What’s the Resolution then?

In much the same way that I have found ‘Charity Money’ by not drinking for the month and putting my ‘drink money’ towards the charity, you can do the same in your business to find the all important marketing money. Simply looking at all your costs (or asking an expert to help you) and then reallocating that money to marketing is the first step to have a coherent marketing budget to get started on lead generation.

I think it’s a genius idea – what do you think? …. and if you think that there is no money in the pot to reallocate I’ll bet you there is. In fact I’m so sure that I could find you cost savings that I’m willing to bet that if I can’t, I’ll contribute £100 of our money to your personal travel agency marketing. You can’t get fairer than that.

So – let’s get the budget together and then start the marketing plan to make 2013 your most successful to date.

Best wishes

Steve

 

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