Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Start a Cruise Travel Business

Nothing sounds more exotic than having your cruise travel home business. It immediately brings visions of white sands, blue beaches, luxury liners, pretty women, swaying palm trees and exciting lands. This is not gushing copy, but business need. If you want to set up cruise travel home business you must first learn everything about it.

How to Start

Your research must obviously start on the net, where you find hundreds of travel agencies selling luxury cruises. Compare the rates being offered by them, and the ocean-based holidays that they are selling. Next find out which ones are recruiting travel agents to sell cruise packages. Study the benefits each is offering before you decide to start your cruise travel home business.

You should look at three points when starting a cruise travel home business. The first is the location of the travel agency or shipping service that offers cruise travel. The second is what packages it sells. Would your townsmen be interested in buying these packages? The third is your commission on every cruise that you sell. Based on this, you must become an affiliate of a travel agency or a selling agent of a shipping service.

Initially, you should become an affiliate of a large travel agency. This will save you a lot of extra costs like buying your ticketing software or setting up your website. You can also collect promotional material from the travel agency and display it in your office. Not only this, you will be selling packages for a score of travel services, and not just one shipping service. You can always set up your independent agency once you have learnt the travel business ropes.

Costs and Income

Your costs will be low if you decide to go with a national travel agency. All that you need to pay is affiliation fees. After that you can use all the promotional material and software packages that the travel agency uses. However, your income too will be less. Instead of getting the full benefit you may get half the commission for every package that you sell. But then you should compare it with your start up costs.

You will still need an office, which should look slick. This means that you need to invest in either renting a smart office or converting one of your home rooms into an office. Either way you will need to spend a fairly large amount on the painting and furnishing of the office. You will also need two or three computers connected to the net.

Financing

You will surely need outside funding, even if you start the cruise travel home business as a part-time activity. For this you will need to prepare a business plan. You can draw this plan yourself or download it from the Small Business Administration website. The plan should indicate the minimum number of packages you hope to sell in a year and the earnings from the sales. You also need to explain reasons for your optimism. No bank will sanction you a loan unless it is convinced that you have a sound business plan.

Publicity

A cruise travel home business needs to be promoted aggressively. You cannot sit at home and expect travelers to find you. Instead, you have to reach out to the traveling public with aggressive advertising. Billboards, fylers, yellow page ads, free local newspapers are just a few ideas on where you can advertise your business. This will involve costs, and these costs should be factored in the business plan. Otherwise, your cruise business will make a limping start.