By Kelly Monaghan
I got a question from someone via the HomeTravelAgency.com Facebook page asking if I could be hired to help this person choose a host agency and “set up my IATA number.”
Well, yes, actually. I suppose I could do that, but my fee would wind up being much more than the cost of the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, so what’s the point? And even though I think I could provide solid advice and guidance, I’m not sure that hiring me would be the best course of action for this person, especially since the way the question was asked reveals some basic misunderstandings about the business.
First of all, a good basic grounding in the way the home-based travel agent business works can be found, absolutely free, right here on this site, in the articles section.
But there are deeper, more important issues at play here.
Let’s pick just one: choosing a host agency. That is one of the most important decisions a new home-based travel agent can make, right up there with designing the shape and scope of their business from the beginning. It is also a very personal decision. I won’t go so far as to say it’s as important as choosing a life partner, but it bears some similarities.
You and your host agency, after all, are entering into a relationship — a business relationship, but a relationship nonetheless. It is important that you enter this relationship knowing that the host agency will be right for you. Far too many beginners make the crucial mistake of thinking that all host agencies are pretty much the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A small number of people who take the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course find this site only after making a wrong decision when choosing a host. Hundreds or thousands of dollars later, they decide that maybe learning how the business really operates before making another hasty decision is a good idea.
If I were to help my questioner choose a host agency, I would have to spend a great deal of time asking question after question about what sort of business he wants, what his goals are, what his strengths (and weaknesses) are, how much money he wants to make, how much support he feels he will need, and on and on and on. I know from experience that basic questions will raise new questions which must be explored. It can be a lengthy, even tedious process.
But it is necessary for the simple reason that the host agency that is right for me may be precisely the wrong choice for my questioner. And no matter how conscientious I am in learning about this person, I still might get it wrong because no one can ever fully enter into someone else’s head.
The best person to help you choose the right host agency, I am convinced, is YOU! That’s why the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course has an entire module, How To Choose A Host Agency, that walks you through the process of choosing a host. It contains all the questions I would have to ask if I was hired as a consultant. Like I say, it can be time-consuming, even tedious but there is no substitute for doing your own due diligence.
This is a business decision and no one (well maybe your Mom) is going to feel sorry for you if you goof up because you didn’t want to take the time to do your homework.
So if you are thinking of entering this exciting and fun field and you have the money to hire someone to “do it for you,” you have more than enough to invest in the modest cost of the course. And you do so with no risk whatsoever, because I will give you your money back. At any time. For any reason.
Once you give your hard earned money to most host agencies, it’s gone forever, no matter how dissatisfied you become later. (Some hosts do give you up to 72 hours to change your mind.)
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