Written By: Andy Ogg, CTIE, Editor and Marketing Director – Travel Professional NEWS®
With the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season behind us, we are now greeted with excitement as the New Year commences. With each New Year, many choose to make a resolution of sorts to improve themselves from the previous year. While the ideology is fantastic, why strive for just one thing, let’s strive for more!
In 2020, more people will book travel with a Travel Professional than ever before according to recent reports. As a Travel Professional, you should be ready for the increase and in this article, I’m going to present 3 Ways to Focus on a Successful 2020 that will not only help you with your efficiency, but also enable the freedom to dive into new opportunities that may find their way to you this year.
1. Know Your Time
In late 2019, I was buried. Between our daughters, home life, and an ever growing list of responsibilities and tasks for our business, I felt that each day would start and end, all within the same moment. The days were flying by and while I knew that I was accomplishing tasks and working forward, I didn’t feel that way.
After some reflection, I realized that time was my issue. I did some research, reading and education and implemented a new plan. The plan was to track my time while working. I used a free application called Clockify (www.Clockify.me) and while it took me a couple of days to set up the projects I frequently encounter, I was up and running shortly thereafter.
The beginning was rough and I can’t deny that having to “stop” one project just to “start” another can be a bit cumbersome, the data that begin to assimilate was powerful. Day in and day out, I tracked every part of my day from the time I checked my emails in the morning to the last post published for the day on TravelProfessionalNEWS.com.
After the new process fell into place, I quickly noticed that while I felt like I was working 60 hours a week, I was actually working much less. Additionally, the power of putting this new process on myself made me create more focused work time. By that, I mean that when I started a project like “Magazine Publishing,” I focused solely on that task until it was completed. By focusing on that one task, each one at a time, I noticed a very measurable change in my productivity and a much lower amount of time spent working.
For 2020, I highly suggest tracking your work time in an effort to better yourself and your business. Not only will you find possible “sinkholes” where time is being wasted but you’ll also become more focused and productive on the tasks it takes to run your Travel Business efficiently and successfully.
Remember that just because you are at your desk, does not mean you are working. If you are driven to grow your Travel Business in 2020, focus on the tasks and steps that will make it happen.
2. Spell Out Your Goals
It’s hard to know where you are going without a map and as 2020 kicks into high gear, spend an afternoon creating your goals for the year. Some possible ideas may be to increase sales, revamp your website, create an email marketing platform, re-brand your business or to hire help to work less on operations. Whatever is on your list, write it down and pin it up so you can see it every single day.
This practice is not new or groundbreaking but from personal experience, it works. Having your goals spelled out not only empowers you to focus on achieving them daily, little by little, but also allows you to ensure that every action you make is a step in that direction.
You can even take this one step further and apply a checklist of needed actions to accomplish your goals. The feeling of crossing off a step and seeing the goal grow nearer will not only reinvigorate your drive, but will also boost your confidence.
Focusing on the goals you have created for yourself will not only better your business (obviously) but will also better you and as a business owner, that’s a great thing to achieve.
3. Review and Focus
Many Travel Professionals feel frustrated in client acquisition. Whether it was a hot lead lost to an online competitor or an investment in marketing that just didn’t pay off, it happens to us all. The issue is when we continue to perform the same action, expecting different results.
Look at your time tracked from Step 1 and dive into what that means for you. Are you spending an hour a day on social media with no increase in sales? Are you giving out quotes daily with no new bookings? Are you finding that your time is spent on operations, instead of actually growing your business?
If you said yes to any of the above, or any questions like it, focus on a solution and put it into motion. In this era of technology, nearly every single problem can be solved with ease. Whether it’s hiring a freelancer to manage your social media, implementing a fee structure or intent to buy agreement or hiring an assistant to help in your operations, if there is a will, there is a way.
Many years ago, having an employee to assist you in your business was costly but in today’s climate, there are millions of skilled people out there that would be more than happy to help you in your tasks that need attention. All you have to do is make a clear depiction of what you are looking for and what you are willing to spend on it.
These 3 steps have transformed my life, both personally and professionally in the past 6 months. I have more time, more independence and am completing more work than ever before. Not only is my work getting completed more quickly in terms of time spent but it’s also of a higher quality. I challenge you to give these steps a try. Stick through the first week of adjustment and watch what happens because, while I can only speak for myself, the proof is there.
Happy New Year to you all and thank you for joining us at Travel Professional NEWS!