What does it take for a Travel Agent to make the leap out of the 9-to-5 agency and into a successful solo mobile business?

Hard work and determination aside, it helps to align yourself with an established and thriving agency group, which can provide all forms of support from ticketing, sales, marketing, product knowledge and even at times, emotional.

That’s a great place to start.

But how can you take your mobile business to a place where you’re making the money you’ve always wanted without compromising your personal goals?

We turn to a couple of experts who were kind enough to share their secrets at the weekend’s TravelManagers Conference.

Here’s what they had to say:


1. “Treat your home like a professional office”

Erm, don’t roll your eyes! We’re all victims of procrastination.

Sarena Taylor based out of Queensland said she managed to build a successful home-based agency within years of moving from South Africa to Australia by treating her home office as though it weren’t within walking distance from the kitchen.

She said it’s important to shut the door when you enter the office and just focus on what needs to get done.


2. Sometimes you just need to let it go


When it comes to stress, Corrine Mutz from South Australia says you really need to give it the ‘Frozen’ attitude and just let it go.

She was once overwhelmed with work to the point where she found herself ticketed a group’s airfares minutes before open heart surgery.

But with a fresh, new attitude Mutz now reminds you all to just chill because ultimately “you’re not looking for the cure to cancer”.


3. Know your ‘why’

Sarena Taylor from Queensland says it’s important to know your goals aka your ‘whys’.

In this case, ‘why is it important for you to be a successful Travel Agent’?

For Sarena, it was to her help husband launch his own business and to move to their dream destination, the Gold Coast.

Once you know your ‘whys’, she recommends creating a vision board that’ll help motivate you to reach your goals.


4. Set yourself apart


You’ve definitely heard this before, but have you followed through with it?

After surviving every parent’s worst nightmare, a critically ill child, Michelle Desmarchelier from NSW knew she needed to make a career change.

Her old job wasn’t giving her the freedom to be with her daughter, so she moved on over to TravelManagers for better work/life balance. This put her on the path to finding her unique edge as a Travel Agent – a consultant focusing on family travel “beyond the resort”.

Michelle said giving herself a niche helped her reach new levels of success and gave travellers a reason to choose her services over others.

“I knew I needed a point of difference for my clients, something that’ll make them want to book with me,” she explained.


5. Adjust your definition of success

How do you define success?

Is it in the money earn? Or is it raising well-rounded and healthy children?

Michelle Desmarchelier from NSW said it’s important to know your long-term goals won’t be achieved overnight, so in the meantime it’s important to celebrate all your smaller winnings.

“I’m a work in progress, but just as long as I’m better than yesterday, I’m reaching my goals,” she said.


6. Let’s be honest, you won’t get anywhere without hard work


Barbara Turner from Perth appreciates the support a strong head office team, like that at TravelManagers, can provide but she also believes success as a home-based Agent won’t happen without hard work.

Whether it’s utilising NPO services, attending the right networking sessions or working late – you need to do it.

“The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary,” she quoted.

But not only does she believe you have to work hard, she says you need to show it. She does this by telling all her clients to contact her 24/7 because at the end of the day “they’re going to call whenever they want anyway”.


7. Use two screens


One seemingly small move that’ll make you 20-30 percent more productive, according to Anthony Lee from Queensland, is setting up two computer monitors in your office.

Lee said this method contributed to his success, which saw him double his salary since moving to TravelManagers.


8. Don’t lead your marketing with price points


Steer away from price-point marketing, says Anthony Lee from Queensland, unless you want to be int he business of attracting price-driven travellers.

Lee says posting deals across social media or using them to attract new customers will only help you build a really annoying database, not financial success.

In saying that, the mobile consultant says it’s also important to know your client base and focus on attracting more of their kind. To figure out your client base, Lee recommends, figuring out how much you want to make a year and sourcing the people that book the kinds of holidays that can get you there.


9. Which brings us to, making a marketing plan


Don’t just randomly post things to Facebook or intermittently upload #travelporn to Instagram, you need to be consistent.

Jane Fowler from NSW said she put together a marketing action plan when she moved over to TravelManagers, which helped her business grow by 100 percent.

She now recommends everyone run their business by remembering that “if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”.


10. And finally, make sure you’re doing something you love


Simon Tinkler from Queensland was on the verge of getting diabetes and/or a heart disease from working as a Travel Agent but he just couldn’t give it up.

Speaking at the TravelManagers conference, he said that despite the serious health risks, he wasn’t ready to leave the travel industry, he just needed to find a way to make the job work for him.

That’s when he met Karen Dowling, TravelManagers’ Business Partnership Manager in Queensland, who assured him that not only would be get flexibility as a mobile consultant, but a healthier lifestyle.

And he did.

He and his German boyfriend wake up every morning before 7am, have a coffee and head to the gym. They then have a healthy breakfast and enter their office to start work at around 10.00am.

Tinkler is now healthier then he’s ever been AND wealthier.

What are your tips for making it as a successful home-based Agent?