Starting a home-based travel business is typically less expensive than opening a brick and mortar location. It’s an economical way to keep overhead costs down, thus reaping higher profit margins.
However, there are still costs to getting any home-based business up and running. Determining what those costs are will provide a clear picture for moving forward.
Develop a business plan
Your business plan should be short and simple. The beauty of home-based businesses is that you do not need a complex, multi-page plan. The business plan will guide you through the start-up phase and during the time your travel business is running. Your business plan should include the following elements:
- Vision – What do you see your business doing? What will be the result?
- Mission – Why are you opening a travel franchise?
- Objective – What are your goals?
- Strategy – How are you going to meet your objectives?
- Action Plan – What are the smaller steps you will take to enact the strategy?
Having a business plan will help you develop your budget, which is key to determining your financial needs.
Figure out your budget
Every business should have a budget. It will serve as a spending guide to get your business past the start-up phase and to keep it running. A budget will also help you determine income and profits. Some things to consider in your budget include:
- Day-to-day living – Mortgage/rent, utilities, car payment, etc.
- Business license – Many states require this even for home-based businesses
- Memberships – Belonging to travel associations can boost your credibility as a travel professional
- Marketing – Determine how much you will need to spend to get the word out about your business
- Office set-up – If you will be setting up an office, figure out how much you will have to spend on a computer, printer, phone or fax machine, if necessary
Consulting a franchise development specialist and another franchisee who owns a home-based travel business can be helpful in determining your financial needs, too.