I started Italy Beyond the Obvious with two clients, a deep love for travel in Italy, and a stack of paper to-do lists to keep track of my clients’ trips. Today I have two employees, an entire 5-step Trip Planning Process™, hundreds of online posts, interviews and videos, a monthly newsletter with over 5,000 subscribers, and more business coming in the door than I can handle.
How can you get to where I am? The answer is, you just start.
You really only need four things to be a success:
- You need to be a Destination Expert
You need to know a place like a native. You have a deep knowledge of your destination, which means you’ve spent a lot of time there, know how to get around, know how to communicate with the locals, and understand the country’s “wow” factor to help others enjoy it, too.
- Rock your Inner Entrepreneur
You need to have a vision, to want to make a difference, to share your passion for a place with others. You need to be able to work independently, and have the self-direction, patience and desire to start your own business.
- Get those business skills working!
To start a business, it makes sense that you need to have business skills. You’ll need to market your services, close deals, set up contracts, set up and manage a web site, create social media posts and blogs, do your own accounting, invoice customers, and more. Let alone the actual trip planning which takes a particular set of business skills (that we can teach you thank goodness!). The bottom line is that you should already have some general business knowledge, and be open and ready to learn the specifics of running a fee-based travel planning service.
- It helps to have support and a community
Starting my business alone was one of the hardest things I have ever done. There is no rule that says you have to do it that way. Find support, get some training, and find a community of like-minded “travelpreneurs”. They will help you get started and they will help you succeed.
I may be a little biased, but I think the Travel Beyond the Obvious Facebook community is a great place to start!
If you are a destination expert for a marketable locale, you have the business skills, time and interest, and study the materials I have provided, even take my course, you will have set yourself up for success. No guarantees, but there really is no competition for the kind of service I will teach you to offer. I got to where I am with zero help. Imagine how fast you could get going with a complete blueprint for your company, marketing, and trip planning.
So. It’s a lot to take in. Do you have a destination expertise that people will pay you to use? Should you start a travel planning business? Can you justify spending money on a new business? Can you justify not doing it?
My goal is to get you thinking about it. I am not trying to hard sell you – that is not how I built my business, and it is not how I will help you build yours. Trust your instincts – if it’s right for you you’ll know.
Here are some suggestions:
- Review this LinkedIn article I wrote about how to make six figures as a travel consultant.
- Here’s an article I wrote about how to make a living helping others travel.
- Review some sample itineraries I shared on my Italy site for ideas. (btw my course materials include templates for all kinds of useful stuff like this!)
- Review this fee schedule I posted for Italy Beyond the Obvious – this could be a good model for your own service.
- Download our Quickstart Checklist to see everything you’ll need to do to start your company in one master list. (I do love all my checklists, but this one is especially good!)
- Check out this Business Plan Template from Host Agency Reviews!
- Download the free sample video from the Order Page to see what the course is like.
- Buy either the core planning lesson 1, or the full 8-lesson series. Think about whether you could benefit from the training. One good client will pay for our full course, so this may just be the smartest money you’ve ever spent!
- If you are even thinking about doing this, you should absolutely join our community. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and get to know other like-minded people.