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Start Up Support

Starting a Travel Company

It’s not enough to just love to travel.

To create a sustainable and profitable travel business you need to do it right – from the start! Knowing just where to start can be a daunting task so here are a few tips to help you get those sales building:-

1 . Write a Business Plan – It’s a must!

The temptation when starting any company not just starting a travel company, is to dive straight into the marketing – after all, that’s what bears the fruit. But any business proceeding without first writing a sound business plan is applying a false economy. A business plan will force you to focus on what may not work as well as what might work as well as helping you to assess the cash you will need, and have to make to get off the ground. Most banks, merchant services suppliers, travel trade bodies and insurers will also ask for a business plan before agreeing to work with you.

 

So, what should go into a travel start up business plan? Start by asking yourself these questions:-

  • Why are you starting a travel company?
  • Who will want to book your services?
  • What makes you different to other travel companies selling services similar to yours?
  • What is your business model?
  • What will your services cost?
  • How much will it cost you to supply the services?
  • Will your business be a sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership or limited company?
  • Will you be the supplier of services to your customer or will you act as the agent of another entity?

If you are struggling to answer some of these questions, get in touch. We can help you with preparing a business plan, and  financial forecasts and give you advice about what legal structure your business and sales should take.

2. Consider a Business Name

Don’t just focus on branding! Of course, your business name should reflect the type of service you are selling but remember, you need to check that your chosen name is available for registration with Companies House, and that you won’t be breaching any existing trademark or other intellectual property rights by using a company or trading name.  The availability of a complimentary domain name is also important to consider before making your choice.

Contact us if you would like a complementary steer about any of these issues.

3. Make the Laws and Regulations work for you

Consumer protection in the travel industry is a complex and highly Regulated area, and is getting more so. Don’t be a slave to it but instead let us make it work for you: getting it right from the start means time and cost savings later on.

Whether you are setting up a new travel company or making sure an existing operation is compliant, there’s no substitute for industry specific advice based on expertise and experience from a broad range of professional skills and services. Our legal professionals work closely with travel companies in relation to their legal and commercial needs and have a thorough understanding of the complex legislation affecting the travel industry. This means they are capable of applying that knowledge, taking a practical problem-solving approach.

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4. What risks does the business face that could be minimised with insurance?

The travel industry insurance market can be a minefield if you don’t know your way around it. Proper advice about what insurance you need to cover what risks is important from the outset: over insure and you’ll be wasting valuable start up capital; under-insure and you face risks that could jeopardise your business’s very existence. We can access a range of travel specialist insurances including:-

  • Travel Public liability insurance
  • Travel Professional indemnity insurance
  • Travel Financial failure insurance
  • Employer’s liability insurance
  • Supplier failure insurance
  • Scheduled airline failure insurance

 

 

5. How will you make it easy for your customers to pay for their holidays?

There’s no getting away from the fact that travel companies, especially new ones, find it almost impossible to get credit.

Merchant Services suppliers often impose long deferment periods on the release of payments made via a merchant facility, or will ask for a bond to protect their risk. These are often prohibitive measures for a start up company. We can help you to find a solution to these obstacles.

6. Travel Information Technology

Today’s travel sector is at the cutting edge of innovation and technology, both in terms of marketing and the storage and manipulation of data. Our professionals have experience that has evolved over years of working closely with travel companies’ IT systems and their online technology. We can help with:-

  • IT and website infrastructure and issues relating to booking, accounting and back-office systems;
  • licensing of software, support, maintenance and service level agreements with IT suppliers;
  • data protection, hosting, capture and processing and other privacy issues
  • marketing and website infrastructure, compliance, protection of content and online bookings;
  • disclaimers and website policies;
  • domain name and other online intellectual property disputes;
  • management of online contract formation, distance selling and e-commerce issues.
Establishing a UK arm of an existing overseas business?

We also have experience in supporting travel companies in obtaining the necessary UK visas in Tiers 1 to 5, as well as work permits necessary to allow your personnel to remain in the country to get your business off the ground.

7. And finally……. the marketing

We’ll leave that bit to you!