If statistics are to be believed, 90% of all online business start-ups fail in the first four months. Sorry travel entrepreneurs, that probably isn't what you wanted to hear right now.
The good news is there are numerous studies which indicate why so many start-ups fail, allowing you to scrutinise your business plan before you fully commit.
According to a CB Insights survey, the main reason start-ups fail to get off the ground is because it soon becomes apparent that there is no market need for their venture. Also on the list is poor marketing, being outcompeted and a lack of business model.
With those reasons in mind, we've come up with four top tips for travel start-ups:
Identify a sizeable travel niche
While we don't think any entrepreneur creates a business without considering whether or not there is a large enough customer segment for their product to operate in, it's easy to get carried away with an idea without identifying whether the segment is significant enough to compete in as a single entity.
It might sound wishy washy, but you need to find a travel niche that isn't too broad, or too focussed. Don't be the entrepreneur with the great product/service but with no customers to sell to.
Use social media from the off
Social media can be a powerful marketing tool, especially for start-ups – but only with the right amount of time and technique. It might be a good idea to create social media profiles for your business before you even started trading. This might be considered thinking outside the box a little, but it might just work, and it's those fine margins which can be the difference between success and failure.
It's too easy to sink in amongst the masses on social media, because pretty much everybody is on there. That calls for an experimental approach, which comprises engaging with your target audience in a way that surprises them and cause your brand name to hang around in their thinking. It goes without saying that this will take some time, so be prepared to log on to social media at all times of the day.
Make a website that is future proof
While in the early stages your website might not be able to boast much in the way of content, prospects will still use it as a barometer for how trustworthy your business is, so you've got to make sure it's suitably optimised.
The first thing you've got to ensure is that it's mobile friendly. With prospects most likely to find you on social media, chances are they will be browsing on their smartphones, so don't have a website that makes their eyes bleed when viewed on a mobile device. Google, as well as your target audience, will be less than pleased with your efforts.
Utilise the latest and best technology
The great thing about starting a new travel business in 2016 is that there is an array of sophisticated technology that can make it easy to stay a step ahead of the competition, and we have that tech on offer.
The best technology gives you the ability to power your travel website with a lightning-fast booking engine to provide a fast and simple booking experience for your customers; ensure secure payment through your website; to easily manage supplier contracts; elevate your Google ranking; and much more. After all, these are the factors that are going to contribute to the success or failure of your business.
If you're a travel start-up and are looking for the tools that tick all the above boxes, then contact us to see how we can get your travel business to take off.