With the travel industry already rebounding nicely from a strange year that saw pandemics shut down nearly every city in the world, it’s a great time to pursue your dream of starting a travel planning business.
But in order to be successful, you must start by mastering the details.
How to Keep Your Travel Biz Organized
A lack of organization is one of the quickest ways to derail a business. If you’re serious about creating and scaling a business, you need to simplify and streamline.
Here are some specific ways to do just that:
- Take Advantage of Helpful Apps
The good news is that you don’t have to do everything on your own. There are dozens of apps designed that help automate the process of staying organized. Here are a few:
- Slack for team communication. As you grow your business, you may end up adding team members. Slack is a great application for keeping communications centralized without the distractions and other shortcomings of email.
- Box for cloud storage. With Box, you can keep all of your files stored in one secure location and enjoy access from anywhere with any device.
- LastPass for password management. Stop trying to remember dozens of passwords and use a password management app like LastPass. Simply remember one master password and you have instant access to everything.
This is just a very small sample. If there’s an aspect of your business where you feel disorganized, chances are there’s an app to help you.
- Use One Calendar for Everything
We advise against having a personal calendar and a business calendar. It’s far too easy to overbook yourself without realizing it. Instead, use one centralized calendar for everything – including work and personal commitments.
- Keep Everything in One Bank Account
Go ahead and set up a new business bank account for your online travel business. Every expense, invoice, or payment goes through this bank account. Then when it comes time to do taxes or resolve an issue, you know exactly where the transaction was processed. If you’re used to using multiple cards and payment options, this small tweak will make your life much easier!
- Track Expenses Right Away
One of the more stressful parts of running a business is keeping finances in order. From revenue to expenses, it’s easy to lose track of things, fail to properly document transactions, and create tax-related issues. To prevent issues like these, you have to be meticulous in your approach to tracking expenses.
Assuming you have a simple expense tracking app on your devices, make a habit out of immediately taking a picture or screenshot of the expense or invoice as soon as it’s created. Never assume you’ll get to it later. By doing it right away, you form a habit that will prevent anything from ever slipping through the cracks.
- Address Legal Issues
You might be small, but that’s no excuse to ignore fundamentals. To fully protect your business and maximize tax advantages, we recommend forming a legal business entity. Otherwise, you’ll operate under the default designation of a Sole Proprietorship. There’s nothing technically wrong with this, but it does open you up to unnecessary levels of risk. If someone were to sue your business, they could technically come after you, your house, your personal bank accounts, and any other assets that you own.
The easiest and least complicated option is to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This will give you a business entity that’s separate from yourself, while still allowing you to pay taxes on an individualized basis (no corporate taxes).
Iterate to Great
You aren’t going to create a perfect system the first time around. Getting organized is very much a process – and processes take time. However, the best thing you can do is start today.
The sooner you start, the faster you can figure out what works for your business. Then based on this information, you can iterate your approach until it’s a perfect fit for what you’re trying to do.
The hope is that you’ll use this article as a starting point. However, don’t be afraid to try other methods as well. It’s all about finding what works for you and iterating to great.