In our last blog post we talked about the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals to help tour and activity operators grow their business.
Let’s say you’ve taken a bit of time to think about what you’d like to achieve with your business over the next year - so what’s next?
Any business goal you set is only ever as good as the steps you take to translate it into a reality. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve set big goals such as taking your activity company overseas, securing new distribution partners, or smaller targets such as adding a new product to your tour portfolio: once you’ve written down your goals, you need an action plan that will help you make things happen.
Not sure where to start? Here are Booking Boss' 4 steps you need to achieve your goals.
Step 1: Communicate your goals with the right people
Communicating your business goals with others will make it more likely that you’ll reach those goals for two main reasons:
1. It makes it easier to enlist other people’s help to achieve them.
2. It will make you feel accountable and therefore more likely to go after your goals.
Telling key members of your team will mean that you can work together to reach your business goals and you don’t need to stop at the reception desk! Sharing your ambitions for your tour or activity business with close friends and business partners can be a real game changer.
People in your private and business network might have useful advice that can help you get ahead or introduce you to other people in the industry who know how to make things happen.
Step 2: Align your marketing plan with your business goals
The goals you set for your business should form the basis for your annual marketing plan and budget. If your plan is to take your activity business international, you’ll need to allocate some resources to research your new target market (e.g. growth of adventure tourism in this geography, local distribution network, cultural faux pas to avoid - we have a great webinar on this).
If you’re launching a new tour product in a market that you know very well, you’ll want to focus your efforts on generating awareness for the new offering (both directly with clients and your distributors).
Step 3: Set milestones to track progress
When you’ve big goals for your business reaching them can sometimes seem like a really long way away. Setting smaller milestones along the way will not only help you measure how you’re tracking and it will also give you a reason to celebrate the smaller achievements you have along the way.
In our activity business examples, you could break down the goal of launching overseas into the following milestones:
1. Complete market research.
2. Obtain any official permissions required.
3. Produce marketing material.
Just like your business goal, your milestones should follow the S.M.A.R.T framework.
Step 4: Be prepared to change
As someone who has made a living in the tourism industry we probably don’t need to tell you that sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned them. Just like the way you may have to reschedule one of your tours because the weather has thrown a spanner in the works, you may have to adjust your business goals along the way.
For instance, your market research could reveal that the tourism industry in the city you wanted to launch your activity is not as thriving as you thought it is. Instead of giving up on the idea of going international, think of possible alternatives and start again with your market research in a different city. In many ways, reaching your business goals has a lot in common with travel: you need to learn to embrace the detours.
Want to learn more clever ways to help you grow your tour and activity business? Download Level up: How to grow your tourism business.
Booking Boss is an online booking system for tour operators and attraction providers. Trusted by many in the tourism industry, Booking Boss is about getting you out of the spreadsheets and into the sun. We provide free education resources for operators like you, to make your business the best it can possibly be.