Tour operators, prepare your battle stations; the busiest time of year is fast approaching!
While the holiday season is the most exciting time of year, it is also the most demanding. It goes without saying that more customers mean a higher workload. And this period all too often turns into a crazy juggling act.
We absolutely object to this. High season should be an enjoyable time; a time spent revelling in the opportunities presented to your business (and less in spreadsheets).
So in the spirit of the festive season we’ve compiled 5 practical tips that will help you prepare for, and get you through, the busiest time of year. We hope you enjoy!
1. Set your limits
Unless your name is Superman or Wonder Woman you can’t possibly do it all. We’re all human, and we all have limits. You don’t want to heap so much on your plate that you burn out half way through your business’ craziest time.
Plan downtime into this period. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to pack up shop and skip town for an all-inclusive spa weekend (although we’ll level with you - that sounds pretty darn good). Downtime can take the form of a dinner with friends, a gym session or even a quick walk around the block. Whatever it is, give yourself something to look forward too and make sure you set time aside for yourself every few days to recharge.
You may be thinking – “Pfft as if, I can totally handle the pressure.” If you’re not going to do it for yourself, at least do it for your staff. Research shows that taking little moments for yourself, can help boost productivity and job performance. Your team look to you as an example so don’t drop the ball; work at your very best.
2. Turn to your people
One of the best things about the travel industry are the people. To work the hours we do, you have to be passionate (and a little bit nuts...in a good way). Well the same goes for your staff, they wouldn’t be with you if they didn’t enjoy themselves. So make use of them.
When building out your roster, assign a key staff member to each shift. This way you can rest easy knowing that you have a capable leader on at all times – that should take a little bit of weight off your shoulders!3. Review your rates
We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume that you want to get the maximum number of bookings for a high profit. Before your operations kick into gear and you get swamped with customers, review your rates.
Can you imagine coming out the other side of peak season, and not making your profit margin? All that effort, wasted – it’s honestly the stuff nightmares are made off. Ensure your rates are correct, before it’s too late.
Pricing should never be a finger in the air exercise, so you’ll need to determine whether you’re over or undercharging your incoming guests. If so you could be harming your business or turning guests off; either way, nobody wants that.
We know that enabling competitive pricing and ensuring maximum profit walks a very fine line. It’s easy to get caught out, so safeguard your business. Read how you can set your rates at the right level in 3 easy steps.
4. Get social
Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to spread the word and get people excited about your offerings. Yet producing content is time-consuming, and let’s face it, doesn’t often rank high on our list of priorities when we’re busy.
Well unfortunately social media doesn’t go on vacation over the holidays. That’s why we recommending setting a couple of days aside to pre-plan and schedule the majority of your content before peak season truly hits.
While social shouldn’t be completely put to bed (you should always keep an eye out for social moments) - this will reduce both your and your staffs’ workload; allowing you to focus on the more important things. For instance, sharing authentic moments with your customers and building on their experience.
5. Create the ultimate playlist
When all else fails, and you’re feeling the pressure turn to some sweet tunes. When times get rushed nothing helps us chill out better than our favourite music. Create one playlist that rules them all and plug in when you need to get down to business. Or feel free to borrow our Spotify playlist – "Sweet tunes to get you through the peak season!"
See you on the other side folks!
Haven’t figured out how you want to manage your online payments this peak season? Download our Payment Gateway Comparison Matrix to learn which payment systems are the most cost-effective for your 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.