Running a tour and attractions business can be hard work, right? The phone rings off the hook, all while you’re trying to get ready for the group booking in the afternoon and find a replacement for the staff member who went home sick.
People in the travel industry have a lot of things to juggle, but it doesn’t always have to be as hard as it seems. Technology can play a big role in making our lives easier and more organised. Not to mention it can help our tour and attraction businesses work more efficiently and effectively, meaning we can spend more time doing what we love.
It’s probably no surprise that we here at Booking Boss are big fans of any piece of technology and productivity apps that will help us stay more focused on the things that matter. That’s why we’ve pulled together our 5 favourite technology tools that help you work smarter, not harder.
When I work
What it is: Scheduler and communicator to help you manage hourly staff.
Why it made the list: Rostering and managing casual team members can be a time-consuming and headache inducing process. Even in a smaller sized attraction company, this job can take up to 8 hours per week - valuable time that could be better invested elsewhere in the business.
‘When I work’ can significantly reduce the time you spend rostering and communicating with your staff. What’s more, the cloud-based software comes with an app that allows employees to view their schedule, track their time, trade shifts with each other and request time off via their mobile phones.
What it is: Phone app to make typing on your smartphone faster - and more accurate.
Why it made the list: While we love the convenience of being able to send a quick email via our phones while we’re on the go, we’ve also experienced the embarrassment that comes from a serious case of clumsy thumbsy or the perils of predictive text recognition.
‘SwiftKey’ makes your typing experience simpler and less error-prone. Need we say more?
What it is: Easy-to-use to-do list that integrates with your calendar.
Why it made the list: When you’re out and about doing business and meeting people you often have a lot of actions and take-aways that you need to remember at a later stage. Paper has the annoying tendency of going missing in jeans pockets and in between car seats.
'Any.Do’ is an intuitive app that helps you manage your business and personal tasks. It reminds you about your to-do’s in the morning and gives you the ability to easily postpone it without letting it drop off the radar completely. The app also integrates with a calendar that prompts you to set reminders for actions agreed on in meetings.
What it is: Password manager (a magic word).
Why it made the list: While we do love tech, we don’t necessarily love having to remember hundreds of passwords for all our online accounts. Not to speak of the frustrating process of having to reset it just when you can least afford the time.
'LastPass' remembers your passwords for you and stores them securely so you don’t have to resort to using the same (unsafe) password for all your online accounts. One less thing to worry about.
What it is: Gmail plugin that allows you to schedule emails and remind you to follow up.
Why it made the list: Staying on top of email communication is by far the most time-consuming and stressful part of managing a tour and attraction business. Your schedule often means that you have to send emails at odd hours or you forget to follow up with that supplier simply because the email chain went missing in your inbox.
‘Boomerang’ takes the stress out of managing your inbox by enabling you to schedule your emails at a designated time. It also gives you the ability to set a reminder for emails you haven’t had a response from in a couple of days so you don’t have to worry about things falling through the cracks anymore.
What’s your favourite tech hack to help you manage your tourism business on a day to day basis? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
Want to learn about more tech to streamline your business? Download our ebook: 12 tech tools to streamline your tour, activity or attraction 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.