How to Find the Help You Need
By: Sandy Saburn, CTIE

If you want to grow a thriving travel business, you must realize that you cannot do it all by yourself. When you are truly a one-person business, you are limited by the number of hours you can work, and there are only so many hours in a day.

In any business, you should only do what is the highest and best use of your time. Anything else should be done by someone else. After all, you didn’t start a travel business to send hours entering information into a CRM or invoicing bookings.

If you have come to the very wise realization that you can’t do it all and need help, here are some suggestions for how to proceed.

First, determine what you want the person to do. For many advisors that is paperwork – invoicing, entering client information in CRM and other systems, processing payments, and tasks along these lines. Or, you may have something different in mind. Maybe you want someone to triage your email or something else entirely. Whatever it is write it down, so you find the right match.

Next, estimate how many hours per week you think you will need this person’s assistance. Even if it is just 5 hours per week, that can be an incredible benefit to you. Once you get used to having help you will probably need more hours. You also need to be clear about how many hours you want to start with so you can budget accordingly. A good assistant is going to cost $15 to $20 per hour, but they are worth it!

Your next step is to consider whether you want someone virtual or local. Some people prefer someone who can come into their home office and work with them in person. Others are very happy to have someone work remotely. There are people for both roles, but you may have an easier time finding someone who works remotely.

Now that you are clear about what you need, it is time to start looking. One of the best ways to start is to ask colleagues if they have an assistant they love who might be willing to take on another client. Most virtual assistants work with multiple clients at one time. If you can find one who already works with travel advisors that is an advantage as they will know some of the systems, you need them to use.

If you don’t find someone that way, you might look into a company that provides virtual assistants. There are a lot of companies out there that will provide someone for you to work with. One word of caution: some companies don’t allow you to work with the same person each time but require you to work with a “pool” of assistants. That can be a challenge if they aren’t all skilled working in the travel industry.

Many advisors think the best way to hire someone is to add an IC to your business that wants to get into travel. This very rarely works because they want to get into travel to do what you are doing, not what you don’t want to do.

Once you find someone, you actually have to use them. There are a lot of travel agents who have trouble letting go. They are confident that no one can do things as well as they can, so they won’t let anyone else try. That sort of thinking will significantly limit your potential in your business.

Gifted Travel Network, Inc. | 425 E. Statesville, Suite 101, Mooresville, NC 28115 | (877) 982‐2842

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