The landscape is changing rapidly in the travel industry worldwide and Canada is no exception.
It used to be that if you wanted to sell travel, you had to work either in a travel agency or a call centre. In fact, in Ontario, that was the law.
All that has changed over the past 15 years or so, to the point where almost 25 per cent of all Canadian travel agents are home based.
In the U.S., when the economy was hit hard in 2008, many travel agencies closed and this left a lot of agents with some tough decisions. Many of them chose to go home-based and today, it is estimated that over 50 per cent of all travel agents in the U.S. work from home and in the U.K., about 50 per cent of agents are home based.
Running your own business and being your own boss have many rewards, especially if you have all the right support systems in place, and the tools to do your job well.
When we talk to home based agents and ask them why they made the decision to work for themselves, the answers are usually the same. They like the control it gives them. They like selecting their own marketing strategies. They love not having to commute to work! They can earn more and keep more of their earnings.
One of the more compelling reasons is the tax breaks home based agents will get. If you are an employee, you will have relatively few opportunities to reduce the taxes deducted on every pay cheque. But when you are home based, you are running your own business and there are many tax breaks associated with operating your own home business.
But the benefits don’t stop there. How many times have you heard people talk about “work/life balance”? When you are home based, you decide how many hours you work, and what those hours are. You can work from anywhere; just take your smart phone with you. Work when you want to!
With today’s technology, with VOIP telephone capability (internet phone) you can literally be anywhere on the planet and look after your clients. You can manage your life as you choose.
Another benefit that home based agents talk about is being able to sell the product they want, meaning that if you want to specialize in a certain destination like the Caribbean, or Europe, or Asia, or type of product like cruise or coach tours …then you do that. You can choose what you want to promote on your own website and on other marketing tools.
Setting yourself up to work from home is easier than you think. It does not have to be complicated. Make sure you find the right host agency that provides the most support in all of these areas, and has the systems, training and programs you will need to be fully supported in running your own business.
Best of all, you can watch the traffic jams every morning and evening on your home TV and smile!