Let’s take a look at a few business skills that you should keep at the top of your list.
Whether you're just starting out in your travel agent career, or you're approaching retirement age, it's never too late to learn a new business skill set. Doing so not only widens your scope of knowledge, it also makes you more valuable to employers. But where do you learn these new skill sets, and which ones should you focus on? The answer, of course, varies depending on your position and your goals, but there are a few that everyone should make a point to learn, because they're just that valuable. Let's take a look at a few that you should keep at the top of your list.
Social media skills
You can't go anywhere on the internet these days without seeing social media. This is how individuals and businesses alike connect with a wider audience. Even if you choose not to use them for your personal life, and many do because of the potential distraction, you should know how to use them for business. They're so widely popular, that they're considered part of the content marketing services umbrella. Companies aimed at providing content also integrate social media to help spread the word faster and in some cases, even make content go viral.
You don't need to know all of the nuances about using social media, just learning how to create and automate posts, as well as integrate keywords is enough to get by. However, if you're looking to be a consultant or professional, you'll definitely want to learn about the algorithms and best practices to use for other companies to promote your travel packages. And honestly, nothing sells your destination packages like beautiful shots of the scenery with a catchy gimmick that draws the potential customer's attention.
Even if you hate working with numbers and swear you can't do long division, you'll definitely want some basic accounting as a skill set so you can see just how profitable your business is. You'll learn how to balance and reconcile accounts, keep accurate financial records and even the basics of what you'll need to do during the tax season. Accounting is so much more than numbers, it's all about where you place the numbers and that you do it accurately so the statements reflect an overall accurate portrayal of your business' success. Additionally, you'll need these skills to work with a customer's budget and keep track of overall costs associated with the trips you're planning on any given day.
Some people like the processes involved in financial statements so much that they actually go into the niche working as a bookkeeper, staff accountant or even a CPA. If this is the route you end up taking, you may even find yourself looking for accounting practice sales to take over an already up and running business.
When it comes to business, communication is everything, especially when the majority of your contact with customers is going to be via email and over the phone. It's not enough to know how to address a room, you need to pay attention to the people you're speaking to or with, and conform to a manner of speaking that resonates with them. The way you communicate with a couple going on a lavish honeymoon trip, for example, will be slightly different than the way you communicate with an individual booking a hiking expedition across Europe.
Project management skills
Project management skills come in handy in just about any field, even if you're not a manager you can benefit from knowing the basics. It's a must for anyone who has leadership skills and works in a team environment where group projects are the standard. You'll learn how to effectively manage your team using appropriate organization and communication skills, while at the same time calling into play negotiating and critical thinking. Tour guides have to be very well versed in management so that they not only follow the plans, but also know how to train others in the field as well.
A true project manager leads the project from start to finish, figuring out what the priorities are and who is best suited to complete them efficiently. They're also responsible for tackling any obstacles that pop up and finding ways to overcome them using problem-solving techniques. If you're looking to adapt project management skills, consider getting certified as a PMP or achieving your CAPM. Both certifications will help you lead your team into making the big sales when it comes to travel and destination packages.