How travel start-ups can fail – and how not to

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Business failure

Starting a company is an exciting venture for anyone and doing so in the travel sector – be it a B&B, a tour company or anything else – can be extremely rewarding, providing you get it right. However, like any start-up, the odds will be against you unless the right decisions are taken at the outset. That means it is vital to know the dos and donts before you get started. Trying to fix things if you don’t begin well will be so much harder.

What to avoid

American firm EyeForTravel advises that there are three key actions that need to be successfully accomplished at the outset, these being to get the actual service to work, marketing it well and securing enough funding. In each and every case, it notes, the right people need to be on hand with the skills to deliver in every case. For that reason, it may be advisable to ensure there are more than just one or two people on board, to have a sufficiently wide skills base for the tasks in hand. The second tip was “know your value proposition”, which is marketing speak for being able to tell people quickly what you do and making sure what you offer matches up to the desires of the target audience. Thirdly, the site advises, everyone makes mistakes – but those who learn the lessons swiftly and apply them will thrive.

More to it than that

However, it may not always be as simple as one-two-three. A few more possibilities were noted by tNooz, which suggested there is too much of an obsession with innovation. It suggested: “Innovation as a term seems to be something a big corporate board says to a developer: ‘Oh go and build something that makes our brand look cool and innovative’.” The problem with that is obvious: making a brand look good is something that can only be done when that brand is already there and known about. With a start-up the key is to get the brand going in the first place. Tnooz also suggested part of the problem is simply that there are times when hard work and commitment fill the day, meaning working late hours to solve client problems, for example. In short, it is not all a bed of roses. Yes, the challenge may be exciting, but there is also a lot of hard graft that is not a lot of fun at all. It is those who are not up for the challenge who will ultimately be most likely to fail.