Business Metrics Set The Stage For Success

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Business Metrics Set The Stage For Success


Sometimes travel agency owners can be so busy managing their business day to day that they miss the opportunity to step back and look at the big picture.

But analyzing key business metrics and benchmarking those financials with a relevant peer group is the way to stay on top of this in this ever-changing industry. ASTA director of research Kevin Wang has been engaged in a multi-year benchmarking program to assist ASTA and NACTA members in running their businesses more strategically, and provided some insights at a session yesterday.

“As agents you are very busy servicing clients and hitting your sales goals. At the end of the day, it may be impossible for you to track critical information, look deeper into your financials, and see how healthy your business is,” Wang said. “We want to remind you how important it is to benchmark and show you how.”

For example, travel professionals may know what their sales and income is, but might not know how healthy their profit margin is, and more importantly, how much better their profits could be. “Even if you know your numbers right now, you don’t always have the time to analyze how they are trending over time and understand what that means,” he said.

Wang’s 90-minute workshop focused on helping attendees understand which financials are the most critical to view regularly, what to look for in the data, and how to compare yourself to peer groups. Agents registered for the session came with their agency’s data after filling out worksheets e-mailed to them prior to the conference.

Some of the key financials reviewed were sales, revenue and expenses. During the session, Wang walked attendees through profit calculations, and helped them visualize and understand trends, and benchmark as a group.

“It’s not sufficient just to compare yourselves to your peers, but also to understand what the top percentile looks like, so you can see a path to improvement if you aren’t in that group,” he said. Wang believes both independent contractors and agency owners should look at their financial and operational data every quarter.

“Most agents look at it twice a year at most, and often only once a year with their accountant when doing their taxes,” he said. If you missed out on the chance to participate in the session, Wang will host a similar workshop at NACTA’s annual conference in Alaska in September.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Travel Tricks Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

1. Have a System for TSA Security.

2. Prepare Electronics for Continuous Work.

3. Pack for Success.

4. Plane Etiquette.

5. The Best Credit Cards for Travel.

Source: Forbes

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=bcae730a-7857-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Digital Detox May Sound Appealing, But Cruise Connectivity Wins Out

An increasing number of cruise lines are offering free WiFi and travel agents say their clients couldn’t be happier.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Why Some Travel Agents Ask for Budgets Up Front
Why Some Travel Agents Ask for Budgets Up Front

Never be the first to quote a number, expert negotiators say. But when it comes to travel, sharing your number with your agent ensures the best possible vacation.

Travel Agents Have Voices Heard in D.C. During ASTA's Legislative Day
Travel Agents Have Voices Heard in D.C. During ASTA's Legislative Day

Having their day on Capitol Hill, agents bring key issues to the Senate and House of Representatives.

Americans Are Vacationing More Now Than Any Point Since 2010
Americans Are Vacationing More Now Than Any Point Since 2010

In another encouraging sign for travel agents, upward leisure travel trend helps U.S. reach highest level of vacation day usage since 2010.

Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Eruption Isn’t a Covered Event for Typical Travel Insurance
Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Eruption Isn’t a Covered Event for Typical Travel Insurance

Despite the headlines and photos coming from Hawaii’s Big Island, the event is not disrupting travel plans.

Headquarter Happenings: For Host Agency TPI, Treating Agents as Business Owners Is Key
Headquarter Happenings: For Host Agency TPI, Treating Agents as Business Owners Is Key

Travel Planners International will roll out a new integrated technology platform for its agents later this year. The 30-year-old host is also looking to redefine the host agency model.

Two Agents Talk How ASTA Destination Expo in Greece will Directly Impact Their Sales
Two Agents Talk How ASTA Destination Expo in Greece will Directly Impact Their Sales

Greece wasn’t on the radar for two American travel agents, who say their eyes and businesses were opened by immersing themselves in the destination.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line