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
I was posting about helping my cousin escape St. Maarten, and total strangers reached out to me for assistance because they had no ability to help themselves.

Tammy Murphy, VIP Travel Experience
Daily Top List

Top Three Travel Destinations For Fall

1. Havana, Cuba

2. Lisbon, Portugal

3. Madrid, Spain

Source: Elite Daily

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
CoNexion 2017 Takes Aim at Growing Travel Agent Businesses
CoNexion 2017 Takes Aim at Growing Travel Agent Businesses

From breaking into the luxury cruise market to marketing business, there were tips for virtually every kind of agent, big or small, home-based or brick-and-mortar.

Travel Agents Can Now Book Guided Tours Through VAX VacationAccess
Travel Agents Can Now Book Guided Tours Through VAX VacationAccess

Cruising really took off when travel agents could book itineraries electronically, say partners Trisept and Adventurelink. Now guided tours have the same option.

Headquarter Happenings: Virtuoso’s Growth Reflects Travel Agents’ Robust Health
Headquarter Happenings: Virtuoso’s Growth Reflects Travel Agents’ Robust Health

At this year’s annual gathering of the luxury agency network, Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch told agents “you’re the hottest new thing that never went away.”

OTA Customers Again Left Stranded When Mother Nature Throws a Curveball
OTA Customers Again Left Stranded When Mother Nature Throws a Curveball

Chaos caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma shows once again just how valuable travel agents are in a crisis.

Future of Travel Agents on Display at ASTA Entrepreneur Competition
Future of Travel Agents on Display at ASTA Entrepreneur Competition

Winner is travel technology provider looking to automate client communications so agents can focus on adding value.

After Two Weeks of Hurricanes, Travel Agents and Airlines Scramble to Get Back to Normal
After Two Weeks of Hurricanes, Travel Agents and Airlines Scramble to Get Back to Normal

As airports come back online, airlines slowly start to resume regular schedules while travel agents grow weary from 24-hour workdays.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Imagine Bliss