In the TrekkSoft content team, we love good organization. That's why we rely on tools like Hubspot, Evernote, and dapulse each day. We know that with the right tools, we're able to stay up to date with all of our projects.
The same is true for a tour or activity company. With the right tools, you'll have the ability to move your business forward even during your busiest time. We've talked about how to increase your bookings during high season, but not so much about what to do once you've gained them.
Here are our organization tips for the times when you might have more bookings than you know what to do with.
1. Use a booking management system
When you're in the middle of your busiest season, it's hard to stay on top of everything. No matter how carefully you prepare, it's going to be a time for longer hours and new customers to appeal to.
It's not a good time to deal with extra paperwork, especially if you have a smaller team and can't distribute the workload any further. Managing bookings can be a nightmare when you're relying on traditional methods for record-keeping. With a good activity booking system, you can have everything you need in one convenient place.
2. Tour and activity prepping
If you're a fan of Pinterest or YouTube, there's no way you've missed a recent trend called meal-prepping. The idea is to prepare all the food you would eat during your work week in advance. It has a number of benefits, including healthier meals and better portion control, but most people like it because it saves time each day.
To successfully prep your meals, you need to think ahead about the type of week you want to have. It requires a bit of focus and dedication, but it pays off in your daily life because when it comes time to have a meal, it's already prepared and ready to use.
We can apply this same idea to a tour or activity company. At the end of each workweek, you can easily prepare for what's going to happen in the following one. Here is an example of how a weekly "tour prep" could go:
- Set aside two hours at the end of your work week.
- Have a look at all the bookings you have coming up in the next week.
- Organize your schedule, assigning the right guide to each of these activities.
- Think about any add-ons they've purchased and try to arrange them. This includes organizing extra activities or merchandise.
- Once these are organized for the next week, make an effort at the end of each day to plan ahead for any new bookings you'll receive.
- You should be able to set aside about 20 minutes in the evening to prepare everything you need for the new customers.
Note: if your company does same-day bookings, you should have everything prepared in advance for those walk-in customers as well. For example, if you offer a complimentary water bottle with each tour, have an extra 10-20 of those ready each morning and make time to restock in the afternoon on especially busy days.
3. Stay on top of your social media
Even though it might feel like it sometimes, social media posts don't write themselves. Especially if you're not very comfortable writing. But, it's worth the effort to do it because it becomes a key component for your branding. Creating an engaging identity online is a necessary step for most tourism companies.
We've put together an easy-to-use social media planner. Simply print it out and use it each week. You can add this to your weekly planning time and schedule your posts in advance. That way when your day gets so busy you forget you even have a Twitter, you'll never miss a step.
4. Work with resellers and agents
Working with resellers is a great way to build up a more passive income. There are many to choose from, like Viator, Expedia, and City Discovery. Most of them resell your tours and activities and act as the bridge between you and the customer for a small commission.
As a TrekkSoft customer, features like the Point-of-sale Desk allow agents to resell your tours on any device. You're able to see the dashboard and watch how many tours or activities have been sold. This seamlessly works into your booking management system which means that instead of chasing down the figures, you're able to sit back and have everything you need in one organized space.
Staying on top of your business during high season will come with its challenges. We hope that this has been a helpful guide that will bring your closer to your goals in this season and the next. If you have any great tips for how you stay organized as a tour operator or activity provider, let us know in the comments below!
Looking for more tips? Stay organized with this checklist no matter which season you're in.
Published by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.