Have you ever had that feeling you're forgetting to do something? You thought of it so clearly at the beginning of the week but by the time 6pm on Friday rolls around, you can't seem to grasp what it was you needed to do.
Was it an email you needed to reply to? A call you had to make about some equipment? Even some supplies you needed to buy for the office? It seems to only get worse the busier you become, so imagine how hard it can be to keep track by the end of the season.
That's why we've put together a helpful list to make it easier to remember which details you need to have a look at at the end of the season.
1. Manage effective partnerships in this season and the next
Growing up you probably heard about how some people were a "bad influence" or about those who made good role models. Perhaps you've had a mentor during a challenging time in your life like during your university studies or even after a personal loss like a break up or business failure. You've probably heard this famous quote:
"You are the average of the five people you most associate with"
- Tim Ferris
While this might be a bit of an extreme example, it paints a pretty good picture of how we can be influenced by the world directly around us. Who we spend our time with can help shape where we go in life. That's why it's important as a business owner to find and connect with people who want to be successful as well.
This can be anyone from a small business in a different industry that works with tour and activity providers to a fellow tour operator in your area. But you should also try to connect with people you might not come across otherwise, such as department heads of larger companies, inspiring tourism experts, and even industry influencers. A great place to start engaging with these thought leaders is at a networking event.
However, you don't have to make all of your introductions in-person. You can benefit from using key social media networks. A good place to connect with fellow tour and activity providers is a Facebook group. Groups like Tour and Activity Marketing Talk or Tour Operators United are a few you can easily get started with. Additionally, TrekkSoft offers a partner network where you can connect with partners, agents and resellers.
Take time at the end of each season to look for influencers that could be directly related to your tours or activities. Make a list and follow them on your company’s social media accounts. Engage in conversations with them from time to time over the next season and see where it can go. Maybe you'll find a good brand representative or someone you can write some content with.
Remember, in the quest to find new contacts you should never neglect the ones you've already got in place. At the end of each quarter, make it a priority to show appreciation to the partners you've had. Celebrate any new business that came to you this season through a partnership. Send the companies a token of your appreciation with a ‘thank you’ card or gift. You could also make a plan to connect with these partners in the next several weeks.
2. Use an online tool so everything's in one place
Remember the old filing cabinet you'd see in offices and libraries about 15 years ago? You probably even had one at home or needed to use one for work or school. They were heavy, took up a lot space, and files could go missing or become damaged.
These days, you can find everything quickly without having to search every folder, file another book, or even open another drawer. All it takes is a good productivity tool. Here are three of our favorite types that help you to easily organize your content and bookings by managing them online.
For most businesses, it's just about impossible to work without a word processor or spreadsheets. You're always writing something, whether it's a press release or just an office memo. Traditional word processors are great, but it's a hassle to have to email documents to each member on the team. That's why we recommend a good document storage platform.
Some favorite are Google Drive, Evernote, and Dropbox. They bring everything together in one place to help you keep all your documents and spreadsheets neatly organized. Each come with a 'search' feature so finding files is a breeze. It's perfect for sharing important information with your team and making sure everyone can have access to the important documents they need to do their job.
Writing isn't always easy, editing for grammar and spelling errors can be a headache. Especially if it's not typically your main area of focus. With a good writing tool, you can easily create content that's free of syntax errors and misspellings. Grammarly is a personal favorite, and a tool you'll see used a lot among the TrekkSoft team. Another great tool is the Hemingway App. The best part about both of these is that they catch the errors other programs might miss. In the Hemingway App, it helps you to improve your writing by giving you a chance to learn from your most common mistakes.
So, you've got your tour ideas written, saved in your Drive, and error-free thanks to Grammarly. Now what? You need to bring them online. There are some fantastic website builders out there that give you beautiful results and help make this step easy. But you also need something that will help you manage your bookings once they're listed online. You can use a few tools to make this easier, but if you'd rather just have everything in one place, consider a booking management tool like TrekkSoft.
3. Manage your equipment and resources
We all know that in order to run your business effectively, you need to make sure your resources are organized. Whether it's a boat, bus, or equipment for each customer, your business can't run without them. That's why it's important to take care of your supplies, making sure they're in the best shape they can be.
To begin with, you should take inventory of all equipment in your possession. Note what condition each item is in. Repair or replace any damaged or outdated equipment, and bring your rental schedule up to date.
If you haven't already, this is also a good time to list all of your rental equipment in your website and other online platforms. TrekkSoft offers a resource management tool that makes it easy to not only list your equipment online but to manage how it's rented, rental times, and offers reservations through a number of distribution channels.
When you're dealing with the long hours of your busiest season, it's hard to stay on top of everything. Whether you're at the end of your activity's high season, low season, or somewhere in between, there are a few details that can be easily overlooked. Hopefully, the next time you're not sure what "important something or rather" was, this list can help you through it.
Download your free checklist and never lose track of your resources at the end of the season again!
Written 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.