Don’t let the stock images fool you – it’s not all lounging around in your pajamas. Forget about the two-way commute, the lines at the coffee shop, and the office cubicles. Running a travel agency from the comfort of your living room or home office is the dream of many, but before you set up shop what else should you know?
There Are Tax Breaks: If you run your own travel agency from your living room or home office, there are tax breaks you can take. You may be able to deduct part of your home expenses – such as your mortgage interest, a portion of your mortgage payments, utilities and even repairs and remodeling of a home office.
There Are Other Savings: You will need work clothes for meetings outside of the home, but overall, your overhead will be reduced. You will also save on commuting costs and office rental costs.
Your Schedule Is Yours: Whether you work at night or in the morning, four or five days a week is up to you. It may depend on where your clients are from or when you can reach them to book reservations, but working at home comes with this flexibility.
There Is Paperwork: Keep track of your mileage and travel expenses, any home office expenses, as well as traveling you may do. Organize your client’s files whether digitally or with a filing cabinet. The more organized you are, the more successful you can become.
There Are Distractions: Don’t be fooled. Working from home is great, but it’s not as easy as everyone thinks it might be. Neighbors stop by, kids interrupt, and even spouses can step in on your work time. Laundry, dishes and the dusting all call your name while you’re trying to book your client’s reservations. If you’re easily distracted, you might find working from home a challenge.
There Are Methods To Success: You can block out the noise and work from home successfully. It’s important to create a designated space where you can work without interruptions. Schedule regular breaks to check in with family and friends if you need to. Set boundaries on when and how you can be interrupted and stick to it. When neighbors show up, Diane Gottsman of the Protocol School of Texas recommends saying something like, “So nice of you to stop by, but I’m just at a point where I can’t stop, please excuse me.”
Technology Is Your Friend:
Need to hold a meeting from home? There’s Skype, Google Hangouts and other apps to help you communicate with clients. Need to share documents or files with anyone? There’s an app for that. Today’s technology allows anyone to work anywhere.
It Might Not Be Right For You. You want to own a travel agency and work from home, but it isn’t working out. Maybe you are too distracted or you miss the other people in the office. Hey, that’s okay. Try it out. If it isn’t for you, move your office somewhere else. You can even be a solopreneur and just share office space with others. Find what works best for you.