The back office of your travel business will need the following functions:
Managing a booking: Once the booking is made, ticketing, payments, and managing suppliers all kick off. While you are at it, managing the customer and the overall cash flow is also necessary.
- Managing travel suppliers: You will no doubt end up with many suppliers. You may well have different deals and commission levels with each of them. You ought to manage each of them on the customers behalf and your own.
- Managing finances: I hope that you got information on money from Cash, surviving the first year. The discipline of managing money in and out of the business will make all the difference. Add to that currency exchanges for some suppliers as something else to keep an eye on. As travel regulation described, meeting the consumer protection regulation needs to be done. If you want to take customer payment by credit and debit cards you will need to get merchant acquirer facilities with companies like Worldpay. As they hold some of the risk, they are particular about granting these facilities, merchant acquirer describes this in more detail. You will need to set up business banking facilities for day to day management of your business. Finally, consider the business insurances you will need, from professional indemnity to contents insurance for any premises.
Managing people: Your second biggest cost is likely to be the cost of employing people. Be clear about what you expect them to do, the hours they work and what their rewards are.
Company diary: The reason we raise this is that creating and managing a booking is a process of multiple stages. It will be key that you know who to chase for say, the final payment, and when to chase. For a one person business, it is worth being very organised, for a business with many employees it becomes a real necessity. If this diary can be integrated with the other parts of the front and back office, then all the better.