Travel agents have been told to ask themselves five key
questions to stop their businesses from ending up on the
scrapheap.

PricewaterhouseCoopers business solutions manager Alan Morris has
urged agents to take a detailed look at their business practices to
boost profitability.

The plea comes after he refused to include financial reporting
details from eight Advantage agents in research released at the
consortium’s conference last weekend as he didn’t trust
the information provided.

Morris said high-street travel agents are among the worst in the
retail sector for understanding the detail of their
businesses.

He said the sector should know which destinations and operators are
the most profitable based on the time spent on bookings and
commission levels. Agents should use this information to tailor
their businesses and increase profitability.

According to PWC, there are five key questions agents should pose
about their own businesses.

  • Why do customers use my services?
  • What does it cost me?
  • What are my margins and commission earnings?
  • Can I transfer a process used in one area, such as service
    fees, to another part of my business?
  • Could working practices change to improve my bottom line?