I really don't understand it.
As a business owner there are many challenges and opportunities that hit you daily. Some people call dealing with the challenges as 'fire fighting'. Normal day to day operational failures, personnel concerns and client service issues can take up your day.
With 20+ years experience of running complex businesses in the corporate travel environment I understand. Having worked through 9/11, Qantas grounding their entire fleet, horrendous weather events, staff bereavement, customer unrealistic demands etc. I get it.
You still need to focus on a strategy to defend, grow and position your business for the future. If you don't you'll stand still or even worse, fail.
Today we have new technology, TMC-tech companies (like TripActions) and non-traditional travel players all thinking they can disrupt the current landscape. And they are!!!
Now as a business coach in the travel industry I come across businesses of all sizes, stages of development and with various leadership qualities.
The conclusion I have reached for the vast majority of organisations is that the leaders spend far too little time on opportunities and future-proofing their business.
The key areas that need more attention are;
Closer attention to the initial budget process, re-forecasting when significant changes occur (new business, lost clients), or even working without a budgets A clear opportunity to manage and prepare is a detailed budget. Business 101.
Review internal costs for new technology opportunities. I am a Director of troovo.com, a robotic automation solution and I have seen real 50%+ cost reductions. Many leaders see such solutions, recognise the savings they can realise however still focus on 'fire-fighting' rather than make improvements. Dumb management.
If you are a retail travel business you know online travel agents (OTA's) are making great inroads to taking all areas of air, hotel, car hire and insurance segments. Don't believe 'service' alone will retain your clients. Loyalty is not what it used to be and the 'now' economy is 24/7/365 online. Embrace technology that gives you a fighting chance. Don't hide away from reality.
Investment to differentiate. As example is in the Australian corporate travel arena where Serko, the leading online booking solution for corporates, has a majority market share. If a travel management company doesn't offer Serko to their corporate clients they can be seen to be behind everyone else. However you see a number of travel management companies, whilst providing Serko to clients, are also offering something different - they can stand out and if the other solution meets clients needs they can change the discussion from a 'race to the bottom' pricing war to true added value for clients. What are your unique selling points?
There are many more aspects of running a business that drag the leaders down to day-to-day business. However if you are a true leader then take you focus down the road as well otherwise you'll get nowhere fast.
Happy to help you and your business. Contact me here