Reflecting on this pandemic and previous crises that the travel industry (and the world) has faced, it’s clear how abruptly things can change and throw us off course. While we’re in the midst of COVID-19, taking it one day at a time, there’s no saying what’s going to happen next.
We do know that, at some point, the wheels are going to start turning again. As to be expected, there’s speculation as to what the travel industry is going to emerge to, and when. There’s a new norm waiting for the world.
Nobody wants to think about the next crisis at this moment, but another will hit at some point. Whether it’s a natural disaster such as wildfires or a volcanic eruption, another wave of coronavirus infections, a financial downturn, or any other unforeseen disaster, taking measures now to future-proof your travel business can help you to better weather the storms.
When you have a spare moment in the coming weeks, focus on forming a plan for business resiliency.
Tips To Prepare Your Travel Business For Resiliency
Draw Up A Crisis Management Plan
This document is a set of guidelines to prepare your travel business for an unexpected event or crisis.
Not having a framework to direct specific actions in a situation can have long-lasting consequences for the company. It can open you up to operational, PR, or legal issues, which depending on the severity of the situation, can be crippling.
A crisis management plan details the steps to take when an emergency arises and outlines how to communicate with employees, suppliers, and partners, as well as the public.
Its purpose is to:
- Ensure the safety and well-being of your employees and the people who engage in business with you
- Help you maintain strong relationships with your customers, suppliers, partners, and industry peers during and after a crisis
- Establish work protocols so that your team is aware of their roles during and after a crisis, lessening downtime and maximizing productivity
- Prepare your company for any situation
For an extensive guide on the topic, this post has further insights to assist you.
Identify Areas Where Your Business Might Be At Risk
While you can’t identify or predict crises that may occur in the future, you can identify points of risk that may affect your business success. These could be in your system or business processes, personnel, technology, data security, or legal compliance, among others.
For example, your operations may rely too heavily on a single member of your team, or you don’t have a suitable network of vendors to turn to should a key partner be unavailable. Maybe the bulk of your income is generated by a single, volatile stream. The absence of any of these core players could put your business in a shaky position if you don’t have the necessary precautionary measures in place.
Given that we’re navigating and learning from a crisis, it’s a good time to run an exercise to identify where weak points might be.
A way to do this is to gather insights on the bigger picture from your team and larger partner network. You’ll get several perspectives on aspects relating to your business, the industry, and market conditions, which can help you to prepare for any unforeseen future events.
Review Business Cancellation Policies
Depending on whether you are experiencing any complicated disputes and chargebacks at the moment, it might be worthwhile reviewing your cancellation policies.
You want to actively protect your business and income at all times, but outdated or insufficient policies can leave you vulnerable in this respect.
When dealing with disputes, banks and financial institutions look for concise documents that outline all the necessary information in simple terms.
Having clear cancellation policies and terms & conditions in place can give you peace of mind knowing that your business and income are better protected. As a result, you will be able to adapt to unexpected events with greater confidence.
Get Your Business Closer To Technology
COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in many ways. One of the major changes this pandemic has driven is the need for work from home policies to implement social distancing. Had this occurred at a time when we didn’t have the technology available that we do today, there would be a much smaller workforce able to continue business during this time.
This doesn’t mean that the situation is easy though.
For many people and businesses, the move was sudden and didn’t allow much time for preparation. Those who aren’t regular remote or work from homebodies have had to clear out an office space and develop a new routine.
Then there’s the matter of settling in with the new coworkers.
Regarding business continuity, if your systems and processes were largely or partially manual, then you have no doubt had to implement new technology into your operations. Everything ranging from daily communication and meetings, to file and document collaboration are now undertaken online using a shared set of tools.
Technology is an equalizer that can help your business to innovate, improve, excel, and inspire. As a bonus, it allows your team to do what they do best from anywhere in the world, making room for greater flexibility in unexpected situations.
While you explore the tools that work best for your business, consider the value they can provide in the long run. Not only will it help you to meet the market in the current situation, but it will help your travel business to be more agile in the future.
Building A Resilient Travel Business
Things are changing from day to day and it’s difficult to say what the future is going to hold. Therefore, one of the most important things you can do in a crisis to future-proof your business is to be flexible. It may mean implementing some changes at the core, but with foresight and support from your community, you can come out of this faster and more resilient.
Our resources page has more information to help travel businesses navigate these unprecedented times.