Tour guide business opportunity demands adequate knowledge of historical information and local culture about the location where you are starting the business. This business is all about sharing information about the places to a group of people in an entertaining way. An aspiring start, living in a tourist place, having good communication skills can initiate this self-rewarding venture.
The average hourly wage in the United States for a tour guide is estimated to be $13 per hour. The average annual salary for a tour guide is $23,000 in the U.S. You can start this business from home location with low capital investment.
10 Steps to Start a Tour Guide Business
Find here step by step guide to starting a tour operator business.
1. Explore your Location
Study and intensive research about the location is the most important factor in starting a tour guide business. Learn everything you can about the location and gather sufficient knowledge. You need to know every interesting landmark of the location where you are starting the business. Study of local culture, foods, etc.
2. Research the Market
It is extremely important to understand your competitors before you start practicing a tour operator. Do extensive market research and gather information on the tour packages, their approach, pricing, etc of other local tour guide operators. This information will help you to create creative standout tour packages to tourists which others are not offering.
3. Select Your Target Market
There are many types of tourists with different mindsets. They can be adventure-loving, photograph shooters, eco-loving tourists, tourists looking to explore local cultures, etc. Depending on your location, set your tour packages.
4. Name your Business
The first thing you need to do before actually starting is to name your tour guide business. Choose a relevant and relatable name. Read this guide and understand the process of properly to naming a business.
5. Register your Tour Guide Business
After you decide on the name, it is time to register your business. Every state and country offers different options for registering a company. The options generally are a proprietorship, partnership, corporations. Talk to competent people, and decide on the best business structure best-suited base on your resources. For example, if you are from the United States, forming an LLC is best if you want to separate business from personal liabilities.
6. License for Tour & Travel Guide Business
To initiate a tour guide business you need to obtain the necessary licenses from the local authority. To be an enlisted tour guide you can apply for a license to Regional Level Tourists Guides authorities.
7. Create a Business Plan
Based on the information collected, write a detailed business plan. Describe your objectives, operational plan, a financial plan including pricing strategy, and your marketing plan in as much detail as possible. Remember, your business plan is the road map for your success in the business.
8. Open a Business Bank Account
After registering the business, open a business bank account. This is a must for receiving and paying for your business transactions.
9. Operations in Tour & Travel Guide Business
Keep yourself organized with appointment schedules. Never be late. Remember your clients have their own tight schedule. You can also design unique trips to attract tourists. Take advice and suggestion from every individual and consider being flexible. Make every trip fun and exciting for your clients. Another very important aspect is to set up proper bookkeeping. Choose proper accounting software to ensure smooth accounting for your business.
10. Promote Your Tour & Travel Guide Business
You need to promote your business aggressively online and offline both to get success. Create your business card and brochures with detailed information. Contact your local hotels, resorts, and travel houses to have a business tie-up with them. In today’s world, every prospective tourist research online. Also, choose the best business insurance available.
It is recommended to have a business website of your tour guide business. List your travel and tour guide business in online travel agent sites. Reference is most important to get clients in this business. Ask satisfied clients to share their experience on your site. Promote your services on social media like Facebook, Twitter. Offer special discounts to online clients.
As a tour guide is a personalized business your communication skills and behavior matters. Success is all about providing clients the best time of their vacation and makes them happy with smiling. Present yourself in a sensitive and friendly manner. When you are with a group meet every individual and introduce yourself.