Working from home as a Travel Consultant

Working from home as a Travel Consultant

When we think of a Travel Consultant we think of big shiny offices or shops on the high street.  The traditional Travel Consultant is changing and there are more opportunities to work from home. It truly is the age of the computer and internet.

What can a travel consultant do?

In essence, they make clients life easy by organising all their travel arrangements. This can be either for business or personal and both. Booking holidays, booking flights and hotels all takes time.  A travel consultant takes this hassle away from the client. It will also mean that you will have to do some research into making the correct judgement and getting the right hotel booking and a good price.

It will also mean that you will have to do some research into making the correct judgement and getting the right hotel booking and a good price. Therefore understanding your client’s budget and personal requirements will be of vital importance.  You could possibly have your client’s credit card details, so confidentiality and trustworthiness are essential.  Discretion will also need to be undertaken.

It would be an advantage to have a list of local hotels and conference centres available in your area or create an approved suppliers list for your client’s.

There are some insurances that you will need to undertake with this type of job and training.  However, there are franchises that you can purchase that will guide you through the process.  This is an excellent way to get the backing of a larger organisation while still working for yourself at home.

Suggested Skill Requirements

  • A good understanding of clients’ needs. Knowing your client’s likes and dislikes would be an advantage, but through careful questions and open and honest discussions, you will be able to find out their exact requirements. You will need to be thorough and precise in what they want and what you can deliver.
  • Thinking on the spot
  • Organised. You need to know what is going on in your market. Knowing what offers are on in particular hotels and holiday resorts.  Having a preferred list of hotels and taxi that you rely on will also be an advantage.  Keeping records and a plan will be a must.
  • Flexibility. You will have to understand and know that business clients will change their minds and plans at the drop of a hat. You need to stay flexible at all times and work towards their time frames requirements.
  • Excellent IT skills. Keeping records and understanding how IT systems work will be a must. There are some websites for Travel Agents that may be useful for you to use.
  • Ability to work under pressure. Travel can be very stressful for some people, and they will rely on you to walk them through the process. If you are booking holidays, then remember that this is their only time off work and they have a dream that they are expecting you to provide.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines. Knowing all deadlines will be of vital importance, and you will need to work to those deadlines and ensure that all subcontractors understand the time limits.
  • Research, digest, analyse and present material clearly. You will need to know your market inside out, make suggestions and help your clients make the right decisions for them. There will be some clients who know exactly what they want, but others will be relying on you to contribute to making those choices.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills. Understanding customer services is vital and speaking to them in a language that they understand and feel comfortable with is be an advantage.

In addition to the above you will also need to:

  • Honesty and reliability
  • Attention to detail
  • Discretion, understanding and confidentiality
  • Use of Word to create forms etc.

Further Reading if you want to work from home

In conclusion, you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do Working from Home‘ by Julie C Farmer.

Working from home as a Credit Controller or Creating Invoices

Working from home as a Credit Controller or Creating Invoices

All businesses need cash, all businesses raise invoices, therefore all businesses need a Credit Controller. Every business needs to be able to send out invoices to get paid. Therefore, a good familiarity with invoices and the legal requirements that must be incorporated on an invoice are essential.  In addition, if you have created an invoice you will then be in a position to create a quote form, a statement and estimate form.

Once an invoice has been created, then it may need to be chased for payment.  Many businesses, especially small businesses are reluctant to undertake credit control.  This is an ideal job to do working from home.

You will need to know what computer software package the template will be installed on.  Each software package could have specific requirements and how the invoice needs to be stored on the software.  You will also need to know how the invoice will be sent, email or post.

Suggested Skill Requirements for a Credit Controller

  • Equipment. You will need a computer, accounts software and an understanding of basic
  • Computer access. Access to your clients IT system would be an advantage, this can be done via a VPN.
  • Excellent organisational skills. You need to know what is going on at all times with invoices and payments. Keeping records and a plan will be a must.  If a client customer has said an invoice will be paid on a certain date, you need to ensure you check the bank to confirm the payment has been  If not If you are disorganised this is not the job for you.
  • Reliability. This is a job that needs to be conducted at least once a week if not more. You will need to be able to dedicate time your client on a regular basis.
  • Customer service. Understanding customer services are You may be collecting or chasing money. However, your client may need to keep their customer for the business to stay in operation.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail. You will need to be able to read the invoice, complaints and any queries that arrive from an invoice. Knowing what is going on with the customer at all times.
  • Calm and professional manner. Money is a very emotive issue even if it is for a company, so a professional attitude and understanding when people are yelling and screaming at you will be very critical. A thick skin would be an advantage.
  • Understanding of Accounts. Understanding accounts practices, language and accounting theories would be an advantage but not necessarily vital for a credit controller. If you are going to do other accounts practices, like a VAT return than accounts knowledge will be essential. This could also include some understanding of some legal requirements.

 

Further Reading if you want to work from home

In conclusion, you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do working from Home‘ by Julie C Farmer.

You may also like to read the following post:

Working from home

Jobs to do Working from home

Working from home as a Wedding Planner
Being Self-Employed, what are the advantages or disadvantages
Working from home as a Travel Consultant
Working from home creating Basic Websites

Working from home as a Wedding Planning

Working from home as a Wedding Planning

Being a Wedding Planner can be a very rewarding job. However, it can also be very stressful and time-consuming.  If you are after a job so that you can work from home that is easy and you can forget at 5 pm this job is not for you. On the other hand, if you love being in the middle of chaos and organising everyone then this could be for you.  If you are good at event management and love planning events to have you ever thought of becoming a Wedding Planner?

One of the major skills you are going to need to have is customer relations and the ability to stand your ground when dealing with a demanding bride, groom or parents.  You will have to manage expectations.

It is very common to outsource a wedding.  This is certainly something that a home worker can step in and help with.  There are lots of skills that are needed to organise a wedding.  If you have arranged a wedding before or you fancy going into wedding planning, certainly make sure that this is on your list of services.

Remember, a wedding is a very personal thing to the bride and the groom, and they could have a very set picture in mind for their big day.  Being calm and patient is of vital importance in this task/project.

If being a wedding planner isn’t your idea of fun, you could always specialise in planning the hen night or weekend or the stag do.

Suggested Skill Requirements

  • Events Management Experience. This is a must when organising a wedding. However, event management can be anything from hosting a company day to a community event.
  • Time Management. You will need to manage your time and the time of your clients. This could include meetings; their expectations and what plans are realistic in their wedding time scale.
  • Working well under pressure. A wedding will put everyone under pressure. You will need to be the person who is calm and organised. With all the answers at every meeting or on every phone call.
  • Understanding of Logistics. Work out the logistics of the entire wedding will be important. For example, if a bride wants a winter wedding with snow in the middle of summer will be very difficult.  However, you could investigate a snow machine.
  • Budgetary Control. Keeping control of your budget and your clients budget is a must, so knowledge of some form of budgeting is essential and possible excel or another kind of accounting software an advantage.
  • Negotiation skills. This will take patience especially with dealing with the bridge and groom. Tempers will reach boiling point; you will need to be calm and understand what negotiation is and always remember it is the bride and groom who are getting married, not their family, friends or you.
  • Excellent organisational skills. You need to know what is going on at all times. Therefore, keeping records and plans will be a must. You cannot be disorganised.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills. You will need to be able to inform your clients what can and cannot be done, confirm in writing and be very precise in all your dealings.
  • Ability to work to tight deadlines. Knowing all deadlines will be of vital importance, and you will need to work to those deadlines and ensure that all subcontractors understand the time frames.

In addition to the above, a Wedding Planner will also need to:

  • Research, digest, analyse and present material clearly and flexibility
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Honesty and reliability
  • Attention to detail
  • Discretion, understanding and confidentiality

Having some good business contacts will be a massive advantage for this type of job.  For example, a good travel agent, photographer, fancy dress service and taxi company.

Further reading if you want to work from home

In conclusion, you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do Working from Home‘ also available as a Kindle version by Julie C Farmer.

 

You may also like to read the following posts:

Working from home

Jobs to do Working from home

 

Being Self-employed what are the advantages or disadvantages

Being Self-employed what are the advantages or disadvantages

Have you ever wondered why people like being self-employed? What the advantages or disadvantages?

 

Being Self-Employed

Hire a Virtual Assistant or subcontractor

Being self-employed can be hard work, there are no two ways about it.  However, the rewards can be fantastic.  Let us have a look at the employment opportunities available to you in our series of blog posts – Jobs you can do as a self-employed person working from home.

What is an Employer

An employer is a person or company that offers a job to an individual and will pay for the work completed.  The employer will be responsible for paying taxes and deducting taxes from an employee’s wages.  An employer can offer work on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or project basis that has a predefined start and end date. Similarly, the employer will tell you what they require you to do.

Employee

An employee is someone who works for the Employer doing some tasks that have been set by the Employer.  The Employer controls the work the employee does and the times they work.

Self Employed

A self-employed person is someone who takes care of their taxes and who looks for work from different employers.  This work can be on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or project basis.  Once completed, they will report back to the employer/client.  The employer/client will have no control over how the self-employed person plans their day or the hours they work.  Further more, being self-employed also means that the person has the ability to refuse to undertake a job/task for an employer.

Why would Employers want to work those being self-employed?

There are many reasons that an employer may be looking to outsource some of their work to individuals that are self-employed or working from home.  The main advantage, of course, is cost.  It is often cheaper to employ someone on a contract or

Project basis, than to hire an employee.  An employer has to pay various Taxes and comply with Health and Safety Legislation.  It is important to remember that an employer still has a duty of care to their employees or contractors.

Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages for employers employing contractors/home workers to work for them.

Employers advantages

  • Employee retention. Working from home can keep valued employees within a business, especially working parents or those employees with older parents to look after.
  • Hidden Talent. Socially awkward, house bound people may prefer to work from the safety of their home.
  • Efficiency. Just consider the interruptions you have in the office. People dropping by for a chat, the phone.  However working from home the distraction has been removed.  Efficiency is increased.
  • Employee motivation. Employees are able to create a balanced work life and home life, that will reduce stress and sickness levels.
  • Financial benefits. Savings on office space, computer software (in some instances) and reduced utility bills.
  • Convenience. Employees can be located throughout the country and near to sales areas or clients premises.

Employers Disadvantages

  • The significant disadvantage for employers letting staff/contractors work from home is trust.  Trusting the employee is doing the task instructed to do. The employee understands what the task is and that the task will be completed in the allotted time frame.
  • Performance. Difficulty in managing contractors/home workers which could result in the quality of work deteriorates.
  • The cost of working from home. Costs of training and providing suitable equipment at each employee home.
  • Employee development. There could be an issue of maintaining employees development and upgrading skills; or dealing with issues a particular employee may face with time wasted trying to find a solution alone instead of collaborating with colleagues.
  • Loss of Intellectual Property. Company policies, data and client details could be removed without the company knowing.
  • Communication Issues. Increase feelings of employee isolation.
  • Decreased employee morale. Difficult to maintain staff morale when employees are working at different locations.
  • Not all jobs suit home working. Resentment from those who do not have the ability to work from home.

 Contractors/Home Workers Advantages

  • The major advantage is that the worker has control over what they are doing and when they are doing the job/task.  The worker also has the ability to refuse to work for an employee or conduct a particular task for that employee.
  • Save petrol money. Additionally, you can save money on the daily commute into the office.
  • Save money. As simple as it sounds, you could save up to £1000 on lunches when working from home. Also, you don’t have to buy as many work clothes.
  • Set your hours. You can set your own working hours as long as the job/task has been completed by the predefined date and time.
  • Work life/Home life balance Get some housework done during the day. Pick up the kids from school, having the ability to organise doctors, dentist appointments. Be there for the important family events.
  • No Distractions. Co-workers can distract you by chatting.  Similarly, the phone or any other irritation that could prevent you from completing your job/task.

Contractors/Home Workers Disadvantages

  • The major disadvantage for contractors/home workers is isolation and trust from their employees that the job/task is being completed.
  • Distractions. It is very easy to become distracted by household work, TV, family and friends. When working from home, the worker needs to understand that the time they have set aside for the job/task belongs to the employer and therefore they are on their time and not their own.
  • Staying Focused. When working from home it can become a challenge to stay focused on a job/task if you get stuck or confused. Additionally, there is no one to talk to about the issue, and the worker can start to feel devalued or the job/task no longer has any value.
  • Always at Work. When working from home, you can feel that no matter where they go in the house, they are always at work.
  • Feelings of isolation. Equally important is the sense of isolation as there are no colleagues to interact with. Email/instant messenger communications are just not quite the same as the ‘real ’.

In Conclusion Being Self-Employed

Being Self-Employed

Working from home and being Self-Employed

One final point that I feel needs to be made and made very clear. When you work from home or take on a task/project from an employer, the employer has bought a certain amount of your time and that time belongs to them.  In a word, it is not your time to do as you please, you have a task to be completed.

In conclusion being self-employed is all about how you organise your time.  When you work better at 11 o’clock at night, then that is your right to start a task/project at that time.  But from 11 pm to when you finish belongs entirely to the employer.  In essence, this means that you are professional, you put your best foot forward and get on the task/project at hand and do NOT spend the time in front of the television half-heartedly undertaking the task/project.

 

Working from home

Jobs to do Working from home

In addition to this post you may like to find out what jobs you could do working from home from our book entitled ‘Jobs to do Working from Home‘ by Julie C Farmer.

 

Further blog post you may find these posts interesting: