21 May 10 Questions ICs Should Ask before Joining a Host Agency
Lea Diele, CTIE
Senior Manager, Independent Contractor Program
Travel Leaders Network
Joining the right Host Agency is the most important decision an Independent Contractor (IC) can make. In the wrong situation, your sales stagnate and you can lose your passion. But in the right situation, every facet of your business improves, and your desire to show your clients the world grows more every day.
At Travel Leaders Network, we work hard to match ICs with the right Host Agency, making sure that both sides benefit from the relationship. For ICs trying to play matchmaker by themselves, here are the questions you should be asking your potential host agency:
Do you offer programs that give me a competitive advantage?
Look for programs that help your clients save, create customized experiences or that provide value-added bonus amenities for client retention.
Handling your personal and company expenses in different accounts makes it easier to keep records and prepare tax filings for your CPA, thus saving your valuable time and money in your CPA tax preparation. If you happen to be audited, you will not be alone in countering an audit with the help of your CPA.
Who are your strongest vendor partnerships with?
Hopefully, the answer will be the same vendors you already use and book daily.
Do you have a lead generation program?
Good leads are essential to growth. Most agencies offer one, but find out how successful it is before signing on the dotted line.
What kind of booking tools do you provide?
Aim for those that are easy to use and that simplify the booking process thus creating more time for you to meet with clients to gain more in sales.
What are the average commission levels your agency receives from your preferred suppliers?
Smaller agencies can still earn bigtime commissions when they belong to the right consortia. You can benefit from this in multiple ways.
Do you offer specific Independent Contractor business coaching, classes or workshops?
The more you know, the more you can build your business and your earnings. Having access to a business coach offers you the best scenario to meet your goals.
Do you offer ICs educational travel opportunities or FAM trips?
You want to partner with an agency that’s ready to invest in your future.
Do you actively promote your ICs to attend regional meetings or national conferences?
Knowing your resources will help you grow your business even more.
How involved are the agency owners?
The best Hosts want to know you and will take the time to learn about your goals and objectives.
How professional is the agency’s in-house staff?
The Host Agency becomes your business family, so this is your time to align yourself with high-quality professionals who are eager to assist and mentor you, when needed.