Third of four Travolution-hosted seminars at the Travel Technology Show 2009
Presented by Hugh Burge of Howzat Media and Jerome Touze of WAYN.com
Start-Up to Grown-Up – Top Tips to Build a Web-Based Travel Business
#1 – Product Passion
A start-up needs the oxygen of publicity and eyeballs. The path to recognition, word of mouth and visibility is a well trodden one. Product passion and a desire to solve a problem better is a fundamental success factor in a start up. Without product passion you are dead in the water. Word of mouth, buzz and consumer loyalty are your greatest chance of growth – the only way to win these is with an unbridled, energetic product passion.
#2- The Team
Investors are often cliched in their mantra ‘it’s all about the team’. This is about a range of things – prior experience, a steely glint in the eye, passion, hunger, raw ability and adaptability. My focus on the topic of ‘the team’ is to stress how a successful team plays to its strengths, recognises it’s weaknesses and adapts fast. A plan will never stay the same, the team is the only factor that will ultimately bring success.
#3 – Funding Lite
Raising loads of cash sounds glamorous and fun. Forget it. The more money you raise the more pressure to think absurdly big, the less control you have over the business destiny and the more you are likely to be interfered with by your shareholders. If it is your business, do your utmost to keep it that way. Money is clearly important but lots of it is not the key success factor.
#4 – Determination & Focus
There is a mythology that building a start-up is fun, exciting and glamorous. It is all these things except the latter – it is frankly bloody hard work and usually requires achieving what most people consider to be impossible. A start-up will take raw grit, determination and unbridled focus in order to succeed. Work-life balance is not in the dictionary of a start-up entrepreneur.
#5 – Make Mistakes
A start-up has the luxury of taking risks and trying things that its bigger foes cannot do. Make the most of it. The bigger the risks the greater the chance of failure but the greater the potential rewards. Mistakes are inevitable it is how you respond to them, learn and adapt that counts.