How to Vet a Business Partnership: A Guide for Tour Operators

5 May 2015     |    Taz Bareham

Your tour and activity business may be located in just one part of the world, but tourism is truly a global industry. In order to survive and thrive as a tour and activity provider, you will need to make business connections with other professionals in the industry.

These business partnerships can be extremely valuable, if you choose the right people to network with.

The following tips will help you vet a business partnership, and start a relationship that is fruitful and worthwhile.

Tip #1 – Partner with People who Understand Finances

You will be developing a partnership with this person in order to sell more tours and activities, so you want to make sure that they have a solid business plan in place.

Meet with any potential partners in person, and also check references. Don’t be afraid to ask about their financial resources, their credit ranking and their past relationships with other tour and activity providers.

Tip #2 – Ensure that They Have Relevant and Complementary Experience

You likely will not be partnering with a direct competitor, but you will want to work with someone who understands your travel sector and niche market.

Discuss what services they offer that perfectly complement yours. Ask about their sales experience, specifically with products that are similar to the ones that you offer.

Tip #3 – Verify that They Offer Valuable Resources

When you develop this partnership, you are putting your customers in their hands as well. Your customers trust you for your reliability and dependability, so you should only partner with people who will provide that same level of service.

Be direct, and ask what resources they have available that will improve the service that your customers receive. Talk about any systems that they have in place, and ask about the size of their business.

Tip #4 – Discuss Their Sales and Marketing Plan to Make Sure It Fits with Yours

Ultimately, you are forming this business relationship in order to increase your bookings. Make sure that their sales staff is motivated to sell your products and participate in the partnership. Discuss their network and different contacts that they have that might be able to help the partnership.

Talk about their promotional plans and marketing campaigns, including any social networking efforts. Be sure that they will be willing to send bookings to you, and make sure that the partnership is mutually-beneficial for you both.

Tip #5 – Develop an Agreement Together

Once you have vetted a potential business partner, you will want to create an agreement in writing. Be sure that this agreement addresses the products that will be sold, the price point that will be offered to potential customers, the way that customers will be helped in the event of an issue and the way that online bookings will be managed.

It is always beneficial to have an online booking system in place when you begin a new business partnership. An online booking system, such as Rezdy, allows you to increase your online distribution and work together in order to sell each other’s products.

The system is mutually beneficial, and it is especially helpful to your customers who will want to be able to book your tours and activities quickly and easily. Take a free trial or request a demo today!