New Year Works
Lucid Travel was excited to get back to work and start accomplishing the goals we set for 2019. This week consisted of reviewing our sales strategy and becoming more organized. We discussed investors and the top three ways companies make money in the travel industry. Most importantly, we developed a new way to conduct our sales meetings.
Short Term Goals
Now that the new year is here, we’ve shifted our focus from big picture goals to short term goals. Our main focus for the first semester of 2019 is new sales. The drawing boards are filled with ideas of how to advertise our features better.
We’re absolutely certain Lucid Travel has the best rates available. In our demos with potential partners, we’re going to start conducting cross-comparisons with rates found on Google and hotel websites compared to Lucid’s. Lucid consistently has the lowest rates, because of our access to discounted rates unavailable to the public. There are no gimmicks when we say “Discounts” - they’re real… and they’re big...
We reiterated our point that the surveys we conduct with universities are not a sales pitch, but something valuable for both them and ourselves. We’ll conduct follow ups with potential partners we contacted before the break. This will serve to update our system and keep them informed. We’ll be sending out their personalized page (which allows them access to our rates), and any additional emails will be made concise and sent in the morning. People are generally more attentive after that first cup of coffee. We certainly are.
Everything done in 2019 will be done in the name of simplification. We’ve found it to be key to keeping our growth consistent, and our stress low. We’ve taken measures to simplify our website so our viewers can grasp who we are, what we do, and how we do it in a narrative layout.
As we grow, the complexity of our processes also grows. This requires a more strategic, intentional design of each process, end-to-end and higher investment in automation and quality control.
Better organizing our sales prospects, leads and partners is a big priority for the executive team this year. All non-potential partners were deleted, to assure our focus is on the right leads. We went through every step we had, and added more where there were gaps. After a meeting is set, we decided to send out a generic content email in the form of a PDF, since most people are unwilling to click on links. In the future, documenting everything will be key.
By far our biggest step towards achieving better organization has been conducting our morning sales meetings as scrum meetings. A scrum is a technique for software development that focus’ on what was accomplished the day before, the goals for today, and any roadblocks. We thought it could be applied to sales.
The framework for a scrum meeting is as follows:
1. What You Did Yesterday
2. What You Are Going To Do Today
3. Any Roadblocks?
Our scrum meeting spreadsheet is a daily list for everyone to do. By documenting our progress, we can analyze it to plan strategically. The lists need to be specific, and hold value – ie, accomplishment > tasks.
We all have those days where it felt like we worked hard, but despite being a ball of caffeine and stress, nothing really seemed to get done at all. The lean framework will help clarify what we need to more of, and what we need to do less of (like waiting until the end of the day to do the painful tasks).
There are three primary business models in the travel industry: advertising, agency, and merchants. We go over this in great detail here.
Lucid Travel is currently only making money as an agency - meaning we earn commission on sales that happen through on our platform.
This strategy has served Lucid Travel well. We have a great model and have had consistent growth. Our expected commission versus actual commission is exactly 99% which gives us a higher degree of confidence that will prove extremely useful as we grow and managing cash flow gets more difficult.
We are excited to see how our new strategies play out. Our favorite quote this week was from the great Elon Musk. He always says, “Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss.”
Author: Willow Groskreutz