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    • Total posts: 5

    After spending time in Cambodia starting and learning about the tour and travel industry I have returned to Australia with an idea to create a network of “Virtual Guides” across regional Australia.

    I have written a 12 module training course which will teach and support each participant to create their own travel and tour business, Each participant will have their own exclusive region.

    While other offerings similar to this focus on Outbound bookings this focuses heavily on creating and supporting inbound tourists and collectively creating a unique Australia wide catalogue of unique experiences and holiday packages.

    This is not a franchise and I think its actually a more ethical approach as the group will work as a collective under a single marketing name and share some expenses such as public liability insurance.

    Products created will be listed on a shared website and most importantly the course teaches them to load products to places like Trip Advisor, Expedia and other major OTA’s.

    So the entry costs is low at $3500 and this includes establishment costs of their own business and its an ideal work from home opportunity.

    I lave listed it on Seek Business but currently just for rural NSW while I want to ultimately have an Australia wide network. I am also posting in Facebook groups such as buy and sell and anything else that seems relevant,

    Any advice as to how else I could connect and get the idea out there would be most welcome.

    Not great timing I know with this whole virus scare but the training will take 3 months minimum I believe before someone is ready to begin marketing,

    Dave Gillen – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 2,554

    Hi [USER=117360]@Kim.B[/USER],

    Some thoughts:

    1) Who would be your absolute dream target for this kind of role/business? Is it someone in the travel business who wants to use their expertise to work from home? A retired travel agent? A travel agent on maternity leave? Someone else? If you can answer this, you’ll have a good place to start looking for your first member, and you’ll have a way to introduce your product to them.

    2) Have you turned this business model into a business that earns money yet? If not I would strongly suggest you do this either yourself or with a friend or family member, to prove your concept works. People may pay $3500 for a proven business system, but not for an “idea” that may or may not work. If you HAVE done this already, then your success with this business should be a primary focus of your pitch.

    3) Most people won’t know what a virtual guide is. To help explain it, try to compare it to something they do know. “It’s like a travel agent, but instead of…”

    Good luck!

    Dave Gillen - Client Acquisition | Brisbane | (07) 3180 0288
    • Total posts: 5

    Hi Dave

    Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    The original business in Cambodia other than with the current Virus situation is successful and working well.

    The online platform is owned by a Singapore “Not for Profit” which I founded and now we are looking at ways to add local expert partners country by country.

    Its easy to find local partners in other Countries but finding people who share your ethics and ideas about what is sustainable travel is the challenge.

    For Australia this is new and experience within the travel industry is not required as we can teach people all they need to know.

    As long as someone has a good internet connection, laptop and smart phone this business is simple to start from home and then its up to the individual how large they would like to grow it.

    What we are looking for are people passionate about their region and also while wanting to have their own business also want to work within a larger team of fellow “virtual guides” which as you pointed out is a new term but describes a travel agent and tour provider.

    The major difference we feel is that we want to create a unique catalogue of Inbound experiences to be marketed across many channels not just the platform I am creating.

    For Australia its a idea but working elsewhere.

    The $3500 is broken down into $1000 for their own business set-up, shared local website and other shared costs within the Australian network.

    The $2500 is for the training we provide and having looked at different courses in different industries I think its reasonable as at the end of the process they have their own product established and have learnt everything from creating and pricing a product, to loading it to a website, using a booking system, loading to trip advisor etc.

    The challenge I am trying to work through is how to get this message out there for what is a quite complex idea.

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,173

    Hi Kim,

    I feel you have not really answered [USER=49676]@Dave – FS Concierge[/USER] ‘s questions and they are very pertinent to what you are trying to achieve.

    The way businesses are sold is typically on profit. Couldn’t be simpler.

    Spend, $3500, ROI = ?
    Time required per week or month =?

    You will be more effective IMO, if you can tell your story from start up to profitability. That way, you can include elements such as what skills are needed, what personality type will do well, how much time and effort is involved, what the likely returns might be in different stages etc

    You want your prospective ideal customer to be able to imagine themselves as an operator on your platform.

    The flip side of the same coin is that you want your pitch tom screen out people that will not be a good fit. In my experience, this is just as important as attracting the right candidates.


    • Total posts: 4,485

    Must admit, based on your 2 explanations above, I’m not sure anyone really knows what you are offering, it’s either a poor sales technique, or you really aren’t sure what you are selling me either.

    Fix your sales pitch so it is clear what you want me to spend my dollars on.

    • Total posts: 5

    Hi Bert and Paul and thanks for your replies and I think it is poor sales technique and messaging.

    In simplest terms its a training and support system that allows someone to set up as an online travel agent and tour provider. It has the similar qualities to a franchise without the ongoing and often onerous costs of a franchise.

    The differences between our offer and others is that they just focus on outbound customers while we want to focus as much on inbound tourists and find passionate people wanting to promote their region.

    For outbound clients its easy to connect and be paid commissions from the worlds biggest agencies such as Expedia, Plus we have a growing number of overseas partners to work with to create unique experiences.

    The challenge is creating the products for incoming visitors.

    We have put together training modules for things like how to load a product to Trip Advisor. Learning a booking system. Loading a product to a website.

    It would be perfect for someone such as a partner of a farmer as it can be managed remotely as long as you have access to a quality internet connection.

    I have an ad running in Seek Business and again thanks for the feedback as I have been re-wording this.

    When I sit and go through what we are offering with friends once they take the time to understand it they can see its potential and the fact that it would be a positive for regional tourism.

    My challenge is find a way to word the offer that people can understand enough to want to know more.

    At $3500 including your own establishment costs I dont think price is an issue for something that can easily with some dedication bring in a 6 figure income. The training alone represents good value with the skills we can teach someone.

    I will see if my re worded ad brings any responses otherwise I think I need to get some expert help on this part.

    Paul – FS Concierge
    • Total posts: 3,173
    Kim.B, post: 269080, member: 117360 wrote:
    once they take the time to understand it
    My challenge is find a way to word the offer that people can understand enough to want to know more.

    At $3500 including your own establishment costs I dont think price is an issue
    Nobody wants to lose $3.5K, especially now.

    In an online format, if you have to sit and explain your concept face to face, you will not get the traction you are looking for.

    Have you thought of getting a Copywriter? It’s an investment and the results can be astonishing.

    Other than that, I suggest transparency using your facts eg (for example only), How I made $25K In 6 Months Working from home 20 hours per week…and you can too.

    Then go into detail.

    • Total posts: 4,485

    As Paul said get someone else to write your copy, you have virtually said the same thing, and it is still as clear as mud as to what you are offering

    James Millar
    • Total posts: 1,702

    I’m trying to figure out your business model. So what is your fee for everything ? Is there any ongoing fee? Presume you are selling once of training course and that’s it.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    • Total posts: 5

    Good afternoon

    Again thanks for the feed back and I re-worded my Seek Ad and managed on the back of an enquiry to the ad and a follow up email to get a positive response so maybe I have improved my messaging but I think getting some professional help to write my copy would be a wise investment.

    There are three layers to this offer.

    For an investment of $3500 we will provide the training and support to help someone establish their own Online Tour and Travel business which we call been a Virtual Guide.

    The 12 modules we provide training in are shown in an attached photo along with the various exclusive regions we are offering.

    The second layer is that the Australian based Virtual Guides will work collectively together in for want of a better word a partnership with their own umbrella marketing name, collective website, social media channels and share some expenses such as a common public liability policy.

    The final layer is this collective group are the Local Experts for Green Cultural Travel which is focused on marketing sustainable and ethical travel. They join a growing group of international partners. Their products will be loaded and marketed on our website.

    The key point of difference to other offers is that we are focused on Inbound as well as Outbound tourists. A lot of the training is directed on creating holiday packages, day tours and other unique experiences within their region. In addition providing support to existing freestyle travellers within their region.

    We also connect them to major Online Travel Agencies and other platforms for general bookings for hotels, flights, insurance, transport and they earn the bulk of the commissions paid on these. (this part is no different to other offers)

    Plus they tap into the Green Cultural Travel network of international partners so that they can work with local experts in other countries on customised itineraries. (this is I believe unique to us)

    Income comes from
    – sale of their own products on our website
    – sale of these products on other OTA’s such as Expedia
    – sale of these products on their own collective Australian website
    – online enquires from our website and the Australian website for outbound Australian clients
    – In time their own repeat and referral clients

    Ongoing costs are
    – if a product is sold on our website we take a commission
    – if a product is sold on an OTA they take a commission
    – If a product is sold on the collective Australian website a percentage is retained for ongoing collective costs. This will be less than commissions paid to us or places like Expedia.

    There are no ongoing service fee’s. We make our money through commissions on the sale of their products and a small retention on general commissions.

    The $3500 includes all establishment costs so their only other costs are laptop, smartphone and Wifi connection.

    Obviously not great timing on this but it takes at least 3 to 4 months to undertake the training and create your catalogue of products so one hopes we will be emerging from this horror show we are experiencing.

    Hope this explains it a little more [ATTACH=full]1674[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]1675[/ATTACH]

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