Setting up a small business

KaiRothwell

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Hi.

(I also posted this on TripAdvisor Disneyland Paris Forum earlier today but it was taken down without explanation.)

I consider myself to be reasonably good with consumer technology. I often end up helping out my grandparents' friends with using technology, such as setting up a Sky box or a Netflix account, how to properly use their phone or tablet, etc. Generally simple/intermediate tasks that they're struggling with, and they will offer me some money once the problem is fixed (only around £10, I'm not making a killing from this haha).

Because I have nothing at all to do during this lockdown, I rang up my nan for a chat on video calling, as everybody has been doing during these times. There, she gave me the phone number for a friend called Marie who was looking to book a Disneyland Paris holiday for February 2021 but couldn't figure out how to do "all this online stuff" and would have much preferred to visit a physical travel agents' shop. Obviously, however, she can't.

I began talking to Marie over the phone, and through my instructions, she managed to download Skype onto her phone. There I turned on my screen sharing function when necessary and helped her book her whole holiday for her, her husband and her two granddaughters. I helped with everything, including airport transfer, flights, in-flight services, transfer to the hotel, how to check into the hotel, how to get into the park, meal plans, etc. Basically every aspect of her holiday was sorted out by me.

This led me to a brainwave last night. What if I could provide those services to people who also needed help with this? My idea for a small business was born.

What I had done for Marie was just what she could have done for herself at home. But, she found websites confusing to navigate, and it helped with ease of access and having somebody there to guide her through the whole process. So what if I could do this for other people who feel the same way? All I'd be doing is booking everything online and then handing over the necessary documents when needed, alongside instructions of what to do with them. Alongside booking the holiday, I also provided bespoke handouts that her son could print for her and drop them off at her home. These were information sheets like "How to check in your luggage", "What to do once you're in Paris" and "How to use FastPass".

Would providing these services at a charge be a viable or good business plan? The business would be aimed at older people who aren't so advanced at technology, or people who are looking for an easy booking experience from start to finish, without having to do all the legwork themselves. Also, if I do go ahead with this, what price should I be charging per hour?

Thanks for sitting through all that, and I hope it made sense!
Kai
 

BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
What you describe is basically an online travel agency. So you would need to research and make a business plan and marketing plan for setting up as a self employed travel agent.

I am self employed and I set up a digital marketing business. Setting up a business is not as easy as it looks. There are many legal aspects and things to do, and you need to know about all aspects of running a businesses from book keeping and accounting, to revenue and tax, to marketing yourself and how you will get customers.

I would advise before anything else to enroll yourself on an online course about setting up a business.
 


  • Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    And really investigate if there is enoug need for a Disneyland Paris dedicated travel agency. Calculate carefully how many customers would you need to make this financially work, as your fulltime or parttime job.
    There might be a reason why this doesn't exist in Europe (and does in the US).
     

    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    And really investigate if there is enoug need for a Disneyland Paris dedicated travel agency. Calculate carefully how many customers would you need to make this financially work, as your fulltime or parttime job.
    There might be a reason why this doesn't exist in Europe (and does in the US).
    Exactly , thats why so many start ups and small bushiness don't go any where. The most important thing is to find out if there is a need and want for your business AND will people pay for the service you are providing. So many people have this great business idea they are passionate about, BUT there is no audience or market for it.
     

    MarkE83

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 20, 2015
    The harsh reality is that if this is 2020, and if this was a viable business idea, these companies would have existed years ago. What you’re basically describing is a slightly - slightly- more personal version of the company magic breaks. Tui, Hays, Co-op all offer a decent range of information in printed form. The other thing is they don’t charge any extra: much like Dreams in the US, they make their money from disney.

    You’re gonna find very, very few people willing to pay more on top of an already expensive holiday for a service like this. By all means help your friends as much as you can, but I don’t envision this being a particularly viable business venture.

    Sorry to be a party pooper...
     

    StageTek

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible.
    Joined
    Apr 20, 2007
    You may find more people interested in a service like this than some think.

    The challenge is finding your clients. That, of course, is the challenge of all small businesses. So my advice (as a small business owner) is to research where and how you can advertise and market to clients. Far more important than the details of the business.
     
  • KaiRothwell

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2020
    I think there is a reason this doesn't exist and it's because we don't need one haha. I thought it was a gap in the market for this but it turns out there just is no market for this. Thanks for all the contributions though everyone
     



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