The Magellan Travel Group annual conference which took place in September this year saw affable Founder and Chairman Andrew Jones share with the 300 strong audience lessons learned on his more than 20 years running Tasmania’s most successful travel agency.

From humble origins Jones developed 10 tips that many in the audience and indeed the broader travel agent community could use to help steer and manage the challenges and opportunities through running a business.

His first insight was to encourage diversification in business activities in pursuit of new revenue streams, changing customer expectations, competition and to mitigate risk.

Secondly, he underscored the need to manage people professionally and encouraged problem solving quickly to reduce any impact on your business.

His third point urged business owners to think outside the square when hiring staff, to ensure the right talent is brought into your organisation that create value.

Investment in retaining top staff through offering up equity in the business was Andrew’s fourth tip, having practiced this with his general manager having a percentage of his business. Jones’s fifth point urged the building of a top management team to help strengthen the business as it grows.

Empowerment of staff through the provision of autonomy to make decisions was his sixth pointer which he saw as vital to service delivery and created the right culture for the business.

Network and build relationships and embrace some entrepreneurial flair by taking risks to stay ahead of the game was his seventh and eight tips.

He rounded out his top ten with the recommendation to make suitable acquisitions when opportunities presented and to embrace growth by “having a crack” in pursuit of attaining “your end game.”

Sage advice from one of the industry’s most successful small business entrepreneurs.

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