Launching a Virtual Tour

Where to start when launching an online tour if you are a new or existing independent tour guide.

By
Janice Sousa
|
June 1, 2021
Janice Sousa
June 1, 2021

You may not think that it’s the best time to start a business, let alone a tour business, but people are spending money. Just not the same way they were before. Or, maybe you already have a thriving business but need to pivot online? (Skip to the ‘Set yourself up online’ section if this is the case.)


People are looking for ways to learn and be entertained online. So now’s the time to be creative and see what market you can innovate in. It will take passion, dedication, and hard work, but starting or pivoting to an online tour is very rewarding. 


While there are programs you can take online to accelerate your tour business as an owner and fast-track your learning, we’ve put together some need-to-know information for you on how to launch an online tour. 


Plan your business


The first thing you need to do is plan your business. Being able to make a living out of this tour is your first task. Some things that your business plan should include are: 


  • a budget - the startup and ongoing costs; incoming fees
  • a target market 
  • market research
  • objectives 


This plan needs to be detailed enough so people will buy into what you’re selling. Set goals for yourself and have a few people on your side who believe in you and will give you honest feedback. 


Register your business


When considering a name, make sure that it is unique, memorable, as well as available. The domain needs to be available to start your business. Getting insurance is also a good idea as this can protect you from accidents or unexpected events. 


Ensure you also get the right permits and licenses where appropriate and look into opening a business bank account and credit card. 


Define and market your brand


Creating a tone of voice to let your potential customers who you are and what your values are is key. A great way to show this is by promoting and marketing your tour on social media. This could start small with one or two platforms but could turn into multiple social streams with paid advertisements. The more you promote online, the better chance you’ll have of receiving bookings and new customers. 


You could also try creating a blog or newsletter to send to customers. The more points of contact with them, the greater the volume of traffic you will get. 


Set yourself up online 


Firstly, set up a website to give your business an online presence and help potential customers find you. This is a great place to let them know who you are, what you can offer, and why they should choose you. Sharing pictures and videos of your tour is also a great way to visually represent what your customers will be signing up for. Start a social media campaign as well, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter would be a good place to start. 


Next, set up online payment and booking functionality. You don’t want to spend all your time answering calls and typing everything up. Having things automated is one of the best ways for you and your customers to be organized and have the best experience possible. It is essential in saving time and resources.


This section is extra important if you’ve already done the above steps but need to transition to an online format. Don’t let the internet or competitors deter you from evolving with your business, focus on making it more accessible and relatable in today’s climate. 


Final thoughts


Being an independent tour guide is as essential as ever, and now is the time to pivot your existing business online or look for new opportunities in your local community. 


Sign Up Today

You may not think that it’s the best time to start a business, let alone a tour business, but people are spending money. Just not the same way they were before. Or, maybe you already have a thriving business but need to pivot online? (Skip to the ‘Set yourself up online’ section if this is the case.)


People are looking for ways to learn and be entertained online. So now’s the time to be creative and see what market you can innovate in. It will take passion, dedication, and hard work, but starting or pivoting to an online tour is very rewarding. 


While there are programs you can take online to accelerate your tour business as an owner and fast-track your learning, we’ve put together some need-to-know information for you on how to launch an online tour. 


Plan your business


The first thing you need to do is plan your business. Being able to make a living out of this tour is your first task. Some things that your business plan should include are: 


  • a budget - the startup and ongoing costs; incoming fees
  • a target market 
  • market research
  • objectives 


This plan needs to be detailed enough so people will buy into what you’re selling. Set goals for yourself and have a few people on your side who believe in you and will give you honest feedback. 


Register your business


When considering a name, make sure that it is unique, memorable, as well as available. The domain needs to be available to start your business. Getting insurance is also a good idea as this can protect you from accidents or unexpected events. 


Ensure you also get the right permits and licenses where appropriate and look into opening a business bank account and credit card. 


Define and market your brand


Creating a tone of voice to let your potential customers who you are and what your values are is key. A great way to show this is by promoting and marketing your tour on social media. This could start small with one or two platforms but could turn into multiple social streams with paid advertisements. The more you promote online, the better chance you’ll have of receiving bookings and new customers. 


You could also try creating a blog or newsletter to send to customers. The more points of contact with them, the greater the volume of traffic you will get. 


Set yourself up online 


Firstly, set up a website to give your business an online presence and help potential customers find you. This is a great place to let them know who you are, what you can offer, and why they should choose you. Sharing pictures and videos of your tour is also a great way to visually represent what your customers will be signing up for. Start a social media campaign as well, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter would be a good place to start. 


Next, set up online payment and booking functionality. You don’t want to spend all your time answering calls and typing everything up. Having things automated is one of the best ways for you and your customers to be organized and have the best experience possible. It is essential in saving time and resources.


This section is extra important if you’ve already done the above steps but need to transition to an online format. Don’t let the internet or competitors deter you from evolving with your business, focus on making it more accessible and relatable in today’s climate. 


Final thoughts


Being an independent tour guide is as essential as ever, and now is the time to pivot your existing business online or look for new opportunities in your local community.