a survey of Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN) members is an
indicator, home-based travel agents are sitting pretty these days
-- at least this is true of home-based retailers with a track
Nearly 500 of OSSNs
6,500-plus members responded to a January survey on business
results. Among them, 86% said their business and profits were
18% have worked at home for 10 or more years, and another 31% have
been home-based between five and 10 years.
home-based agents reported a 2004 sales increase ranging from 10%
to 20%, and 41% said their sales rose more than 20%.
Nearly a quarter of
all respondents (24%) said their business was up more than
some part of the positive results to the members focus on specialty
products, as about three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they
emphasize at least one niche.
also reported they have great expectations for 2005 -- 94% said
this will be a better year than last -- and 86% of respondents said
they have charted specific goals that they hope to achieve in the
A like number (86%)
said most travel suppliers are providing ample or increasing
support for their home-based businesses.
About a quarter
(26%) of OSSN members said the war and terrorism will influence
their sales to Europe, but about twice as many (49%) said they
expect the poor showing by the U.S. dollar vs. the euro to
influence their Europe sales.
Finally, 80% of
members said they enjoyed the travel business more in the last 12
months than they had earlier, but the other 20% are enjoying it