Until there is tailored support from government made available to the travel industry, we need to be pragmatic, business-minded, and to make the most of the options available after chancellor Rishi Sunak’s pledge of another £4.6 billion.
Everybody wants more, and we definitely need more – I think everyone wants to slate the government, but they are in a difficult position.
They do need to put something together that is tailored to the travel industry, though. We are in a unique situation – we are one of the biggest industries in the world.
There is help there, but we need to look for it and make the most of it – the government can’t write blank cheques.
What we have to do is we have to be business-minded and pragmatic about it. We’d like more help, of course, but until more help is available, we have to make the most of the options.
It is what it is, and we have to work with it.
Being business-minded, the travel industry will be huge over the next 12 to 24 months. There’s so much pent-up demand. As an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to consider whether you are in it for the medium- to long-term.
It is going to be tough for the next short period because cash flow will be tight for everybody. Business owners have to decide whether they are willing to suffer the short-term pain for what could be massive long-term gains.
The reason I say this is because a lot of people might not want to take out a loan to help them get through, so that’s where the business mindset comes in – it’s about looking at the options and weighing up what is best for your business long-term.
We see it as an opportunity. The travel industry will come back bigger and stronger, people will be spending more and going on more holidays.
So practically, there are options including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme, the Bounce Back Loan scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support scheme and the deferral schemes for tax and VAT to help with cash flow.
You could also look at the furlough scheme, although it’s hard to build a business if you have furloughed staff. You have to think and choose what’s right for you.
For our team at Not Just Travel, we have worked hard to make sure they have all the advice, support and guidance they need. We have provided business coaching and workshops to go into the detail of this.
Currently, we are at the start of a third national lockdown, and although we believe we may see an impact from it, it may also benefit homeworkers because the high street is shut again – people may turn to homeworkers to book their dream trips.
We are seeing strong sales for 2021 and 2022 and we believe as the vaccine rollout picks up, this will inspire more consumer confidence and we will see more bookings.
Steve Witt is co-founder of homeworking firm Not Just Travel.