In the Trenches: Looking for New Opportunities
Right after we make a big change, my brain shifts from execution to innovation
mode. Things were pretty hectic last week as we worked to pull everything together for the introduction of priority flight monitoring and our website revamp. But once it all went live, I immediately began to think ... what’s next?
Of course, running the business day-to-day is always enough to keep me busy. But if I spent all of my time doing that, we wouldn’t keep improving what we offer our clients. I need to be the one who’s looking forward and trying to figure out how we should evolve. It’s not really a question of if we need to change, but rather when that change needs to happen. Things are always moving, and if we rely on our existing service for too long, someone else will come along and do something better. Or we’ll become irrelevant because we didn’t keep up with the airline industry, which is in a state of constant transformation.
So, now that the new service and web design are implemented, it’s time for me to start pondering what’s next. In the past, I’ve considered a lot of different ideas, from providing more automation in our services to changing the information we provide our clients. We’ve also talked internally about what additional services people may want that we could provide. This is how we started offering award-travel redemption assistance, and that business has taken off for us. Clearly, other opportunities exist out there!
I’ve also been spending some time reviewing how our small-business programs work. We continue to sign up more small businesses, and each one looks for something a bit different. Those little requests form the basis of services that we could offer to the rest of our clients, if we think they would meet their needs.
I also need to figure out how to reach more potential small-business clients. Our small business service has been so well-received that I think we can grow our customer base; it’s just a matter of appealing to the right people. Some small businesses would rather keep travel planning in-house to save money (because then they don’t have to pay for a service). As a result, they devote a lot of time to booking and managing business trips, and paying us for assistance could lift a huge burden. We need to communicate that better.
Over the next couple weeks, I’ll run through a million other ideas, and then I’ll narrow it down and decide on the next project.
Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.