"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it." ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
I'm proud to share that last week Nine Muses Travel became certified by the NYC Department of Small Business Services as a WBE, a Women-Owned Business Enterprise! I have access now to exclusive business development programs, networking events with government and corporate buyers, and the NYC Online Directory of Certified Businesses so government buyers looking for expert travel planning with a certified WBE will be able to hire me. I've wanted to apply for WBE certification for a while now, and finally, with the extra time during our nationwide pause, I was able to turn my full attention to the intricate application process. But wait... there's more!
After a self-congratulatory happy dance, I began reflecting on all the things I've done for my business these last three months and realize I achieved a lot. In the midst of everything, I successfully applied for government funding, which not only replaced lost/delayed 2020 bookings income but also provides comfortable working capital for the road ahead. I completed more supplier training, and I started working through a certification program for special recognition within American Society of Travel Advisors. I designed greeting cards and sent them with handwritten notes to all my clients to let them know I'm thinking of them and wishing them well. I continued to grow my LinkedIn connections throughout my various communities. I rebooked 2020 clients into 2021 trips, and I booked new travel for 2020 too. I cleaned out file cabinets of old brochures. I checked in with my favorite supplier partners. I attended the 2020 Travel Entrepreneurship Week online conference and participated in countless webinars and virtual events focused on destinations, hotels, tour operators, the state and future of tourism, business skills, and professional development. I talked on the phone with potential new clients, advertisers, and business partners. I updated my website and streamlined my systems. I launched Wanderlust Wednesdays where each week on Facebook and LinkedIn I highlight a fabulous hotel or resort in the Virtuoso network. I kept writing my weekly e-zine, Muse News. I got things DONE.
Not once did I think of closing up shop. Instead, when I look back I'm going to remember how I used this valuable time to strengthen my business to prepare for the pent up demand for travel that's growing by the minute. Everyone is craving to travel to favorite places near and far, and I know when we're denied something that only makes us want it more. When the world has reopened its doors and when you're ready to explore all the places you love or have always dreamed of experiencing, Nine Muses Travel is ready and waiting to help you plan the best trips of your life!