TRAVEL BUSINESS LOUNGE

Lessons In Launching From A Brand New Travel Business

Lessons In Launching From A Brand New Travel Business Lessons In Launching From A Brand New Travel Business

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I’ve spoken to many women at various stages of their business, but today’s episode is unique. It’s the first time I’m speaking to someone who literally launched their business the day before we recorded this episode.

Now you might hear that and think, why would you interview someone who is at such an early stage of their business? What knowledge can they possibly share when they’re only one day into officially running it? And all I have to say to that is, please give this episode a chance because there’s so much you can learn if you want to launch your business in a really intentional way.

Lee Friedman of Mango Tree Travel, walks us through her experience launching a travel business. She’s so clever and so intentional with every step that she takes leading up to this launch that I think our conversation provides a great roadmap for anyone else who is interested in learning how to launch a business the right way.

Lee is not someone who just slapped together a website and put it online and said that her business was now alive. She was incredibly strategic and really treated this new business like it was real and had potential, even when it was just an idea in her head.

In this episode, Lee takes us step by step through her launch process. She shares how she came up with the idea for her business and the initial steps that she took. She also shares what she chose to spend money on, because of course, resources are limited in those early days, especially for the majority of us who aren’t getting any kind of external funding or help.

We also talk about how she developed a very clear brand identity and clear message from the very start. I absolutely love her website and branding, so I really enjoyed our conversation about that.

And perhaps most impressively, Lee shares how she managed to build an audience and a mailing list before she even launched her website. Just keep in mind that her business officially launched the day before we recorded this episode and she already had a decent-sized mailing list at that time. Lee is not an influencer and she’s not someone starting a business with a big social media following. She’s a busy mom and a full-time lawyer. So it’s just super impressive and inspiring to hear how she managed to do this.

This episode is one of my absolute favorites to date, it was fascinating to learn about Lee’s approach to launching her business. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it!

Deciding to start a business

Lee is a lawyer by day, but she’s always loved travel and wanted to do something more creative and entrepreneurial. She’s a bit of an informal travel advisor to friends and colleagues, and she loves connecting with her family through travel, which is what pushed her to try something new.

After the pandemic, Lee wanted to go traveling with her kids, and it was one of the first big trips with two kids instead of just one. When she was searching for hotel rooms, it was difficult to find rooms that fit her family of four. “The results I got would be a room with two double beds. That doesn’t really fit my kids because I have one baby in a crib and a five-year-old who I don’t really wanna share a room with.”

She spent a lot of time looking at different hotels to see if the room setup would work for her, and overall she spent hours losing time trying to plan that trip. When she spoke to her friends about it, they all had similar experiences. “We all felt that the online resources that we normally use to plan travel, just aren’t set up in a way to make it easy for parents to plan travel to hotels that really have those types of arrangements for kids.”

That conversation planted the seed and after talking to more people about it, Lee decided to start a business that makes travel planning easier for parents.

Launching a travel business

A lot of time and thought has gone into the launch of Mango Tree Travel, and it took 9 months to go from the idea to the actual launch of the business. Lee spoke to a lot of people about her idea first, which gave her accountability and some good advice from friends with more business experience. She also invested a lot of time into researching and learning about the best way to start this business without a big budget.

Mango Tree Travel launched the day before this episode was recorded. The platform is starting out with a focus on the Caribbean, and Lee is trying to find a collection of hotels that are “unique family-friendly hotels that welcome kids, but that also give parents something that they can be excited about too.”

The plan is to have search filters that are designed for parents, such as the room setup, childcare options, and other amenities parents might need for a great vacation with kids.

On top of that, Lee also offers booking services. She has partnered with a travel agent who gets great perks at a lot of hotels, and then she offers additional travel planning services alongside that.

More from this episode

  • With a limited budget, what should be your priority to spend money on when you’re launching a new business?
  • We talk about branding, and I was very interested to hear about Lee’s approach here because her website and branding are beautiful.
  • Lee shares some great and affordable learning resources that helped her launch a travel business.
  • Find out why Lee decided to start a blog as a part of her website, and why it can be a really strategic thing to do, even if your business is not a blog.
  • Lee has been growing her email list for a while now, and I love her emails. We talk about her email marketing strategy and Lee shares how she learned what to do when it comes to email marketing and list building. Are you wondering how it’s possible to grow an email list before your business has even launched? Don’t miss this part of our conversation.
  • Lee shares what the launch period has been like, how she’s feeling about it now, and what she’s planning to do now that her business has launched.
  • We talk about perfectionism and our struggles with social media. Lee shares an experience she had with an Instagram reel that reinforced the idea that you don’t need to be perfect on social media. She also talks about the struggle of deciding how to show up when your business is not about you, so you don’t just want to build a personal brand on social media.
  • Hear Lee’s advice for you if you’re currently in the phase of starting your own travel business.

Learn more about Lee

Lee Friedman, Founder of Mango Tree Travel, had been a full-time attorney for nearly 15 years when she decided to try something totally different and launch Mango Tree.  As a mom of two young children, and an avid Caribbean traveler, she truly believes that traveling with kids is one of the best things parents can do.  But as her family grew, she found she was wasting hours trying to find the right hotel that suited her needs, welcomed her children, and had rooms to fit everyone. She believed it could be better. So she decided to create a travel resource that actually focuses on what busy parents need: the right information to figure out if a hotel has the vibes parents want, and the amenities the kids need. Through Mango Tree Travel, she hopes to encourage and help busy parents efficiently plan the best Caribbean trips for their families by putting those details right in their hands, in a format that’s enjoyable to navigate and easy to understand.

Resources

Mango Tree Travel 

Wild Terrains

Green Tie Studio

Episode 4 with Brianna Glenn of Milk + Honey

The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber

Udemy 

Travel Blog Prosperity by Jessie on a Journey

Episode 22 with Madeline Jhawar of Italy Beyond the Obvious

Flodesk

Tonic Site Shop newsletter

Mango Tree Travel on Instagram

Mango Tree Travel on Facebook 

 

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kara blythe creative

Kara Myers

PODCASTER + WEB DESIGNER

I’m a former tourism professional turned web designer and podcaster. Tune in each week as I interview inspirational women crushing it in the travel industry. 

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