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Thursday,  June 13, 2024 12:42 AM 

Thinking about getting out?


Thinking about getting out?

The divorce rate in Canada is about 40 per cent. Getting into a marriage is the easy part…it’s all visions of romance and white dresses and picket fences with perfect children running around.

Well, the same could be said of business partnerships and contracts. It is very easy to get into a marriage or a business arrangement, and not always so easy to get out of them. Getting in is the exciting, seductive part. And yet, it should be the part where we have all our senses on high alert and examine the fine print very carefully before we enter into a contract.  It is so important to see clearly at this stage. But few of us do.

If you are an independent travel professional you will have a contract with a host agency or company. When you joined your host agency/company you may or may not have shopped around to see what was available elsewhere. You may or may not have really read your contract carefully to understand exactly what the benefits were.  And you may or may not have given any consideration to the “out” clauses.

But a few months or years down the road, we often start to think about getting out, wondering if the grass is greener elsewhere. If that describes you right now, then please consider the following:

  • Have you identified what you are dissatisfied with and what you need?
  • Have you investigated other options thoroughly?
  • Have you investigated how you can exit your current contract?
  • Have you sought legal advice?
  • Are you staying in a less than satisfactory situation because it’s easier?

Maybe it is time to look around, check out other options and make sure you know the terms of cancelling your current contract.

BUT, READ THE FINE PRINT NEXT TIME!

When you are shopping around for a new host agency, here are some things you want to look out for:

  1. How long do you have to sign up for? Some host agencies want you to sign up for three or even five years. Ideally, one year is ample time and it is easy to remember your renewal date.
  2. What are the terms for leaving your host agency? This is an important one with several aspects to it. How much notice must you give? Are there any penalties? Do you get commission for the sales you have made after you leave?
  3. What are the terms for renewal of your existing contract?  Again, very important to know this. Does your host agency automatically renew you for another full term contract?  Do they give you notice?
  4. Who owns your clients?  This is a big one. Be sure to read the fine print and make sure that your customers ARE your customers. Can you take them with you when you move?
  5. And finally, can you start with another agency immediately if you leave the host agency you are with? Make sure you have not been tied up with a non-compete clause that says you can’t work for any other agency for a period of time. While this may be challenged in court and generally is not enforceable, you don’t want to have to go to that expense.

The devil is in the details, as the saying goes, so read carefully and ideally have a lawyer take a look for you.

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