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Facebook ad changed my life says former banker with passion for travel

What would make you switch careers from a 9-5 banking job and start a home-based travel agency from scratch?

Answer: For Ushma it was a Facebook advert on the back of two intrepid worldwide trips and an urge to live and breathe travel.

“I came back to the UK and thought: ‘There is something about travel that really connects with me’. Then, maybe a year or so afterwards, this Facebook ad popped up saying do you want to work from home and work in travel? It just seemed like an absolute no-brainer. So that was it.”

Ushma signed up with The Travel Franchise and initially found most of her clients through networking in her local city, Birmingham.

Now she has over 100 regular clients and a repeat booking rate of 75% which means she’s busy without having to look for new customers.

“In the beginning I just found different events to go to such as a music evening, a yoga class or local business event. You’ve just got to put yourself out there, then the confidence builds and the more you go out, the more people you meet, and they introduce you to their contacts as well.”

One recent referral from a friend resulted in a £27k cruise booking for 13 passengers.     

Another ‘out the blue’ £36k holiday multicentre safari and beach booking came from someone she had given a quote to a few years ago.

Ushma was determined to get the best price possible. As we have over 450-plus suppliers, this wasn’t difficult.

“I booked it with one of Not Just Travel’s key trade partners, Travelpack, because they are competitive on price and give amazing support. I know should absolutely anything go wrong with this, for example if there’s an issue with the flight or safari itself, the support is pretty much 27 hours a day.”

As a consultant, Ushma also benefits from being invited on our company retreats and travel supplier fam trips, including a recent one to Bodrum and Istanbul with Turkish Airlines.

There’s so many places that I’ve been to on my world travels, but I’ve also been super fortunate as well to go on agent educationals and familiarization trips which enable you to see a slightly different side to a destination.”

Like many of our consultants, Ushma attended our company International Mastery retreat in Cyprus earlier this year and was impressed with the mentoring she received.

She’s also incredibly grateful of the support she gets from Not Just Travel’s support team and our business development managers (BDMs) – every consultant gets access to one.  

“My BDM Jake is just phenomenal. He is always there at the end of the phone.”  

So what is the best bit about the job – other than the travel perks?  

“Booking a holiday is so much fun. I just love that end goal: creating a customer an amazing trip and finding out what can I do to make it a little bit more special.”

Ushma also loves the flexibility.

“If I don’t want to work today, then I don’t have to, although I admit sometimes work can trickle into the evenings quite late at night or at weekends.”

So has she discovered any other downsides?

“Just remember that you don’t get paid until a customer travels so in the first year you need a source of income. Big bookings are often for travel the following year so it’s important to also focus on last-minute late holidays too.”

Ushma, however, wouldn’t dream of going back to her old banking job – not even part time.

“The more you put into this the more you get out – it’s amazing to see your own business grow over time.”

For Ushma, a simple advert was the moment that kickstarted her new career in an industry that is exciting with numerous opportunities.

“Travel is such a happy industry to work in. I’ve met some incredible people and done so many cool things. It’s changed my life – I’m the person I always wanted to be now.”

What will kickstart it for you? This blog, an advert, our 10-minute Discovery video, a chat with our co-founder Paul or a face-to-face meeting at one of our Discovery events…. The choice is yours….

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