This week, franchisee Kathryn shares her personal journey from working in education to becoming a successful travel agent, all without leaving her job.
In the video below, Kathryn explains her entire thought process and decision making steps – as well as how she’s found customers for her new business.
She’ll take you through all the research she did in years of planning, to now being almost a year into her business.
Much of it may feel familiar to you.
- Kathryn absolutely loves to travel (including the research process)
- She’s the go-to-organiser for friends and family
- She had a growing sense of wanting to do something for herself
- But it’s never been the right time – or the right opportunity
Finally, the timing & the opportunity were both right. Find out more in the video.
In the video she explains how her journey started:
“For many years now, I’ve been completely responsible for organising and booking holidays for friends, family members and even random people at work.
I found myself doing it more and more, and people used to say to me: “You like to spend a lot of time on the internet looking at holidays… Why are you not doing this for a living?”
And I got to the point where I thought, actually that is a fair question. Why am I not doing this for a living? It’s something that I love.”
The right partner was vital
A part-time business as a travel consultant was the perfect route for Kathryn to take.
But she needed the right partner. Someone she could trust to help her deliver great service as well as great prices.
After doing plenty of research online, she found The Travel Franchise from Not Just Travel.
“I went on TripAdvisor and read reviews of people who had bought through Not Just Travel. Then I looked at the comments on Trustpilot.
And I literally Googled ‘Who are the best travel franchises?’
It kept coming back to me that, actually, this is offering everything I need. A relatively small investment and a support mechanism that seems to accept the fact that I’m not a travel expert, but I’m somebody who is passionate about helping people find their holidays.”
Kathryn got in touch with us after watching our online presentation.
“I made the initial inquiry and had a really lovely follow-up call. It was all about what it entailed, what the process was, what my investment would need to be, what my commitment will need to be and how it would balance with work.”
If you’d like a call about opening your own travel business, simply book one here.
Sometimes you just have to take the leap
After years of wanting to do something around planning holidays, starting a franchise was still a massive leap.
In the end, it took a push from family & friends to get Kathryn to make the decision to get started.
“I remember saying on social media that this is something that I’m thinking of doing. And I think when I’d hit 90 comments back saying, ‘This is exactly what you should be doing’, I thought actually… yeah… everybody else seems to think that I should be doing it. So let’s just get on and do it!”
Getting the right support was crucial as Kathryn’s business got started
As our franchisee, it’s our job to support, help and mentor you as you grow.
In Kathryn’s own words:
“From the minute you sign up, to the minute you start your training, you have a whole SWAT team of people around you who are going to guide you through the process. That’s absolutely invaluable.
The mentor scheme that you have means speaking to your mentors regularly; like being able to WhatsApp them at 9PM if you’re having a little bit of a crisis, because something’s gone a little bit wrong.
On a personal level, it’s a huge thanks to them, because I’ve had my Partnership Managers contact me when they’re out on day trips with our family. They’re doing something in their own personal time, yet they are still there and still willing to give me the time to help me through the whole process.
That’s one of the things that I’ve really loved about being part of The Travel Franchise, the support mechanism that’s in place.”
Having a part-time travel business is proving rewarding, in more ways than one
Kathryn loves her job in education, and has no plans to remove herself fully from that world, despite her success and having some amazing bookings under her belt.
In fact, she’s been so successful, she’s taken the option to upgrade her franchise from our Lite package to the full Elite package (with higher commissions and increased marketing & mentorship support).
But the benefits of a part-time travel business aren’t just financial – they’re emotional too.
Now almost a year into her business, Kathryn feels like a proper travel agent and that she’s making a real difference to her customer’s lives.
“We’re in the business of making people very happy. Of sending people off on fantastic honeymoons or on fantastic round the world cruises… or just a weekend away in Newcastle, if that’s what they want. And it’s a real privilege to be able to do that.”
She also has a really important message for anyone who is considering starting their own travel agency from home – which is to really be there for customers.
“Don’t just be an online booking system. Anybody can go and access one of those. The difference is you are their person who will message them during the morning that they’re going away saying ‘Have a lovely time’.
The sweetest thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago. It was somebody who’d come back off their holiday; she messaged me just to say, ‘I’m home and it was absolutely fantastic.’
And I think that’s what we’re there to do… be the human side of travel.”