This week we caught up with part-time Travel Consultant Nicola Pugh for an audio interview.
She recently joined our Million Pound Club (with over £1m in travel sold). What you might not expect is that she did it during the pandemic.
Listen to her story to find out how she’s been so successful, or read the transcript below.
This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity
What does a typical week look like?
A week, depends on which day of my life I’m at, whether it’s working my other part time job, which I do three days a week, or whether it’s a holiday and travel business day.
So depending on if I’m working in my other job, that’s what I’ll be doing. And then outside of those hours, as much time as I can commit to the travel business is what I do. So that’s evenings, weekends and the other days I don’t work.
What’s the customer reaction been like this year?
It’s been quite a scary world. I think for customers out there, knowing who to trust and how to book. Everybody seems to still want to travel, especially for 2021. And I think it’s changed people’s views on where to go.
How did COVID affect your business?
COVID started to affect travel around March time. And I did anticipate a huge decrease in the number of bookings that I was about to make.
It was a little bit iffy in March and April. But, profit wise. I made more in those two months compared to the year before. Just not with the same number of bookings.
However, May, June, July, and August have been bumper months.
In fact, June has actually been my biggest ever booking month in relation to number of bookings compared to any of the three years I’ve worked in the business, including peak times around January and February.
Profit wise June has been by far my best month. Since the beginning of March, I think it is 161 bookings up until yesterday.
How are you getting customers now?
Most of my customers now are either repeat customers or recommendations. Very much more recommendations as time goes on.
I think with COVID, I like to think the way I’ve responded to everything that’s happened (has helped). It’s been hard work, helping existing customers. And I think as a result of that, not only have they come back to me, they’ve also recommended other people to come to me.
Why should people start their own travel business now ready for 2021?
I don’t think it’s a bad time to join travel. I think you’d be joining at a time where you’re coming into something with your eyes wide open, knowing that it’s not been the easiest time, but it’s a fantastic opportunity.
I think if you do things the right way, ethically and with good morals and that you look after your customers, now is the absolute perfect time. People are looking more to book with travel agents and travel consultants. The feedback that I get from my customers is they don’t want to book online, especially with what’s happened to a lot of the online agents.
Certainly for me this is an ideal opportunity. Come in now and build up while you can take advantage of where things are up to in travel.