Nong says she found her dream job when she spotted an advert for The Travel Franchise by chance, a few days after returning from a holiday in the Caribbean.
“It changed my life. I have always wanted my own business, but for some reason I didn’t realise you could get a franchise in travel and I thought: surely this is too good to be true?”
Based in Swindon, Nong says she had worked in business development for over 10 years but wanted to be her own boss and work in an industry that she was truly passionate about.
“You need a lot of capital to start a business and while I did have to invest with The Travel Franchise, it was achievable.
“I was able to get up and running almost straight away and the business came complete with backing from head office, a system and structure, branding, buying power and ABTA-bonded protection for my clients.”
Nong joined in January 2022 on our most affordable Lite franchise package, working in her spare time alongside her full-time job.
But after growing her client base faster than expected, it wasn’t long before she upgraded to the Elite franchise package.
“I soon recognised the added value both for my business and my clients,” she explains.
Upgrading to Elite enabled Nong to earn more, join our new Cruise Mastery programme, and gain access to the new app and a range of rewards and incentives.
She also had the chance to work more closely with a wider range of Business Development Managers, some of whom specialise in cruise and speciality destinations, with decades of experience in the industry.
“I love that there’s so much to learn and I’m in the fortunate position to be connected to so many industry professionals and resources. It makes every day a school day – and it’s so much fun to learn and grow in the travel industry!”
Nong doesn’t regret leaving her old job as she’s built a business that’s sold just under £200,000-worth of holidays in just 12 months – and for the majority of the year she only worked part time.
“I began getting busier and busier and took the plunge after just eight months into starting my travel business to go full time. I am here for the long run and I can already see how quickly my business has grown since making the move,” she says.
Like many Personal Travel consultants, Nong is working her way up through NJT’s success ladder, which recognises the milestones reached within her business based on bookings and revenue.
She says that she loves the flexibility of being her own boss and being able to attribute the growth in her business to her own hard work.
Nong has developed her customer base through social media platforms, particularly Instagram, as well as networking and even leaflet-dropping in her local area.
“You are your brand and people need to get to know you to trust you – and book a holiday with you,” she says.
And while up to now she’s previously concentrated on kick-starting her business, she’s looking forward to travelling more in 2023.
“I love learning about new cultures, trying new food, seeing beautiful surroundings, meeting new people and appreciating the wonders of the world.
“I visited St Lucia last year for the second time. Since that trip I’ve been able to provide a really tailored itinerary for clients who want to go there too. I see real value in travelling as much as possible and recognise it as a source of inspiration and education to benefit my clients.”
She also recognises that everyone has their own perception of what makes a great holiday and takes care to get to know her customers so that she can tailormake their ideal vacation.
At the moment she’s busy crafting a couple of weddings abroad and a £26k family holiday in Florida.
“I love helping people make magical memories and hearing that they’ve had a wonderful time.
It’s such a great feeling when you see their pictures and videos. It’s why I do what I do, to see moments like these and know you helped make it happen.”