After working in corporate sales for 31 years, Sam wanted a job with more flexibility and far less stress.
Living in Dorset she contacted Not Just Travel and co-founders Paul Harrison and Steve Witt, fascinated by the business. Originally interested in a head office role, she was so impressed she decided to get a franchise instead.
“I instantly liked both Paul and Steve as well as their business model. And since I’ve always enjoyed organising all the family holidays it made sense,” says Sam, who is in her early 50s.
Sam trained to be a homeworking travel consultant and launched her business in September 2022.
“Training was great and although at first, I felt a little overwhelmed that I didn’t know all the travel terminology and acronyms, I learned pretty quickly that it’s actually quite straightforward and involves using a lot of skills you use every day.”
“You just have to talk to the people you know and the people you come into contact with on a daily basis and ask if you can help them arrange their next holiday,” says Sam.
“It’s nothing to be afraid of…” she adds, laughing that she explains what she does to everyone she meets.
“After all, I can arrange a hotel in Bournemouth or a private jet.”
Sam cheekily suggested that her accountant should book holidays through her business and discovered he was about to book his wife’s 50th birthday.
The result? A £28k holiday booking combining an African safari with Mauritius.
LIke most of our consultants, Sam will dig around to find the best possible deal for clients from our numerous suppliers, using our business development managers to find additional recommendations if she “hits a brick wall”.
She also cherry picks which of our free travel webinars to attend in order to learn more about our holiday suppliers and their incentives and uses our free marketing tools to attract new customers through social media.
But it’s not all work and no play.
Sam may be extremely well-travelled, but she has plenty of destinations on her wish list – and a few holidays in the pipeline.
“When I was 36 I took a year off and went to Thailand, Cuba, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and Cape Town, but I have a few gaps,” says Sam.
To expand her knowledge, Sam is travelling with us to Paphos to attend our Millionaires Retreat in March, where we explore a destination with a group of agents and give expert training on running a business.
She is also hoping to attend our Seminar at Sea, a week-long cruise in October with workshops that focus on selling cruise.
To gain more knowledge she’s also ‘investing’ in taking more holidays. Having booked an MSC cruise for the New Year and a trip to Belek in Turkey in April, she’s also keen to spend time exploring South America.
“Now when I book holidays I look at what I can bring back to the table,” says Sam.
With £150k-worth bookings in just over four months, Sam is looking to grow the business steadily and having fun too.
“I don’t want hundreds of bookings. I want to invest time building relationships and deliver a really good service.
“It’s not just about money, but a flexible work/life balance, without stress.”