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Meet Becky: two years into her business, £1m in holiday bookings and a travel podcast on the way!

Mum of two Becky joined us in December 2021 and within the first seven months she’d beaten our Money-Back Challenge – make a set amount of commission in your first year and we refund your Elite franchise fee! 

Roll on two years and she’s booked over £1 million worth of holidays, opened an office and taken on a member of staff. 

Read on to find out the secret to her success and if you could do it too… 

How did you grow your business so quickly?

When I first started, hitting £1 million in holiday bookings seemed like a mythical figure so to hit it two years after starting was incredible. For me, year one was really about learning how everything worked, building customers and a business that was reputable. Year two was all about experience – I did lots and lots of trips. Now, at the beginning of year three I can be more strategic in my business goals and concentrate on PR and marketing.

Tell us about your favourite company trip

I travelled to Mauritius to attend the company’s Elite Experience – a luxury overseas mentoring retreat which is included in the Elite franchise fee and is held in a long-haul destination with opportunities to be coached about running a travel business. It was absolutely incredible. Probably the best holiday I’ve ever been on – not that it was a holiday; it was a “learning experience”!

How did the Elite Experience help you?

It was amazing for so many different reasons. It was brilliant to be away with other business owners who were on that next step of the ladder from me and to be able to talk to them, learn from them, ask them questions and pick up tips. 

Steve and Paul, the company co-founders, led the trip and taught us so much about building our businesses. And then Beachcomber, our hosts, were absolutely incredible. We stayed at several of their resorts on the island and since I’ve returned, I’ve taken almost £85,000 in bookings for Beachcomber alone. It’s a product that I’m now really confident selling.

Has joining Not Just Travel’s Cruise Division been worthwhile? 

Yes. Cruising is now a really important growth area within my business.  

Since I joined the Cruise Division I’ve been on two of the company’s Seminar at Sea cruises where the company train you all about how to sell cruise while you enjoy one! 

We did all of our training in the morning before lunch, and then we’d spend the afternoon enjoying the ship and getting out and about exploring the ports – we visited loads of countries that I hadn’t been to before.

My first cruise was on Norwegian Prima sailing to Norway. And the second trip was a Virgin Voyages Mediterranean cruise. The brands are so very different so it was great to experience them and as a member of the Cruise Division I’ve learnt about many other brands that are great for different clients.

How are you keeping up with the growth of your company? 

Well, I’ve moved out of the kitchen! I now have a dedicated office located above a local car garage. This means people can come to see me by appointment. There are so many people that still want to have that one-to-one connection when they can sit and look through brochures or discuss a really detailed trip.

I’ve also taken on my first member of staff, Meg, so now there’s two of us at Westaway Travel. Like me, Meg doesn’t have any experience in travel, but she’s full of sunshine and really positive. I always say that booking people’s holidays isn’t rocket science. Making it an amazingly positive experience is what takes more work. So, bringing on Meg who has that really positive attitude and who loves travel and holidays in the same way that I do, is great.

What makes your service special? What do you offer your customers that others don’t? 

Every single customer is different so you can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. We tailor our service according to their needs. 

Some of my customers literally know what they want and once I’ve made the booking for them, they’re happy to do everything else themselves, knowing that I’m in the background if they need me. 

Other customers need more attention, particularly if it’s a more complex trip or they’re travelling alone, perhaps for the first time. I’ll go through all the FCO regulations, check their passport, point them in the right direction for visa applications, check them in and I’ll even print and deliver their boarding passes in person to their door. 

One thing I do for all my customers is to contact them within 24 hours of their arrival, just to check everything is OK. If they’re not happy about something I can give the hotel a call and I can try and rectify the situation whilst they have a cocktail by the pool.  

What are your plans for the company going forward? 

I’d like to continue to grow with staff and sales. I think there’s still so much more that can be done in terms of building the reputation of the company, in terms of more people knowing about it. I used to be in PR so I’ve become a regular travel expert on a radio network and we’re about to launch our own travel podcast, talking about new destinations and trends. Cruise is also going to be a really big focus.

And what about you? Any plans for future travel yourself? 

I’m going to St Lucia, which I’m so excited about. I’m going with one of our trade partners. I’ve been invited to go out and experience Zoetry Marigot Bay –an opulent all-suite hotel nestled within a tropical rainforest beside a white-sand beach. 

What advice would you give others who are thinking of joining The Travel Franchise? 

Obviously do your research properly. Think about how you would make the business fit into your lifestyle. But overall just go for it because it’s so much fun. It’s such a nice industry. Everybody who works in travel is really friendly, kind and fun. You’re helping create some of the happiest moments for your clients. 

It’s also a great opportunity to have your own business and to build your own future without having a limit on what you can earn. 

You have to work hard, but of course it’s not hard work if you love what you do and I do!

Do you want to join us, be your own boss and create your own adventure? Find out how.

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