Many women are taking control of their working life by starting their own businesses from home – mums in particular.
Starting a business can seem daunting, but for some mums, whether it be looking after teenagers, younger kids, or newborn babies, the opportunity, flexibility, and support starting a travel business can bring is often too good to miss.
Meet Natalie, aged 29, she lives in Shropshire with her family. Natalie has just finished her first week of business, as a Personal Travel Consultant. She attended the online training whilst still at home, nursing her little baby girl.
Whilst juggling 2 kids, including a 10-week old baby, Natalie did 5-holiday bookings in her first week of business.
What did you do before joining?
I was a school teacher for 7 years. Within the first year of working there, I got promoted. I was head of English at the school.
I was always driven and had ambition. But after having Henry my first child, my priorities changed. I had to go part-time to take care of him and quickly realised I wasn’t going to get much further in my teaching career.
Natalie recalls seeing a post on Facebook, from someone she vaguely knew, who had joined another travel company. After a conversation with Adam, her husband, they agreed to look into the options out there and came across The Travel Franchise.
We got married abroad last year and I organised the trip for 74 of our guests. My husband said that I might as well make a career out of it, as I was so good at it.
It was such a great time to do the initial 5-day online training as a new mum. I cannot think of a better time than during your maternity leave.
There is no other point in your whole career when you get a year out to make something like this work, to follow a dream. At least to kick things off! It’s a window of opportunity to see where it all takes me.
Can you tell me about your first 5 bookings?
From the outset, before my training even started, anyone I knew, whether family or friends I’d talk about my new venture. Including what it would mean for them, why it was a good thing and I started to build excitement around it.
During the pandemic, before I became a certified Personal Travel Consultant, I kept saying to everyone if anything goes wrong I will be there to help you. You know me, you can trust me.
The pandemic had created an even more compelling reason for them to come to me than before. As soon as training was over I was there ready to take bookings, with new products like the COVID-19 travel insurance.
My mum and sister said to me ages ago that they don’t like booking online for their holidays. Having a Personal Travel Consultant in the family was music to their ears.
- My first booking was for me and the family, to go to a Villa in Greece
- My second booking was for my mother in law, it was to Madeira
- My third booking was for my mum and my sister, to go to Devon
- My fourth booking was for my sister in law, to go to a cottage in Wales
- My fifth booking was for a lady I use to work with, to go to Cornwall
How did you feel about joining during a pandemic?
It was a bit of a blessing in disguise for me. I know that sounds odd but it changed a key thing. It meant the initial 5-day training turned from on-site to online. Which meant I could access it from home. I probably wouldn’t have joined otherwise.
When I spoke to Paul to apply to join I said to him, I’m still feeding my newborn baby how would that work with the training?
Paul and the team were really helpful. They reassured me it would all be fine and it was. I just turned the camera off on the laptop and fed the little one when I needed to.
I didn’t miss a thing in the end! The week was run well and I really enjoyed it.