Meet Ben and Toni, partners in their travel business since 2015. Despite the pandemic, they’ve just seen their biggest month in travel sales ever! We caught up with Toni this week, in-between bookings, to find out more…
It’s amazing, we’ve had our best month ever since joining in 2015.
People are that desperate to get away. As soon as this lockdown ends we know we are going to be inundated with even more bookings.Toni, Personal Travel Consultant
When did you join to start your own travel business?
We joined The Travel Franchise and got an instant travel business back in 2015.
At the time of joining we still had a car hire company that was also a franchise business. We ran both businesses alongside each other for the first couple of years.
The car hire company was lucrative, but it was very restrictive, we had to clean the cars, deliver them, and every weekend we had to be there. Going on holiday was out of the question.
When we realised how much money we could make selling holidays we decided to focus solely on the travel business.
Congratulations on having your best month ever, can you share what that looks like?
We’re just about to hit £100,000 in sales for January so far, and we still have payday to come, which is notoriously the busiest weekend.
I haven’t discounted one holiday this year, haven’t needed to.
The majority of bookings are for Lapland, the biggest booking this month was for £24,000.
We position ourselves as Lapland specialists.
If someone tried to book a Lapland break themselves, they couldn’t, you cannot find direct flights to Lapland online for example. That’s where a Personal Travel Consultant comes in handy.
For other couples thinking about starting, what one piece of advice would you give them?
I would say look at each other’s strengths and focus on them.
Ideally, your strengths and weaknesses will complement each other.
For example, I am better at the systems and customer service side of things, Ben is much better on social media than I am.
Why do you think your customers choose to book with you?
It’s all in the detail.
For example, when I’m speaking to a mum who is about to book a family trip to Lapland, I don’t just say do you want to include the husky sleigh ride?
I explain the experience, I talk about meeting and feeding the huskies, I paint the picture for them. I will even go into the fact that the huskies are from an indigenous tribe.
I bring it all to life!
My customers always feel like they are speaking to an expert, but this doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in everything.
For anyone new who joins the business, I would say that they can be positioned as an expert on a specific destination that they have personally visited many times.
Discover 12 reasons why people choose to book with travel consultants, find out here.
What would you have done differently if you could start again from the beginning?
I would do things differently, absolutely.
I would pay more attention to what the experienced people within the business were saying.
Especially the trainers, as they give great advice and I didn’t listen as much as I should have.
The people who deliver the training have been in the business and have lived and breathed running a travel business. They know what works.
I would have also invested more in myself, in my own personal development.
It was always available to me with the Millionaires’ Retreat and other incredible sessions that the franchise hosts, I just wish I had done more.
My only regret is I didn’t have as much self-belief as I should have. I see that now.
What would you say to people who think that now isn’t the best time to start a travel business?
I would have to wholeheartedly and respectfully disagree.
We’ve had our best month ever since joining in 2015!
People are that desperate to get away, as soon as the second lockdown ends, we expect to be inundated with even more bookings.
People are more nervous about booking these days, understandably.
Peace of mind knowing that their money is safe is key, this is where the travel consultant wins because they can offer the ABTA and ATOL protection, holiday guarantees, travel insurance, the lot.
They also have direct contact with a person.
I would say now is the best time.