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Two  years on and Ami’s ‘hobby’ business is booming with £270,000 worth of holidays booked last month… despite being new to travel

We can tell you until we’re blue in the face, just how amazing life can be as a travel consultant. But let Ami tell you. 

Ami is one of our top achievers – not only did she book £50k in her first week but she booked  £270,000 worth of holidays in April and continues to run her own business on her own.

We asked her what life is REALLY like as a personal travel consultant. 

What does a typical day look like? How do you find customers? How much support do you get? What can be the challenges? And does she still love what she does?

You’ll hear the good, the bad and … more of the good (there’s not much ugly in this job!)

So, let’s get straight to it: 

How easy has it been? 

Travel is a never-ending learning curve, however, once you grow your client base it just keeps spiralling to new levels. It’s a great industry with fellow travel consultants that all help each other, which is amazing. There is always someone who you can pick up the phone to if you need any advice or if you’re unsure on anything.

How did you find your customers in the beginning? And now? 

My family and friends are incredibly supportive. That’s really where the initial sales started from. Then they tell their neighbours, friends, work colleagues… and it goes from there. As long as you do a good job it just keeps growing on a recommendation basis, as well as repeat business. I do attract some business from social media, but the majority is through recommendations.

Can you run us through a typical working day? Do you have to work long hours to make this succeed? 

I usually start around 8am, catching up on emails and making a start on new enquiry quotes. No two days are the same. Sometimes you can be on calls to suppliers for most of the day obtaining specialist multi-centre package quotes, then the next day could be all online-based quotes for general holiday enquiries with tour operators. (As a personal consultant with The Travel Franchise, you’ll have access to more than 450 travel partners, selling everything from holiday cottages to safaris and everything in between.)

On some days, if it’s quieter, I manage to squeeze in a few home chores, such as putting a washing load on or nipping out to do a supermarket shop. But then I may find myself working later at night once people are back home and ready to look at their quotes. It’s really flexible, which is what I love about the job.

What’s been your most challenging booking? 

I did a booking for a client to Lake Como for his wife’s surprise birthday. It was a fairly high-cost trip for a short duration, so I was really keen to make sure every last detail was taken care of: restaurant bookings, spa treatments, the lot. 

The departure date arrived only for me to receive an email stating that their flight was cancelled and they would now be flying indirect via Milan. This was a real issue as a short flight now turned into a seven hour journey. They then got delayed, which meant they missed their interconnecting flight, which in turn led to them arriving 36 hours later than anticipated!

Luckily it was worth it when they did arrive and fortunately I was on hand to make sure they got compensated correctly for all of the implications without them having to worry about completing any forms or making any phone calls. 

At the time I was on my own cruise holiday so it was really stressful as I couldn’t make calls and Wi-Fi was really limited. I was adamant I would keep the customer updated at all times. 

However, because I gave them so much support, these are customers that use me regularly now. They used to arrange all their travel themselves online, but this experience made them realise that personal agents can be worth their weight in gold should the worst happen.

What’s your biggest booking, sales wise?

My biggest booking to date is a Tanzania safari with a Zanzibar beach stay, all with business-class flights. This one came in at £50k!

What’s your most exciting booking?  

Wow, that’s tricky as there have been some great ones. 

A favourite would probably be for a group of us, including myself, to travel on a Caribbean cruise at Christmas last year. We had a fantastic time and it was amazing spending the holiday with all of our friends and family together, enjoying all of those fantastic islands with great food and entertainment throughout.

You didn’t have any travel experience prior to joining us. Did you find it difficult to learn the ropes? 

No. I learn every single day and I am quite an organised person, so I like everything in order. 

When I do a booking I like to offer a complete start to finish service. So, if that means meeting customers in person, for example, to load up their details because they aren’t tech savvy enough to send pictures of passports etc, or maybe to hand deliver their travel documents, then that’s what I do. It’s the personal touch that really does make all of the difference.

How has the training and support been that you’ve received from the team at Not Just Travel?

Training was pretty intense to start with. But it soon became apparent that someone is always on hand if you need advice or if you have a question. The team of business development managers (which every agent is assigned to help mentor and support them throughout their career with us) do a fantastic job. We are also a close bunch of colleagues that really do help each other out if needed. 

The Seminars at Sea (company cruises where you get taught how to sell cruise) have been fantastic for me. These training trips gave me such a confidence boost when it came to selling cruises and learning about the different styles of cruise. 

What would be your advice to others thinking of signing up to The Travel Franchise?

I thought it would start as a hobby, but I have worked pretty much full time from the start. I know it can be a sideline initially for some people (like me) but I think making that leap to be 100% focused within travel is what creates that commitment to making it work and instils customer confidence if they know it is what you are fully invested in.

What’s next? 

I am super busy and really happy with how things are at the moment. Maybe one day I may consider taking on an extra pair of hands, but for now it works for me as things are and I have the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want. I can do my job from anywhere in the world, which is amazing.

Have you had much time to travel yourself since launching your company? 

I already travelled a fair bit before becoming a travel consultant, but extra trips have been a great perk of the job. Generally, I am away once a month, which is amazing. I am off this weekend with Royal Caribbean for a four-night mini cruise, which will be part training, part leisure. Then I have an Ibiza holiday planned; another cruise in May on a new Princess ship; and then Mauritius for New Year.

Any regrets about joining? 

ZERO! Best thing ever, it has changed my life and I love my job!

If you like the sound of this and want to build your own travel agency, then start your journey right here by watching our Discovery videos. If you’re anything like Ami, you’re in for the trip of a lifetime. 

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