All of us got into the travel industry because we love travelling (obviously), and most of us stay in the game because we love sharing this passion and making it easy for others to get out there and explore.
But sometimes it’s hard to be rewarded for all the hard work that goes into creating exciting itineraries for our customers and solving issues – that inevitably arise in some shape or form.
It’s also hard to find that coveted work/life balance when you’re stuck working in a retail or corporate travel environment where coming in early and staying back late is the norm.
That is unless you end up working for yourself with TravelManagers and joining the thousands of other former retail/corporate agents that are now enjoying more money, more holidays and more success – just like Amanda, a former travel consultant who now enjoys all of the advantages that come with owning your own travel business.
We recently sat down with this superstar and picked her brain about what her working life looks like now since joining TravelManagers.
What made you make the move from being a travel consultant to owning your own travel business?
Flexibility is the ultimate reason I made the transition from travel consultant to my independent travel business with TravelManagers. This has significantly improved my family / work / life balance. My children have benefited from the change as I am now available for after school recreational activities.
It’s been beneficial for my travel clients too, with more individual planning and the ability to focus on their optimal holiday choices. My clients have complimented the more personalised service and I genuinely enjoy having the time to visit clients in their homes, coffee shops or venues choice to consult with them. I am very happy with the independence afforded to me in my own travel business as opposed to other options within the travel retail sector.
How did you overcome the challenges of starting from no database to building a successful client base?
I initially started without a client base. Fortunately, I have a strong network of family and friends within various communities and who are regular travellers. Marketing opportunities soon arose and I have had great success with pop up kiosks in regional communities where I marketed specialised holiday packages for the market, using marketing tools provided by the National Partnership Office. Many of the potential customers are located on remote properties with limited opportunities to seek appropriate holiday options.
After successfully booking a few holidays, word of mouth spread quickly throughout this community and I was soon getting multiple referrals. I promote the latest TravelManagers Inspired magazine. I put together exclusive packages / flyers to attract interested clients. My favourite part is to just simply ‘Talk Travel’ all day to everyone who visits me. I have found that even if the timing is not right for the client at that time, they take the brochures and my contact details.
I have found the “pop-up” kiosk is a great way to build my newsletter database too. My local community is supportive of small businesses. Feedback I often receive from clients is that they love having a personalised service and enjoy the fact that I can visit them in their home, spending as much time as needed discussing the perfect holiday.
What do you love about TravelManagers and the support they give you?
I love all the support I receive from TravelManagers. I can call the National Partnership Office anytime throughout the day for advice with ticketing or accounting and there is always help on hand. If there is an after-hours emergency there are team members I can contact and I am supported at all times.
I also love the marketing team! In the early stages of starting my travel business, they helped edit flyers for a letterbox drop. I have received a variety of ideas from them, including: personal birthday gift vouchers, a countdown to holiday tracker and marketing material for my pop-up kiosk. I find using the various tools provided by TravelManagers marketing team really helps me create the personal service. I ensure I always inform each client about the usefulness of the TravelManagers App and I always encourage sign up for my fortnightly Newsletter.
What obstacles/challenges have you faced growing your business in regional Queensland and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge being located in regional town is that I miss out on various business meetings, product updates, airline days etc that are held in Brisbane.
However, I can overcome these hurdles by making time for the online training provided by suppliers and the TravelManagers training team. I attend webinars and updates online to keep up to date. I am looking forward to the TravelManagers National Conference, this year in Darwin, as this will be a great opportunity for further development and training.
What drives your passion for travel & family?
I love to travel and have been fortunate to travel the world extensively since the age of 19. My love of travel has been passed on to my family. Our favourite family holiday is to ski and we also aim to travel to a new destination every year. I am so fortunate to be a personal travel manager as I can work pretty much anywhere in the world!
I also love the opportunities that I have been given to broaden my knowledge and experience by going on famils. I have only been with TravelManagers for two years and been fortunate in that time to have attended two overseas famils to the Maldives and then Vietnam.
How does being a personal travel manager allow you to spend more time with your family?
I love the flexibility of being a personal travel manager. My children are at school so I meet with clients during school hours and I am always available for my business during this time. I have developed quite a large client base made through my children’s after school activities.
If I am extremely busy I tend to take my laptop down to football or netball with me! It is so much easier to juggle it all when you are not committed to being behind a desk in a store.
What else does being a personal travel manager allow you the freedom to do?
It is very flexible work life blend, you have freedom to go where you want and work around your personal life, including attending family holidays if I choose!
Growing your business – what are your secrets to success?
My clients have told me they love being able to call me directly. Because of my love of travel, I have a great rapport with all of my clients. I believe they feel valued and appreciate my personalised service.
I am also extremely organised! Having a great rapport and providing a professional and personalised service with clients is the key to growing your business successfully. I continually receive numerous referrals from other happy clients.
Lastly, your advice for entrepreneurial travel consultants out there. Can they too make the change from employee to successful business owner?
Yes absolutely, once you do the ground work and are established – this will be the best decision you will ever make!
Has Amanda inspired you?
Find out what the next steps are and contact TravelManagers today.
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