As I’ve alluded to in my last couple of posts, our trip to Ft Lauderdale wasn’t really a vacation. Throughout my daughter’s final year of high school, my wife and I had talked about her going back to work after the kid left for college, she just had no idea what she wanted to do. After returning from our Bermuda cruise, I was looking for ways to get more involved in the travel industry, and happened to come across CruiseOne’s franchise program. I brought it up to my wife, and she was sold right away. Having not been a fan of the franchise model in the past (especially after watching my dad’s experience in owning a 7-11 franchise while I was growing up) I was skeptical, so I spent the next couple of months doing a bunch of research on the company and reading anything I could on their franchise program.
The end result was that I found very little in the way of negative info, and came away pretty excited about the possibilities. My wife signed up for a prospective franchisee webcast, and away things went. Fast forward to October, and we were headed down for our new franchisee training and starting this new journey. I admit that prior to doing this I felt travel agents were a thing of the past, but as we learned, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The way the service is delivered is definitely changing, but I’ve come to see that the need is very much alive. Many people don’t really enjoy all the research and planning that goes in to it the way we do, and there are still plenty of deals to be had that aren’t visible when just searching a given agent’s site.
Since we got back home last month, she’s been hard at work with the business. She’s even booked a couple of trips, and has a few more she’s researching for different people. It’s fun to watch, as I can tell she enjoys it. She’ll be upstairs in her office all day focused on travel planning and making her way through the sea of training we now have access to, and eventually come downstairs for dinner all nice and relaxed, a feeling I rarely have when I leave work :). There’s still plenty to be done, especially on the marketing front, but that will come in time. One of the nice things about this setup is that it isn’t our primary source of income, which has multiple benefits:
- If things are slow with the business, it doesn’t add to our stress levels
- We’re able to take the time off to visit some of the places and ships we’re selling to our customers, so we get a chance to ensure what we’re selling is up to snuff
- The commission isn’t the priority, ensuring that her customers are booked with the right cruise line / land tour / resort that matches their taste.
- We control the number of clients she’s juggling at any one time to ensure that she’s not overloaded and has plenty of time to properly focus on those clients she does choose to take on.
This doesn’t mean anything changes with my blog, I’m still going to call it as I see it in my trip reviews. Transparency and honesty are hard to find in reviews these days for various reasons, and I have no intention of letting up with my opinions.
That said, I will take this one opportunity to pitch the business :). If anyone’s looking to take a cruise, land tour, or book a resort, feel free to contact Jen, she’d love to help you!
- Cruises on any line, including river cruises, luxury cruises, and more traditional contemporary cruises
- Land tours, including trips with Globus Journeys, Adventures by Disney, and Apple Vacations
- Group travel