What do we do?
We help you set up your own travel agency from scratch.
You’ll be setting up and growing a brand with its own name, look, and feel, which will allow you to market your business to the whole of the UK
We train you in everything you need to get started. Our accredited, one-to-one training, covers a range of topics, from creating and maintaining your website to marketing your business, which includes in-depth Google Ads training, as well as sales through service, using our systems and supplier networking.
You’ll work with our graphic designer, to bring to life the vision for your brand, this will include creating your own logo, stationary and social media designs
You’ll have access to our industry-leading, cloud-based customer management system, enabling you to work anytime, from anywhere
This will provide all of the foundations to start your business. The ongoing learning and development is endless, our e-learning platform Journey to Success hosts all our core induction training supported with guides and bite-size videos, as well as providing training from everything from destinations to utilising social platforms like TikTok
Our model is based on delivering outstanding levels of service and support. You would have access to a head office support team who are all travel professionals, who know and understand the skills needed to be a successful travel agent
We put the franchisee in control, allowing them to benefit from our infrastructure and knowledge, but able to create a business and build equity to their own vision and values
The one-off initial investment for those ‘New to Travel’ is from £13,745 + VAT, with packages going up to £15,795 + VAT which offers an advanced level of support, through marketing reviews and business development sessions
If you have more than 4 years’ experience, within the last 6 years, we have a Travel Professional package available for £4,500 + VAT. The Travel Professional package is designed to enhance the experience you already have as well as develop new skills, to ensure you can market your business successfully online
For those new to the travel industry, we offer a business planning meeting to explore earnings, costs, and cash flow. It’s designed to give you a realistic picture of how your business should look for the first twelve months of trading, to allow you to make an informed decision on if the business is viable
The meeting takes around 2/3 hours, they are led by one of our directors, who has built a £30 million + online travel agency from scratch, securing multiple awards including ‘Online Travel Agency of The Year’ so you’ll be guided by an expert
The deposit is £500 +VAT and if you choose to come onboard comes off your selected total package price.
For Travel Professionals, the business planning meeting is optional, and if taken takes the full price to £5,000 +VAT.
The monthly fees are £155+VAT, which start six months after you join us as a franchisee, to enable you to reduce your outgoings as you start your business.
These costs cover your ongoing direct head office support, access to our systems, website hosting and maintenance, email hosting, SMS services, and public indemnity insurance.
Our success is down to yours. We make money by taking a small amount from each sale you make, we don’t offer traditional commission splits like others, which protects us and enables you to earn more.
On each holiday sold, we will take a set 2% fee of the gross value of the booking
For example, if you sold a holiday worth £5,000 we’ll take 2%, so £100.
In that price, there’s going to be on average £700 commission and after our fee, you’ll be left with £600, before any deductions such as discounts or credit or debit card charges
Our average sale value is £6,500 with a commission built-in of £800, which is based on a 12% commission from the tour operator. Commissions levels can be much higher than this.
Who are we looking for?
We train you in everything you need to know to be a travel agent and give you every chance of being successful, but we can’t train is the right personality, so what personality traits do we look for?
Personality – We look for individuals who find it easy to talk and build rapport with people. Selling holidays should be an enjoyable experience for you and your customers, so you should relish conversations to get to know your customers, finding out everything you need to design them the perfect holiday.
Passion for travel – Loving what you’re talking about all day is an obvious key to an enjoyable career and successful business. You can choose to specialise in the destinations or types of holidays you’re most interested & knowledgeable on, to begin with.
This helps lower your learning curve, increase your confidence, and therefore the confidence your customers have in you, as you will be seen as an expert
All of our franchisees have a niche area that’s specific to their own experiences travelling the world
Having a niche specialism doesn’t mean you can only sell that area, It’s just concentrating your marketing efforts/budgets on your strengths. If you receive an enquiry from a friend, family member, repeat booker, or referral you’re free to sell the whole world.
As you become more experienced and comfortable in your role, you’re absolutely free to expand your offering and marketing to offer as many destinations are you’d like.
Our business planning meeting with help you create a phased approach, taking on board your interests as well as the commercial viability of each area.
Drive – This is one that we can’t assess, so we leave this with you.
Every franchisee has the same opportunity, same suppliers, same training and support, so what makes some franchisees more successful than others?
The differentiator is drive, and that’s something only you’ll know if you’ve got.
Starting any business is going to come with difficult days, or just days that you’re simply ‘not feeling it’, but it’s these days that separate the successful, from the not-so-successful.
Will, you hide away, put off taking steps to improve your business, or make calls to customers?
Will you dig in, remembering the bigger picture and why you’re here in the first place, grit your teeth, shake yourself off and attack the day with a smile on your face, remembering that you are your own boss, and have the opportunity to build something great?
Ironically, I’m writing this at 7 am, on a day that I’ve woken up full of cold and feel awful, because I love what I do, and I want to push the business forward. You can read a blog I wrote about grit here.
Why partner with us?
First of all, we’re not going to be right for everyone, and not everyone is going to be right for us. It’s important to know that from both sides from the start, but here are the reasons our 40+ travel agencies have decided to partner with us:
Own Brand – With us you are a stand-alone business, but with all of the benefits of a franchise. We help with your branding and website development using our own in-house systems. This means when you are building your business, you’re building a brand for your future. Watch a video about how important building equity in your business could be here.
Tailored one-to-one training – All training is bespoke to you, meaning content is personalised ensuring you’re getting the most from your time and money. Our training program has been accredited by the Institute of Travel and Tourism and is supported by our industry-leading training and development system, Journey to Success Portal.
Because the training is one to one for each of our businesses, you’re allowed more than one person to attend training, so if you’re going into this as a partnership, this works extremely well.
Cloud-based systems – Our in-house system can be accessed on any device anywhere, meaning you can work anywhere, and you don’t have to carry a dedicated laptop with you. All you need is an internet connection.
The British Franchise Association – We’re affiliate members of The British Franchise Association who are the voice of ethical franchising in the UK. This means you can be assured that our franchise agreement is ethical as the BFA lawyers have been through it in fine detail from a franchisee’s point of view. Our upgrade to Affiliate Member demonstrates that the projections created in the business planning meeting are achievable so again you can be sure that we’re not just ‘selling a dream’ here.
Guidance from the HSBC Guide to Starting a Franchise states:
One of the best places to start is with the British Franchise Association (bfa). The bfa was formed in 1977 by leading franchisors. It established a code of conduct for franchisors and ensures that the code is strictly enforced.
Membership of the bfa does not guarantee the success of your franchisor but does indicate that the franchise has been accredited by the Association and meets its ethical guidelines.
Is the franchisor a member of the British Franchise Association? If not, why not?
Hays Travel Independence Group – You’ll have access to over 400 suppliers with industry-leading commissions. Your business will be able to sell any type of holiday and will partner with destination experts to give your customer great holidays at amazing prices, with the personalised service from you.
ABTA – Your business will have its own ATBA number. Seven out of ten consumers (73%) feel more confident booking a holiday with a company that is a member of ABTA. As an ABTA bonded travel agent your customers will have total peace of mind.
ATOL – You’ll be selling ATOL bonded holidays through our huge range of suppliers giving you customers and business the best protection available.
Travel Professionals – Our whole business is built and run by travel professionals. We’ve built our own online travel agency from scratch, building from a £6,000 investment to a business that’s turning over £30m+
Direct Head Office Support – We work closely with each of our franchisees and are truly invested in the success of your business. We make no money from the franchise fee or monthly fees, so it’s in our interest to help each franchisee become as successful as possible. The more money you make, the more money we make, it’s that simple.
We offer reactive and proactive support for our franchisees in all areas of the business, and you can read about the incredible service we provide here
Scalability – The business is scalable and allows you to have multiple members of staff in our system, so each can manage their own customers with you having admin access to get an overview of your entire company.
What would we like to know from you?
First of all, we’d like to get to know you as a person. What are your interests? What is your background? What has got you to a point of looking to start your own agency, and what your ambitions are?
We’d love to know where in the world have you travelled?
What destinations or types of holidays you would be interested in selling the most?
How would you like your travel agency to look?
Do you have a name in mind, or are you starting from scratch?
What vision do you have for your business?
How many hours would you put into the business?
If it’s part time, is it your intention to grow this into your full-time role?
What are you looking for in a franchise?
What research have you done?
What questions do you have for us?
How much can you earn?
We generally expect to see our franchisees break even after 10-11 months. By the end of year one, we’d expect someone to be making approximately ten bookings a month, so one every three days
Taking our averages into account this would mean £65,000 in revenue a month by the end of the first 12 months trading, with £8,000 commission (£6,700 after our 2%).
Obviously, there are other costs to the business such as marketing, phone lines etc, all of which are accounted for in our business planning meeting.
If you’d like to start part-time, this is absolutely fine and works well.
Most of our franchisees start this alongside a full-time role until it gets to a point that they’ve proven the business can work, and then take the step to make this their full-time role
Once you start to get to 20-23 bookings a month, you’ll be at capacity and may need to consider bringing someone on board to help.
Getting in touch
Perhaps the best first step for you to see a full overview of our business is to watch our presentation here.
If it sounds like we could be the right model for you, we’d love to talk it through.
There is no sales pitch, just an honest conversation about the business opportunity as a whole, in order to understand whether this would work well for you