Tag Archives: Holidaysplease Homeworkers

TTGtop50 Online Travel Agency of the Year

At the end of what everyone working in travel will testify to have been the hardest 12 months ever, Holidaysplease has again been named as the TTGtop50 Online Travel Agency of the Year!

And when we say again…we mean for the 3rd time in the last 5 years! Not a bad record 😉

All the team at Holidaysplease, HQ staff and homeworkers alike, contributed to the award coming our way, and all the team are immensely proud to win this award. And so they should be.

Throughout the last 12 months every single person involved in the business has gone way above and well past beyond in our goal to not only survive the pandemic but to also come out the other side ready to thrive!

We have put our customers first throughout as the incredible Trustpilot reviews of our service over the last 12 months clearly demonstrate.

We have continued to give our amazing team of Holidaysplease Homeworkers all the 24/7 support they need, only furloughing staff when conditions allowed us to do so without compromising that support. Plus we put in place a £100,000 fund for any of our homeworkers facing short term financial challenges.

And we made a commitment not to make any HQ redundancies, a commitment that remains intact a year into the crisis. In fact, we have ended up increasing staff numbers in our head office team as part of our plan to thrive post-pandemic!

The full story of the last 12 months that began with Holidaysplease becoming the inaugural TTG Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year and ended with our TTGtop50 Online Travel Agency of the Year 2020/21 award is told in these blog posts from the year.

It is an award winning story of a tough old year and how as a business and a team we rose to the challenge!

Travel Homeworking Post-Covid

Travel Homeworking Covid Recovery

Travel Homeworking Finding a Way

Travel Homeworking Pandemic Performance

Travel Homeworking Pandemic Peaks

If you would like to find out more about Homeworking with the multi-award winning Holidaysplease Team just drop an email to gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease.com

Travel Homeworking Pandemic Peaks

Heading into the traditional January peak booking period, the Holidaysplease Travel Homeworking team were realistic and at the same time optimistic about the prospects for pandemic peaks!

Did we expect normal booking levels? Of course not. Could we see opportunity? Hell yes!

Were our hopes for pandemic peaks blind optimism, or were there solid reasons to be optimistic?

Well, all the conversations the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team had been having with their customers towards the back end of 2020 indicated that a good number were desperate and determined to have a holiday to look forward to in 2021 or 2022.

And, whilst demand would clearly be lower than usual, with High Street Travel Agents sadly closed due to lockdown and many call-centre sales staff furloughed, there was a great opportunity for homeworkers fully open for business to grab a good slice of the market that was there.

Plus, there are strong messages to convey around why customers should be booking their holidays in January rather than leaving it to see how the land may lie later.

With less airline capacity in the market, many destinations and hotels taking their time to re-open therefore reducing choice and bed-stock, and many customers having already shifted their 2020 holiday to 2021, prices are bound to rise as the market comes back, so booking now to secure the holiday of your choice at the best price was a key motivator for customers.

And the flexible booking terms that many good tour operators have in place mean that customers can book without risk.

So we were confident in our assessment that January pandemic peaks offered a good opportunity for Holidaysplease Homeworkers to be productive, make bookings and earn some much needed commission!

The theory sounded good, so how did the month go then?

Well it wasn’t long before the travel trade press were reporting a pretty bleak picture of a “dead market” and “trading running at 80% down.”

At the same time we were pleased to see that enquiry and booking numbers through the first week or so of January were pretty much in line with our predictions, and as we got further into the month, the numbers just kept on getting better!

By the end of the month the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team had hit 96% of the sales target they had set for the month, and as a business we achieved 77% of the total net commission figure from our record January from 2020. So 23% down in a market reported to be anything from 75-90% down. Not good to be down ever, but in the circumstances a result for the team to be proud of.

Here our some other key January pandemic peaks stats from the Holidaysplease Travel Homeworkers :-

  • Top team member made over 100 bookings and £300k in sales.
  • Homeworkers smashing the £100k mark and setting new personal record months!
  • New homeworkers getting over £40k in sales and earning more in commission in the month than they would from an average travel sales job.
  • Over 4,400 new enquiries generated in the month.
  • Average sale of £5,937 up 19% on January 2020.

So, a normal January? Nope. A productive and rewarding one? Absolutely!

There is no getting away from the fact that trading conditions remain super-challenging and a mountain of uncertainty remains. However, with energy and belief the opportunities are there to be had as the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team ably demonstrated once again through January pandemic peaks!

You can find out more about Travel Homeworking with us at Holidaysplease by calling 0121 200 5750 or emailing gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease.com

Get in touch, we would love to chat!

 

Travel Homeworking pandemic performance

With record breaking sales in January and February, and being named TTG Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year, the Holidaysplease Travel Homeworking Team were on a real roll in early 2020.

Then March came along, the true extent of the Covid-19 pandemic became obvious, and the World shut down.

In subsequent blog articles we outlined our initial response and actions to the impact of Covid on travel and our business, how our performance began to recover, and how by reacting to the changing market place the Holidaysplease Homeworkers were finding a way to make sales and earn commission whilst most travel agents were moth-balling or making just the odd booking every now and then.

Looking at the 2nd half of 2020 from the start of July to the close of December, we can see how as a business and as individual homeworkers, Team Holidaysplease has been able to consistently out perform the travel market.

Firstly, our marketing team performed wonders keeping the Holidaysplease website busy with visitors and generating new enquiries for our homeworkers. Total enquiry numbers for the 6 months were down 6%, but that still left an average of 3,500 new holiday enquiries a month coming in which was plenty of opportunity for the homeworkers.

The result was a 22% increase in bookings to new customer bookings against the same period in 2019.

Although conversion and therefore booking numbers overall were lower, a 28% increase in the Holidaysplease average sale value to £6,385 meant that we achieved sales revenues equal to 68% of the second half of 2019, at a time when most travel agents were reporting achieving 20-30% of last years revenues at best.

And with improved gross margins, and lower discounting levels, we saw a 9% increase in the Holidaysplease net margin, resulting in net commission, the key driver of profit and homeworker earnings, being at 76% of 2019 for July – December sales. So down, but far from out!

As we head into 2021 with a National Lockdown in place once again, it perhaps may seem foolish to feel optimistic for the prospects of the year ahead, but that is exactly what we are. Getting on the front foot and believing that a decent result can be achieved every day of every week whatever the market conditions is a key mindset of every successful travel homeworker, and it has certainly served us well as a business over the last 10 months.

Online retail businesses continue to trade pretty much unhindered by public lockdowns and the closure of our High Streets, and travel homeworkers are uniquely placed to deliver outstanding service to existing and new customers even during the strictest of lockdowns.

And in a post-pandemic market that is sure to place service, trust and expertise above anything else, travel companies like Holidaysplease and individual homeworkers that have enhanced their reputation through the pandemic by being there for their customers and acting in the right way, will be in  high demand.

We are always delighted to chat with experienced travel professionals about Holidaysplease and Travel Homeworking with us. So call us on 0121 200 5750 or email gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease.com

 

 

Travel Homeworking Find a Way

Whilst travel remains one of the industries to have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, at Holidaysplease we have continued to find a way through.

After a strong recovery through June and July as highlighted in our last blog HERE August was a bit of a backward step with the constant uncertainty of quarantine impacting sales.

Undeterred we were back on the front foot as a team in September, looking to generate more enquiries than we had in August, which we did, and get sales back up closer to the levels from our record September from 2019…..which we did 🙂

Whilst the market achieved in the region of 30% of last September’s total sales, the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team achieved 71% of September 2019’s net commission total. Still 29% down, but in the circumstances, a result not to be sniffed at.

The key to achieving this was to understand the dynamic of the current market place and then work accordingly.

Uncertainty remains, but so does interest. What has to be recognised is that due to the uncertainty there will be less people willing to commit and book however much interest there is.

This can be balanced off by generating more enquiries as conversion of enquiry to booking will be lower than usual, and actual booking numbers will be down even when enquiry numbers remain pretty similar.

Hold on! More effort for less reward, that doesn’t sound like much of an opportunity does it??!!

 

Not really, but this is where a full appreciation of what is happening in the market really comes into play. There are two key factors that are combining to very positive effect.

  1. The Holidaysplease average sale has risen markedly over the last 6 months of the pandemic, and in September it sat at nearly £7,000 which is a 55% increase year on year.
  2. Discount levels are down as there is less competition in the market place which led to a 17% increase in the net margin on  our September sales compared to last September.

These two factors combined mean that Holidaysplease Homeworkers are able to earn the same commission in a month, even though they may only be doing half the number of bookings because they are making over 80% more in commission on each sale they make.

 Now, whilst the dynamic of the market place is creating opportunity, at the end of the day, it’s the attitude of each individual travel homeworker that is really critical to the results they achieve.

Thankfully Team Holidaysplease are a resilient bunch that like to find a way so embraced the challenge of servicing more enquiries in September than August, and worked those enquiries with the positive belief that a good number would book despite all the Covid uncertainty.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re probably right” is a well known favourite saying for us at Holidaysplease, and we most often think we can!

If you think travel homeworking might be an opportunity you think you can make work going forward, get in touch. We’d love to talk to you about homeworking with us at Holidaysplease.

Just drop an email to gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease.com or give us a call on 0121 200 5750.

Travel Homeworking Post-Covid

It is fair to say that quite a lot has happened since we were down in London in February picking up the TTG Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year award!

There is no denying that the Covid-19 crisis has provided the World with it’s biggest challenge of the modern era, and travel has been one of the worst affected industries.

Every single travel company has had to face up to and deal with a situation that was previously unimaginable, and Holidaysplease is no exception.

As the crisis hit the UK in early March, we made projections for the remainder of 2020 and planned accordingly.

We had three primary goals. To look after our customers. To support our homeworkers. To survive and come out the other side of the crisis in the best shape possible.

With an initial focus on looking after our customers and supporting our homeworkers, we kept the vast majority of our Head Office team working. This allowed us to stay in control as the crisis unfolded.

Once we had control and some real understanding of how the crisis was likely to affect travel short and medium term, we turned our focus to survival.

Holidaysplease is a very well financed business. We have no borrowing or debt, and the year leading into the crisis had been a record one for sales. So our cash position was strong. Whilst every travel company was going to find the next few months incredibly tough, we were in the best possible position to come through.

Our Bankers agreed and confirmed that they were happy to provide funding should we need it.  Still we followed a prudent path to conserve cash by cutting down on overheads and started to make more use of the furlough scheme.

Our incredible team of resourceful homeworkers cracked on with helping their customers re-book and their amazing efforts have resulted in us retaining over 70% of our no-fly affected bookings.

Testament to their incredible work and service was Holidaysplease being currently rated the Number 1 travel agent on review site Trustpilot.

And it wasn’t too long before we recognised that there was an opportunity in the market place for new business! Whilst the majority of travel had shut down, Team Holidaysplease got back on the front foot looking to make things happen!

Of course to start with the number of new bookings was nothing like what we would usually expect to see, nevertheless, through April and May new sales grew steadily and we booked over 60% of what we would usually transact in a normal June.

The strong business retention rates and our increasing new business has meant that we are operating well inside of the projections we made at the onset of the crisis and our focus continues to now switch from protection to re-build with a real confidence for what the post-crisis future of Holidaysplease and our Homeworkers will look like.

A key factor in that re-build will of course be the opportunity to invite more experienced travel experts to join us at Holidaysplease. We will continue to focus on finding the right people for our homeworking team, quality over quantity has always been our mantra. We have a genuine desire to see people come on board and be productive rather than just another bum on just another seat.

In saying that, we are hungry to get the right people on board and working with us. Through lock down we have already run two virtual inductions for five new team members, and we have another five being virtually inducted very soon.

So we would love to hear from anyone who is serious about travel homeworking as an option for the future.

An email to gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease or richard.dixon@holidaysplease.com will get you to us.

And if you want a little reminder of why Holidaysplease is a multi-award winning travel homeworking business, HERE are 10 of the key reasons.

 

Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year

At Holidaysplease we have been fortunate enough to win some of the most coveted travel industry awards, which now includes being named the Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year 🙂

Held within the exceedingly glamarous surroundings of the Rosewood Hotel in London, the TTG Luxury Travel Awards 2020 was a glittering ceremony celebrating the very best businesses operating in the luxury travel sector.

We were incredibly proud to be named the very first TTG Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year.

Richard collecting the award from April of TTG and Priti of Oceania Cruises. Photography by Steve Dunlop www.stevedunlop.com steve@stevedunlop.com

Why did we win? We’ll let TTG Luxury Editor April Hutchinson do the talking….

“This is a new category this year, designed to recognise those companies focused purely on a network of homeworkers, and we weren’t short on great entries. But thanks to its structured, measured approach and ability to maintain a supportive and personal touch to its network of 100-plus homeworkers, judges felt Holidaysplease deserved to win. New homeworkers have a clear path when joining the business and are nurtured, both in person and by digital methods, while weekly motivational sessions have included Dame Kelly Holmes! Congratulations to the first ever winner of our Luxury Homeworking Business of the Year.”

Fancy working with a multi-award company to start and then grow a super-successful travel homeworking business of your own?

Then just pick up the phone to us on 0121 200 5750 or email gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease.com

Together we can make it happen!

Travel Homeworking recruitment

After the busiest couple of months ever for the Holidaysplease Travel Homeworking Recruitment team, you could forgive them taking a deep breath to take stock.

But that is not how we roll at Holidaysplease!

Demand is so high to be on our new homeworkers induction in December that the Travel Homeworking Recruitment team are currently hard at work sourcing a bigger space than we would usually use for our inductions!

The sad demise of Thomas Cook resulted in us training record numbers of new homeworkers in October and our largest November induction ever, the December induction is set to be even bigger.

We have always taken the view that recruiting purely for the sake of increasing team numbers is not the right way to grow the Holidaysplease Homeworking team, and this remains the case.

The only people that we invite onto our team are those that we genuinely feel are likely to achieve the goals they have. At the moment it just seems that there are a high number of the kind of great people that we look for at Holidaysplease wanting to come on board.

And the really fantastic news is that many of those ex-Thomas Cook people and other new team members who have joined us over the last couple of months are settling in and making lots of sales!

We have had a record November and the sales made by our October and November newbies have been a major contributory factor in this achievement.

With the opportunity of January just around the corner there are more exciting times to come for Team HP for sure.

Right now, is probably the best time there has ever been to become a Holidaysplease Homeworker.

You’ll find our Travel Homeworking recruiters ready to chat and answer all your questions on 0121 200 5720.

Travel Homeworking : Picking the Best

As the Great British Summer comes to an end, the busy season for the travel industry tends to simmer down. Well, at least this is the case for most travel agencies – not so much for Holidaysplease. Our in-house marketing team make sure we’re always busy, with plenty of free, quality leads and new opportunities to make sales.

Most high-street travel agents have made peace with the fact they’ll have to spend most of their autumn months clearing out old paperwork and watching the clock until closing time, but not Holidaysplease homeworkers. We’re as busy now as we’ve been all year – just another great reason to join our team of travel experts!

Richard Dixon, one of the Holidaysplease founders, who has taken the company from idea to a multi-million-pound, award-winning business, shares some of his secrets to success: “It’s important to select the right people when selling holidays to high-spending customers. Recruit the wrong people and frankly any travel business looking to sell upmarket holidays will fail.”

At Holidaysplease, we only take on board a small percentage of those who apply to join our homeworking team of personal travel experts. People are often surprised by this stat as many Travel Homeworking companies favour employing by numbers rather than finding quality people.

We have always chosen QUALITY vs QUANTITY.

Experience, knowledge and personality are the 3 most important factors our homeworkers must have in order to join us. We recruit sensibly to make sure that our Travel Homeworkers have what it takes to sell successfully to upmarket customers. By doing this, we find that a higher percentage of people that come onboard the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team go on to build the successful Travel Homeworking business to which they aspire.

Although there are times when the number of enquiries being generated surpasses the capacity in our team, we know that in the long term our Homeworking Partnerships will be all the better for it.

If you consider yourself to be an experienced travel agent who is ready to step up your game and make money year round, then get in touch today and you could be part of our exclusive travel-homeworking team!

We are one call away on 0121 200 5720

Travel Homeworking Tech

To be the best travel homeworker you can be, you need the best travel homeworking tech to run your business from.

Just recently Holidaysplease was named TTGTop50 Online Agent of the Year for the 2nd time in three years. You can I’m sure imagine how proud we are of this achievement, especially as the technology and systems that we have developed for Holidaysplease Homeworkers has been a major factor in those two wins.

Charles picking up the TTGtop50 Online Agency of the Year 2019 award for Holidaysplease with Jess from Latin Routes and her Alpaca plus Pippa from TTG.

One of the key reasons behind the successful growth of Holidaysplease over the last 16 years is our inhouse tech team. From the word go we wanted to be masters of our own tech destiny. This means that we develop and build our own systems tailormade for how we want to work, in the way that serves our homeworkers and, perhaps most importantly, our customers best.

The Holidaysplease travel homeworking tech empowers our team to run a super-efficient business. Everything they need to be 100% on top of managing new enquiries through to sales, and looking after bookings is to hand.

The system keeps them in touch with latest news from HQ and includes a chat function via which the team support each other.

Sales and target reports keep Holidaysplease homeworkers totally up to speed with the performance of their business, and e-marketing functionality makes it easy for our homeworkers to stay in touch with their customer base.

And the best news of all is that the Holidaysplease system is easy to use and easily accessible. No horrible system download that takes up all the memory on your laptop. No having to be hard-wired in to an HQ server. The Holidaysplease travel homeworking technology is accessed online, all you need as a homeworker is an internet connection.

Your business is portable! Work from home, the local coffee shop, a shared office area…..or even from abroad should you wish to stay in control from the comfort of your poolside sun lounger!

To find out more about how we work at Holidaysplease email gemma.mcleod@holidaysplease or just pick up the phone, we’re on 0121 200 5720.

Travel Homeworking Certainty

It could be said that with travel homeworking certainty is hard to find.

Working on a self-employed commission only basis means that whilst your earning potential is uncapped and many travel homeworkers do take home significantly more than the average travel agent on the high street or in a call-centre, your income can be uncertain.

And for many homeworkers finding and retaining customers is sometimes uncertain…..although Holidaysplease homeworkers have more certainty than most in this area as highlighted in this recent BLOG.

The thing with certainty is that right now it’s pretty hard to find full stop!

Just last week Thomas Cook announced a further 21 store closures with 320 retail jobs at risk. There has not been much certainty working for one of travel’s oldest names for quite some time now.

And with the whole Brexit in or out hokey cokey farce certainty is a rarity across practically every walk of life!

Image courtesy of alamy stock photo

The good news for self-employed travel homeworkers is that they have perhaps more certainty in these uncertain times than if they were in an employed position.

As a travel homeworker with Holidaysplease you are in control. You control when you work and what you work on.

And of course, the old adage of “the more you put in the more you get out” could not be more apt.  More often than not the travel homeworkers who earn the most (and therefore achieve certainty in their income) are those that work hardest. Need to earn more? Work more hours! In most salaried positions you often end up working more hours for no more money!!

Over the last 20 years some of the fastest growing and most successful companies in travel have been travel homeworking companies. Holidaysplease has achieved consistent double-digit growth pretty much every year of the 15 we have been in business.

Whilst the number of high street travel agents has close to halved in recent years to 3,500 the travel homeworking community has grown to a similar number.

At the 2018 AITO Overseas Conference last November ABTA director John de Vial said “I can see the number of homeworkers overtaking the number of physical travel agencies in the next few years.”

So yes, travel homeworking certainty can be hard to find. At the same time, it’s fair to say that there is more certainty in travel homeworking than there is across pretty much every sector of the travel industry currently.

Anytime you fancy a chat about homeworking with Holidaysplease we are just a quick call away on 0121 200 5720.