Tag Archives: Travel Homeworking

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 agne@holidaysplease or 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 Agne on 0121 200 5720 or email her on agne@holidaysplease.com

Together we can make it happen!

Travel Homeworking : From legal eagle to travel beagle

Working from home is an attractive and growing career choice, and for people who find the idea of selling holidays for a living exciting, travel homeworking is extra appealing.

The main challenge for people coming into travel from another industry is often getting the right travel sales experience under their belts that the majority of established and credible travel homeworking companies ask for.

The good news is that if your passion and desire are strong enough, it is possible.

Former legal eagle Toni is now works from home as an expert travel beagle sniffing out amazing holiday deals and itineraries for her customers.

Toni talks through her journey from the law to travel homeworking in this short video, check it out…

The multi-award winning Holidaysplease Homeworking Team is jam packed full of people from all kinds of travel backgrounds, whether travel has been their whole career, or like Toni who have followed their passion for travel and left their previous career behind.

To find out more about how travel homeworking could transform your work and home life, just call us on 0121 200 5720 or email agne@holidaysplease.com

 

Neisha’s Travel Homeworking Story

Neisha is a luxury travel consultant who has been with Holidaysplease for almost 3 years. She decided to switch to home-working after 23 years of working in travel. She is a very valuable addition to our team and a very strong woman.

Her first months in the new homeworking role did prove to be a bit of a challenge, but the support she received from head office, along with the free customer leads we always provide our homeworkers, set Neisha up for success.

“When I first started at HP I found it quite hard as you have to work on your conversations, ask the right questions and cement the relationship between yourself and the customer. You also have to realise that the customer will shop around and your biggest competition is other online travel companies. It’s also difficult to adjust from being people-facing to online, you almost have to go back to basics and think: what would you think as a customer and want from your travel consultant?”

Going from a customer facing role to homeworking does require flexibility and adaptability in your approach to work. But having support from a team of experts who are at your disposal 24/7 also makes the transition a lot easier.

“I am forever changing my working style and mixing it up to suit each individual customer. At the end of the day everyone is unique and they all have specific requirements that are important to them for their holidays.

The best thing about my job is the support from HQ, we are all human and sometimes make mistakes, the office team have always been there to assist and advise where they can. Ultimately, it’s my customer and they booked with me, so it’s me that needs to deal with the situation and rectify any errors should there be any.

I remember when I first started calling team leader Sue as I was crying under my desk as a customer had lied to me and booked elsewhere. I have toughened up now! You have to be one step ahead of customers and ask the right questions, get the correct information and deliver it well. I continue to learn new things in this ever-changing industry.”

Neisha with her special travel homeworking assistant 🙂

More recently, Neisha has suffered from serious health issues, but as she is a fighter, she did not let that stop her from working and living the best life she can.

“2019 has been an extremely challenging year for me personally. I started off being ill at the beginning of the year and was diagnosed with a serious illness in May 2019. This has been devastating for me and my family. I have undergone 2 major surgeries and am still battling with health issues, but I am a fighter and will continue to fight. This in turn has made me appreciate every customers requirements and needs a lot more. It has also inspired me that even when you hit really hard times in life, quiet months, etc, you can build your business and get those bookings in.”

Over these few years here at Holidaysplease, Neisha has managed to build her business up and create a steady client base.

“I’ve built my business up by asking for referrals when my clients book and sending them business cards in the post. I run incentives to win goods throughout the year. My big incentive which my clients love is the ‘Win a set of Hard Shell Luggage’. I usually run this incentive for 3 months, it creates a lot of business for me.”

 Neisha gives us her opinion on what qualities a good travel agent must posses:

You get out of it what you put in, so having a good work ethic helps. I spend a majority of my time in my office with my chocolate Labrador making calls, emails, texts, thinking of new incentives, sending mail shots. Know your products, I have been in the industry for a long time, products change and so do destinations due to climate change, so I regularly take my brochures to bed and read them, I do this to improve my knowledge, after all no one knows everything.

Always give honest advice and if you do not know the answer to a question that’s put to you, let the client know you’ll find out and get back to them.

I am also very well-travelled and try to have between 5-8 holidays a year. It’s good for the mind and soul.”

The advice that Neisha would give to a travel agent who is considering homeworking is:

“You have to work extremely hard, stand out from the crowd, put the hours in, build relationships with all your clients, try new things and if you find you’re struggling sit back and make lists of why and start again with a new approach. Be honest with all your customers, shout about the bespoke personalised service your client will get with you.”

Supporting and helping each other at Holidaysplease will make your business stronger and grow. In light of the recent events of the Thomas Cook collapse always provide positive support and help to all in travel.

Also to all customers that may not have booked with you? They may book with you, never look back.”

Travel Homeworking : 10 Reasons Why Holidaysplease

Travel Homeworking is a position sought-after by many people for various reasons such as flexibility, working for yourself and work-life balance. While many travel homeworking companies offer these benefits, here at Holidaysplease we offer much more. Here are the 10 reasons you should choose Holidaysplease if you are considering travel homeworking:

1. Our Focus on Upmarket and Long Haul Holidays 

By focusing on long haul luxury destinations, you get to sell high-quality holidays to customers who appreciate good service. We generate a good number high value enquiries such as honeymoons, touring, groups and multi-centre holidays. Our average booking value is £4600.

2. Free Leads Generated via our Award Winning Website Holidaysplease 

That’s right. Unlike other companies, where they expect you to bring your own clients, we offer you leads free of charge. You will be given access to as many high-spending customers as you can handle, without having to pay for any marketing yourself.

3. The power-packed technology we have developed to help Holidaysplease

Our team of in-house software engineers have developed a tailored system that makes the entire booking process a lot easier, from finding suppliers to managing the customers data. We even have an internal forum where you can ask fellow homeworkers for support.

4. No Set Hours so Complete Flexibility for You

The beauty of this role is that you can schedule your work around your other commitments, as long as you stay on top of your workload and you are available for your customers. Imagine earning uncapped commission while also being able to do the school runs!

5. Excellent Head Office and Admin Support from the Birmingham Office Team

 We offer excellent training and induction, but we don’t stop there. To ensure your job runs as smoothly as possible, we’ll share the key secrets and strategies used by our most successful team members, discuss sales techniques and marketing opportunities. Moreover, you’ll never have to get frustrated with the level of administration, as our dedicated admin support team will do the work for you!

6. A Genuine Commitment to Delivering Outstanding Customer Service

 We currently have a score of 9.9/10 on Trustpilot, based on over 3100 reviews. Our ethos is offering our customers the best service possible. We don’t just book hotels and flights, we aim to meet all our customers’ expectations by checking every detail of their journeys and ensure they get a tailored, once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience. That’s what makes Holidaysplease stand out from the rest of the homeworking travel agencies.

 7. Our 17 Year Track Record of Proven Travel Homeworking Success

 If you decide to join Holidaysplease, you can rest assured you will be in good hands. The directors, management and head office staff are dedicated to your success. With a vast amount of experience between our head office staff and a proven home-working model, you have nothing to worry about and can focus on converting your leads.

8. Multi-Award Winning Company

 Holidaysplease is a fast growing, innovative company, that has won over 30 industry awards in the last 13 years. A few of our most recent awards include Travel Homeworking Agency of the Year 2018/19 and Top Online Agency at the TTG Top 50 awards in 2017/18 and 2019/20.

9. Year-Round Enquiries, Not just in the Key Months

 While things slow down in the Autumn and Winter time in general for the travel industry, this is not the case at Holidaysplease. We’re busy year round! Our marketing team ensure our enquiry pool is always full and diverse and our targeted advertising means only people who are genuinely interested in a holiday will place an enquiry.

10. Uncapped Commission

 Your earning potential as a Holidaysplease Homeworker is 100% uncapped meaning many of our team regularly achieve an income far in excess what they have previously been able to working in a High Street Travel Agency or Travel Call-Centre. Generally, home-working opportunities reward homeworkers with 20-60% of the net commission that is earned on every booking made.

Get in touch and discover more about all the reasons why a Travel Homeworking job with Holidaysplease could be the perfect opportunity for you!

Call us on 0121 200 5720, we are ready to chat when you are. 

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 agne@holidaysplease or just pick up the phone, we’re on 0121 200 5720.

The real meaning of Travel Homeworking support

Support is a word often seen on Travel Homeworking recruitment adverts or heard in conversations between travel homeworking companies and prospective homeworkers.

As support is usually important to people considering homeworking as a future option, companies are happy to give it a mention.

What every prospective travel homeworker must do is explore below the surface of that mention to establish exactly what this support actually looks like. Because the fact of the matter is that the real meaning of Travel Homeworking support can vary greatly from one travel homeworking company to the next.

Real support often lies below the surface.

At Holidaysplease we value our customer service above anything else, and from the word go have applied this same mentality to how we work with and support our multi-award winning team of homeworkers.

Rather than recruit numbers to satisfy our vanity, we have always recruited based on productivity.

We don’t want loads of people doing very little, we prefer a smaller more productive team! So, we are totally committed to the success of each and every person that we invite to become a Holidaysplease Homeworker.

Which means pro-active support. It means regular calls from our Head Office team leaders, often daily calls through the all-important early months.

It means kicking off every month with a one to one business building call with one of our leaders to review the month just gone and set the agenda for the month ahead.

It means weekly video conference calls with the team broken down into small groups, plus weekly product and training webinars with suppliers.

It means team leaders and Directors visiting homeworkers to stay in touch. A few weeks after every induction one of our Senior Leaders will spend a day working with every new homeworker in their home as part of our onboarding process.

It means homeworkers spending time with us at HQ to refresh existing skills and develop new ones.

It means that any homeworker can speak with any of the Directors about their business at any time.

It means head office resource is in place to support any homeworker who is on holiday. We are often booking holidays for customers whose personal homeworker is on holiday, and by the way that homeworker still receives their full commission on that booking!

It means a sales team leader being available 7 days a week until 10pm at night to assist homeworkers with any issues or provide help and advice to bag a booking.

It means a unique intranet chat room where homeworkers share tips and news and support each other with product knowledge to secure sales.

And of course it means all the marketing, tech and admin support from a team of 30 head office staff with a genuine desire to be of service.

It really is no accident that the average productivity per homeworker at Holidaysplease is up there with the very best in the business.

Holidaysplease Homeworkers are never recruited and then left to bumble along on their own. We maintain a high ratio of team leaders to homeworkers to ensure that we deliver the support we talk about.

When you talk support with us at Holidaysplease, be ready for a long conversation!

We are ready to chat when you are : 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.

Travel Homeworking Growth

Reading updates in the travel trade press it is clear that across the industry it is Travel Homeworking growth that has been the bright spot of this years January trading.

Both Travel Weekly and TTG have been running reports of record Travel Homeworking growth from a number of the key Travel Homeworking companies, including Holidaysplease of course!

Whilst trading amongst the high street travel agents appears to have been patchy at best, Travel Homeworkers have shown again that with the right attitude and work ethic records are there to be smashed!!

And the Holidaysplease Homeworking team really did smash it this January!

  • The 2nd week of the month saw us break through the £1million sales mark in a week for the first time to set a new record week which, the following week, we exceeded!
  • And we set a new record for sales in a month achieving sales in excess of £4million for the first time.

Individually many of the Holidaysplease Homeworking team had a super-rewarding January.

  • A third of the team set new personal records for sales in a month.
  • 20% of of the team exceeded the magic £100,000 mark for sales in a month, our greatest number ever.
  • The average sales per homeworker in January was over £50,000 in a month for the first time ever. This is industry leading productivity.

The Holidaysplease Travel Homeworking growth in January was achieved by established and new homeworkers. One team member that joined us in November booked £144,000’s worth of holidays in January, whilst at the same time a homeworker who has been with Holidaysplease for over 10 years and has consistently achieved fantastic results, enjoyed her best month ever with us.

And of course the hard work that brought this success brings incredible rewards. Those 20% of homeworkers who hit the £100k mark for the month will have earned at least £5,000 in the month. Our top homeworker for the month earned commission in excess of £10,000 in January!

In travel terms these earnings are way way above average salaries paid on the high street or in call centres. Whilst always remembering that every single penny earned as a travel homeworker is hard-earned, lets also remember that these top earners are not some super human breed of travel agent ninja’s!

They all come from typical travel backgrounds. High Street travel agents, multiples and independents. Call-centres, Tour Operators both large and specialist.

The only thing that sets them apart is the belief, energy, determination and vision that they bring. That is where the Travel Homeworking growth comes from.

Travel Homeworking Attitude

In Travel Homeworking attitude is the biggest key to success.

The kind of attitude you need to be a super successful travel homeworker is encapsulated perfectly by Henry Ford’s famous quote :

For Travel Homeworkers December and January are months that highlight this perhaps better than at any other time of the year.

Historically December is the slowest sales month of the year for the travel industry, January the busiest. So most people in travel think a lot about January, and not much thought goes into December.

Which of course is a massive mistake!

At Holidaysplease our attitude is always that we can make something happen, no matter the day, week or month. Throughout this December our marketing team have been on it generating fresh leads for the Holidaysplease Homeworking Team. The result : enquiries UP 31% year on year, and sales commission UP 34%!

If you think you can…..

And whilst as a team we have been working hard through December to make sales, we’ve also been thinking about January and taking action to make sure we are ready to go from the off.

The thing is, just because lots of people tend to book holidays in January, no-one in travel should just think that they will. Which is why having the right Travel Homeworking attitude before and throughout peaks is critical.

Success cannot be assumed or taken for granted. It has to be worked hard for and when the opportunity is there, take each one, then push for more!

That is the kind of Travel Homeworking attitude that can bring massive rewards as it did for the top producing Holidaysplease Homeworker last January.

Are you the kind of person that makes stuff happen? Whilst your colleagues are waiting for customers to sit down at their desk, are you jumping up from your seat to welcome them into your shop?

Who is coming up with marketing ideas in the team you work in? Which of your fellow travel sales people are really chasing each sale, haggling with suppliers to get the best deals, following up with customers, and hitting targets?

Is that person you? Then you have the attitude that goes along way to being a super successful Travel Homeworker, and we’d love to chat! 0121 200 5720 gets you straight through to us 🙂