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 lockdown, 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@https://travelhomeworking.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/HFC-Website-social-images-66-1.png or richard.dixon@https://travelhomeworking.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/HFC-Website-social-images-66-1.png.com will get you to us.