It’s possible to become your own boss without having to invent a new product or service. One solution is starting a travel agency business by becoming a Dream Vacations franchise owner. This allows you to be your own boss while still being part of a larger organization.
Discover more about how you can start your own travel agency business that will allow you to travel around the world as part of your job.
What Does a Travel Agent Franchise Owner Do?
Becoming a travel agent franchise owner can be a rewarding experience. Here are seven of the day-to-day business practices of a successful Dream Vacations franchise owner.
1. Work with Clients
Helping people have an excellent vacation is at the core of what we do. It’s the cornerstone of every franchisee, and everything else enhances or supports this endeavor. It all starts with getting to know our clients.
Franchisees ask questions to understand their clients’ interests and preferences. What are they looking for on a vacation? Do they want a weekend getaway or a two-week sabbatical? This step is critical in providing the client with the experience that will be the most fulfilling.
Once our franchise owners have an idea of what their clients want, they weigh in with their expertise. They compare the client’s tastes to their own experiences and training, making suggestions on transportation and destinations.
2. Set Up Travel Plans
This is the step where our franchisee’s expertise and connections really shine. They are true experts and know vacations are not one-size-fits-all, and they help clients find the perfect fit.
Our incredible buying power affords us the ability to offer the best prices and promotions, and seamlessly arrange travel for clients all over the globe. Even better, we have preferred partner relationships with all the major cruise lines and tour operators and have preferred status with nearly 60 travel suppliers.
Our comprehensive booking engine houses a 3-in-1 system that provides help with the management of reservations, customers, and financial reporting. It also houses our “cruise fare watch” (a tool that monitors bookings and watches for any price changes), as well as technology automation (which sends automated triggered emails to clients on your behalf).
Our travel and business tools are all web-based, meaning our franchisees can work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. So whether they’re at their home office, or relaxing in a hotel suite in Tuscany, they can get work done.
3. Create a Marketing and Business Plan
Of course, it’s hard to plan vacations for clients if no one knows you’re offering that service. That’s where marketing comes in. Traditional marketing efforts include direct mail and newspaper advertisements. These can help you get your name in front of a wide audience.
From there, franchisees may take advantage of more personal marketing opportunities by attending trade shows (often hosting a booth), as well as other local events. It’s important to build a network in the community, making a name for yourself as the local go-to vacation specialist. As word of mouth spreads, business increases dramatically, and franchisees frequently find themselves busier than they anticipated.
Traditional marketing isn’t always enough. That’s why we strongly encourage our franchisees to take advantage of digital marketing opportunities as well. Digital marketing is a lot simpler than it looks. Most of the tasks and skills involved can be learned with a little bit of training. Our dedicated training team, along with our corporate support teams within marketing and business development, help you learn best practices and apply them to your business success.
Digital marketing happens on several fronts, including online advertisements and social media channels.
We know that marketing (both traditional and digital) is critical to the success of our franchise owners; that’s why we offer a wealth of marketing tools to help them achieve that success.
4. Participate in trainings to learn about the travel industry, destinations and various travel suppliers
The vacation industry is always evolving, so training and research are an integral part of being a franchise owner. It all starts with the introductory six-day training at our headquarters. This training gives new franchisees all the tools and information they need to get the ball rolling and start their franchise.
We believe training is an ongoing endeavor, and we provide multiple opportunities so our franchisees can learn when and how they want. Most of the training on how to run the business, what new ships and new resorts are available, business skills, and more, are conducted online and on-demand through our award-winning Learning Center. We also host live webinars on our private intranet.
Travel, or a “deductible vacation,” is also pivotal in keeping up with the changes in the business. After all, how can a franchisee make recommendations if they’ve never visited any of the locations? That’s why the industry provides ample opportunity for franchise owners to go on ship tours, hotel and resort tours, and offer vacations at a reduced cost.
We host national and regional in-person conferences and summits. Our yearly national conference at sea is a week-long cruise, while regional conventions and summits are more intimate in size and take place throughout the country. Each is designed to equip franchisees with the expertise they need to make miracles happen for their clients. But don’t forget that we are in the industry of fun, so training is never boring as you connect face-to-face with your peers and friends.
5. Operate your travel business – from anywhere
Being a franchisee is a business, and you’re the boss. You’re in charge of the schedule of your primary employee (you). You get to decide when you come to work and when you leave.
Don’t assume that you’re all on your own. In addition to the training we provide, our web-based tools include customer management and financial reporting to help you stay organized and maintain control.
It can be a lot to keep track of. That’s why our Dream Vacations team provides training and web-based tools to start you off on the right foot, and we don’t stop there. Our support staff is always on hand to answer questions. Beyond that, weekly check-ins offer an opportunity to ask questions and get help from others. Plus, as a franchise owner, you have a dedicated Business Development Manager available to help you get your business up and running.
This is a major part of becoming a part of the Dream Vacations team. Where you would otherwise have to figure all of this out on your own, Dream Vacations offers a wealth of resources to assist franchisees to build up a successful business and keep it running.
6. Be a Member of the Social Experience
There’s a significant social aspect to the work, and not just in associating with clients. Joining Dream Vacations means becoming part of a community that supports and celebrates you.
Our get-togethers feel like family reunions. Franchisees typically seek each other out for advice and support, and to share their successes. There’s a real spirit of camaraderie in our tight-knit community.
The way we see it, just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you have to be all by yourself. That’s why the Dream Vacations team does everything it can to foster this family mentality. It’s what makes us strong.
Benefits and Perks of a Travel Agent Franchise Owner
Owning and running your own franchise is one of the biggest perks of being part of the Dream Vacations team, but other smaller benefits come with it. Here are just a few of the benefits franchise owners get to experience.
- Because you own the franchise, you’re your own boss. That means you get to work the hours that work for you. If you’re just looking for a secondary source of income, or if you’re wanting to make your franchise your primary job, you get to decide what hours work best for you.
- As long as you have a connection to the internet, you can get your work done. You’re not tied down to an office or a desk, which makes it possible to do your job even while you’re traveling.
- No inventory is required, so there is little risk. Our home-based business opportunities reduce cost and overhead expenses that you may encounter in other business ventures—meaning you retain a higher profit.
Do Travel Agents Get to Travel for Free?
Suppliers will often provide free or significantly reduced rates for agents so they can share their experiences with clients. These rates are typically offered during the off-seasons where cruises have extra rooms they can offer at a lower cost.
3 Must-Have Mindsets to Become a Successful Travel Franchise Owner
We get a wide variety of entrepreneurs, but in general, each of them tends to have a few things in common that make them love working as part of our family of franchise owners.
1. A Passion for Travel
Our franchisees have a passion for travel. They love visiting new countries and cities. For some, it’s tropical destinations with sandy beaches and crystal clear water. For others, it’s the snow that serves as the focal point of their adventures. Then, there are the major city and famous destination travelers who love walking the streets of Paris or visiting the pyramids in Egypt.
When it comes to travel, there’s something for everyone, and our franchisees love seeing and doing it all. Becoming a travel agent gives them the freedom—the imperative even—to travel and see the world.
2. A Need to Be Free
Most of our franchisees have spent their time in the trenches, working traditional 9:00 to 5:00 jobs with demanding bosses and tedious work. Many have struggled with the difficulty of needing to take care of errands during work hours, like doctor’s visits, trips to the mechanic, and school functions for their children. Nearly all of them have wanted to ditch that life and upgrade to something better.
Joining the Dream Vacations franchise family opens up a world of possibilities where they are free to manage their schedule. They organize their time and determine deadlines for work. They have a direct hand in the success of their business.
3. A People-Focused Mentality
Those who join Dream Vacations tend to share a love of working with people because helping others have a successful vacation is the heart of everything we do. Every day our franchisees help their clients plan the vacation of their dreams, allowing them to get away from the stresses of normal life and spend time with the people that matter most to them.
For those who love helping people and knowing that their work has made a difference in the lives of those they work with, Dream Vacations is a perfect fit.
How Much Does a Travel Franchise Owner Make?
Travel agents make money based on their bookings. Depending on the success and work ethic of the franchise owner, the rates can be very different. A franchise owner who books only a handful of trips annually will not make as much money as an owner who is booking trips every week. Read this article to find out more about how travel agents make money.
Join the Dream Vacations Family
With a Dream Vacations franchise, you’ll have our 25+ years of industry experience in your corner with a low-cost investment. We’ll help you have a flexible and exciting career as part of the travel industry. For as little as $3,500 down, you can launch your future and see the world. Sign up today for a 45-minute webinar to discover how you can be the proud owner of your own franchise.