Thirty-something Liz Dominguez opened her travel agency franchise in Jacksonville as a side hustle to her full-time job working in Emergency Management and Homeland Security doing disaster capacity building for Midwestern states and some consulting on the side. She and her husband started the franchise to earn extra cash and travel the world, with the hopes of eventually going full-time so she could work from home as they grow their family.
Liz notes that after a year of juggling a growing business and travelling for her then day job, they knew they faced a choice – continue to let the business sputter along or she could quit her job to give the franchise full attention to continue to grow. In May of 2015, she officially left her day job and started running the business full-time. It has flourished! Since then, they are 38% over their previous year’s sales and couldn’t be happier.
Two years later, Liz is now a full-time work-at-home mom to a playful, happy one year-old. She finds her abilities to multi-task, keep calm under pressure, and pay close attention to detail are all skills she uses from her previous career to present-day juggling being a working mom. Liz says, “The flexibility for me to work a job I can be proud of AND be at home to raise my son is absolutely priceless to me.”
Heed this advice from Liz – Purchasing a franchise isn’t about getting “free travel.” You need to consider if you have business acumen to be successful in addition to having a passion for travel. It may take a bit to figure out what the direction you will take for your situation and desires, but creating – and using – a business and marketing plan will do wonders to keep you on track and focused.
Being part of a franchise means you are not alone and are given the resources, which could be expensive on your own, to be successful. For example, Liz loves the website that Dream Vacations provides and believes it is the most professional-looking website in the travel franchise industry. In addition, as an engaged member of the Marketing Committee, Liz is proud of the many new items that the team helped develop to support the network and further develop their business – a new referral program, branded holiday cards, and a new loyalty program.
In January 2018 Liz received the opportunity to cruise Tahiti and the Cook Islands which definitely makes a big check off her dream vacation list. Next up on her list though are visits to the Arctic, Antarctic, Galapagos, AND go back to Papua New Guinea.