Al Richman is a true entrepreneur and believes success is just around the corner for all franchise owners if they put in the time and effort. When Al started his travel agency business, he “hit the books” like he did with his other business ventures and began learning as much as possible. He practiced using the technology, studied the ins and outs of the different suppliers he would be working with and tested marketing ideas to see what would be most successful.
Al loves the flexibility in setting his own schedule and personal business goals, and the knowledge that he controls his franchise success or failure – and everybody should succeed with the plethora of resources available. Al notes, “support and training exists in many forms and is there for those who ask for it and are willing to learn.” He notes that the technology at every franchisee’s fingertips and the multitude of trainings throughout the year – regional trainings, national conference and supplier trainings – if one does not take advantage of learning as much as possible, they are cheating themselves and making their job harder than necessary.”
Time and work are two four-letter words that new franchise owners should get to know and love, according to Al. It takes time to develop a client base and this is done gradually, by putting clients first and not thinking about what is in it for you. Keeping clients is much more profitable than always trying to replace them. Having the perfect blend of repeat, referral, and new clients will result in lasting and residual income.
Prior to opening his Dream Vacations franchise in 2009, he worked as an independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc. for seven years, as a manager of a landscape construction company and owned a restaurant. Al’s Dream Vacation is always his next one.