While Air Force Veteran Laura Dvareckas may no longer be serving active duty, she has successfully transitioned to be a military spouse. Laura comes from a family of small business owners and for years she wanted a business of her own. As a military spouse who moves every couple of years, she knew she needed something that would move with her and that she would not have to pause while relocating. Pairing this desire to own a business with her passion for travel and she knew that a travel agency was the right choice. Laura opened her Dream Vacations travel agency franchise in July 2017.
Check out Laura’s interview about how she has found success with her travel agency franchise, even while moving around the world.
How did you manage your franchise while you were moving?
The opportunity to run my business from anywhere was a huge in factor in joining Dream Vacations. Not only do I move every couple of years, but I love to travel too. I’ve booked a trip to Spain for a client while on a cruise ship in Norway and a Greek Isles cruise for another family while I was visiting Lithuania. In fact, I was operating my travel agency franchise while living overseas for a short period of time.
I recently moved to Texas and the first thing I did was let my clients know. It was important to me that they knew I had every intention of being their travel agent forever if they would have me! I posted pictures of my house being packed up on social media, and my clients were very understanding and supportive about the move. Once I was settled in Texas, I was excited to learn about my new potential clients here and how they like to travel. What is so great is that even though I moved to a new location, I was still able to meet the needs of my clients overseas and everywhere else that I have lived. There was no down time in running my business; I was able to help my clients while we were living in a hotel.
How has your business grown over time?
I kind of stumbled into a European cruise niche and ran with it! I lived in Europe for six years and have traveled all over the continent. I love European travel, so I get excited for clients that want to travel there; especially if it’s their first trip.
I love referrals – they are a huge part of how my business has grown! I strive to make clients for life by giving them the best service I possibly can. When a client sends their friend or family member my way, it’s the biggest compliment I could ask for.
What advice do you have for a franchise owner who is looking to grow their business?
Network! Find a group of entrepreneurs with whom you can network and build relationships. I am a member of the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs (AMSE) and have not only learned so much about entrepreneurship, but also met some truly inspiring people.
What tool provided by headquarters has contributed most to your growth and why?
I use the auto posts on the marketing page and really like using our Travel Planner to build beautiful, professional looking proposals and itineraries.
What is your Dream Vacation?
My dream vacation is a location with amazing natural beauty and wildlife. I feel my most relaxed when I am enjoying nature — whether it is a beach, the mountains, or even the desert. My family’s “wanderlist” includes a Galapagos cruise and an African Safari.