From Air Waves to Ocean Waves – A Radio Producer Journey To Owning a Cruise Agency Franchise
Chris Caulfield is a stay-at-home dad to three young children who is able to maximize his time with them while earning an income doing what he loves – talking about and selling cruise vacations.
Name: Chris Caulfield
Year Joined Franchise: 2013
Prior Occupation: Radio Producer
How did you transition from your prior occupation to starting a travel business…and what did that transition look like? My transition was a perfect example of one door closing and another opening. I was being downsized from my position and there were fewer career opportunities in the radio industry. So I began a search to start a new career, and my love of cruising brought me to CruiseOne.
Did any of your previous skills carry over? I use some of my editing skills from my production background to put together videos for my YouTube page. I also use my media experience in interviews with the press which raises my profile as a travel professional.
What do you like best about owning a Dream Vacations travel agency franchise? I love the flexibility. I work from home and that means I can be home for my kids. It also means I can work from virtually anywhere, thanks to our excellent IT department, as long as there is internet. Also, I really feel supported by Headquarters, whether it is Marketing, Public Relations or our outstanding Support Services department.
Advice for somebody purchasing a franchise: Patience and a long view are the key. There is a lot to learn on top of the logistics of running a business. You need to give the business time to grow and your name to become known in the community as the go-to person for booking vacations.
What is the best part about the support you get from Dream Vacations: It is hard to pick one because I think the all-around support we get from every department is exceptional and a big contributor to my success. Headquarters does its job in supporting the franchisees and they listen to our needs. Each department knows its job and does it well.
What do you wish you knew before you started? I wish I was a little more prepared for how much people thought a travel professional was not needed anymore. I understood that a travel agent was not on most people’s radar with the rise of booking online when I entered the business. But the more I talked with people and explained how I can assist them they saw my value. And as I meet more people I am hearing “I need help booking this vacation” a lot more frequently.
What’s Your Dream Vacation: A cruise. I call a cruise ship my happy place. And I am trying to get people who never cruised to try it because it is a hard experience to explain until you have tried it. But usually, once someone does they are hooked.