Joy Teet: Take it Slow and Steady When Becoming a Travel Agency Franchise Owner
Joy Teet previously was a retail manager before joining her husband Ray and becoming travel agency business partners in 2013. Joy took her time in transitioning to being a travel agent. In fact, her husband Ray who worked in travel for eight years took her under his wing at first and guided her through the process of speaking with guests and the steps to securing a reservation. For Joy, the best part about owning a Dream Vacations franchise is working with guests and having them come back from their vacation sharing what a wonderful time they had. As a business owner, Joy personally likes the freedom owning a travel agency franchise gives, allowing them to travel and arrange their schedules around what they think is best rather than having someone else say what is best.
People may not realize it, but owning a travel agency is working in retail and thus, many of the skills carry over. Joy believes you should always treat your guests/customers with respect and confidence, you must be organized and able to prioritize.
Joy wants all prospective travel franchise owners to know that you most likely will have to build your clientele and that there is a lot to learn before you start selling. You must continually stay up-to-date on the changes in travel. You do have to work your business to grow it. There is a lot to learn to be knowledgeable and know what you are speaking about, so it generally takes 1 – 2 years before you will really see a profit. Of course, this is for newbies. Those who have a client base to start with have a good jump start.
“The resources provided by the Headquarters team at Dream Vacations makes it easy for me to stay in touch and guide my clients into planning their dream vacation,” noted Joy. She believes that having a personalized website with a fountain of information is a wonderful tool to use when speaking with guests, and she does try to direct them to use it. She also takes advantage of the email marketing as a way to stay in front of her clients.
Dream Vacations is heavily focused on making sure franchisees are engaged and don’t feel alone, even though they work at home. The Regional Trainings and National Conference are a fantastic way to keep up-to-date on industry occurrences and company updates, and it is a wonderful way to network and meet the other agents and share what has worked, has not worked, and ideas in general. Joy also believes the conferences are a wonderful way to boost morale, and be made to feel a part of the organization. Knowing you have a wonderful team behind you to help with questions, no matter what the topic, is huge.
When asked about her Dream Vacation, Joy says, “There are so many places I have yet to visit, that it is hard to pick one destination. However, my Dream Vacation is to go somewhere where I can see the sights without worry, hassle or waiting in lines, relax and disconnect. Good, healthy (mostly) food is also important, but not mandatory.”