After 19 years working in the travel industry, Sinead Daly took the leap in 2013 to run her own travel business. Here Sinead explains why joining Travel Counsellors was the best decision she has ever made.
When did you first think about joining Travel Counsellors?
I first started to think about joining Travel Counsellors almost two years ago. I was working in a travel agency and it just wasn’t working out for me, as I was struggling to get the right work/life balance. Travel Counsellors offered me the flexibility I craved. I was so nervous to leave a job with a monthly salary and venture into the unknown but, after meeting with the Head Office team and seeing what it was all about, I started to feel more confident, knowing that I would never feel like I was on my own without any support or guidance.
From where do you get your clients? Do you find a lot of it is repeat business?
I started off with family and friends and the team at head office helped me to grow my local presence to get my name out there. Since then my business has grown from strength to strength. Travel Counsellors provides me with all the tools and techniques I need to wow my customers, so around 90% of my business is either repeat business or referrals, which is just brilliant. You can’t underestimate the power of recommendations.
How would you describe the support from Head Office?
The support I have received is absolutely invaluable. The head office team really, genuinely care about me and my business. There is always someone at the end of the phone or available by instant message if I need them, from marketing and business development advice, to IT support and customer service. They are with you every step of the way and I never feel isolated or alone. It’s fantastic to feel so supported.
How does Phenix, Travel Counsellors’ dynamic packaging system, benefit your business?
Well, I have been using it now for almost 18 months and I honestly don’t think I could ever live without it. Until you see it, it’s hard to explain. We have access to the best rates from over 70,000 of the world’s very best suppliers, so we can be more efficient and competitive too. Without doubt Travel Counsellors has helped me to become a better travel agent. Phenix puts me firmly in control, both in terms of the packages I can quote and book for my customers and my own earning potential.
What inspires you most about life with Travel Counsellors?
I love that the company appreciates and recognises all our hard work. Although we are all business owners, it’s nice to be noticed for all our efforts, not only by head office but also by my fellow colleagues. We all work very hard, but it is so rewarding. Life at Travel Counsellors is like one very big happy, family in which we all look out for and help one another.
In your opinion, what makes Travel Counsellors different?
No other travel agency compares to Travel Counsellors. It really is in a league of its own. From the unique technology they provide, to the continuous support and family values – and because the company has grown every single year it feels like a very safe place to be. Everything about Travel Counsellors is personal – that applies to our customers and also our colleagues. You never feel like a number. You feel like you really matter – because you genuinely do.
What is your biggest achievement as a Travel Counsellor so far?
I have just won the ‘Best Travel Diary Award’ at our recent Conference and that was a great achievement for me personally. On a business level my best achievement so far was beating my sales for last year in the first three months of this year! An achievement that I am extremely proud of.
What was your ‘light-bulb’ moment at the conference?
I had two ‘light-bulb’ moments at our conference this year. Firstly, I am going to work even smarter rather than harder and really focus in on the little things that add the most value, and secondly I am going to make sure I surround myself with positive people who can help me to keep doing all the right things.