At Travel Counsellors we know that starting your own business is liberating and exciting, but also a big step to make. That's why we've got a team of ILM-qualified business coaches here at our support centre in Manchester, ready to provide expert guidance, training and advice every step of the way.
Lisa Bradshaw, our Corporate Business Coach, and her support team work closely with our Corporate Travel Counsellors. Using her experience in business travel Lisa helps them to grow the business they want.
Let's get to know Lisa...
I have been working in corporate travel for 25 years, starting as a Junior Business Travel Consultant and working my way up to Senior Consultant, Team Leader, Account Manager, New Starter Lead, Corporate Trainer and now Corporate Business Coach.
I live with my 6-year-old daughter Emily, just outside Manchester - not far from Travel Counsellors' Support Centre. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, going to regular spin classes, and of course travelling!
What support can I expect as a new Travel Counsellors?
You'll start on our comprehensive induction programme, which covers our business model, systems, processes and what it means to be a Travel Counsellor. You'll also be allocated a fellow TC as a mentor, who will be there to share their knowledge and experience during the first 6 months of your journey. During this time I will check in with you and explain how I can support you through our business coaching, which is all about empowering you to get the most from your business to meet your goals - whether personal or financial. After your induction, one-on-one sessions are available, tailored to your situation and business.
To keep you up to date with everything that is happening in the world of travel and make sure you can run a successful business, there are also weekly Travel Counsellors TV (TCTV), regular supplier webinars and business development roadshows. There's even a bi-weekly TCTV show focused purely on corporate travel, as well as an annual Corporate Conference which is open to all TCs. Of course, the whole community comes together for our annual three-day conference too!
For those who want to take their business to the next level, we run high-performance programs, such as our Going-for-Gold program for those hoping to achieve our esteemed 'Gold Travel Counsellor' status.
Why do you enjoy working with Travel Counsellors?
I like to see people succeed and enjoy what they do in the process. It's great to see them progress over time as they are empowered to make their own decisions on where they'd like to take their business. I love that I can play a part in building successful travel businesses while watching TCs grow and thrive.
You’ve been at Travel Counsellors since August 2019. What do you love about your job?
The TCs and the people I work with at Head Office both in the UK and overseas keep me positive and motivated. I love the people I work with, we are one big community and we all support each other.
I also like the variety of the role and the fact that I have the opportunity to speak to our TCs every day. The TCs are amazing; the resilience they show and the way they support each other is fantastic. There is a lot of love and support in this business, and you feel it every single day.
What, in your opinion, is the secret to success as an entrepreneur?
The biggest secrets to success here at TC are being resilient, positive, determined and engaged in the community. There is something to be said about ‘the power of the community’ and I encourage Travel Counsellors to work together in teams. It means that clients always have someone they trust to contact, while the TC can make sure that they keep their work-life balance.
I also think that it's so important to keep learning - training doesn't stop after the induction! We're constantly updating our training so that TCs can keep up to date with everything that's happening in the industry. We also offer systems training on the GDS, as well as 'Leisure to Corporate' transition courses for those who want to get into corporate travel or have an opportunity to work with a corporate client.
Growing a business comes with many highs and lows. How do you motivate a TC going through a difficult time in their business?
Each Travel Counsellor has different needs and wants for their business and I have one-to-one coaching calls with the TCs as and when they need them. I always tailor my advice depending on the Travel Counsellor, but I find that most are motivated by integrating themselves into the community. That could be by attending events, training sessions, workshops, TC teams or even our virtual Friday coffee morning. Getting involved in the community has such an impact on Travel Counsellors and their businesses!
You must’ve been part of many success stories over the years. Is there one that stands out for you?
I have worked with many TCs over the past year coaching them through their business challenges. One that does stand out is a Travel Counsellor who attended a Going for Gold workshop but felt overwhelmed on the day as he was so busy with enquiries. Over a period of 9 months we worked together so that he could build up a TC team. He now works with other TCs to service his clients and has recently achieved his Gold status!
Want to find out how you can start your own corporate travel business with the support of our community? Find out more about becoming a Business Travel Counsellor here.