“TC Teams has worked perfectly for me” - how our collaborative way of working has helped Katherine grow her business

Katherine Hobbs joined us in February 2023, on our Return to Travel programme after spending a few years away from the industry. During the past year, she’s taken full advantage of our ‘TC Teams’ model, which allows franchisees to work collaboratively. This has allowed Katherine to boost her earnings while she builds up her own client base and learns from more established business owners along the way.


Read on to find out why Katherine recommends our teams model, discover how becoming a Travel Counsellor has changed her life and learn more about our caring and supportive community.

What were you doing prior to becoming a Travel Counsellor?

I've worked in travel ever since I left university nearly 30 years ago. I was based in London, but in late 2019 I relocated to Devon to take up a new role with a tour operator - and then Covid happened! I was made redundant and left the industry for three years, during which time I worked on a couple of property renovations.

What was it that stood out to you about Travel Counsellors?

I had dealings with a few individual Travel Counsellors while in my previous roles, and I was struck by the fact that they all seemed so happy doing what they were doing. I also knew how well-respected the company is within the travel industry, and that was important to me. I wouldn't want to work with a company that doesn't share my values or work to the same high standards as I do.

How has working in teams with other franchisees helped you to grow your business?

The teams set-up is brilliant. It’s worked perfectly for me. I have lots of travel experience but I’m still building my client base, whereas other more established franchisees have more business than they can handle. So, teaming up on a shared commission basis is the perfect way for me to earn some extra income and for them to ensure that their clients’ enquiries are dealt with quickly and efficiently. I currently work in eight different teams.

Joining up with other business owners has also helped me get to know more people and gain insights into how they run their franchises. I’ve got lots of hints and tips that I’m now implementing in my own business.

What's been your highlight since setting up your franchise?

My first booking! The day after my business went live, I got an enquiry from a client who wanted to arrange a trip to Western Australia, Malaysia, and Borneo. It was a challenge for a first enquiry, but I managed to put it all together in Phenix with the help of our destination management company in Malaysia. The clients booked a week later. They had a brilliant time and have since booked a safari with me to South Africa, Botswana, and Victoria Falls.

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about being a Travel Counsellor?

There are lots of best things! I love the total flexibility in my working schedule and location, being my own boss, the uncapped earning potential, the technology available to me, and the support provided by the wider colleague community. Coming from a tour operating background, I also love the fact that I can essentially be my own tour operator, creating bespoke packages for clients anywhere in the world.

How would you describe the wraparound support available to franchisees?

It’s very impressive. I was expecting to get plenty of technical and work-based support, such as help with getting bookings confirmed. But I’ve been really surprised by the amount of personal support on offer. The focus on mental health and wellbeing is remarkable, as is the business coaching. I feel very confident that if I was struggling in any way, there would be support available.

Why would you recommend Travel Counsellors to anyone who wants to set up their own travel business?

Becoming a franchisee is really simple. The set-up process is quick and straightforward, and the system is very easy to use - meaning you can be up and running in no time. The training course is excellent (and completely home-based). Once you go live, the business development team is there to provide all the help you need.

What personal qualities do you think it takes to become a Travel Counsellor?
To be successful, I think you need to be disciplined, organised, self-motivated, and have a passion for travel and people. It’s also an advantage to be outgoing and not afraid of a bit of self-promotion! I’m not saying I have all these qualities, but it would help if I did!

How has your life changed since setting up your own business?

Joining Travel Counsellors has enabled me to continue with my plan to relocate to Devon, but also to get back into the industry that I love. There aren’t many travel companies based in the South-West, so without Travel Counsellors I would likely have had to take a job in another industry or move back to London and give up on my plans for a life by the sea!

We encourage our business owners to use our trusted and proven franchise model in a way that works for them and their customers. As Katherine has shown, this includes working collaboratively with other Travel Counsellors to enhance earnings, strengthen knowledge, and provide the very best service to customers. Adopting TC Teams is also a great way to integrate into our caring and supportive community, and forge working relationships that very often turn into close friendships. If you’d like to be part of a travel franchise where you’ll be trained and supported to be your best, we’d love to hear from you.

Interested in becoming a Travel Counsellor?

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