We are delighted to welcome Laurie Gill to the Travel Counsellors family. We caught up with Laurie, who came through our Travel Academy, to find out why she decided to start her own home-based travel business.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you did before becoming a Travel Counsellor.
I have a varied career background, I started out working in freight forwarding, moving on to rail compliance and then into retail. I love to have that personal interaction with the end customer or client.
My father was in the RAF, so I moved around a lot as a child, and I think this is where my love for discovering new places came from. We eventually settled in the North East of Scotland. My close family still live up there, but I made the decision to move back to England when I was 17.
I'm now settled in Yorkshire with my boyfriend Ash and our dog Baxter. There are some really beautiful places that I've been to. I travelled around Spain and Southern France quite a lot growing up with my family. Ash and I are quite fond of Mexico as well.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean for you?
The biggest difference becoming a Travel Counsellor would make to me and my family is a better work-life balance. I was working in a shopping centre before where the shift patterns constantly changed. My other half works really long hours and rarely takes time off work, so we seldom spent any time together and the dog would often be left alone for long periods of time.
I'm also excited to be able to continue working in a customer-focused role. Being able to make a positive impact on someone's day is something I really enjoy.
What motivated you to become a Travel Counsellor and what are you looking forward to most about starting your own home-based travel business?
I've spent the last three years studying a business degree, which has given me the motivation and confidence to start my own business. Being able to have something for myself to grow and learn from is something I’ve always dreamt of. So when I found out about Travel Counsellors, the idea of pairing travel, which is something I've always been keen on, with my studies just seemed right.
I'm looking forward to helping people get the most enjoyment they can out of life. I aim to do this by exceeding their expectations. I'm also looking forward to discovering new places myself, that I had never considered visiting before.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year, and how do you plan on growing your business?
I aim to continue growing my business through word of mouth and recommendations, as well as turnover a profit.
I have a great community of friends and family around me who I really would like to be involved in my business. I have asked for them to discuss me and my business with three of their friends or family. If they then want to make an enquiry, they can contact me directly. I also live on a new build estate which has a community Facebook page. This is a platform which is very active and there are people on there who provide services from ironing to childminding. I plan to utilise this platform to get my name and business out there.
I have yet to start working in the travel industry, however, everybody that I have spoken to loves talking about holidays, where they've been and where they would like to go. It’s a topic which always comes up in conversation and people love talking about.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
The Galapagos Islands would be an absolute dream. I would love to learn about the culture there and experience all the unique animal species that can be found there.