Kelly Ryan recently joined our community of Gold Travel Counsellors. We chatted with her to find out how it felt to reach this prestigious milestone, how she got there, and why she’d recommend Travel Counsellors to other business travel professionals who are seeking flexibility, financial freedom, and cutting-edge technology.
What did your corporate travel career look like prior to becoming a Travel Counsellor?
Prior to joining Travel Counsellors in May 2021, I worked in various roles at another corporate travel management provider. I started as a travel consultant, before moving up to configuration and implementation. I also did account management and business development. I have 17 years of experience in the corporate travel world.
How have you grown your business?
My business has grown organically through referrals, but it’s also been helped by working alongside the business development managers at the head office, who win clients on my behalf.
Building strong relationships with my customers has always been a top priority. I actively seek feedback, listen to my customers’ needs, and make improvements accordingly. I always strive to provide exceptional customer service. This has helped me to retain existing clients and has given me access to new companies through the testimonials I receive.
What did achieving Gold mean to you?
For me, hitting Gold symbolises resilience and determination. Reaching Gold was a target I set myself on day one – not only for the financial independence it brings, but for my personal growth too. Achieving this milestone means I’ve successfully overcome the challenges, setbacks and obstacles that I’ve faced in my life.
How have our support teams helped you to get your business to where it is today?
The support teams at Travel Counsellors are committed to continuous improvement. They repeatedly review processes and implement efficiencies to enhance the overall customer experience. As well as this, they continually build trust and credibility in the eyes of the customers and the broader market. They have not only helped us reach our current levels of success but have also positioned us well for continued growth in the future. Head office colleagues are integral to the success of our franchises.
What are the best things about being a Travel Counsellor?
There are so many! Apart from having the opportunity to shape your own business, set your own goals, and reap the rewards of your hard work, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Travel Counsellor is being part of a supportive community.
You’re surrounded by like-minded people within the industry. You’re part of this amazing network of fellow travel entrepreneurs, each with their own expertise and experiences. The community provides a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and mutual support. No matter what you need, other Travel Counsellors and head office colleagues are always there to help.
Outside of the internal community, we have strong partnerships with travel suppliers. These relationships mean we gain access to exclusive promotions and unique travel experiences. This not only benefits us, but it also enhances the value we can add for our customers.
What are your goals for 2024?
One of my biggest plans for 2024 is to ensure that I retain my Gold status. Aside from that, I want to enhance my online presence through marketing, content creation, and social media. I also want to set some goals for retaining and nurturing my existing clients. Finally, I’ll be doing some forward planning for the introduction of some exciting new products and services that are in the pipeline. They will really be able to help me grow and diversify my portfolio.
Why would you recommend Travel Counsellors to corporate travel professionals?
There are so many great reasons to become a Travel Counsellor – such as unlimited earning potential, great tech, and being part of a fantastic community.
However, in my eyes, the single biggest benefit is the control. You can manage the growth of your business exactly how you want to. Nobody is telling you what to do or how to do it. If you want to focus on certain sectors or customer types, you can do that. The support is there, but ultimately, you get out what you put in. It’s completely up to you how you drive your business forward, and that feels amazing!
I feel like Travel Counsellors is what I’ve been training for my whole professional life – the future is what I make of it.
Are you a corporate travel professional who’s looking to redefine what care means in business travel? If you’re committed to providing best-in-class service, we want to hear from you. Speak to us today to discuss being your own boss as a business travel franchisee.