“I can manage enquiries at my own speed without the distractions and restrictions of a retail store” – why Jackie is enjoying working peaks at her pace

Jackie joined us in September 2023 after a long and successful career selling travel in a retail setting. We caught up with her to see how her first ‘peaks’ as a Travel Counsellor compared to when she was working in-store – and it’s safe to say that she’s loved the flexibility to manage enquiries at her pace, without compromising on the volume of business.

Jackie Cox-Peel

Read on to find out why she’d describe joining Travel Counsellors as “life-changing” and get a glimpse into how different the January rush could be for you this time next year.

Hi Jackie! Why did you decide to trade in travel retail for running your own franchise?

Travel is my passion. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else! I’ve worked in travel for 23 years so felt I had the knowledge and skills to make a travel business a success.

How has peaks as a Travel Counsellor compared to peaks in your previous working environment?

It’s been very similar in terms of how busy I am and how quickly the enquiries are coming in. But it’s very different in that I can manage them at my own speed without the distractions and restrictions of a retail store – such as customers coming in to ask questions, selling currency, training staff, and having to work set hours. I’m only looking after my customers and my bookings, which means my customers are getting a better level of service from me.

How has your life changed since joining Travel Counsellors?

I’m getting a much better work/life balance. I can drop the children off at school each morning and collect them most evenings. I work around the children, and I find that the times I’m available suit my customers. A lot of my clients are working parents too, so evenings, when the children are in bed, work for both me and them. I also find that at weekends I can work in the morning, nip out and do an activity with the family and then come back in the afternoon and do a bit more work if I need to.

It’s so flexible. I’m never worried about what I would do if my children were off school sick, or who would look after them during the school holidays. Recently we had a ‘snow day’ and I didn’t need to stress when I got the email to say school was closed. We played in the snow and then the children watched a movie whilst I worked. It is honestly life-changing.

What do you think is the best thing about being a Travel Counsellors franchisee?

There’s so much! Firstly, the flexibility. I’m in control of my own potential and my earnings. Also, the systems are brilliant, especially Phenix. My clients love the myTC app and how convenient it is to make payments and find out all the information they need about their holiday. I love the fact that if I find a great holiday offer, I can book that holiday straight away without any worry that the price will go up by the morning. I love being my own boss without the pressure of targets or having to sell a certain product. I can sell the right holiday for my client without anyone questioning why.

How would you describe the support available to franchisees?

It’s unbelievable. I was really worried that working from home would be isolating and that I would feel lonely, but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. I’ve had so much support from everyone at Travel Counsellors. From the incredible training team to my fellow franchisees, my mentor and the technology team – there’s ALWAYS someone willing to help you. No one competes, and you get the sense that people want you to succeed. I have access to so much experience in the community. I find the variety of people and experience among the Travel Counsellors community fascinating. I’ve asked many questions on TC World (our communications forum), and someone will always pick up the phone or drop me an email.

A lot of people working in travel retail will be feeling the pressure and burnout of peaks – what advice would you give them in terms of what Travel Counsellors could offer them?

It could be life-altering for you. I know that sounds dramatic but that is honestly how I feel. I feel like a better mother and wife, and a better travel agent. Peaks is still busy, but I can give better levels of service with the technology and support that Travel Counsellors has provided. Since Covid, customers have been more willing to embrace technology and ours is phenomenal.

However, I have still met clients in coffee shops and even in their homes to book holidays. You can do whatever you feel comfortable with, and your customers will support you. From day one I’ve felt overwhelming support from everybody. So many people are willing to promote me and what I can do. The earning potential is uncapped too, so you will be rewarded if you put the hours in. I would recommend it to anyone.

Ready to escape the shackles of a restrictive retail environment? If you want to say goodbye to unrealistic targets, set hours, and earning caps, look no further than the supportive community of Travel Counsellors. You can be your own boss and work on your terms, with all the wraparound support we offer to help you be your best and deliver for your customers. Sound ideal? Get in touch!

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