7 Things to Consider if You're Thinking About Starting A Home-Based Travel Business

As a Travel Counsellor, you’ll be a self-employed business owner, running your own travel business from home. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of being your own boss, but that kind of working lifestyle is very different to the office, shop or other salaried employment you might be used to.

Undoubtedly you will have lots of questions and concerns, and our Franchise team based at the Head Office in Cape Town are dedicated to ease your fears.

Here’s some questions you should ask yourself to discover if life as a Travel Counsellor is right for you.

1. Am I ready to start my own business?

All Travel Counsellors have a passion for travel, but being a Travel Counsellor is about more than selling holidays or business trips, it’s about running a travel business. It will require you to be driven and dedicated, but the more you put in, the more you will get out. It’s up to you to build your customer base and manage your customers or clients. That being said, we don’t expect you to be a master of the boardroom or a super-savvy entrepreneur. We will discuss your business plan with you before you start, and your Business Development coach will guide you as your business grows.

2. Will I have the time to do what I love?

As a Travel Counsellor, you have over 400 support staff at your disposal to help with with admin, finances, supplier contracts and more. A lot of the admin is taken care of by the support teams. However, we don’t tell you how to service your customers, or the hours you should work. We are all about empowering people to take control of their work-life balance and provide wonderful travel memories with exceptional customer service. Every process is put in place to make this the reality for Travel Counsellors, so you can get back to doing what you love… selling travel!

3. Will I feel lonely?

Many Travel Counsellors find that because they have the flexibility to go out for lunch with friends, pick the kids up from school or attend client meetings, they don’t feel like they’re on their own all day.

You might be thinking ‘what if I get stuck when I’m home alone?’. Well, our advice is to pick up the phone or use skype! Speak to one of your 1,800+ fellow Travel Counsellors who are always happy to help, send a WhatsApp or post a question on the message boards. Your Business Development coach and support teams are just a phone call away and will work with you to find a solution for your problem.

4. Where will I work?

When you set up as a Travel Counsellor you will get a laptop and all our tech already installed, so you will have everything you need to start working. We’d recommend you have a separate area away from the distractions of family life and a clear desk space to organise your work, but you don’t need an all-singing, all-dancing office. And, you can always pick up your laptop and work from your garden, a local café or anywhere else, as long as there’s an internet connection to access Phenix, our in-house booking system.

5. Is self-employment right for my family?

Ultimately this is something only you can decide with your loved ones. When you come to an event or ‘demo’ (which is where we discuss your business plan and chat to you in-depth), we encourage you to bring your partner along too. It really helps put their minds at ease and understand better what your new role will involve. Many Travel Counsellors have young children so the flexibility of being a Travel Counsellor is perfect for them!

6. What kind of hours will I work?

As a Travel Counsellor, you can work when it suits you, and no-one will be checking up on you to see what hours you’ve done. That being said, like any business, being a Travel Counsellor does require a lot of hard work, especially in the early months. So, if you’re looking to put in part-time hours, you will probably struggle to make a success of being a Travel Counsellor. However, for some, being able to work more hours is what they’re looking for: they are willing to put in more, and as a result, they reap greater rewards.

7. Can I afford to give up my salary?

You will earn commission from the trips you book. By booking through Phenix, you are in control of your margin so you can maximise your earnings. We do always recommend that when you start that you have a savings ‘cushion’ to fall back whilst your business gets off the ground. To assess whether Travel Counsellors is right for you, get in touch with one of the team who will be able to discuss your situation with you in confidence.

Before you make the final decision (and you don’t have to decide now), consider whether it is something that will work for your personality, your family and if it will be a change for the better. We understand it is a big decision, and that for many people it takes a lot of time to make the leap to becoming self-employed.

Chatting to one of the New Franchise team is the best way to find out if life as a Travel Counsellor could work for you, so get in touch to get the ball rolling or attend one of our upcoming events.