How Do I Scale the Business?
Unlike the competition, our travel agency franchises are designed to grow into large enterprises
Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® are designed for our owners to scale up. While many travel businesses are operated out of a house, our centers are brick-and-mortar locations that promote visibility for our brand and serve as a center of operations for you and your team of Vacation Consultants. With our travel agency franchise opportunities, the sky’s the limit as to how large your franchise can be. The business scales up by expanding your team, expanding their knowledge, and by adding locations.
A mature Expedia CruiseShipCenters location will typically have 30 agents and generate about $4.21 million a year in bookings, which averages out to about $140,000 per agent. The most skilled and dedicated agents can generate much more in sales, while someone who is a part-time agent may just sell a handful of trips each month. Agents earn a commission when their customers’ travels begin, and the franchise owner also earns a commission. Our largest single agency has about 250 Vacation Consultants. There is no reason to settle for having 30 consultants when you can have 50.
Having a large team of agents also expands the power of your marketing. Travel agents tend to be gregarious people, and as they talk with friends and acquaintances, they carry your marketing messages into the community. Developing a team of Vacation Consultants who are actively engaged in selling vacation cruises should be a top priority if you want to achieve your desired success. Recruiting and training are the core functions of an Expedia CruiseShipCenters owner. Because Consultants work for 100% commission, and they only receive payment when a customer travels, building a team of trained and enthusiastic Vacation Consultants can take time. They tend to be people who are passionate about travel, are eager for an interesting gig, and don’t have an immediate need for money (since their earnings take a while to start rolling in).
When you find the right person, though, it can be magical. For Mary Beth Casey, owner of an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, managing her team of 80 Vacation Consultants ensures her success.
“I really enjoy watching my Vacation Consultants go from zero to success,” Mary Beth says. “My nature is that of a nurturer. When my Consultants match my definition of success, that’s the ultimate. I like the benefit of feeling a consultant is rewarded. I avoid selling these days. My Consultants are my customers, and I can say that honestly.”
Our Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owners can leverage a number of tools to recruit their team of Vacation Consultants, including a unique recruitment website to drive traffic to their centers, as well as traditional print and online advertisements and word-of-mouth referrals. One of the benefits of having a center is that our franchise owners can host events for potential recruits. Once a new recruit comes on board, the center acts as a place to coach and train, as well as build camaraderie with your new team
For Noam Meppen, owner of an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise location in Scottsdale, Arizona, who is looking to add more locations, scaling up the business depends on your ability to recruit and onboard Vacation Consultants.
“It’s recruiting, onboarding, and constantly coaching and training,” Noam says. “There is no way one person can do all the sales and marketing and handle all the other aspects of the business. There aren’t enough hours in the day. The more strong people you get on your team, the more you can spread your marketing costs across a larger sales volume.”
Expedia®’s name brand and corporate leadership play a significant role in your ability to recruit Vacation Consultants. Our team in Vancouver designs presentations that franchisees use to educate and lead their teams. We gives franchisees the tools they need as leaders. However, the success of your franchise depends on your willingness and ability to grasp those tools and help your team of Vacation Consultants grow.