As you research franchise opportunities, it’s important to consider the stability of each model and how your business will fare in the event of a downturn in the economy. While many things are in your control as the owner of your own business, the economy can have a big impact on both employees and business owners alike. Finding a recession-resistant franchise can help to minimize any negative impacts your business may experience during these times.
During tough economic conditions, some brands weather the storm better than others and throughout our 32-year history, Expedia CruiseShipCenters has persevered through more than one storm. With an exceptional product, a minimal expense business model, and a proven system for helping franchisees be successful, our company has not only survived recessionary periods since we began in 1987, but we have also taken market share and come out ahead of our competition.
Here are 4 ways Expedia CruiseShipCenters offers a recession-resistant franchise:
1. No inventory required
When you invest in many franchise businesses, a large upfront cost is often required for inventory — whether that be stock to fill your shelves, or food to have on hand to feed potential customers. Purchasing inventory is a fixed cost and a necessary risk incurred by many franchise owners, but not at Expedia CruiseShipCenters. Since travel is an experiential product which is supplied by external tour operators, there are no shelves to stock or physical products for our owners to purchase upfront. Through the power of technology, you can offer your customers thousands and thousands of different products to suit any travel budget and taste, without spending a cent on inventory. Plus, with the latest cruise line availability feeds updating automatically in your CruiseDesk system daily, your inventory will never go out of style, or be past its best-before date. The travel products you offer will always be fresh.
2. Cruising is always a great value vacation
While it’s true that consumers may cut back on frivolous expenses during a recession, real travellers – the kind who book with Expedia CruiseShipCenters year after year – will always make travel a priority. For someone who looks forward to their annual family cruise each year, travel is not a frivolous expense.
Plus, unlike products that stay at a static price point regardless of demand, cruising offers a vast range of options for any and every budget. If a client can’t afford their usual luxury cruise one year, they may choose to book with a premium line instead, or perhaps they’ll downgrade from a suite to a balcony. They could also choose to depart from a port within driving distance to save on the cost of the flight. With so much flexibility and choice, cruising allows travellers to travel, no matter what the economic conditions are. With industry-leading rates and commissions secured for our 25 partner cruise lines, you’ll be able to accommodate any travel budget through your Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise.
Need more convincing? If anything shows confidence in the future of the cruise industry, it’s the ongoing investments cruise lines are making in increased capacity. Even from 2007-2009 during the global economic recession, worldwide cruise capacity still increased by a whopping 1.44 Million passengers and continues to rise as billions of dollars are invested in new ships each year.
3. Our sales model is commission-based
With many franchise businesses, like fast-food or specialty retail, employee wages are an ongoing fixed expense of running your business. While you may be able to cut down on the number of staff members you have during difficult economic conditions, you will still require some staff to keep your business open and running smoothly.
At Expedia CruiseShipCenters, all Vacation Consultants are Independent Contractors who are paid on commission only. This means that you will only pay your Consultants when a cruise is sold. Why is this important for a recession-resistant franchise? If employee wages are fixed and your incoming sales decline, this has a negative impact on your bottom line. If on the other hand, your employee wages drop as top line sales fall, your business has a much better chance of pulling through. If a Vacation Consultant doesn’t sell any cruises, they won’t earn any commission. You can bring on as many Consultants as you can support at your local Center and incur little to no risk as the fixed expenses for your business will remain the same. In the event of a downturn in the economy, no layoffs are required.
4. Cruise lines will do what it takes to fill their ships
Two-thirds of all cruise vacations are booked through travel agents according to PhoCusWright, travel agencies are an essential sales channel for cruise lines to leverage when they need help filling their ships. As one of the leading sellers of cruises in North America with a collective database of over two million cruisers, Expedia CruiseShipCenters will be one of the first brands cruise lines will come to with exclusive booking incentives to offer our customers such as onboard cash credits, free upgrades or reduced deposits. These added bonuses allow you to offer more cruising value to your clients, without having to reduce the price of the cruise itself which would eat into your sales, and your commissions.
In addition to these national booking incentives, you’ll also have local cruise line representatives knocking on your door to partner with you directly as an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchisee. They will offer you additional marketing funds to help put on events at your Center or fund local ad campaigns that promote both your business and their brand. While these “co-op” funds are available to your Center every year, cruise lines tend to make even more of these marketing dollars available during tough economic times. Best of all, this addition your local marketing budget won’t cost your Center a cent so you get to reap the rewards without any added financial risk.
For more information about the economic stability of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise model and how you can become a part of our growing brand, we invite you to continue learning about our opportunity. Complete the form below for immediate access to our franchise brochure or review the essentials about our travel agency franchise opportunity here
Expedia CruiseShipCenters continues to search for new franchise owners across North America. Are you interested in business ownership? If you’re ready to learn more about owning your own Expedia CruiseShipCenters complete the form below to receive our franchise brochure or review the essentials about our travel agency franchise opportunity here.