What Does It Take to Get Started?
Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owners need to have adequate savings and the desire to be exceptional team leaders
Our startup costs are relatively low for a retail franchised business since minimal store build-out is required and no inventory needs to be purchased. Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owners should expect to invest around $165,000 to $285,000 to become a travel agency and get their business up and running. Costs will vary by region and what type of renovations are required to get your location ready to begin navigating spectacular vacation experiences for customers. Since all of our agents are Independent Contractors paid by commission only, there is also no inventory that you need to buy in order to start selling travel products to customers.
Included in the initial costs of getting your business open is the working capital you’ll need to have available to fund your expenses during the ramp-up phase. Since cruise commissions are paid out after the cruise departs, franchisees must be able to fund both their business and household expenses until their travel franchise reaches profitability. Expedia CruiseShipCenters’ startup costs are outlined in detail in our Free Franchise Report available to download as well as our Franchise Disclosure Document, which is provided to franchisee candidates later on during our mutual evaluation process.
Who makes an ideal candidate to become a travel agency franchise owner?
Businesses thrive by keeping their customers top of mind. For Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchisees, the customers are their travel agents. Franchisees work hard to recruit franchise travel agents, help them learn the tools available for creating custom travel packages, help them master listening and consultative sales, market their location to attract new customers for their agents to serve, and create an engaging office environment that encourages sharing and teamwork among independent travel agents. One of Expedia CruiseShipCenters company values is Fun and our franchisees wholeheartedly embrace that value as they build a local culture at that gets both customers and agents excited about planning spectacular vacation experiences.
An ideal Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise owner is a leader who wants to build a large team of agents and coach them to success. They enjoy meeting new people, have an interest in travel, and enjoy helping other people get the most out of life whether that’s by exploring the world or achieving their sales goals as a travel agent. They also recognize that by working together with a team of independent sales agents, and by recruiting and training those sales agents, they can grow their business far beyond the scope of what they would be able to achieve by selling travel on their own.
Invest in a business that’s built to scale
To understand the difference between our business model and the business model of most competitors, it’s useful to look at another
industry: home sales. Many people who sell homes become real estate agents. They are independent operators who typically work as part of a real estate brokerage — leveraging the tools, training and offices that their brokerage offers in order to best serve their clients. The owner of the brokerage receives a percentage of the commission off each individual sale. As a result, someone operating a real estate brokerage can serve more customers by adding and training more agents. Their earning potential is not limited by the number of hours in a day in which they can serve clients. Instead, their earning potential is determined by their ability to recruit, lead and inspire agents to provide great customer service, and by their management skills and devotion to giving agents the tools they need to be successful.
Many other travel franchises ask franchisees to become home-based travel agents. While selling travel directly and earning the full commission yourself is the fastest route to $1,000, Expedia CruiseShipCenters encourages franchisees to become travel brokers. Being a broker is the fastest path to $1,000,000, because it allows you to build a team with whom you split commissions. Pulling this off requires a larger — though still modest — investment, as well as an eagerness to manage a team and grow a business. Instead of spending most of your time selling travel, you’ll spend most of your time marketing your business, attracting new travel agents to your team, and providing them the training and promotional tools they need to entice and retain loyal clients. The larger and more successful your team of agents is, the more profitable your travel business will be.