How Will You Support Me?
Franchisees enjoy robust ongoing support to help them grow
Expedia® CruiseShipCenters® has more than 140 people in its corporate headquarters in Vancouver, and we share one mission: To empower our franchisees with a proven system to grow a profitable and valuable business.
For us, that means giving franchisees the tools, systems, and support they need to be successful, and helping franchisees troubleshoot issues by offering support in the field, as well as outstanding online and phone support. Great support also means great communication. When you call us for a question, we will return your call promptly, armed with answers.
We’ll also be in touch frequently to help you optimize your business. On the day you open your business, your Franchise Performance Coach (FPC) will be with you to help you get acclimated, to answer your questions, and to help you get off to a strong start. Expect your FPC to be in touch regularly, especially during the first two years you are in business, as you work together to ensure that your office develops a strong sense of teamwork and a culture of connectivity so everyone is able to get the best results.
From here out, your FPC will also work with you, checking in regularly to see if you are having any challenges and helping you troubleshoot your business and look for ways to optimize your performance. Your coach will also play a significant role in establishing realistic expectations, including help with goal-setting, benchmarking and forecasting sales.
We make it easier for you to lead your team
One of the things that makes Expedia CruiseShipCenters special is that we do a lot of work at our headquarters in Vancouver to make it easier for you to train your team of travel agents. We equip franchisees to be great leaders.
Every month, franchisees close the doors one evening for a team meeting and training event. They may set out wine and cheese for the travel agents on their team and lead a seminar that shares best practices for increasing sales and customer satisfaction. The seminars are built by our corporate team, which provides a presentation for franchisees to share and also provides a detailed Q&A guide that franchisees can use to answer questions. Seminars may also include in-person presentations from cruise line representatives who are eager to answer travel agents’ questions about specific ships, destinations, and excursions. The seminars help your team continue to grow their expertise, keep them excited, and help them understand how to generate better results for themselves and the business.
In order to help our franchise owners to become terrific leaders (even if they have no industry experience), Expedia CruiseShipCenters has established our own sales training program called The Navigators Approach. This step-by-step sales methodology was developed exclusively for Expedia CruiseShipCenters and help franchisees teach their Consultants how to sell, even if they don’t come from a sales background. With a suite of leadership tools and train-the-trainer workshops for franchisees, we help you deliver The Navigators Approach with confidence and continue to coach your Consultants to sales success over time.
Our sales training program is complemented by our Consultant recognition program called The Navigators Club. This tiered system rewards Vacation Consultants as they achieve higher and higher sales levels, thereby incentivizing your team to work hard for you!
We help you adjust to new roles in your business
If you are familiar with Michael Gerber’s book “The E-Myth,” then you know that one of the challenges business owners must overcome is the desire to do everything themselves. For Expedia CruiseShipCenters owners, that challenge plays out this way:
In your first few months, as you are recruiting Vacation Consultants, you will also be winning over your first customers and serving those customers. Our business model is designed so that the travel agent who sells a trip receives part of the sales commission, and the owner receives the other portion. As an owner, you get the whole commission to yourself for the first few months as you sell some trips without help from an agent. Keeping the entire commission can be very tempting, especially for a new business owner eager to increase bottom-line revenue. The trouble is, acting as a travel agent can take you away from the recruiting and training activities that are key to growing your business.
Our Franchise Performance Coaches work with owners to help them transition to a management and coaching role, which frees the franchisee to recruit, train, network in the community and conduct local marketing activities. Our most successful franchisees hand off customers to travel agents quickly and concentrate on growing and nurturing their team. In much the same way that Expedia CruiseShipCenters recognized our franchisees as our customers, our most successful franchisees see their travel agents as their true customers. If you make the business work for travel agents, those agents will find and serve customers for you, generate a much larger volume of sales, and reward you with returns that would be impossible to achieve on your own. Acting as your own agent is the fastest path to $100, but the fastest path to $1 million is building a team that works with you.
Once this hurdle is cleared, expect Franchise Performance Coaches to stay in touch to help you continue to grow your business. They may steer you toward some great new online training courses for owners and for agents. They may eventually encourage you to add a sales manager as your team of travel consultants grows. They will also make sure you take advantage of the two biggest business events of the year:
Expedia Annual Franchise Conferences
Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides a lot of direct support to franchisees, but one of the most powerful things we do is make it easy for franchisees to connect with one another. Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit tremendously from face-to-face meetings. Our franchise owners do too.
We host two annual conferences — one on a seven-day cruise and another based somewhere in the central United States. The meetings give franchisees a chance to meet, mingle, learn, and have fun. While at sea for our cruise-based convention, franchisees benefit from numerous presentations that share best business practices, industry information, and the latest advancements in our system. When the ship docks at a port, franchisees can depart for fun experiences that build a huge sense of camaraderie that pays dividends year-round by encouraging friendships and teamwork. Our other meeting is shorter and generally land-based (Las Vegas is a popular destination) and is more business-focused.
Continue Learning About Expedia CruiseShipCenters
For in-depth details about owning a business with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, download our free franchise report by filling out the form below. You can also learn more by reading the essentials about our franchise opportunity here.