For many people, the transition from working for a major organisation to setting up your own business can be a scary process.
But for many home-based travel agents, this is a hurdle they must jump over, and the way they land can determine the course of their business.
For Mark Knight, who joined TravelManagers in August 2017, the change is already paying dividends.
Knight, who is representative for Thornlands, QLD, says he has found the biggest surprise since he joined TravelManagers to be the amount of time he has now has for life outside his job.
“I’ve gone from working 7 am until 7 pm most days, to only three to five hours on an average day. I can take my daughter to and from school, assist in her classroom once a week and catch up with friends,” he said, adding that he also now has time to indulge his passion for cooking.
As well as the vast improvement in work-life balance, Knight says he is thrilled with the progress he’s made in building his business so far, estimating that he is on track to surpass his previous income within the next 24 months.
Knight attributes much of his successful transition to the support he has received from TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO).
“I came to TravelManagers expecting to get a certain level of support but was quite prepared to be mostly on my own,” he explained.
“Instead, the people at the NPO have been so helpful in ways that I hadn’t expected: from fares and ticketing to accounts and marketing.”
“There’s no waiting on hold for long periods, and everyone’s so keen to help. Noree Kahika, my business partnership manager has been with me every step of the way, and the fares and ticketing team and accounts teams have also been amazing.”
We asked Barry Mayo, TravelManager’s chairman how they’re making the transition from working for a major organisation to setting up your own business easier for PTMs.
“The comprehensive three-day induction encompasses all components of the business and includes details on the availability of specialist central and local state support,” he said.
“However, the initial induction agenda is just one element of the development and training programme for all new recruits. The preparatory development and training programme is an ongoing array of introductory webinars and preplanned series of one-on-one meetings with each PTM’s Business Partnership Manager all of which are part of a startup 90 Day Action Plan.”
Knight said he has also appreciated the support he has received from fellow PTMs, from one-on-one discussions prior to making the move to TravelManagers, to information-sharing via the PTM Facebook page and regional cluster meetings at which PTMs can share ideas, experiences and knowledge.