Taking the leap towards a better future

Posted by Claire Bottone on

Claire B 2

Many people crave the freedom and flexibility of being their own boss, as well as being able to enjoy the rewards of their hard work. However ‘going it alone’ can be a daunting prospect, and having that all important back-up and support can be essential in building a successful travel business.


Essex based Claire Bottone discovered this when she made the decision to run her own home-based travel business seven years ago after 21 years of working on the high street. Having no customer database she knew she needed the support of a proven company who would provide her with the tools and technology to build a successful business.


“After so long on the high street, and juggling home life with three young children, I knew it was time to make a change. I wanted to be my own boss as well as having more flexibility, but also knew I needed to be supported in running and growing my business by a company that genuinely cared about me. Travel Counsellors ticked all the boxes.


In the seven years since I joined I have gone from having no database and only friends as potential clients to a flourishing business, with a wealth of regular customers and a fantastic turnover that is going from strength to strength.


When I first joined Travel Counsellors I was immediately blown away by the company’s technology, and the way they use this to communicate with us. Using TCTV broadcasts with chat and laughter rather than a formal email to share news gives a real feeling of togetherness, even though everybody works individually. And with Travel Counsellors global growth since I started, it is remarkable how this has not diluted and still has a genuine family feel.


The message board system allows us to keep in touch with other Travel Counsellors across the world and share information, in many cases allowing us to go that ‘extra mile’ for our customers by having friendly Travel Counsellors who can share their own local knowledge and advice. With an office communicator system in place as well, I can honestly say that I never feel that I am working alone. A friendly face is always available at the end of a webcam or an instant message!


Our in-house dynamic packaging system is fantastic and has transformed my business. The IT team never seem to stand still and it is constantly being developed and improved to ensure we are one step ahead of competition. I am able to source the best available product from a great number of suppliers, and produce a package holiday at one cost for the client. I am in complete control of the margin I make, whilst my customer gets a truly tailor-made trip at the most competitive rate. It’s a win win!


I also really appreciate the lengths the company goes to in order to support the network outside of the day to day running of a travel agency. ‘TC Kids’ which include all the children and grandchildren of Travel Counsellors, offering days out and competitions for them to join in during the holidays. Group challenges that involve Travel Counsellors working together across the globe, encouraging new friendships and greater bonds. Specialist training for motivation and well-being, as well as a dedicated personal counsellor for times of need. With a complete ‘open door‘ policy, without us actually being in an office building with any doors, I find the family ethos of the company a comforting solid foundation from where I can grow my own business.”


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