I started in the travel industry as an independent agent, joined a consortia, bought a franchise and now am a host agency who owns a franchise, I've seen agency ownership opportunities from many angles. Lots of paths, lots of hats to wear!
So here's my travel life.....
I was an Independent Agent working with a host -
My story starts with an ad in the Minneapolis Star & Trib advertising in the business section in 1994 "Become a Travel Agent for $99". I registered for a "informational week-end", and was hooked. I stayed with my original host for only about 6 months. They were out of state and in 1994 getting information was slow and labored.
I found and joined a local host in Minneapolis. Unfortunately for me after a couple years that host agency stopped paying commissions to many of their agents. I was one of those agents.
I was on my own joined a Cosortium -
At that point the choice was simple because I had no other options. I joined a consortium and began booking travel with a CLIA number, moving to an IATAN number and then an ARC number.
So now I was getting paid, but the commissions I was earning were so much lower than I was used to. I became my own little host agency. Other agents who, like me were out money from the same host agency began to work with TQ Our commission levels began to climb with our volumn.
I was on my own bought a Franchise -
The commissions were better, but I needed more for the agents who had put their trust in me and TQ, so the next natural step was to buy a Travel Leaders Franchise right? Well at the time Travel Leaders was Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
Opening a franchise required that I move the buisiness out of my home and you know what that means RENT, a lease, and franchise fees all due monthly. Super stressful and scary for a woman with no education beyond high school, but for TQ to advance it was necessary.
So we signed the papers, moved TQ out of our home and as they say, "The rest is history."
With the new franchise, Travel Leaders and the volume of TQ, we now earn top commissions, have the best technology programs for TQ agents, our own annual meeting, exclusive commission and bonus opportunities and so much more.
Working with a host, the right host offers all the tools you need to operate a successful agency. That's the key, YOU spend YOUR time planning advertising campaigns, booking clients, delivering documents, learnng new suppliers and new destinations spend your time building YOUR business!
Without hesitation I recommend working with a host as an independent agent.