For business graduate and serial trip planner, Paul Mellor, starting his own part-time travel agency with The Travel Franchise was an absolute no-brainer
As someone who loves planning trips, it was an easy way to get paid for doing something he already enjoys doing in his spare time.
“In lockdown, I satisfied my urge for travel by planning a few trips to Costa Rica and America,” says Paul Mellor. “It was only when I returned from another trip to Sri Lanka that I realised I didn’t want to go back to a normal job.”
Returning from holiday, Paul looked around and found The Travel Franchise Lite option. It meant he could create his own ABTA-bonded agency for a lower upfront cost and manageable monthly subscription. Because it wouldn’t entail a dramatic lifestyle change or financial commitment, Paul felt confident to get started in just five days.
Based in Essex, Paul is already loving life as a part-time personal travel consultant. Combining working in digital marketing with his new agency, he says he likes that he can grow the business at his own pace.
He explains: “Right now I plan to grow organically and not put too much financial pressure on the business. I want to enjoy it! I’m still working in digital marketing – it couples up quite nicely.”
But that doesn’t mean he’s taking things easy. Specialising in adventure travel and more complicated itineraries, he’s already fielding lots of enquiries and making bookings for friends and family to Sri Lanka and other far-flung countries.
He’s also had the chance to meet head office staff and other franchisees who’ve helped him early in his journey.
“The induction training was really good, as is the ongoing support,” he says. “I also attended the conference in June and the sense of community was impressive. I was able to meet people much further along in the journey. They were only too happy to impart words of wisdom. And they were living proof that you can definitely succeed. You need to work hard, be consistent and patient, and have confidence.”
His advice to others who want to start something new – without risking it all – is all about taking positive action.
“Do your research. But don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone… because you might find the rainbow,” advises Paul.