When Claire Milby and Lisa Barnes first started working with each other at a local independent travel agent, neither could have imagined that 20 years down the line they would set up their own travel business together.
Finding themselves out of work following consolidation at Thomas Cook/ Co-op Group that’s exactly what happened. Now one year since they opened, they tell us about their journey.
“It’s been an amazing year for us” said Milby. “It was a big step for us” added Barnes “we went from being employees to employers overnight. It was a big decision. We had reached a point though where we genuinely believed we could run a successful business. We checked and double checked the numbers and they all added up. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”
For any start-up business having the right support is essential. “The support from the whole trade has been brilliant. Right from the very beginning when we approached Advantage about setting up they were able to give us some really good advice and helped us all the way through the start-up process to the day we began trading” said Milby.
Obviously owning your own business does come with some pressures. “At the beginning it was tough, mainly because we were so busy and at times we were working seven days a week. When it’s your own business though you just have to get on with it” Milby added.
Having doubled their first year sales forecast, presumably there are no regrets? “Absolutely none whatsoever” says Barnes, “owning our own business has given us the chance to do what we want to do and it’s reminded us why we want to work in travel. The chance to help our customers and deliver a fantastic service to them. It’s really invigorated both of us.”