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Friend has asked what I think to her business idea

(17 Posts)
Zannado Wed 20-Jan-21 00:37:22

So a friend has messaged to say she is considering buying a franchise to the tune of over ten grand to become a travel consultant earning commission on holidays booked with her. She has retail experience and has run a business in the past but isn’t a travel agent. She seems excited about it but I can’t help but feel it’s bad timing with everything going on and I can’t envisage she will get her money back quickly. Dh seems to agree with me. What do you all think is she crazy or not? I haven’t replied yet but I want to suggest her to wait till the end of the year but from what I gather she has to do online training and then doesn’t get paid commission until 2 mths before the customers holiday so there may be a cash flow thing to consider I’m not sure....

OP’s posts: |
MLMsuperfan Wed 20-Jan-21 00:40:01

It's probably an MLM. What a bad time to start a travel business anyway. When holidays start up again would you buy from an individual rather than just order online? Crazy is an understatement.

HollowTalk Wed 20-Jan-21 00:45:49

But travel agents were closing well before Covid. Everyone books their own holidays online now. Ask her when she last used a travel agent to book a holiday for herself.

bruffin Wed 20-Jan-21 00:50:43

I have only used travel agent for roadtrips and then want specialist knowledge to plan the trip

Luckingfovely Wed 20-Jan-21 00:54:53

It's batshit crazy. I know several people that do this kind of thing, and they are all now having to look for other sources of income.

They might legally be franchises, but several of these networks operate in a v similar way to MLMs.

Travel is not going to return to anywhere like normal this year or next year.

People that like using travel agents will use the one they already use, not a newbie in a franchise with no experience.

I suspect she's been targeted by a highly effective and persuasive sales person, and has drunk the Koolaid.

Please advise her not to touch it with a barge pole - nobody with any business sense (or common sense) would touch this with a barge pole.

I detest MLMs with an unholy passion, but she's probably more likely to get results from Tropic or Arbonne or Bodyshop.

Enough4me Wed 20-Jan-21 01:01:17

Does anyone use travel agents, it's all online?

GrimDamnFanjo Wed 20-Jan-21 01:07:38

Travel Counsellors?

I wouldn't be investing in any travel business right now.

SJaneS49 Wed 20-Jan-21 18:24:06

Absolutely not, it’s a bit like the BodyShop or Avon at home franchises - they’ll be relying on her to flog their over priced holidays to friends and family. No steady income and a high likelihood of hacking people close to you off. Once she’s exhausted her immediate network (and she will), where does she go with it then?

rookiemere Wed 20-Jan-21 18:58:46

Tell her if she wants to be a travel agent, she should get a job with a travel agency and they'll provide training for free. But - oh wait - they're all furloughing at the minute, because there's no demand.

She'd be absolutely crazy to throw away money like that, please tell her.

WINKINGatyourage Wed 20-Jan-21 19:00:11

It’s an MLM. Facebook selling pages are awash with them right now.

Retrogal Wed 20-Jan-21 19:02:59

A very good friend once asked what I thought of her business idea snd I listened and said good luck. I then asked her what her a plan B was if it didn't work. I really wished I hadn't, it came across so bluntly and I could hear a stumble ld silence on the other end of the line. Don't tell her it's a bad idea - leven if you think it is

JM10 Wed 20-Jan-21 19:08:42

I know someone who has done this, not well enough to know of they've made any money from it though.

I was surprised when she first posted about it because I thought she was more sensible than to join an mlm. Not as surprised as I am now you've said how much it is though! 😱

uggmum Wed 20-Jan-21 19:15:52

That seems very expensive m. I keep seeing this being advertised on Facebook all the time. Probably an element of MLM as well.

If she feels that travel is for her turn companies like Hays travel offer a similar business concept.

You become an independent agent and sell using social media.

Even Hays only costs around £2k and that includes the training.
£10k is far too high

AppleJumbke321 Thu 21-Jan-21 11:36:42

I know a couple of people who are travel agents
Both receive a couple of free holidays each year, where they have the opportunity to check out an exotic destination. So over the years they have been to some amazing places.
However, they are on furlough

There are some loyal customers who go to the same travel agent for 30+ years, it is part of their holiday ritual.

However, as we all know, it is easy to book your own transport & accommodation without using a travel agent & for a better price !

Your friend should do her research carefully

SJaneS49 Thu 21-Jan-21 12:28:49

Are they travel agents who’ve been trained by a known firm and have retail travel experience or someone with no previous experience set up from home though? I think that’s the key difference. The former will also have an existing network of contacts and customers and won’t be primarily flogging to their friends and family which the MLM ones will be doing. It’s ripping off both the vulnerable person wanting to work from home paying out for ‘employment’ and their nearest and dearest on overpriced holidays they’ll feel an obligation to buy through her.

raspberrysundaes Thu 21-Jan-21 12:32:00

I know two people who have done things like this.

One lasted about a month and is now on their third MLM in about a year. The other is forever posting all over Facebook about how "now is the right time to book a holiday!" but I've never seen anyone interact with her posts.

MatildaStoker Thu 21-Jan-21 12:49:21

Aside from questions about whether many people will actually go through a travel agent rather than booking things directly themselves, I think this is an absolutely terrible time to be investing money in becoming a travel consultant.

If this was my friend, I’d probably reply suggesting that they wait until Covid has died down.

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