Michael Consoli was able to make his dream of working in the travel sector a a reality by investing in a Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative franchise. He shared how he did it and more with Franchise Business Review.
What specific business advice do you have for franchisees when it comes to succeeding in franchising?
You have to find a franchise concept you are passionate about and for me, this was travel. Be sure to consider what a franchise company can offer you. Starting a business is about more than a name and a logo. The franchisor needs to provide tools and support to make you successful. Cruise Planners is a business-in-a-box and as a franchisee, I have the Cruise Planners Home Office Team to assist with the processes that would normally take my focus off my business such as maintaining a website or developing a system to manage all of my bookings. Cruise Planners also has a process in place that helps its franchisees start their business as well as tools to market their business and a support team to help them build a business and solve problems.
What are you most proud of overall when it comes to your career in franchising?
I have reached my personal goal of becoming the #1 producing agency in the country for Cruise Planners and have achieved the status of being the #1 Luxury and River Cruise agent in the country. I have also received the Top Global Producer award for Viking Cruises the past two years.
“I knew their business-in-a-box model and high commission levels would set me up for success.”
Please share how you entered into franchising?
I was already a small business owner running a computer networking and technology company when I went on a cruise and fell in love with cruising. Immediately after my cruise, I decided that I wanted to help people discover the joys of cruising and travel by getting into the travel business. I did a lot of research after talking with people in the industry and finally selected the same company that I had purchased my cruise from, Cruise Planners. I knew their business-in-a-box model and high commission levels would set me up for success.
Has franchising met your personal and financial goals?
After a year in the business I knew this was really what I wanted to do, so I slowly stepped away from my technology business and allowed my partner to run it. This enabled me to focus completely on Cruise Planners. Two years later, I had exceeded the income I earned from my other business and eventually sold my interest in the technology company. Fifteen years later, I am still doing what I love, continuing to develop amazing relationships with my clients and travel industry executives – all while making people’s travel dreams come true. With the support of my home office team I have far exceeded my expectations financially and continue to grow every year. Purchasing my Cruise Planners franchise was the best decision I ever made and I have never looked back.
“Fifteen years later, I am still doing what I love, continuing to develop amazing relationships with my clients and travel industry executives – all while making people’s travel dreams come true.”
What do you most appreciate about your franchisor?
Award winning marketing that attracts my clients attention and drives business and training and support that is always available to help me overcome challenges and learn about new products. I can do the training from my smartphone and webinars that allow me to engage with industry execs.
Do you collaborate with your fellow franchisees?
The culture of Cruise Planners is one of family. We all work together and assist each other when someone needs help. I have developed amazing friendships with many of my colleagues and we all help each other.
Cruise Planners Background Information
Michael took time to ensure Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative was the right fit for him. To help you do your research, we pulled together information about it below.
You can see how its franchisees rank it in area’s that are crucial to the health of a franchise including leadership, culture, and training, by reading its full franchisee satisfaction report.
For more information about franchising with Cruise Planners you may call (888) 582 2150 or visit cruiseplannersfranchise.com/travel-professionals/.