Name: Laura De La Horra, Cruise Planners Franchisee
Location: Davie, Florida
Franchise Owner Since: 2012
1. What was it about the franchise model and/or leadership that led you to purchase it?
This franchise represented everything I love to do most – travel! I would plan my personal travel as well as my friends, and so what a better way to do what I love most and get paid for it too. While Cruise Planners is more than just cruises (we are your Land and Cruise Experts), I really love to cruise as well! And the name really caught my attention.
2. What type of business experience, education, and/or skills did you have prior to becoming a franchisee that you have found particularly helpful?
I was previously working for a large global corporation in the accounting and finance sector. I have worked for companies like American Express, Entenmann’s and the latest, a construction company called Rinker. Coming from corporate America as the Controller for the company, I was an expert in interpreting business reports. Cruise Planners offers a lot of data to work with, but I fell in love with the detailed production reports. I took those reports and enhanced them to the level I could manage my business best by creating key performance indicators to grow my business.
3. What do you like most about your job/owning a franchise?
I love being able to have control of my time and live stress free as a home-based franchise owner. Whether I want to work 4 hours today or 12 hours, I have the ability to create my own schedule. It’s a way of taking ownership of who I am—I’m doing something fun for me while still being able to spend time with family as much as I want. I also appreciate my commute time to the office—a few steps from the living room and I’m at work!
4. How did you fund your franchise? Did you receive any discounts or incentives?
When I purchased the franchise, I had no travel experience. So, the cost of the franchise was what it was. I did feel that a $10K investment made sense to explore for what would have been my ideal “Exit Strategy” from Corporate America.
5. What advice do you have for prospective franchise buyers? What do you wish you had known prior to going into franchising?
It’s ok to start your own business, don’t be scared! You have the opportunity to work for yourself and manage your own schedule. Have faith in yourself—with Cruise Planners, you’re going to learn, work hard and succeed. I only wish I knew about Cruise Planners sooner because I would have left my corporate job and started my business way earlier than I did.
6. What else would you like to share?
Running a successful travel agency franchise is about the connections and the people. Cruise Planners strong partnerships with preferred vendors have opened doors for me to create relationships with supplier business development managers. They have been key to growing my business from day one. I also value relationships with my clients. I treat all my clients with caring service and from that have received so many new referrals.
Interested in learning more about owning a Cruise Planners franchise? Read more and inquire here.