Homeworking firm unveils major expansion plans

A homeworking company which started trading just over a year ago is aiming to boost agent numbers from 100 to 300 by September.

One Travel Club, part of the Travel Trust Association within The Travel Network Group, started trading at the end of April 2023, achieving multi-million gross turnover in its first year.

It is targeting 300 homeworkers by this autumn and has set its sights on becoming the number one agency with major suppliers including Jet2holidays in a year’s time.

It hopes to recruit agents attracted by the support and technology it has in place for homeworkers, adding it would not ‘poach’ agents from other groups.

Lee Evans, operations and technology director, who set up the business with finance director Gregg Barrett, said: “We are looking to expand and we want to get to 300 by September. We would never reach out to people directly.”

The group’s self-employed agents trade under the One Travel Club brand and earn a 70% split of commission – but also have to pass a “rigorous” five week training process, including a three-week course, to join.

“Every agent has to pass our knowledge test and Atol compliance,” he said. “We have rejected three times as many agents as we’ve taken on. “

The company is also looking to take on apprentices, a business analyst, and other employees to bolster its current workforce of 10 staff.

It already has two business development managers, Remi Creed and James Andrews, who are involved in setting up supplier training events for agents. He added: “They are a really important cog in the wheel. They are a shoulder to lean on when agents have a lack of confidence or need advice.”

Evans and Barrett set up the firm post-Covid, citing the need for an agency focused on supporting and training agents to give them the confidence to do their job well.

Evans said: “We looked at the way people were treated after Covid and the lack of support people got. We wanted to give agents the knowledge to carry out the job to the best standard: we had a clear plan on what we wanted to do.”

Barrett added: “We give the agents confidence that when they need support we will be here.”

Communication, training, and support are key to the way One Travel Club is run, he added, as well as the technology to aid agents to do their job.

The firm has created an AI chatbot with travel information for agents to use during the booking process as well as an intranet and training academy.

There is a live chat facility for homeworkers to talk to trained head office staff. Agents can also book time to speak directly to Evans and Barrett.

Evans added: “We have the inhouse ability to support and train agents. We built our own training academy to ensure agents know about Atol compliance. We wanted to be able to give bespoke training so no-one felt undermined.

“Anyone can sell a holiday: it’s what you do when it goes wrong to recfify that journey.  We have to get it right; it’s reputational damage if we get it wrong.”

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