Designer Travel was founded 12 years ago by Amanda Matthews and now counts 72 homeworkers across the UK who have around 2,000 years of travel experience between them.
Since most consultants work alone remotely, the company tries to gather as many of the team together as possible at its annual conference to hear updates from head office.
In 2018, Kanika Hotels in Cyprus was the host, for which it is was richly rewarded by Designer Travel’s consultants, who subsequently booked 250 nights at hotels in the Kanika collection for their customers.
To reward its top sellers, Designer Travel also took agents to the prestigious Belmond Reid’s Palace in Madeira last October too.
Certain client requests have seen the Designer Travel team able to really flex their customer service muscles, such as the family spending Christmas on the Caribbean island of Bequia who asked the agency to source and interview a private chef and have Christmas trees arranged to make the stay perfect.
But no matter who the client or the destination, all hotels are contacted in advance to request VIP treatment.
As well as home-based consultants, there is also a chic shop in Ramsbottom in Greater Manchester. And since Designer Travel’s admin team has now been moved out of the store into a new space, the shop has been redecorated. Coming up with engaging campaigns is also key to Designer’s success – including this year’s “win a kaftan” promotion, whereby Beach to Bar Boutique multi-way kaftans were given as prizes to customers who were encouraged to post snaps wearing one on holiday, with the chance to win Karen Millen beach bags.
But while slick marketing may be key to this firm’s success, it’s also about instigating face-to-face contact with clients, and Amanda has recently encouraged the team to organise “Ladies that Latte” groups locally and to take a more vigorous focus on community and charity participation.
“It’s great to give back locally, and you meet people along the way, which really helps in this kind of business,” says Amanda.