TravelManagers Sowing Seeds of Success
TravelManagers has just completed a round of Business Planning Workshops rolled out to personal travel managers (PTMs) around the country – a series of one-day sessions that were held in six locations and aimed to provide guidance to participants in creating and sustaining success within their businesses.
“The workshops were organised and run by our seven state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs),” Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal explains, “and were designed to work through six key business disciplines, ranging from product and service offering to financial forecasting.”
In total, 90 PTMs attended the sessions in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and northern New South Wales, with a mixture of new and more experienced PTMs in attendance.
“The content of the sessions has been developed by our team of BPMs, in collaboration with our Marketing team,” Gazal explains. “We spend a lot of time listening to our PTMs and identifying where they might require support – that feedback, which arises from one-on-one and small-group conversations between BPMs and PTMs throughout the year, has been invaluable in fine-tuning the content of the workshops.”
According to Gazal, the effort required to design and deliver these workshops seem to be paying off, with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from participating PTMs, including Jodie McConnell, who is representative for Fremantle, WA.
“My focus for this year is to work on the operational side of my business,” she explains, “so that I am able to work smarter, not harder – the business planning workshop have helped me to identify small changes that I can make in order to achieve this goal.”
McConnell says she benefited not just from the formal guidance provided at the workshops, but also from the discussions generated by her colleagues.
“Working from home can be quite isolating, so it’s extremely valuable to be able to connect with other PTMs and share ideas – it gives me both inspiration and a little push to keep going with some aspects of my business and identify where I might be able to change things up a bit.”
According to Gazal, one of the strengths of the business planning workshops is the collaborative environment in which they take place.
“A lot of our newer PTMs attended the sessions, but we also have plenty of more experienced PTMs taking part – which results in a real mixture of different levels of industry and particularly home-based, experience working together.”
Tanya Whitehurst, who is representative for Hilbert, WA, is relatively new to TravelManagers but has worked in the travel industry for more than twenty years.
“I always enjoy an opportunity to get together with other, more experienced PTM’s and get their tips on how they have built their businesses up,” she says. “The day was both helpful and interesting, and has certainly given me some food for thought on certain areas of my business.”
Belinda Le Bretton, representative for Leura, NSW, was one of the 14 attendees at the workshop held in Sydney.
“I always love spending a day with my TravelManagers colleagues – it always reassures me that I made such a good decision in joining the company,” she says. “The planning workshop was no exception – it made things clearer and served to remind me that with so many of us sharing similar thinking, there is always plenty of back-up and support available should you need it.”
Despite the excellent attendance numbers at all six locations around Australia, Gazal says there are many more PTMs who were unable to attend but would still like to benefit from the guidance offered. For this reason, the BPMs have worked hard to refine many elements of the workshops’ content to create a series of four webinars that will be able to be accessed remotely.
“We have more than 560 PTMs dotted around the country in every state and territory,” he explains, “and it’s an important feature of our business model that all of our PTMs have access to the same quality of training and mentoring, regardless of the remoteness of their location.”
With this year’s workshops now complete, PTMs such as Kathy Watson, representative for Bangalow NSW, say they are ready to apply what they’ve learned to their businesses.
“I came home feeling inspired and excited about entering the next stage in my business, and applying the ideas that were presented to assist in taking it to a new level.”