Homeworker Sarah Jones has set up a weekly pop-up travel agency at a local coffee shop to drum up new business.

Jones, a personal travel consultant for Holidaysplease based in Sutton on Sea near Skegness, Lincolnshire, returned to the trade in January after 15 years running a seaside cafe.

She had previously worked for Thomas Cook and held several hospitality jobs.

“I thought if I could work one day a week from there I could generate more business,” she said.

“I had leaflets made and I did a mail drop round where I live. I also put an event on Facebook for the pop-up, which is in the coffee shop each Thursday. I don’t pay to use the space, I just pay for coffee.”

Jones said the shop, run by her friend Samantha Woodward, receives a high footfall and averages about 50 visitors on the days she is there.

“I bring brochures and print off the week’s special offers which I get from Holidaysplease,” she said.

“It’s like a scaled-down travel agency. I find the conversion on phone sales difficult, so I thought I’d spread my wings.”

Jones was inspired to take up homeworking after meeting agents who worked for Loveholidays while on her own holiday in Egypt.

“It’s great to be back,” Jones said. “It’s like I’ve never been away. I still know all my three-letter airport codes.”

Jones has received enquiries off the back of her pop-up.

“There’s a couple who are going to book a holiday to Australia and I have another customer coming back for a Mediterranean holiday,” she said.

She urged other homeworkers to consider different ways to generate business.

“It doesn’t take a large amount of effort,” she said. “And it’s nice to have that interaction with people.”

tw6