Liz Rick always wanted to run her own business – she just never thought it would be a travel agency.
Despite working in travel retail from the age of 16, Liz abandoned the idea of setting up her own agency as far too difficult.
“I was lucky if I could work out viewdata, let alone run an agency, so I dismissed it,” jokes Liz.
Instead she took time out of her career – once to do A Levels, with a view to becoming a midwife, and a second time to do a beauty therapy course. “I’d always wanted my own business so I thought I’d become a beauty therapist,” says Liz.
On both occasions Liz returned to what she knew best.
It was only when her employer, the Bowen Travel Group, collapsed and Liz was forced to make a quick decision that she took the plunge to set up on her own.
“It was very daunting,” admits Liz, 34, a mum-of-two, who reopened her agency in the same premises as her former Bowen Travel Group branch. “But I was happy with where I worked and the people. I didn’t want to lose that.”
Within two weeks of Bowen’s collapse in October 2012, Liz had a business plan and partner to help finance the agency. “I had to move fast as another agency was keen to get the shop. Before that I didn’t even know what a business plan looked like,” she says.
A measure of Liz’s success is that the business is already trading as well as it had been under the Bowen group. But with fewer staff, and the responsibility of co-ownership, Liz says it’s been a steep learning curve.
If that wasn’t enough, Liz decided to move house in June to be closer to work. “It was taking me an hour to get to work and costing me £400 in childminder fees a month whereas now my children can walk to the agency from school and home is five minutes away.
“But it did mean I was up decorating the new house at 1am and coming into work the next day!”
She still insists it has all been worth it. “It’s the best move I ever made,” she says.
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