There are a growing number of people looking to open their own business after the age of 50. For many, opening a franchise is a smart equity-building move later in life since franchisees can immediately leverage a successful business model with built-in support and the backing of a well-known brand. A recent survey conducted by FranNet, a private franchise business consulting company, showed a 91 percent success rate for franchises compared with a 49 percent success rate for independent small businesses. Expedia CruiseShipCenters – part of Expedia® Inc, the largest online travel company in the world – has several franchisees who have had success beginning their second career with an Expedia franchise location.
From corporate world to franchising
Fifty-four year old Brian Murphy, co-owner of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters in North Bay, CA, retired from Safeway after 35 years and was looking for a way to continue working. Considering Brian had taken almost 30 cruises in his lifetime, he thought it would be a good opportunity to turn his passion for travel into a second career as a business owner. Brian’s brother James ended up joining the venture after he was offered an early retirement plan from Chevron. Brian and James have combined their love for wine and travel by hosting unique culinary and wine cruises, appealing to their customers in Sonoma Valley and beyond. Their sales have consistently increased since their opening in 2010 and have already risen 77 percent this year compared to the same period in 2012.
Husband and wife team pursue opportunity together
With the heart of the cruise industry located in their backyard, Mary Beth Casey and her husband David seized the opportunity to own the first Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise in the United States – in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. After a successful career as a New York advertising executive, Mary Beth came out of retirement in 2010 to put her leadership skills back to work in a new business. After 25 years work in hospitality sales and marketing, David was the perfect partner with whom to open a new business. Now, the husband and wife team support 110 independent vacation consultants and have experienced a 30 percent growth in sales during 2012. Their retail location in Weston, FL is located near three bustling cruise ports and Mary Beth and David have been able to successfully leverage Expedia’s brand recognition in their community.
Never too late to become a franchisee
Fifty-six year old Chris Meyer, owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Orange County, CA, is a lifelong Southern California resident and a passionate traveler. Among his travel experiences, Chris spent a summer backpacking and surfing his way through the Hawaiian Islands, explored Alaska by cruise ship and visited China as part of his MBA program. After a 30-year career in the newspaper industry, Chris graduated with his MBA at the age of 51 and was ready to apply his extensive journalism and management experience in new ways. After seeing an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise ad on LinkedIn, Chris spent a few months gathering the facts, and the rest was history. With a knack for adding creativity to the local execution of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters system, Chris was setting sales records in his first year of business.
Owning an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise provides business opportunities for individuals and couples looking to actualize their dreams of owning a successful business, leading a team and traveling the world. Franchise owners conduct business as a full service travel agency supporting an unlimited number of cruise & vacation consultants working in the store or from their home office.
Expedia CruiseShipCenters provides exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of more than 170 franchise locations. As part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world, the company’s 4,000 vacation consultants have been navigating spectacular vacation experiences for customers across North America for more than 25 years. Named a fast-growing franchise by MSN Money, Expedia CruiseShipCenters offers flexible, rewarding business opportunities for consultants and franchise owners with a passion for travel.
Contact Expedia CruiseShipCenters for information about franchise opportunities.