TORONTO — ‘Win’ was the operative word of the evening during The Travel Agent Next Door’s (TTAND) annual open house event in Toronto earlier this week. Hosted by founder Flemming Friisdahl, the event highlighted the organization’s resounding success, its growth over just two years time, and new initiatives for member agents and agencies.
During his keynote speech, Friisdahl applauded the company’s quick rise to success, despite being only two and a half years old. Today, TTAND comprises 19 employees and will finish the year with sales of about $35 million (up from $18 million last year), with home-based agents averaging $500,000 in sales (up from $350,000).
By the end of 2016, TTAND will have 245 primary agents and 115 associates (who work for the primary agents), plus 15 agencies. The company’s goal, said Friisdahl, is to be Canada’s second largest home-based agency network by end of 2017.
According to Friisdahl, the key to success is being able to “really focus on our agents and suppliers by not having so many.” 43% of all sales was done with preferred suppliers, while another 32% was made with approved suppliers, totalling 75% of all sales through 26 suppliers. “No other group can say that in Canada,” he added.
In terms of what’s new, TTAND is converting to a new accounting system following Global Matrix’ exit from the market. A new website will launch soon featuring enhanced capabilities, and in the coming year the company will have the lead generation program, which is “a great win for suppliers as leads can be tracked and measured against sales,” he said.
In addition, TTAND has launched a Subject Matter Expert (SME) program with select suppliers, and recently held an agency contest. The winner, who will win first-year free membership, will be announced shortly.