When Steve and Sandra Dawson bought Galaxy Travel, a network of travel agency branches, in the early 1990s, their objective was to build a company which would secure their future. Steve signed up for the WLP Business Growth Club to improve his skills and worked with WLP’s Don Pearson on business planning and strategy.
The acquisition of another travel business extended the network to more than 20 branches throughout the East of England. With this enlarged company, and the pressures associated with growth, travel regulations and new internet competition, Steve began to feel that his skills were not going to be sufficient to take the business to the right level. After much thought and discussion, Don was able to help Steve recruit a managing director, agree an incentive package and provide strategic advice to the new MD.
Review and Organisation
Don helped the new management team to resolve the disparate human resource policies, employment contracts and remuneration structures which resulted from the acquisition. A complete review of contracts, policies and appraisal processes produced a coherent approach consistent with current best practice. WLP’s Managerial Assessment of Proficiency (MAP) was used to identify the strengths of key members of staff and identify training needs.
At the same time, WLP made the company’s marketing budget work harder by negotiating better deals including TV and radio, arranging sponsorship with travel operators and developing high profile promotional events.
A consistent promotional image was developed to differentiate Galaxy Travel as a major independent travel agent, earning a national marketing award in 2006.
The importance of getting these issues right has been borne out by the success of the business in a market that continued to be challenging. Excellent performance stimulated the interest of a larger multi-national (Australian based) travel business and attracted a very favourable bid. Steve and Sandra were able to leave the company in good hands following the sale, and realise their dream of a comfortable retirement.