Stevie Gator wanted to learn more about CruiseOne, here is what he found out:
How was CruiseOne originally conceived and started?
The franchise was started by Tony Persico & Charlotte & Ruben Luna in 1992. It was an expansion of Mr. Persico's NY based travel agency CruiseWorld. He wanted to expand nationally and created CruiseOne, a home based cruise-only travel agency. We are now owned by World Travel Holdings, the world's largest cruise retailer.
What was your original vision for CruiseOne? How has that changed over time?
The vision was to provide the marketplace with an alternate to brick and mortar travel agencies with fully trained agents that specialized and were experts in cruises. It has expanded to a full business model that includes having independent contractors with an individual franchise. It has expanded to include all travel products and to have exclusive products.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
There should be common goals between the management and the franchise owners for success. Also, potential franchisees should call current franchise owners while going through the due diligence process.
Why should someone choose CruiseOne over other similar franchises?
Most importantly, when researching franchise opportunities, it has to be a good fit for both the potential franchisee and the franchisor. We offer our franchise owners a high quality of support and web-based business tools to support the way they do business. We are financially stable and have a high owner satisfaction rating due to competitive pricing, marketing tools, ongoing training, and our 100% price and satisfaction guarantee.
What makes your industry attractive?
The fun and excitement of the travel industry appeal to just about everyone. We have experienced consistent industry growth year over year with high satisfaction rates by consumers. The potential for additional growth of new customers is attractive, since only 20% of North Americans have ever cruised before, and 85% of cruises are booked through a travel agent.
What types of qualities do you look for in potential franchisees?
Self-starters with an entrepreneurial spirit are idea. Our franchise owners combine their passion for travel with business ownership and love working with people.
What do your franchise fees and royalties cover?
Initial and ongoing training, corporate headquarters support staff of 100, personalized websites, marketing programs, online booking engine.
How do territories work for your franchisees?
There are no territories; franchises can sell to anyone in North America. We do an analysis checking for current franchises so we don't saturate an area.
Why has your franchise model been successful?
We have never lost sight of our mission, to make our franchises owners successful. Because of the effective tools and support we provide our owners.
What is your favorite advice for new franchisees to help them succeed?
Create a business and marketing plan. Then, once their up and running, hold a grand opening event involving our cruise line suppliers.
What would you tell potential franchisees that may be nervous about the financial burdens of starting a franchise?
They need to build their business with various marketing efforts.
Can you explain your financial assistance?
Self-financing is $3500 down, interest is prime plus 6%, balance paid in 24 equal month payments. Financing is also available using 401K and through the SBA.
On average, how long does it take to start a new franchise from the franchisees point of view?
Business can start immediately after initial training.