For most, if not all of our clients, it will be a surprise that we are changing who we are known as... changing what our business name has been. That surprise will likely be in the form of, "Wait ... aren't you just [insert the name of beloved travel agent you have been trusting for years now]", rather than "Why are you changing your name?"
Several years ago we started out in the travel business, inspired and encouraged from our loved ones. Colleen and I love to travel, and so many of our friends and family relied on us to help with their travel details. Eventually someone said, "Why aren't you getting paid for doing what you love?" hmmm ... I wondered ... perhaps they have a point. And so, I did my research, found a name, filed the government and IRS paperwork and set off the ground running! Eventually Colleen and I became a team, a really great travel team. After all this time, I have to giggle though at the very small number of our treasured clients that actually know our business name! (Hi-5 to anyone that remembers it!)
For many years we existed completely by word of mouth. Referrals at that time, and to this day, was our life breath! Looking at our client roster today, 100% of our bookings have come from friends, family, and those they referred us to! Since our start it has been like a Christmas Tree explosion. First it was close friends and family, then it was their friends and family, and then their friends and family! It just kept going! I mean I have a recent client that has made well over 5 referrals in less than a year! Now those referrals are making referrals! I can't thank our clients enough for your faith and trust in us! YOU! You my friends have made our dreams possible.
Along the way my husband encouraged me to do more -- he said, "Take it serious now, you could really do something with this travel thing." Colleen and I agreed, and decided -- let's go online! A little less than 2 years ago our website and facebook page were born. Funny thing is we still were living and breathing on those valued referrals. In fact that online presence hadn't yielded anything other than 'likes', 'follows', and website visits from those we already know ... or of course had been personally referred to us. (Thanks again friends!)
What we never expected was that our little backyard agency would attract the attention and bullying from an online website. 2018 started with us having to decide if we wanted to battle to keep our business name of [words we may never breathe again as we are in something like a Harry Potter-esque situation due to our country's trademarking allowances and what I perceive as fuzzily gray governance of such], all because someone else used that phrase as a moniker for their agents ... They didn't have the same business name, but boy they are very very serious about that moniker.
I won't lie, Colleen and I have cried some tears over the situation. At the time I established myself there was nothing out there (ok, other than a toy manufacturer of magic tricks, and a fishing bait company) ... we had done our due diligence. For awhile it was doom and gloom as we researched our rights, and sought opinion on our chances of winning the argument. The other company fears client confusion. Though I contest that there would ever be a chance of such a thing. This brought me to two conclusions: Money talks, and when consulting with my pocket book, it replied back, "You don't really make enough to fight this." Sadly, the pocket book was right.; and through reflection I realized that I have no interest in wanting to ever be mistaken for this other company, no matter the slightest of chance. So, I then started the journey to change our business name.
As I sit here writing this little novella, I realize this is not really a sad time after all - rather it is a time to embrace what's to come. Since the day Colleen and I set out as a Travel Team, we have grown and changed. We are more than just Disney, and more than just Cruising ... in fact, we are more than just Carrie and Colleen! We are growing, and becoming even better at what we do, and have added some really great people to our team like Tiffany, Michele, and Ashley! We offer so much more than just booking vacations ... we offer to be your guides! We are a full-service agency that is more concerned about helping our clients achieve vacations they dreamed of, but with the honesty of keeping their budgets as the priority. We aren't about sales goals, and we are never concerned about how much of a commission we earn. WE don't need a cutesy moniker, we are professionals, and will always remain so.
My friends after months of work I welcome you to the new US! We are Adventurers Navigation Co. We are a Travel Team of professional travel specialists ready to help you navigate your next adventure! Whether it be Disney or Europe, we will be there for you every step of the way! Though our name has changed, our mission has not! To our faithful following - thank you for being the backbone of our business! To those who are just discovering us, welcome! To everyone reading this post -- Let's ADVENTURE Together!