Fareconnect - CEO, Darren Snow
I was a commercial fisherman for many years in B.C. born in Vancouver enjoying Stanley Park and Vancouver's beaches each summer. Our family also traveled to the Okanagan each summer. We did go to Disneyland and Las Vegas as children but my travel bug hit me hard around 1988. This was my first trip to the Bahamas. After this trip I have only wanted to see more. All my life I have been intrigued with other cultures and history.
I have visited 50 countries so far, most of the best beaches around the world, most of Europe, some strange destinations, Rio at Carnival, the Amazon, the Island of Borneo, most of my bucket list, and all of the most popular destinations extensively. This made it easy to start a travel agency. I found that many agents and agencies have not traveled a lot. My destination knowledge has been a big part of the agency's growth. Helping the areas and agents with this knowledge puts me and our agents ahead of the rest.
BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the Fareconnect.com concept.
Darren Snow: We are not only a travel agency but a distributorship. You have an area or zone with Fareconnect.com where you will receive all the online bookings and all the 1866 YOR-DEAL calls within that zone. Outside agent opportunities are very popular and no one has a better offer than us. We have 2 options and you receive 50% of all of those sales and another 20% of all their travel sales commissions.
BTB: How and when did you become involved with Fareconnect.com?
DS: I started Fareconnect.com in August of 2003 after working as an outside agent.
BTB: What was your background prior to joining Fareconnect.com?
DS: I worked as a commercial fisherman in B.C. For 10 years and then in the oilfield. I have a Marine Engineering degree. Lived most of my life in B.C. My hobby and my passion is travel.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Fareconnect.com area owner?
DS: You receive higher commissions than a start up agency and overrides only attainable to larger agencies. Within your zone we will not sell another Fareconnect.com and you receive money on the sale of agents in your area. These agents also earn you more commissions. We have a well picked up website and we do all the work. We do your accounting/commission statements and for a good sales agent this is something that can take away valuable time.
BTB: Tell us a little about the (industry) Market?
DS: In the last 12 years it has moved to an online market but knowledgeable agents on destinations can make a lot of money. We find our site is shopped a lot but clients like to call in what they have searched and found.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this company?
DS: People are everything. The right attitude, personality, and drive in someone is the most important attribute. Having the right people in place makes all the difference.
BTB: Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?
DS: I do not have a mentor as I feel what we offer is totally unique. There is not anyone who has done this in the past. There are travel franchises but each will sell as many as they can in a city or area.
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire an area?
DS: First think about what you are getting into. Know that travel is not like a restaurant where you could hit your peak within 3 months. Here you should never hit your peak and always grow. However it does take some time.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Fareconnect.com would be a great opportunity for someone?
DS: Since we have only 1 office per zone you have an easier business to build. We do have some business from all of Canada so there are clients in your area. Our site has excellent placement on google for many popular search terms. With the ability to sell outside agents you have another revenue source.