Homeworking luxury cruise specialist Francesca Barone has rebranded her business to better reflect her expertise and help expand her client base.
She had been trading under the FB Travel brand since 2006, when she started homeworking, but last week unveiled Elite Cruises.
“FB Travel does not really tell anyone who I am but before [the pandemic], I did not really have to advertise as I had lots of regular clients and word-of-mouth recommendations,” said Barone, who runs her business with Brilliant Travel, the homeworking division of Barrhead Travel.
“But this pandemic has been cataclysmic for me and I am not getting business. A lot of my clients may never cruise again.
“I have taken a big, deep breath and got a new brand, logo and website. It is about getting my name out there with a brand that is synonymous with my market.
“It is a much better representation of who I am.”
The Sussex-based agent has had to sell her house and downsize in order to help tide her over financially.
Since March, she has been dealing with cruise cancellations and re-bookings – some of which have been cancelled afresh – but new bookings are few and far between.
“The momentum that there was recently has been diminishing – the trickle is turning into a small drip,” she said.
“It is heart-wrenching to have put all this work into a business – I was turning over £1.5 million a year – but it’s collapsing around my ears.
She has had professional photographs taken to help her website look as stylish as possible and included a video to showcase her skills.
The new brand was unveiled on October 9 and she is emailing all her current clients with the news.
“I won’t go down without a fight. I am emerging with something new and fresh in the hope that it will help me through this nightmare,” she said.
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