Thursday, November 9th, will be a monumental moment for Sue Fiorentini. This special day holds the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sue’s new business, EXPERIENCE TRAVEL, Starved Rock Country’s newest travel agency.
Sue has wanted to own her own business since the eighties. Armed with 25 years of experience as a travel agent and bolstered with assistance from the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Small Business Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance, Sue knew the time was finally right to go for it.
“It has to be the right time in your life and you have to have the courage.” Sue shared. “Now was the right time because of where I am. Personally, for me, with children grown now is finally the right time.”
“It is also the right time for the travel industry. We have had our bumps with the internet but, I think people are back to valuing service.” Sue continued.
According to Forbes, travelers in 2017 are seeking out travel agents for assistance for their expert advice and ability to assist with complex trips, as they tend to not cost much more than online booking.
“At EXPERIENCE TRAVEL, one of the things I do best is that I qualify my clients.” Sue shared. “I ask a lot of questions. I want to know what their expectations are. What their past travel history has been and what they are hoping for on their trip. Sometimes it is complex airline tickets and other times it is a particular place they want to visit. It is about attention to detail. Once I find out what they want, I make sure all of their i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Travel these days is very complex. From checking their passport expiration dates to informing my travelers where to exchange money when they arrive, I want my client’s trips to be very smooth and enjoyable.”
To build this business, Sue Fiorentini reached out to Amy Lambert at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Starved Rock Country Alliance. “In my situation, the SBDC helped by having someone to bounce my plan off of and have the acknowledgement of the merit in my business. She helped tweak my ideas. Amy was able to take each thought or idea and make it sound right. Just the way I want it to sound.”
“On my first visit, Amy was provided with a booklet called “How to Start Your Business in Illinois” Sue continued. “The booklet they provided was very helpful and full of the right information for all of the situations I faced. I am keeping it handy as I run into different challenges.”
Located at 418 Main Street in Princeton, EXPERIENCE TRAVEL is ready for success! “Every day I am so happy!” Sue Fiorentini grins. “I am already getting so much positive feedback!”