Chemotherapy is a living Hell for so many cancer sufferers – a debilitating, all-consuming and draining form of treatment – yet travel expert Rachael Coyne from Huddersfield has not only managed to work through it, generating hundreds of thousands of pounds in sales, she has also won a coveted industry award.
Rachael, who set up her own travel consultancy through The Travel Franchise, owns and runs Jetset Not Just Travel with her husband Colman. She has won a Great British Franchisee Award from whichfranchise.com, the highest honour in the franchising world.
Not only did Rachael continue to work while undergoing the most gruelling chemotherapy for three days a week, but she also managed to do £400,000 of business in just the first six weeks of this year.
Rachael was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in eight years in autumn 2021. Having again gone through gruelling chemotherapy, sadly, this time the cancer was found to be stage four, which means that while it is controllable, it is not curable. The treatment has been successful and has shrunk the tumours. Rachael will remain under surveillance from her specialist for the next three years, with injections every three weeks to maintain control of the cancer.
The couple began by running international trips for a social club before turning professional nine years ago and have developed Jetset NJT into a business with a £2 million turnover.
Cancer apart, their resilience was put to the test during the pandemic, not least when a £125,000 business trip to South Africa had to be postponed three times.
“We worked tirelessly during Covid to fight for refunds and never stopped fighting for our customers,” says Rachael, “for us, this award and our success shows that The Travel Franchise’s product offer and business model works. There’s no way we could have built our company from scratch if we hadn’t bought a franchise. We have grown our business on our terms, at our pace, and now have a brilliant lifestyle. We absolutely love what we do and feel very lucky to have met the co-founders Paul and Steve all those years ago.”
Unusually in the travel world, Rachael and Colman offer 24/7 customer service, giving their customers their personal mobile numbers and even calling them back on a Sunday night if they have a query.