22 Penny Spencer
Penny Spencer has been in the travel industry since she was 18. Over the past 20 years, she’s built her business travel agency, Spencer Travel, into a $70 million operation.
Spencer Travel provides personal and corporate travel solutions for families, film and production crew members and SMEs.
Having started at a young age, Spencer has previously told SmartCompany she had a crash course in all elements of business operations, from sales to staffing and doing the accounts. There are challenges at each point in scaling a business, she said.
“Having a business is almost like having a child. You think as a baby it’s so difficult, ‘God, I can’t sleep, blah blah’, and then you get to the teenagers and you think, ‘Oh God, I wish I had a baby again, it was so easy’,” she said in 2012.
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Speaking to SmartCompany last year, she reflected a key strategy for success is to train staff to be accountable, because it is so important to give customers one-on-one service in an industry like travel, especially if something has gone wrong.
“There is nothing worse than being advised ‘we are looking into it’, and two weeks later, you finally get a response,” she said.