Lanarkshire travel company is flying high after 20 years in business

Lesley Millar (3rd right) and the Jigsaw Travel team pick up their 3rd consecutive SPAA trophy
Lesley Millar (3rd right) and the Jigsaw Travel team pick up their 3rd consecutive SPAA trophy

Lanarkshire travel company, Jigsaw Travel, is marking its 20th anniversary in business with a growth strategy that is projected to increase is current turnover of £5 million by 20% and boost employee numbers.

The firm has recently been recognised with a 3rd consecutive prize at the Scottish Passenger Agents Association (SPAA) Awards – one of the industry’s most prestigious awards programmes.

In addition, and with support from Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Lesley and her dedicated team have secured a raft of new corporate clients across the UK in 2018, ensuring the business maintains its forward momentum and increases turnover for the 20th consecutive year.

Lesley said: “it has been quite a year and the SPAA award is fantastic recognition of the hard work put in by the entire team to build the Jigsaw brand.   When I set up the business in 1998 I focused on the three c’s, cost, choice and convenience, and this remains the same today.  Our clients always get a personalised service and we always focus on delivering the best results we can, which has resulted in us wining a number of new corporate clients in recent months.

“We don’t force our clients onto an online booking platform. We provide a bespoke, personalised service for each booking which ensures our clients get the very best service and peace of mind that their travel arrangements have been clearly understood. Our 24hr telephone contact service ensures clients can call from wherever they are in the world, in whatever time zone, to get travel assistance from our experienced and friendly team.”

The Lanarkshire business owner may have secured a place in the Federation of Small Businesses’ list of the UK’s Top 100 businesswomen in 2018 and received a Motion of congratulations in the Scottish Parliament, however, Lesley has never rested on her laurels and has always looked for new ways to develop her business.

Lesley continued:  “I realised some time ago that we should be engaging more with digital and social media, and that was when I approached Business Gateway for support.  My adviser was a fantastic help and put me in touch with the SMART Accelerator programme. This led me to redesign my website, change my messaging and look at rebranding. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone with social media. All of which has helped my business flourish.

“Business Gateway cast a fresh eye over my business which was really helpful, and it is reassuring to know that my adviser is only a phone call away should I need any additional support.”

Throughout Jigsaw’s 20 years, Lesley has worked hard to develop her team, with a focus on bringing new young executives into the business.   Out of the employees working in Hamilton, three came through the Modern Apprenticeship programme.

Lesley continued: “I have a passion for developing young people and nurturing new talent.  This has been at the core of our business model over the years and led to me joining the board of Development Youth Workforce.

“As we look to grow the business and target larger corporate clients, I am looking to recruit another two new employees to help push things forward.   Although some of our new recruits will likely have more industry experience, I hope that we will be in position to engage with the Modern Apprenticeship Programme again.”

Keith Parsons at Business Gateway Lanarkshire said: “Over the past 20 years Lesley and her team have looked after the complex travel requirements for some of the most successful businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK.   When Jigsaw Travel was looking to grow, we provided some marketing support through the SMART Accelerator programme and we are delighted to see that support helping the company push their growth programme forward.”

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