Entrepreneurs who want to realize their own ideas have a hard time: Investors and banks are often difficult to convince when you are planning something fundamentally new. In the end, the only thing left is often to push yourself through. As the Founders by TravelEssence.

Job profile! Sustainable travel entrepreneur: from consultant to social business

With the well-paying job at the end of your dream?

In doing so, Klug with the tourismIndustry At first I didn't really care, but studied business administration in Würzburg in the classic way - "that Study for people who don't know what to do”, as he admits with a grin.

With a degree in business administration and a well-paid job, many people dream of ending their dreams. Not so Martin Klug: He wanted to do something meaningful and more by accident he founded a travel agencyCompanys for sustainable tourism in New Zealand and Australia.

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During his studies he worked as a production assistant at a regional TV station and at the Bavarian radio station. True, he noticed fastthat the job prospects in journalism are rather poor, but traveling around and living in a hotel gave him a taste for it.

Therefore he hired directly after the study in an enterprise consultation. This was in October 2001, shortly after the 11. September.

In the right place at the right time

"150 Boy Adviser were hired at the time," reports Klug. "And no one had anything to do for us, we just sat around." In fact, at the end of the probationary period, almost everyone was released: Klug was one of the few to stay.

“I was just lucky to meet the right people in the company at the right time and in the right place, and as a result at a big and important one Projects to be able to work together”, he reports mischievously.

At the finish of the wishes or in the treadmill?

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At that time he thought he was on Objective of his wishes: “I thought that would be it for now. I was young, earned a lot Money and an interesting job.” But soon the first doubts came: “You just carry out orders, whether you stand behind them or not.

And many older colleagues just worked through the projects like they were on a treadmill and don't know how to break out - that got to me Anxiety done,” reports Klug.

MBA as a new start

He wanted to do something new. And so, in 2005, he said "yes" when his Company offered the opportunity to do an MBA. He very consciously, he says, exchanged the Porsche and the huge apartment in Munich for a student digs: "I was just worried that I wouldn't be able to go back once I got used to a certain standard of living."

Seine Choice fell on the Dutch Utrecht as a place to study - because he with his Application was late and the topBusiness-Schools were already fully booked.

Emergency solution as a stroke of luck

The “emergency solution” soon turned out to be a stroke of luck: the Franke by birth not only met his future wife here, but also his business partner, New Zealander Andrew Morten (below in the picture) at a bar evening.

At the time he was working as a project manager for a tour operator that offered classic bus and motorhome tours as well as luxury accommodation in New Zealand and Australia. And was dissatisfied with his job and the mass tourism from the Stange.

Job profile! Sustainable travel entrepreneur: from consultant to social business

The idea: tailor-made projects instead of mass tourism

Because after Mortens Opinions tourists would have no opportunity to get to know the country and its people. You have to do that much better, with small, flexible projects, Maori, cottages and bed and breakfasts. Klug, who had never been to Australia or New Zealand up to that point, thought so Idea Good.

From then on, Morten was the creative one Head of the company and Klug the one who checked the crazy ideas for their feasibility. For example, by questioning why nobody had done something like this before.

Individual travel as a market gap - is it worthwhile?

The Solution was quickly found: "For large tour operators, small hotels that only offer two to three rooms are often not worthwhile. And it's simply easier for their booking system to put together standard luxury trips than individual trips with constantly changing components," explains the young entrepreneur.

"Small tour operators, on the other hand, are full of enthusiasm, also have small providers on offer - but they often work unsystematically and take too long to put together appropriate trips." The two wanted to fill this gap when they founded TravelEssence in 2006.

Tourists from passion

Because Klug and his partner Andrew Morten needed for the Implementation their idea of ​​promoting small, environmentally friendly tourism projects in New Zealand and Australia, a sensible database system – and a Financing for this. And that was that Problem!

“We had calculated 100.000 to 200.000 euros per year. But the potential investors just said, 'Good luck guys' - and we were on our own. The bank loan didn't work either: “When it comes to a new idea invest, Holland is by no means better than Germany,” remembers Klug.

So the two screwed down their claims, thought about what they need urgently, invested approximately 15.000 Euro from their savings into a database programming and started.

Customers expected something completely different

It was much more difficult, says Klug, to bridge the early days. “You can't go fast Success expect - of course we still have it, MBA students," he grins self-deprecatingly. The two of them had to finance the first year entirely out of their own pockets until the idea gradually became established.

That was also so difficult because potential customers expected something completely different: "The Netherlands is a classic market for motorhome travel - and we had it in our heads not to offer it at the moment," explains the tour operator the daring undertaking.

Bed and breakfasts, Maori and afforestation instead of CO2 slingshot

And he gives reasons for the unusual idea: "Because motorhomes are not just a huge CO2 spinner, they also prevent you from getting to know the country and its people, because you are on the road all the time."

“In the beginning, it was almost only inquiries for motorhome trips because the potential customers just knew that. And we had to convince a lot of people that they have the more exciting stories to tell when they go by rental car, stay in small cottages and bed and breakfasts, spend a day with Maori and plant trees in the jungle, ”said the entrepreneur has started its own afforestation project in Te Urewera National Park on New Zealand's North Island.

"We do it the way we want!"

In the meantime, reports Klug, the two were on the verge of giving up: “We thought nobody wanted what we were offering. In the meantime, out of frustration, we have even started to take motorhome trips merchandise. "

But over time, a certain fatalism would have set in: “We either wanted to do it our way – or not at all. Because how do I want something for someone merchandise, of which I am not convinced myself?”.

TravelEssence Team

Expansion that raises new questions

At some point, the customers understood what the entrepreneurs were all about – and then, as Klug says, things worked out. Today TravelEssence has six Employees, In 2010 the company expanded to Germany.

The growth throws new ones though Ask on: “Developing your own ideas and promoting them is great. But then, of course, you also have to take care of things that you might not really care about Lust has - Payroll accounting for example,” philosophizes Klug.

The golden middle path to healthy growth

The fear of the treadmill is still to be noted. At the same time, however, he knows that a certain growth is necessary to make small, sustainable tourism projects that would otherwise be lost in mass tourism at all economically viable.

The famous search for the golden mean: "It's about healthy growth, not a compulsive craving for more," makes Klug the difference clear.

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