Accountancy & Banking

Published: October 24, 2021 | Updated: October 25, 2021

Very inspiring: Travel boss tells personal story as business academy makes face-to-face return

Steve Witt, Founder of Not Just Travel.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An inspirational learning session by Steve Witt, Founder of Not Just Travel, marked the return to a face-to-face format of Inspire’s latest Business Academy.

The Business Academy – an exclusive training programme for all staff of the Poole-based business and tax advisory firm – has been running with virtual sessions throughout the year.

But the firm was determined to get back to face-to-face events for the benefit of all the team for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Steve told his story of an early career as a firefighter straight from school, prior to launching and running a handful of design, website and online businesses, before founding his travel business, Not Just Travel.

He engaged the Inspire team with a frank and honest account of the highs and lows of his 20-year business journey.

Steve also spoke about the challenges and opportunities that he’s faced from launching Not Just Travel in 2001, to franchising the business ten years ago, and its success today with more than 450 active franchisees.

Discussing the challenges of keeping his franchisee base motivated and engaged during the pandemic, alongside the daily pressures of running an international business, Steve offered his advice for the team: “There are often lots of reasons why not to do something, but you only need one reason to get on and do it, you will always find a solution.”

The internal Business Academy initiative is a programme of training sessions, combining real-life case studies, soft skills training and business practices, designed to strengthen the team’s expertise and understanding across all aspects of business.

The sessions also involve practical tips for resilience and wellbeing.

Inspire Founder, Warren Munson, pictured left, said: “We’re delighted to have re-launched our face-to-face Business Academy sessions, kicking off with the team having the opportunity to learn first-hand about Steve’s fascinating entrepreneurial journey.

“The purpose of the Business Academy is to help and support the team by providing training on a variety of topics and themes from wider business skills to practical tips for mental wellbeing, motivation and generally understanding the world around us – and how that impacts us and our clients.

“All with the aim of improving client service and delight.

“We’ve been fortunate to have already covered an array of speakers and topics as part of our virtual Business Academy sessions over the last few months, but we’re now looking forward to an excellent programme of face-to-face sessions for the remainder of this year and into 2022.”

Liz Phipps, HR Manager, pictured right, said: “Inspire is well-known for supporting the team throughout their studies for professional qualifications.

“The Business Academy adds another dimension to this learning and development experience.

“We’re really proud to have created an exciting programme of sessions for the whole team, that not only raise commercial awareness and understanding across the team, but also help to engage and inspire us all.”

Founded by Warren Munson in 2004, Inspire’s goal is to establish the firm as a true employer of choice to ensure it attracts, engages and retains the top talent in its profession.

Last year, Inspire was awarded Medium Firm of the Year by the industry’s Accounting Excellence awards.