Talk on a family business thinking big

MEMBERS of HUCKNALL MEN’S PROBUS CLUB have been taken on a trip into the realms of the tourist industry.

The speaker at the club’s November meeting was Tony Laver, who runs a coach holiday business, based in the East Midlands.

Mr Laver, a former Bartons bus driver, said Laver Holidays was inaugurated when he and his wife, Jean, took over a company that went into receivership 20 years ago.

The company now operated holidays all over Britain, mainly for over-55s, and took clients by minibus to Southampton and Tilbury to board cruise ships.

“The ace up our sleeve is that we pick up every single passenger by taxi from their homes,” said the speaker.

He said the rise of Laver Holidays had been a real success story, and the company had a current turnover of about £3 million a year.

“We are a small family-business competing against the big boys out there,” Mr Laver pointed out. “We need to be good at what we do.

“We are totally dependent on the loyalty of our passengers. This has enabled us to keep going in very difficult times indeed. The number of holiday companies dropping by the wayside is horrendous. It is absolutely vital that we keep ahead of the game.”

Mr Laver added that the firm sent out 10,000 brochures by mail twice a year to advertise their holidays.

He told of a complaint by one woman that all the scenery for a coach tour of the Irish coast was “on the wrong side” from where she was sitting. To avoid this happening again, the driver was instructed to do ‘figure of eights’ on a trip to the Scottish coastline!