With AccessLine’s help, high-end tour company Beyond Travel is moving fast towards achieving its goal to triple revenue to $30m by 2017.
When Michael Lavilles took full ownership of specialist tour company, Beyond Travel, in 2014, he set an ambitious goal: to triple revenue to $30 million within three years.
To achieve this goal, Michael knew he’d need three things: courage, reliable cash flow, and a highly motivated team. American Express’s new AccessLine service helped him create all three.
Today, Beyond Travel is well on its way to achieving Michael’s goal. American Express’s AccessLine has been central to Michael’s success, enabling him to manage cash flow seamlessly, free up resources to drive innovation, and – by gaining extra Membership rewards points - incentivise his team to go the extra mile.
A specialist in high end tours in Russia, Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey and Scandinavia, Beyond Travel works with more than 100 suppliers across numerous countries.
In order to achieve its aggressive growth targets, the business needed flexible access to capital and a means of managing cyclical cash flow, tight margins and foreign exchange payments across multiple currencies.
American Express AccessLine enables companies to pay overseas and domestic suppliers fast and securely, regardless of whether they accept card payments, and the funds are not charged for up to 51 days. Accessed via an online portal, AccessLine streamlines both international and domestic payments with comprehensive reporting, as well as earning Card Members American Express Membership Rewards points.
For Michael, already an American Express Corporate Card Member and a customer of American Express’ foreign exchange business, AccessLine was an attractive solution.
“When American Express approached me with their AccessLine service back in October 2015, I jumped at the opportunity,” he said. “We run a cash flow positive business, but you need to be smart when paying suppliers – margins are tight and the implications of foreign exchange fluctuations cannot be taken lightly.”
“AccessLine buys me time – up to 51 days. Plus, when payments appear in a supplier’s account they look like any other transfer, not a card transaction. My American Express relationship manager is also fantastic, proactively discussing my overseas payment needs to help me make more informed decisions, especially in a volatile currency market. And the reward points we gain through AccessLine are a huge draw. I use them for my business travel as well as staff travel incentives.”
“Courage and cash flow are the keys to success in this industry,” Michael said. “You have to be courageous. The pace of technological change in a globalised market means that if you don’t invest to innovate, you won’t be around in a few years.”
Courage has certainly paid off for Beyond Travel. Today, it boasts a level of innovation that would be the envy of many of its less nimble competitors, and is on target to achieve its three-year growth goal of $30 million in turnover.
And with AccessLine’s help, the business’s crucially-important cash flow is also well under control. “When it comes to cash flow,” said Michael, “I know I can rely on American Express AccessLine to help keep our balance in the positive.”