Why Niching Down is Critical, with Tom Casey

Episode 334

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Passionate about custom travel and creating unique travel experiences for his clients, Tom Casey is a longtime expert on travel to Ireland and the British Isles and, more recently, has explored many regions of Scandinavia—including Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. Tom runs Old Sod Travel along with helping manage Scandinavian Travel.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Tom Casey about the business strategies that have made his travel companies successful, including focusing on your niche, hiring and nurturing a good team, and building reliable partnerships overseas. We also discuss how his business weathered the challenges of the pandemic to make 2023 their best year yet.

What You Will Learn in this Episode:

  • Why Tom left the corporate world at age 50 to run his own business
  • How Tom’s companies have evolved over time and why finding the right niche was of huge importance to their core business strategy
  • Tom’s team’s commitment to creating exceptional travel experiences and how it really differentiates his company
  • What Tom is doing right now to make 2023 his strongest year yet, and the unique, authentic features of their brand
  • Some of the fabulous partnerships Tom has built with suppliers in Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia

Fine Tuning Your Niche

One of the key strategies that has fueled the growth of Tom Casey’s business is finding and honing in on a specific niche. Tom emphasizes the importance of fine-tuning what you want to do and excelling at it. This approach has allowed his company to focus more on delivering exceptional client experiences.

Old Sod Travel and Scandinavian Travel prioritize providing high-quality vacations, and because of this, they often invest in sending employees to business meetings and conferences in Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia, enabling them to gain firsthand experience and build confidence in selling their offerings to potential travelers. The positive feedback in the form of five-star reviews further reinforces the company’s commitment to delivering outstanding vacations and fuels their passion to continue excelling in their niche.

A Committed Team

Tom Casey’s business model includes a unique approach to his team, which has evolved over time. Initially, he hired stay-at-home mothers due to budget constraints, and one of them eventually became his business partner. They recruited friends with similar backgrounds, creating a social and enjoyable work environment. The workforce genuinely cares about clients and understands the travel style they sell, which aligns with their own experiences. This inherent understanding makes it easier for them to recommend luxury accommodations and convince clients that the extra expense is worth it for a truly satisfying experience.

Truly Customizable Tours

The flexibility granted to employees, such as working a few hours in the morning to communicate and collaborate, allows for customization and personalized trip planning. Unlike other companies that claim customization but offer limited options, Tom’s team goes the extra mile, traveling with clients and making themselves available whenever needed. Their commitment to building relationships and providing comfort to nervous first-time travelers sets them apart from the competition.


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