Hall of Fame Alumni
About Me - My Biography
Penny Spencer started her career in the Travel Industry 26 years ago. After having a stint at nursing Penny decided that the travel Industry was more her style, although having a love of dealing with people and having a passion for travel she decided to do a travel course.
While attending the travel course Penny worked for free stamping brochures at Adventure World in Brisbane so she could get some real time experience. After finishing her course they employed her as a part time junior or in those days a Girl Friday.
From that day on Penny has remained in the travel industry and now owns her own successful award winning corporate travel agency in Sydney – Spencer Travel.
Over 60% of her staff have only worked for Penny and this is what has helped Penny win numerous awards. Penny no longer consults and spends her time training her staff and growing the business as well as being an active member of the Industry that she loves.
IN 2010 Spencer Travel won the Best Corporate Agency – Single location at the National Travel Industry Awards and Penny herself has been a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award.
Last year Penny founded a Mentor Program for the Travel Industry – TIME – Travel Industry Mentor Experience which is into it’s 3rd intake of Mentorees.
Penny also started another company 3 years ago 24×7 Solutions – a business that manages the after hours and emergency assistance for 25 other Travel Management Companies.
Penny is constantly looking for new opportunities in Business and has recently joined EO as well as being on 6 other Committees within the Travel Industry.
Managing Director of the Spencer Group of Companies, Penny Spencer is a successful entrepreneur and leader in her industry. Penny built her company from scratch from to where it stands today as a multi award winning business group.
Now adding author to her growing list of achievements, Penny has launched her own book, Love what you do and never work a day in your life a book that uses her own experience to offer advice to others on business and career progression in any industry.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry and having founded her first business in 1998, Penny has since expanded her business portfolio to include four additional companies forming the now multimillion dollar Spencer Group of Companies. Penny’s business acumen has been recognised with multiple awards and accolades.
Penny’s advice to being a business owner is:
“Know a little about a lot. You can’t know it all and be across every single area of your business, however you do need to know a little about it all. Have great advisors, but always ensure you understand each area of your business.
Financial is key, cash flow, HR, sales and a little bit of technology. Every aspect of your business is important and if you let one down the others will fall. My key learning in business has been to keep an eye on it all, have a helicopter view and a strong strategy.”
Penny built her successful network of travel agencies from humble beginnings, starting her career in the travel industry in 1984. Over the years she has worked in and managed many corporate travel agencies and in 1998 she left to start her own business.
In order to increase her management skills in her second year of Spencer Travel, Penny joined the NSW Government and HerBusiness mentoring program.
As a result of this Penny is now an accomplished staff manager and business leader who works to create a positive workplace culture that prioritises career progression, staff inclusion and teamwork. Penny’s workplace training programs have high staff retention numbers with over 60 percent of her staff having only had one employer, Penny Spencer. She places great emphasis on team mentoring, employing agents straight out of travel courses and working with them to develop their careers.
As an established industry leader, Penny is also a regular commentator in the media on issues of travel and business. She is also a member of various business industry organisations such as Entrepreneurs organization.
Penny’s passion for travel does not stop with her business. She is an industry mentor and the brainchild behind the not-for-profit organisation, TIME (Travel Industry Mentor Experience) a program designed to provide knowledge and support to upcoming travel industry professionals.
Outside of the office, Penny’s charity work includes her role as Chair of ‘Spencer Travel Swim Safe’ a not-for-profit association which teaches children from disadvantaged areas how to swim, and managing the various charities and not-for-profit campaigns that the Spencer Group of Companies supports.
Strategies for Success
- Do as you say. It is always best to lead by example – as a leader you need to ensure people want to follow. The only way to ensure this is to do as you say, walk the talk to earn the respect and trust from your followers.
- Treat people the way you want to be treated. I ask myself this question often, “is that the way I would want to be treated?” If you are emotionally intelligent you will know the right way to treat a person in business either staff, clients or suppliers, its important to earn the respect.
- Communication – Open Door Policy. Be available, make sure you are present. When you communicate honestly and openly it shows confidence. I always stop what I am doing and look at the person in the eye when they approach me and speak honestly.
- Transparency. Being open and transparent in business is important. Not only with your staff but also, with anyone that asks you a question – tell them how it is and you will always find they relate to you better by knowing where you and they sit.
- Love what you do. If you have passion for what you do you will never work a day in your life. Success can be many things but if you wake up everyday happy to be doing what you love, that is success.