Melanie Webb on growing Lyrical Road for the music industry
Travel management company Lyrical Road has been putting the music industry on the road since September 2014.
It was founded in Melbourne by Melanie Webb, who had previously worked in entertainment travel agencies and was an independent in-house travel manager for a major festival.
“I had worked in entertainment travel for 10 years, so it had long been my passion and happy place,” she tells TMN.
“Past roles had taught me a wide range of things in travel management as well as the inner workings of the music and touring industry.”
Lyrical Road’s services include domestic and international air bookings, excess baggage management, 24/7 emergency assistance, coach and limo transfers, car and truck rental, group travel and, in partnership with specialists, air charter, air and road freight, carnet and visas.
At the very beginning, Melanie was a sole entrepreneur with only two clients and not even a business name until her mother came up with one, Lyrical Road.
But there was a passion that drove her, “I knew that I wanted to start a company that was client and service focused.”
Five and a half years later, Lyrical Road has become a success story, growing to a team of nine that looks after over 200 clients.
The Lyrical Road team & founder Melanie Webb
Melanie points out how her business model has generated its growth: “We love our clients and always place them at the centre of all we do.
“We pride ourselves on being agile and flexible— being able to respond at any time to our clients’ needs no matter what the unexpected circumstances are, whether it’s bushfires, floods, or epidemics.”
“The last thing anybody wants is to cancel a show,” she emphasises. “But if the whole area is flooded or on fire and there are no flights in and all the roads are closed, that might be the last resort.
“But the decision is only made when we know that between us and the management team, we’ve checked all the options.”
Being a specialist service that solely focuses on the music industry allows the travel business “to deliver service excellence because we understand the very particular needs of music clients.”
Staff are chosen for their attention to detail, their ability to work under pressure and multi-task, plus being able to think on their feet and outside the box.
These assets are needed because there are always challenges when keeping an act on the road, whether it be flight cancellations or delays, car hire or hotels not being able to supply what was booked.
“Many issues arise from third parties and our suppliers, so we do a lot of double-checking and reconfirming but sometimes things happen outside anyone’s control. That is the nature of travel.”
Asked about plans for the company’s future growth, Melanie explains, “We don’t focus on sales and growth. That’s an old-fashioned business way of thinking.
“Right from the start, the plan was never to take over the world. I just wanted a service that was more in tune with the client’s business model. Most of the time they don’t have unlimited funds.”
Webb highlights that being small, independent and consistent is the way to continual success.
This article appears as part of TMN’s Travel Week, exploring key issues, trends and showcasing companies at the intersection of travel and the music industry. To spotlight your business and get involved in future Feature Week editions, get in touch here.