Meet Monica Teplis, Chairma Teplis Travel Service and this week’s Woman of Wisdom feature story

Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who is your target audience.
Teplis Travel provides travel management services to corporations with a global footprint. This includes managing their online booking programs, travel policy enforcement, VIP call service and meeting and group services. We specialize in servicing middle market accounts ($1 million to $20 million in annual air spend) and our solutions are tailored to meet their unique travel program needs.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
I came to Atlanta, GA in 1972 from London and began selling travel. My husband, Nate, and I did gambling junkets all over the world and people kept asking if we did corporate travel. So, Teplis Travel emerged into the corporate travel world, and we began providing corporate travel services to our gambling clients.  It was a big leap for the company, but also the best thing that ever happened to us.  All the new business enabled us to expand, and by the 1990’s, Teplis opened an onsite office in Las Vegas.  Today, Teplis Travel is a profitable, thriving business and I attribute a lot of my success as an entrepreneur and chairman to hard work, honoring commitments to my employees and clients and maintaining professional relationships that have lasted decades.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My family. My late husband, Nate, who was my partner in establishing our business and my two sons. It’s rewarding to watch my son, Gary, who is now CEO of Teplis Travel, grow into a leader who helps us stay ahead of the competition by keeping current on the latest technology.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Surviving the severe reduction in airline commissions in the 90’s, plus the recessions after 9/11 and in 2008. Those three events wiped out 2/3 of the TMCs in the industry. But Teplis Travel survived and maintained. Things are much more stable now and we’re in the middle of a boom. Everybody is traveling again, and we’re seeing a lot of companies are expanding globally.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
My husband preached that Joe the Grinder never went broke. As much as we would like to have Fortune 500 companies as clients, our ability to help small and medium-sized companies consolidate and grow their travel programs is what we do best. Every now and then we get a big fish, but our niche in the marketplace is based on those companies the bigger agencies ignore.

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Well, of course, the Internet and social media are very important…and Teplis has always been on the cutting edge when it comes to that…but we have found it is also very important to stay in touch with clients and prospects personally. Over the phone, and in person when it is possible. That is really the secret of our success. We have loyal clients because we attend to their needs. I cannot tell you how many accounts we have won because a competitor neglected to stay in touch.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
To surround myself with people who can help us succeed and who share my vision of what success is.

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
Concur Travel & Expense. The two programs are integrated, and it saves so much time when your employees are pulling together expense reports. When you run a different platform for expensing you can still download the data manually, but why do all that extra work?

Do you have any new projects coming up 
One of the programs we implemented in 2020 was our Duty of Care program At Teplis. It allows us to track every traveler in the field on an interactive map and sends mobile alerts to travelers whenever there’s a change to their flight. Being ahead of the crowd is crucial when you’re trying to rebook a flight that has been cancelled and a traveler at the airport can sometimes be first in line even before our agents can look at flights and snag that last seat on another flight. This has helped our clients to ensure safety for their employees.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I spend time with and travel with my family.

You want to write a book on … How to be a successful business woman (fill in the blank and feel free to explain). I would enjoy providing my knowledge, insight and experience to help other women who are in business to be successful.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Continuing to acquire top talent in our organization.  As we continue to grow, we are looking to add seasoned and skilled professionals to our business development, operations, technology and account management areas.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Yes, at one time or another, we have all questioned whether we have what it takes to make it in business. Being a business owner requires balance, patience and dedication. My advice to the readers is to be open to change and have the desire to learn new skills that will contribute to your success.  Develop a best business attitude so you refuse to quit when things get touch and create a strong network that will support you in both your personal and business life.

What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?
Connect with me on LinkedIn or visit my website

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