From scrubs to sandals: one surgeon's journey to owning a travel franchise.


Miami, Fla. resident of Cuban descent, Ralph Santisteban has always loved to travel. But before he became a small business owner, Santisteban had a high-stress job as a family practitioner/obstetrical surgeon. Valuing time with his family, Santisteban took a leap of faith 17 years ago and made a career change into travel franchise ownership with CruiseOne[R], and has never looked back.

Why the change? He believed owning a cruise franchise seemed like an exciting way to make a living doing what he loves, without the stress and unpredictable schedule often found in the medical field. Why a franchise and not working independently? Franchising provides stability and a proven success metric, as well as a strong support system from other franchisees and the corporate office.

Seventeen years later and with nine associates, Santisteban's CruiseOne franchise is consistently recognized as a top franchise business within CruiseOne and among the cruise lines. One reason is because Santisteban understands the Latino market in

Miami, which makes up more than 65 percent of the Miami-Dade County population according to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau, and has targeted this demographic as one of his niches. Santisteban made a name for himself in South Florida among this demographic and has hosted quinceanera cruises, where he took care of the series of events onboard that lead up to the grand gala. He creates a 7-day memory that lasts a lifetime for his clients.

Other reasons behind his success include understanding the needs of his current and prospective clients, and making smart business partnerships. Santisteban's CruiseOne franchise...

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