Ideas & knowhow

Walking in different shoes


A long time ago I went to my daughter's school assembly. It's a memory that has stuck in my mind because it was quite a good marketing lesson!

There was a pile of shoes and boots at the front of the school hall. The teacher told a story about some people who didn't really understand each other. 

The children were asked to put on a pair of the assorted footwear and walk towards each other. It was amusing because the shoes and boots were too large, and the children took on exaggerated walks acco…

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Do it again


What's the best thing you've ever done to promote your tourism business? 

What worked well? 

Or perhaps there's something small you did that was moderately successful? 

It could have been a social media post that got plenty of engagement. Or a blog post that's still driving traffic to your website? A photo that people have said they like? Or something you say to guests that seems to resonate? 

Whatever it is, don't just do it once. Repeat whatever works, again, again and again. 

We often as…

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Productivity tips

Productivity tips

I'm not great at throwing and catching but I am an expert juggler...

Over the years I've got used to balancing the demands of different clients and working on several projects at once, at the same time as trying to make time for family and friends, three dogs, household chores, hobbies and community voluntary commitments. 

I can never resist learning and trying any new (to me) time management tips and productivity hacks. Some are brilliant. Others just don't work for me. 

These are the very s…

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Money, time, energy and health - what they mean for your tourism business

Money energy time health

How are you feeling about the year ahead? 

There's no doubt it's going to be tricky for many tourism businesses. But there will also be opportunities. What can you do to maximise them? 

Many are worried about rising prices. Offering good value for money (not necessarily lowering prices) will be essential. 

Over the coming months I think that visitors will have other pre-occupations too:

  • Time - how to spend it wisely, how to get back some more time, how to maximise free time and not waste i…

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Small businesses are mightier than you think

small is mighty

Small is beautiful, better – and bigger than you might think.

I’ve always been drawn to small businesses rather than corporate chains. I like the direct link between customers and business owners, between business owners and their local communities and their suppliers.

Most of the businesses I help are small, usually independently owned. Their owners frequently say things like, ‘it’s just a small business’ or ‘it’s just me/us’.

But… small businesses are almost always mightier than their owne…

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Helping a charity and marketing your business

Support a charity

At this time of year many charities are clamouring for our attention. You've probably also noticed several large businesses aligning themselves with charities as part of their own marketing. The television advertisements by John Lewis and Marks and Spencer instantly spring to mind, but there are plenty of other examples. 

Could you use this in your own business, and help others at the same time? 

I'm not suggesting a big TV advertising campaign! Rather, the simple act of linking your business …

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Are you proud of your prices?

Proud of prices

Let's talk about money. 

Oh sorry, we don't do that do we?

We might utter vague grumbles about the price of things, but discuss our profitability and revenue? No, we don't do that.

I'm not sure why. After all, most of us are in business to make money. I wrote about this a while ago here

With escalating energy and food bills, you might be thinking about increasing your prices. There are some tips about this in a blog post I wrote last year. Some of you may be struggling to attract visitors…

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Social media ideas for Winter

Winter social media post ideas

It's the one thing everyone tells me they struggle with - ideas for social media posts.

What can you write about to keep people interested and engaged, even if your business isn't open or busy at this time of year? 

Here are a few ideas

Before we get started: instead of just scanning through these ideas, I suggest you get a pen and paper (it works much better if you can actively scribble, not just think or type) and jot down related thoughts as you read each topic. Let the list below spark mo…

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Is it better to have a large or small marketing budget?

Large or small marketing budget

Asking whether it's better to spend a lot or a little money on marketing probably seems a bit daft. Surely more is better? 

Not necessarily.

I've worked with thousands of tourism businesses over the years, from individual B&Bs to five-star hotel chains, from private houses and gardens to grand stately homes. Less than 10% of them have a significant marketing budget, even the large organisations.

Almost everyone believes they need a bigger budget. But is that really true? 

How much should you…

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Attracting & welcoming walkers

Welcoming walkers

Walking is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits. Many tourism businesses benefit from them, so it makes sense to think about how to attract and welcome them. 

"Walkers" is a very broad term... There are ramblers, scramblers, hikers, people who prefer guided walks... the list goes on. 
Identify which type of walkers would be interested in staying with you and target that group. Think about:

  • Hard core long distance walkers
  • Social walkers
  • Sightseeing walkers
  • Moochers
  • Walking to justif…

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