Ideas & knowhow


The must-have photo you might be ignoring

one photo

Last week a friend who is a psychologist asked for my help. She was getting lots of visits to her website but few bookings. 

I took an initial look: there was nothing actually wrong with it - it had all the right information but potential clients were just not getting in touch. Sarah's website just felt 'flat', not very warm. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with you and your tourism business? 

You and psychologist Sarah make people feel better, directly or indirectly. 

You both nee…

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Rain can't ruin...

rain can't ruin

It’s raining. Again.

It might not be raining all the time, but the idea of a rainy summer can deter potential visitors. It dampens (sorry!) the spirits of those who do visit too, so referrals may be lower than usual.

What can you do?

Obviously you can’t stop the rain, but you can change perceptions.

Here are a couple of suggestions that work:

1. Don’t moan, especially on social media. Everyone knows the weather isn’t great. You don’t need to add to the misery

2. Don’t deny that it’s a litt…

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Why aren't they visiting?

Not visiting

I've heard from many businesses who're worried they're not getting the bookings or visitors they normally get. 

What can you do? 

There's a huge amount of uncertainty in the economy at the moment. Some people aren't coming to your business because they simply can't afford it. Some have been lured abroad by cheap deals. Others just don't know about you. Some just haven't got round to it. 

When you're not getting the visitors you'd expect to get, there are some simple things you can do to impro…

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Click, click, click - why you need to take more photos


How does your business and local area look at the moment?

Everywhere I look I see beautiful (mainly blue) skies, blooming gardens, lush green trees, fresh produce and happy visitors.

Now’s a good time to take photos.

Not just now and then, not just a few but of everything, everywhere, whenever you can!

I'll suggest how you can use these images in a moment. 

First of all though, I really want to stress: any spare moment, when you’re taking a quick break, when you see something beautiful, wh…

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Marketing even when you're busy

Marketing when busy

You may be too busy with guests to do any marketing now, but it’s a great time to lay some simple foundations for the future.

Here are five things it’s worth doing to help promote your business, especially when busy.

1. Don’t forget to ask for reviews or testimonials. Write down any lovely things people say, and keep them someone safe to use in your marketing later.

2. Make a note of all the questions people ask, before and during visits. What do people not know, that you’d expect them to kno…

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A lesson from Rolls Royce about offering value for money

Rolls Royce

What’s selling a Rolls Royce got to do with promoting your small business?

I’ll explain in a moment.

I’ve no idea whether this story is true or not, but it’s a great illustration that could help you show potential visitors that you offer exceptional value for money - whether you charge a little or a lot. 

The story goes that Rolls Royce decided to stop exhibiting at car shows and to take a stand at private jet shows instead. As advertising supremo, Rory Sutherland said, “when you’ve been look…

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Who needs a treat?

Who needs a treat

This morning I popped into a local shop. They sell gifts and sweets. The owner greeted me heartily. When we spoke, it was clear he wasn't just in a good mood - he was feeling euphoric. Their takings for May were up 35% on May last year. 35%!

Is he a genius? No. Is he doing something unusual? No. 

All he's doing is responding to comments so many of his customers make:

'I need a treat' or 'I want to get a treat for...'. 

Many people are struggling financially at the moment. Many have to make e…

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Let's talk about your prices


There's something odd going on. Most of the people reading this are in business to make a living, and need their business to be profitable. 

But when I try to get people to talk about their prices or to think about how they might be more profitable, many just don't want to address this crucial aspect of running their business. 

I'm not sure why.

Because you didn't like maths at school? Because it's not British to talk money? Because you're not sure how to tackle pricing?

Because you're happy…

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Adapt your marketing - fill gaps and attract last minute bookings

Fill gaps

This year has been a strange one for the tourism industry. Some incredibly busy periods, followed by gaps in demand. Strong bookings for times that are usually less popular, and yet empty weeks at peak season. Flurries of advance bookings, and then many very last minute bookings. 

It's unsettling and leading to a lot of concern: a roller-coaster ride of optimism and pessimism. 

So what can you do? 

It's tempting to simply discount and hope for the best. After all, many people are struggling a…

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Delete: a quick easy way to improve your website


How much patience do you have? How busy are you? Do you have a lot of free time? 

If your answers to those questions were 'not much, very and no', join the club. It's how most people will answer. 

So if we want to help people book or visit our businesses, we need to make it very easy for them.

I often make suggestions for the kind of information and inspiration you should ideally have on your website. But there's a caveat: you can't just keep adding to your website without removing something,…

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