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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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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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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How to make your marketing more consistent

Consistent marketing

There's one thing that makes every marketing activity stronger and more effective.

No, not money. Not even a lot more time. 


Taking one small action every day or week can be as effective as spending ages and pots of money on bigger activities. 

Consistency builds momentum.

It builds trust. It builds awareness. It builds experience.

It builds business and profitability.

What sort of marketing activity am I talking about?

I mean any action you might do regularly (and I do mean…

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Purpose-driven marketing?

Purpose driven

Who are you? What do you actually do?

What do you care about?

Do you do anything to ‘do good’?

How are you connected to your local community?

What are your values and ethics?

How are you making your business more sustainable?

As money becomes tighter, visitors think more about how they spend their precious income.

Some visitors will turn to chain businesses because they think they’re trustworthy, and offer a standardised product.

Many others are turning their back on faceless chains, a…

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How to deal with uncertainty in your business


There seems to be one dominant theme running through our world at the moment: uncertainty.

In fact, things feel so uncertain, some of the time it’s not even clear what we feel most uncertain about… Rising living costs, the environment, changes in the ways we do business and live, changes in the market place…

I have a bit of a mother hen approach to the businesses I work with. I’d love to gather everyone up under a broad wing, and cluck to tell you everything will be OK. Since even my bingo win…

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Who will survive?


How are you feeling about the months ahead?

Normally the beginning of September fills me with enthusiasm and hope. It's a month of fresh starts, new pens, learning, and looking forward. This year feels different. I’m still full of plans and ideas, but there’s a lot of caution in the air.

Is it all doom and gloom? In this article I take a quick look at which businesses are most likely to survive the tricky times ahead

Tourism is a fluid industry: full of arrivals and departures of both visitor…

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Two steps forward, one back? or worse?

Two steps forward

Ever felt like you’re stuck in treacle and every time you try to move forward you either topple over, or bring the gloopy treacle with you?

I’m hearing a lot of business owners are feeling like that at the moment. Even the busy ones with lots of bookings.

There’s a huge amount of uncertainty at the moment. Economy, war, whether Covid will return…

If you feel like it’s one step forward, one step back don’t get overly frustrated. You’re practising steps and it will get better. Think of it less …

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