Have they forgotten all about you?
We almost always book.
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…
That thing you say you can't do
What are you rubbish at? What's the thing you say you can't do?
We've all got something, or in my case - many things.
I'm rubbish at recognising music, even when it's something I enjoy.
I'm rubbish at sitting down to start to write a long report. I'm fine when I'm ten minutes into the job but that first minute or two...
I'm rubbish at anything to do with cars. I once had a new car that a client noticed and commented on. I knew I was supposed to respond in some way but all I could say was '…
Are you normal?
My mother recently pointed out something that I think is a little unkind. She commented that I keep saying that I've worked in tourism marketing for over 30 years but I'm old (according to her) and it's now nearly four decades. Nothing like telling someone they're older than they think!
But there is a good side. Or so I choose to believe.
Experience. Lots and lots of experience. I've helped and advised many different businesses - all in tourism, in many different areas and sectors and differe…
Positive trends for UK hospitality
This week I've been judging the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence (accommodation) and noticed some positive trends:
1. Good businesses really are memorable, with stand-out appeal: independents manage to do this well, and some chains are trying to find better ways to differentiate individual properties. Some businesses have made significant investments in their properties, but it's not just about cash - creativity and guest-focus really count.
2. Since last year's judging panel, it seems that…
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…
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…
Money, time, energy and health - what they mean for your tourism business
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…
Small businesses are mightier than you think
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…
Are you proud of your 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…