Ideas & knowhow


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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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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Stop feeling stressed by social media marketing

Social media overwhelm

Social media is an essential part of tourism marketing. It’s free and can be incredibly effective.

It can also feel overwhelming and stressful. Here are a few ideas to help:

1. Create, then consume. Social media is useful when you use it to post, not just to scroll. So stop scrolling, think what you want to post, post it, and then if you have time, take a peak at the rest of your timeline. Being deliberate about how you use social media definitely helps.

2. Decide why you want to be on social…

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Learning from Sicilians about pride and passion


Last week I went on a ‘Learning Journey’ trip to Sicily. Together with around 25 representatives of other tourism and food businesses from the UK, we were given an incredible opportunity to get an insight into food heritage and tourism on this surprisingly lush island.

We visited food producers, restaurants, hotels and had some really interesting discussions among ourselves. The idea of these Erasmus+ funded trips is that tourism professionals have an opportunity to gain new ideas and consider …

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What's the downside to your business?


I'd like to suggest something that is going to sound a bit bonkers. 

Trust me, it really can help you market your business more effectively.

Tell people about something that's bad about your business. 

Yes really. Declare a downside or a disadvantage. Don't hide it. Tell people about it. 

it doesn't have to be anything earth-shattering or something that will really put people off. Just something you're aware of. Perhaps an aspect that some people find a bit odd or off-putting. Or something t…

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The power of three

power of three

If you want people to remember something, put it in a list of three.

If you want to help someone make a choice, give three options.

If you want people to feel comfortable enough to book or visit you, use three things. 

(see what I did there?!)

Three is a powerful number - very useful in marketing

Our brains like to have choices, but not to feel overwhelmed. They also like to remember information in patterns and 3 is the smallest 'pattern' for brains to find.

We grow up thinking t…

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