Ideas & knowhow
Dandelions in Singapore - and what they mean for your business
There are a lot of dandelions in my garden. Some still in bloom, most now carrying the 'clocks' we used to blow as children to tell the time. Do children still do that or are digital devices just too enticing?
Some people would see my dandelions and think I'm a very lazy gardener. Others might spot the bees in the nearby field and realise I'm thinking more about them than the state of my lawn...
Whatever your view, I think we can agree that in the UK most people see dandelions as plentiful wi…
Last minute availability: curse or opportunity?
Most tourism and hospitality businesses have to fill last minute gaps created by cancellations or dips in demand. This year it looks like there may be more cancellations than usual as visitors switch-book or have to change plans to fit their changing circumstances.
The way you try to fill those last minute gaps can really affect how your business is perceived by potential visitors.
When faced with a space to fill, the knee-jerk reaction is often to post a panicky message on social media, typic…
An easy way to impress
Many years ago we stayed at a hotel in Canada. It was off-peak and the large hotel wasn't full. Every evening for five nights the owner served us dinner. Every evening he introduced himself, asked where we were from (no other Brits in the hotel at the time), and explained the short menu and the buffet starter arrangements. Every evening. Not a flicker of recognition. Still the same spiel, despite us making it increasingly obvious that we'd heard it before. I don't remember much about that trip, …
Too good to be true
Humans can be very cynical. Or if not really cynical, certainly cautious.
Offer something that people really want and too often the response is ‘that sounds too good to be true’.
You’re spent ages choosing the perfect photo, agonised over your pricing, refreshed your website, pondered the right social media messages and considered every word you use. You’ve done everything right and offer an amazing service.
And then the frustrating response to all this is ‘that sounds too good to be true’.…
Fastest, Biggest, Latest or Slowest, Smallest and Oldest?
New! Fast service! Bigger than ever before!
We've all seen these advertising claims. Look around and you'll see plenty of examples of businesses that shout 'New!' or service that's been speeded up. Buildings and businesses that are bigger than ever before.
If you run a small business that's been around for a while, it's easy to feel a bit panicked by all the shiny claims for attention.
Over the last year life felt much slower and more thoughtful. Now it's suddenly speeded up. It feels like …
Hollywood is calling
I might have fibbed a bit when I wrote 'Hollywood is calling'. But you're reading this blog now so it sort of proves a point.
We're fascinated by the glamour of the film industry, by 'red carpet' events and might even secretly enjoy being a little star-struck from time to time. How would it feel to be part of it?
I'm not actually offering you a starring role in the latest blockbuster, but I am inviting you to consider how it might feel to walk on that red carpet?
You're probably wondering …
Is the price right?
You can learn how to do social media. You can learn how to make your website better. You can learn how to take better photos.
We talk about needing to get more direct bookings. We talk about needing more off-peak business. We talk about visitors, how we feel, what we're doing.
But we don't talk about prices or making money. I've rarely seen anything that helps tourism and hospitality businesses think about the prices they charge, how to increase their profits, how to make more money, or even…
Words and phrases to avoid in your marketing
Everyone wants to find a way to promote their business as cheaply and effectively as possible. You probably want to make your website, social media, mailings more effective without spending anything?
The answer is to stand out, or stand for something. Staying neutral and being vanilla might not create enemies but it will make people yawn. I'm not talking about your decorating style here, but the words you use. Words are the cheapest form of promotion you have so it's worth getting them right. …
The powerful lure of nostalgia in tourism marketing
Sometimes it pays to look backwards and think about the past, to use old ideas to create new opportunities and new markets. Nostalgia is a powerful motivator, and particularly effective in tourism marketing.
After the past difficult year it's perhaps not surprising that nostalgia has become so important. It's been found to help counteract loneliness and anxiety, conjuring up positive emotions. A glimpse of happy times from the past can help people cope with stressful times in the present.
One short word - one big mindset change
Do you ever look at what others are doing and feel left behind?
Perhaps you see other business owners with more bookings or imagine they're generating more income. Or maybe they have more followers on facebook or a more popular instagram account.
You might see others being more confident in their business, or socially, or see the way they just take on new challenges and seem to leap forward in all kinds of other ways.
Perhaps you're a little fearful about trying new technology or asking pe…