Ideas & knowhow

Do you need to zig or zag?

Zig or zag

Sometimes it’s important to keep up with competitors, to use the latest social media or do something so you’re not seen as ‘old-fashioned’.

But sometimes it pays to deliberately be different.

Millionaire entrepreneur James Caan says he made his money by 'zigging' when everyone else was 'zagging'.

I was reminded of this recently when the family-owned Booths supermarket chain (the North’s answer to Waitrose) announced that they are removing almost all their self-service checkouts. This was in s…

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Two quick tweaks for more impactful photography

Photography tweaks-2

Ready for two very quick tweaks that can drastically improve the impact of images on your website and social media? 

They're both really easy. 

First of all - crop. 

Yes, it's that's simple. When you're about to use an image, consider whether it would be stronger if you chopped off a bit. Maybe there's a distracting double yellow line? A bin, some clutter? Or you need to focus on a particular part of the photo? My father was a photographer and constantly tried to educate me. I'm still not a g…

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One quick question and change

Quick question and change

Every business has one. 

A question they're asked, again and again. 

'Are you suitable for children?' 'Do you accept dogs?', 'Where are you?'... or something equally simple. 

Or there's something that visitors get wrong, again and again. It could be something like not realising you're close to/or a long way from a place, or not realising how much there is to do. Or maybe your visitors often regret not booking in advance for a great local attraction or restaurant? 

Whatever it is, it can be f…

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Are you all in?

all in

I've had a few conversations recently with business owners who're teetering.

Some are tinkering around the edges. Some are poised to go deeper but not quite there. 

This is to encourage you to jump and 'go all in'...

I'm talking about focusing on something - in this case a target market - and really doing everything you can to be as strong as you can in that area. There are great revenue benefits when you do. And it makes marketing much easier. 

A few examples: 

Is your business dog-toleran…

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Focus & achievement when you run a small business


How do you make sure you get key jobs done and move your business forward? 

When you work on your own it can be difficult to stay motivated and to tackle important tasks. If you're anything like me, there's always something that you keep putting off!

I've written before about some productivity tips, how small steps can make a difference (here and here).

Here's something else that can help: having an 'accountability partner' or 'co-working'. Read to the end for a free opportunity to try 'co-wo…

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Why you need to use all your senses to promote your business


Can you quickly answer these questions?

I’ll explain why in a moment.

What can you smell right now?

If you tasted the most local (to your business) food you could find what would it be? 

Is there anything you can see close to your business that many visitors don’t have near where they live. Or is there a small detail that visitors often overlook? 

What sounds of nature can you hear? Perhaps they change through out the year? 

If you were to walk blind-folded in the area close to your busi…

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Are you missing a revenue-generating opportunity?

Missed opportunities

When you first start a business it’s relatively easy to promote it and attract attention: you’re offering some fresh and people are curious.

After a little while though things get a bit ‘samey’ and marketing is harder. Visitors get used to what you offer. There’s even a chance of becoming invisible or not keeping up with visitor trends.

There’s a solution. A solution that can generate interest and additional revenue.

Yet very few business owners do this.

Visitors are constantly looking for s…

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Have you included these essential pages on your website

essential web pages

Earlier this year I helped to judge the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence accommodation categories. Going through the entries is always interesting. It’s a good way to see the latest trends.

This year two web pages were seen as particularly important.

Some businesses performed well, with excellent entries, but if they lacked these two pages we scored them much lower.

Why? Because the world has changed and we all need to keep up with customer expectations.

You’ll be asking which pages


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Don't start in the middle

Don't start in the middle

Does all your marketing work perfectly? 

Do you feel all your investment of time, energy and money is worthwhile? 

If you sometimes puzzle over why not all your marketing works, or just feel over-whelmed about how much there is to do, there could be a simple reason. 

It's not your fault

We're all constantly bombarded with information about different marketing tools - such as all the social media tools, mailing, advertising, PR... There are so many different ways to reach your potential visit…

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Harnessing that Back to School feeling

Back to school feeling

New pens, notepad, clean desk. Good intentions. Freshly scrubbed face, newly cut hair.

Actually my hair isn't even properly brushed today. But the thought is there: that 'back to school' feeling is in the air.

Is there a way you can use this to strengthen your tourism business? 

It's many years since I went to school and quite a few since my daughter was there, but I still get the back-to-school feeling. It's a good excuse for some new stationery, but it also galvanises me into action plannin…

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