How was 2018 for you? As we go into a new year, I like to take a quick look over my shoulder, assessing the year that's gone in search of lessons to be learnt. I worked on many really enjoyable projects but one was so frustrating it actually made me ill. I had a bout of shingles that I feel certain was caused by one particular project which turned out to be unnecessarily bureaucratic, managed by a small group of inexperienced people who weren't ready to take advice and who were unwilling to understand the real needs of tourism businesses.
It was a useful lesson. It reminded me that I feel happiest and healthiest when I'm doing something that feels worthwhile, that uses my skills to benefit tourism businesses in a practical way. I really don't like having to stay silent when experience tells me something won't work very well. I prefer to be honest, upfront, realistic and keep moving forward, finding new ways to do things better.
So I'm going into 2019 with a very clear vision: to try to work on the most practical, worthwhile projects I can find, ones that really use my experience in tourism marketing. You're probably wondering what this has to do with you?
In 2019 I'll be using all the knowledge I've gained through over 30 years working in tourism marketing by launching a series of articles, e-books, online workshops and live events which help tourism businesses be bigger, bolder, braver. For me to have time to do all this, I'll need to say "no" to the potential Shingles Projects. It's going to be a financial risk for me so I'll also have to be brave.
So what does bigger, bolder, braver actually mean for tourism businesses?
It's not just about growing a bigger business. It's more about thinking bigger and growing, whether you want to make more money, be more efficient so you can work less, offer better service, give more to others.
I'd like to help more businesses be bolder. Most of the people I work with have relatively small businesses. They often feel they're in the shade of larger businesses, anonymous chains and booking systems. Many feel hidden or ignored, or that they're working in isolation. I love helping smaller businesses gain confidence to shout about their business, to stand out and be noticed so they can grow.
Could we all become a little braver? This could be in many different ways: by speaking up when something isn't right, by daring to stand out and be a little different, by doing the opposite to the crowd, by daring to set more audacious goals and really aim to achieve them?
Over the last year I've noticed just how many tourism business owners and managers say they're ambitious and want to grow but few of them have tangible goals or targets. Many seem to want to be better or bigger but don't really have a concrete plan. They don't always feel brave enough to voice a target or ambition. I think we all have times when we need to drift a bit, because we lack the energy or expertise to really move forward. But if you're in the mood to build and feel more in control of your business, I hope you'll join me to be Bigger, Bolder and Braver. It's free - just go to this page to sign up before 5 pm on 8th January
Free tourism marketing advice
Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs