Being in the Tourism industry is perceived by outsiders as a vocation in which you’re almost always having an amazing time. Sure, we all know why we joined the industry, because we are “people” people, we’re friendly, usually outgoing and we are proud of what we have and do. We want to make every persons visit memorable and earn a reasonable living at the same time. Most of us know that achieving this takes hard work, dedication and commitment. There will always be ups and downs, to do with the economy, external factors such as the exchange rate, global trends and weather events that are outside of your control.
So what happens if you’re struggling? and you’re business is not performing as you expected?
If you’re putting in the hours but not seeing the benefits for all your efforts? Perhaps it time to take a step back and consider a few things.
Firstly, and most importantly “Be kind to yourself”
Take positive action by:
- Taking time out to appreciate the things that are going well, the positive comments you get from guests, the things you have achieved.
- Create lists are a great way to visually see what you have achieved, make lists put them in a prominent position and cross them off when they are complete.
- Set personal goals, that don’t relate to the business, schedule some me time and plan for it.
- Start a hobby, if you can use these new skills in your business as well, all the better. An example could be planting a herb/veggie garden for guests to use.
- Allow yourself a little “Crazy time” play some loud music, dance, sing in the office, eat cake and celebrate life.
If you’re interested in the tips our members have please click here there is some great advice.
How to stay focused?
So how do you stay focused? I think the best way is to have a plan and conduct an honest annual audit of your business, what is offers and who does it appeal too. The aim is to make sure you have your product right. By going through this process you will feel more in control of your destiny. You should have a business plan and review it every year, a simple Google search “tourism business plan’ will return templates you can follow if you don’t have one.
If that’s not an option for you then maybe conduct an audit.
In this audit you could ask yourself some of the following questions, the aim is to take back control and adjust your mindset.
So, what are you offering your potential customers?
Take an objective look at what you offer, is it “unique and special” whether it’s an accommodation property, tour, event or attraction, is it appealing?. Are there some things that could be improved? Are there any assets that are tired or dated? Is it time to renovate or upgrade? Would you book your product if you were a customer? if not, why not and put this on your “to do” list.
Who are your potential customers?
Do you know who your product appeals too? and are you marketing to those people on the right channels?
Perhaps you should consider doing an audit of your past customers, who are they?, how did they find you?, what did they like and dislike?
If you’d like more information on this topic here is a great tutorial “Smart Marketing Spend”
Have you priced your product right?
One of the possible reasons business may be slow is that your product is not priced correctly. It may not be perceived as value for money or the cost may not match your online presence it could be underpriced or overpriced.
When asked how businesses price their product, many often reply that they research their competitors and priced their products accordingly, similar to them. Your price point should be based on your fixed and variable costs and percentage for profit.
This is a personal favourite of mine produced by the SATC “Interactive tourism product pricing calculator” you’ll find it on this page
Is your product seasonal?
Some of you will have seasonal high and lows that are based on the weather, school holidays etc and the challenge is to fill the “down time” as best you can. A classic example is the snow fields in New South Wales and Victoria, I’ve seen magnificent summer activities in these areas like mountain bike trails etc designed to bring customers in the off season. So have a think about marketing the benefits of your off season, the solitude, the powerful sea and empty beaches, being nestled in front of an open fireplace with a good book, the lack of queues and hustle and bustle. Or the reverse, it’s to hot to do anything, just relaxing by the pool with a cocktail is some peoples perfect holiday.
So stay focused on the end goal getting a higher occupancy rate all year round.
Take a break yourself
Another option is to take a break yourself during your down time, not only do you deserve it but playing tourist yourself may give you new ideas, passions and reinvigorate you and your business. If business is slow the financial impact will be less. You can either close for a particular period or get someone to look after the business.
How do you stay motivated?
Everyone, likes a little praise, make sure you are seeking and replying to online reviews in both TripAdvisor and Google. You’ll be surprised at what a great “pick me up” a fabulous review can be. If your reviews are consistently below par, then you may need to take action, listen to the feedback and act.
You could also try breaking down the tasks you don’t enjoy into smaller “bite sized” more manageable tasks and doing them before the things you enjoy. As I mentioned before, I also like to write lists, it is a great sense of achievement to cross off all the things you have done. That in itself is very motivating.
Tip – Always remember why you joined our industry and what you love about it.
Being positive about your business?
If you are not positive about your business it will reflect on your business and create an never ending downward spiral, if after all the careful planning, product analysis, action in response to reviews, things don’t improve, then I think you should consider a mentor or business coach. You’ll need to be prepared to actively listen and take on their advice.
So in summary, in order to stay focused you need to evaluate your business and have a plan. To be motivated, engage in online reviews and act upon them and stay positive about your business. Lastly, and most importantly be kind to yourself and take a break when you need too.