Making the most of it

The recent bad weather may be seen as the last straw for many hospitality businesses on top of what has already been challenging 12 months.  But rather than letting it get you down, make the most of quiet periods, and take the time to put things in place so you are in a stronger position to capitalise when things pick up.

Here are my top ten things you could be doing this week that won’t cost you anything but your time, but will certainly go a long way to your success in 2010.

  1. Set your goals for the year.  Take some time to identify what you really want to achieve in 2010, and establish your plan to do this. You’ll find some useful resources here to help you with this.  Then share these with everyone who has a part to play in achieving them.
  2. Review your staff structure and resources in light of your plan.  Do you have the right people in the right roles to achieve this?  Will you need to hire, fire or develop certain team members to get to where you want to be?
  3. Take stock of your menus and their margins.  What tweaks do you need to generate more profit from each item?  Does your sales mix reflect the high profit items, or are you selling too many of the lower profit dishes? If so does this reflect a need to train your team how to upsell?
  4. Review your stock control systems. Tidy up your stores, take stock of what’s not shifting, what needs using before it goes out of date, and what needs to be written off.
  5. Review your website content. Does it accurately reflect what you are offering and present it in a way that entices your ideal prospective customers to read on and take some action? Do all the links work? (If you don’t already have a content management system – i.e. where you are able to manage the content of your site yourself – you may want to look into this.  I use WordPress for mine.)
  6. Take the customer journey – You and all you team to look at every aspect of your business from your customers’ perspective.  Draw up a list of areas that need attention, priorities and allocate responsibility amongst your team.
  7. Now provides a great opportunity for staff training.  Are all the team up to date on all product knowledge, not just in their own departments, but in all parts of the business.  The customer journey and an analysis of your sales mix may help flag up where knowledge is lacking.
  8. Plan your promotional activity for the whole year, so you can start collating ideas towards each of these promotions.  This includes reviewing your Christmas promotions, whilst they are still fresh in your mind and making notes of how you can improve on this for next Christmas.
  9. Get your customer listing up to date.  (If you don’t already have a contact management system now might be the time to look into this.)  Then get in touch with all your existing customers to remind them how much you value their custom by giving them an offer they can’t refuse.
  10. Review all your customer feedback, whether this is directly from customer comments or feedback forms, or from such sources as TripAdvisor. What can you learn from these, and what are the areas that need attention?

Update your plan and take some ACTION!

Here are some resources to help get you going.

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5 thoughts on “Making the most of it

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  2. Janine Mills

    Your suggestions are comprehensive and ‘spot on’. And, as if there isn’t enough to do when running a business, consider using Web 2.0 technologies/social media along with the business’s web presence. Twitter offers and freebies seem to catch potential customers’ attention, but the communication can’t be inconsistent or half-hearted or it will reflect poorly on the business.

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