Monthly Archives: December 2010

Your Best Year Ever ~ Setting Goals for 2011 ~ Part 1

Happy New Year!

Set goals for 2011


This New Year, how about taking some time (if you haven’t done so already) to sit alone quietly and reflect on what it is you truly want to be, do, and have in your life and for your business?

This process will take you around 2 hours, so a bit longer than the average throw away resolution made on New Year’s Eve.  But to me it is time well spent.

If you prefer to see things written down rather than on a computer screen then I recommend you record all this in a journal, or a hardback book, where you can revisit your notes. Or to access the online version go here. Either way write it down, as this helps reinforce your ideas.

So find yourself a quiet space and set aside a couple of hours to plan Your Best Year Ever.



Let’s start by reviewing the past 12 months.

Most of us have a tendency to view the taking stock process as an opportunity to beat ourselves up and find fault with everything we have NOT accomplished.

Well, enough of that.  Start from a place of power.

This year, give yourself some credit for what you have accomplished! Make a list, and don’t fall into the trap of thinking anything is too small to be significant. In one way or another, in one area or another (and likely in many), you’ve come a long, long way.

So let’s start by reviewing your successes and accomplishments

So starting from January all the way up to today make a list of all of the things that you have achieved, all the goals that you achieved, any new skills learnt, and burdens you have dealt with.  It doesn’t matter how big the goal was or what area of life it was in write down every single thing you have achieved no matter how small no matter how big.  Month by month list and categorize every single thing you have achieved in the last 12 months.

Now let’s take a look at what you have written. I bet you have achieved more over the last 12 months than you thought you did. So notice how good it makes you feel when you look at what you have gone out and done.

  • What have you achieved?

    What have you achieved?

  • What are you most proud of?
  • What have you learnt that you didn’t know 12 months ago?
  • What new skills have you acquired that you didn’t have this time last year?
  • What challenges have you overcome?
  • What setbacks have you overcome?
  • What setbacks have you overcome?
  • What situations will you look back on with a smile, even if at the time it was uncomfortable?
  • What have you learnt from these experiences?
  • How does it feel to be reminded of all your achievements?


See Part 2 on Monday or access the whole programme online here

Full marks to my local pub

This week I went out with a group of friends – 40 of us (all women) in total for Christmas dinner at one of our local pubs.

The pub has recently changed hands and most of us had not been there since. Whereas so many places make life as difficult as possible when there is such a large group, I give them full marks for getting things right on the night.


  • We had a warm welcome, and were served promptly with our drinks.
  • On arrival they asked each of us to indicate where we were sitting, so our food could be brought directly to us, rather than the usual shouting ‘who ordered the …..’ when no one can remember what they ordered 2 weeks ago.
  • Everything was hot and on hot plates so stayed warm throughout the meal.
  • Everything came as per the menu description, so no disappointments.
  • The staff were friendly and there were enough of them to keep pace, and we all managed to eat at the same time.
  • Plenty of extra vegetables and gravy for those who wanted.


So that’s 40 happy customers who might be tempted to come there again with their friends and families.

So far, so good….

But now we all have an incentive to do so, as each of us was presented with a little booklet of different offers to tempt us back during January and February.

Not rocket science, I know! But I’m amazed at how few people seize this ideal opportunity to showcase what they can do to such a captive audience, or miss the chance to capitalise on their good experience with an incentive to entice them back again.


Gaining repeat business is one of the topics covered in Caroline’s interview series How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge and in my free report 77 ways to boost sales & get more repeat bookings from your existing customers to generate more profit for your restaurant



10 ways to avoid alienating your conference delegates

For a change this weekend I was on the receiving end of an event.  The seminar was held in a well-equipped conference centre, in a beautiful setting, where I have both trained and been trained, so I know it well.  However had this been my only experience I would have come away with a poor impression. Here are just a few of the things to get right so you don’t alienate your delegates.


  1. Ensure staff are consistent when quoting dinner bed and breakfast rates to different delegates
  2. Inform overnight delegates when the organiser has a preferential rate
  3. Quote prices inclusive of VAT or tax or make it very clear if tax isn’t included
  4. Ensure your coffee machines can cope with the volume of delegates all breaking at once on a 5 minute break
  5. Inform residents up front if the bar is closed for a private function (not after they’ve arranged to meet people there and ordered their first drink).
  6. Advise overnight delegates when booking if there are private parties and if the main restaurant is closed (we weren’t able to eat in the lovely main restaurant, but instead were redirected to the rather soulless dining room in the conference wing).
  7. Try to allocate bedrooms social gatherings away from those of your conference delegates (in our case the wedding party ran riot into the night and keep delegates awake half the night).
  8. Ensure your food offering in satellite restaurants matches up to the same standards as the main restaurant
  9. When outside temperatures were below freezing all day, serve food on heated plates so it doesn’t go stone cold in seconds
  10. Tell delegates before you run their card through the machine that  there will be a £2.50 for credit card payments


None of these things on their own would cause a major problem, if you don’t get them right. But put them all together and it makes for a poor experience. And of course you’ll never know when it will be their turn to run an event and looking for that perfect  venue.


This is one of the topics covered in Caroline’s interview series How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge.



What a difference a day makes

I discovered a new hotel last week, perfect for my visit. And my stay there was great; a warm welcome, spotlessly clean room, free use of Mac, delicious breakfast. So when I had to travel to the same city again this week I naturally booked in again.

But what a difference a week makes. Or was it just the day of the week. Either way, I was disappointed.

There wasn’t any one major problem,  just lots of little things that made the whole experience a let down after last week.

There was a stain on the carpet, the carpet was fraying as it met the bathroom tiles, the bathroom floor felt slightly tacky under bare feet, the start of that build up of yellowing limescale around the plug hole in the basin and in the corners of the shower, a small tear in the bedroom curtains.

Was I just oblivious to these on my previous stay? I don’t think so, as I remember noting how clean and fresh everything was. So how come there could be so many niggling problems this time? Was it down to the room maid, housekeeping audits, maintenance schedules, poor systems?

I don’t know for sure, but one clue was that when I gave some feedback to reception of all these points, she went through the motions of caring, and was very apologetic. But the clue was she never asked for my room number, or even what floor I was on; so how on earth do they hope to rectify the problem?

The morale of this tale? What systems do you have in place to ensure consistent and exceptional customer service, so your guests know what to expect every time they visit?


Find resources and free downloads to help keep consistency for your hotel here.