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Who will hold you accountable so you achieve your goals?

Your Best Year Ever ~ Goal Setting for 2012
Step 6 ~ KEEPING ON TRACK

 

Congratulations you have finished your best year ever process.  Just for a moment consider how much time you have just spent creating the coming year the way you absolutely want it.  My guess is about 1 -2 hours and that is probably 1 – 2 hours more than most people you know have invested in creating the coming year as they want it.

So now it is time for you to take action in the doing, the being and the having.  You want to make sure it becomes a reality.  Consider with whom you share what you have written.  For many people the best time to discover what your goals are is when they see you achieve them – you know; the cynics who will mock you, and make you doubt your ability to achieve them.  Instead, share your goals only with those who will support you, chivvy you along, encourage you, and congratulate you on your progress.

Remember there will always be uncertainty, the coming year will be as uncertain as last year and every year to come will be.  They will always be uncertainty in our lives.  The secret is to act with certainty in everything you have written down.

 

Give up the all-or-nothing, only-perfection-will-do approach.

Avoid becoming obsessed. Not many of us have a 100% hit rate so there may be times when you set a goal and you end up making a mistake or your goal doesn’t work. It’s really not the end of the world. At this point you have a choice: you can get all flustered, beat yourself up and go back to wandering about without direction – or you can learn from the experience and move on.

You can’t break a resolution by messing up just once or even several times. Whenever you notice you’ve gone a bit off-course get back on-track by shifting your actions to get you back on course.  Keep it simple: Pay attention. If things aren’t working try something different. Correct your course.

Re-visit your Rules for Success.  From this list, what single thing if you did it regularly would make the most difference in helping you achieve your goals?

What will be your milestones for keeping track of your progress?

Celebrate your Succes

 

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  • When you see yourself making progress what will you do to reward yourself?
  • What will you do to celebrate your success when you achieve your goal?
  • Assuming we all have some way of holding back or sabotaging success, what would be the way you might do this? (For example: procrastination, arrogance, believing it can’t be done, not saying ‘no’, indecisiveness, being too proud to ask for help
  • When you notice yourself doing this, what will you now do instead?
  • Goals are easier to achieve when you have a support structure in place.  Which support structure will you put in place this week to make these goals fun and easy?
    For example:..Ask colleagues and family for support, and to check on how it’s going
    ..Join up with someone else who has the same goal
    ..Join a club or network group
    ..Find a training programme to give you the skills
    ..Set up a coaching programme with a good coach
    ..Find a mentor to guide you, support you and hold you accountable

Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.

To access the whole programme online here


Achieving your Business Goals

Step 5 ~ MAKING IT HAPPEN

 

Now think about what you need to do to reach these goals?  For each goal outline resources you need, action you need to take and the support you’ll need.

Now make a list of everything you are going to have to do to achieve your goal No. 1.

  • What are the actions?
  • Who can help you?
  • What resources do you need?
  • How will you obtain these?
  • What obstacles will you need to overcome?
  • How will you resolve these?
  • What skills will you require?
  • How will you acquire these?
  • What sacrifices will you need to make?
  • What consistent behaviour will you need to adopt to achieve this goal?
  • What actions can you take in the next seven days to get you nearer your goal?
  • What action can you take in the next 24 hours to get you started?

 

Now do something every single day, however small, that gets you nearer to your goal.

Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.

See Part 6 tomorrow or access the whole programme online here


Setting Goals for your Business

Step 4 ~ WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT

 

Now the next part of the process is probably the most exciting because this is were you start building your blueprint for the next 12 months.

What do you really want in 2013? What goals really matter?

Lots of people come up with lengthy laundry lists of vague, wishy-washy resolutions with no real oomph in them. Often we don’t even really care about them at all. They’re just fashionable or what we think we “should” care about, or based on what we think other people expect of us.

What do I mean? You know, resolutions like this:

…..I’ll cut our overheads                   
…..I’ll be more focussed
…..I’ll be a better ____ (parent/boss/friend/spouse), etc.
…..I’ll clear our overdraft
…..I’ll do more to bring in new business

Unclear statements like this can NEVER engender any real enthusiasm. As a matter of fact, they’re far more likely to cause you to feel bad rather than good because they all focus on something that’s MISSING rather than on what’s truly desired.

When we focus on something, we are much more likely to get it – whether it’s a car, a financial goal or even a relationship. By sending a message of desire to our brain, we start to make pictures of that and, in turn, we do what we have to do to make it happen. Rather like a builder has an idea of what a project will look like when it’s done or like a hairdresser knows what style they want to create before they start cutting, we can all design the future we want – and then go out to get it.

Unfortunately not all of us are focused on positive outcomes. Many of us are obsessed by what we don’t want, what’s wrong with us and what’s missing from our lives. We often forget to put our attention on what’s great, what’s working and what resources we already have to create even more happiness and success. Because we tend to get what we focus on, if you focus on what’s not working or if you spend all your time wondering why bad things always seem to happen to you, then you’ll simply get more of what you don’t want. What’s the point of that?

Finally, the key thing to consider when you’re setting goals is to clarify why you want something. Chances are if you set goals about things that you need in your life or that will benefit you and others, you’ll feel happy when you achieve: for example, increasing patronage in your restaurant may help your profitability.

But if you set goals just because you think you should or to please other people, you may not feel that great – even when you’ve achieved what you set out to do. For example if increasing patronage in your restaurant just increases your workload, but does little to enhance your bottom line, it’s unlikely to motivate you! You have to ask yourself ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ‘What will happen if I don’t manage to do this?

Whatever goals you set, you have to demand more of yourself to push your performance: and you have to realise that we are all more capable then we think we are. Your ability to achieve is immeasurable – and it can be easier than you think to get what you want.

It is also too easy to set resolutions or goals in some areas which are not then compatible with other areas for life.  For example people often set very ambitious goals for their business, which then conflict with personal goals.  So when setting goals for the coming year it is a good idea to look at all areas of life. Business and career, Personal development, Family, Possessions & things that you want , Spirituality, Relationships or personal relationships, Health and fitness and Financial.  Those aren’t in any particular order of importance and ideally you’ll want to have goals in every single area of life.  Even if you are currently focusing on your business goals for the coming year, at some point you have to be honest and take stock of how well these sit with your goals in other areas.

So now what I want you to do is take some time, (this is probably the lengthiest part of this process) and literally dream; picture and list all the things that you want to achieve in all those areas over the next 12 months.  Most people find this easier to do on paper rather than on a computer; use whichever format works best for you to get the ideas flowing.

At this point don’t worry if your goals are realistic or achievable or not; just brainstorm.  Play with the idea; focus your energy and attention on it until it’s clear and sharp and big enough to be exciting to you, until you feel great just thinking about it. (It doesn’t matter at all what anyone else might think of it.) What are all the things over the next 12 months you want to be, you want to do, that you want to have in all those areas of life.  The being, the doing and having of which would make the coming year the best year ever.

From your list of goals pick your most important goal to work on for now.

The goals that you need to be setting need to be SMART.  You are probably already familiar with the idea of smart goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timebound.  Click here for a more detailed article on SMART goals.  But a couple of areas I would stress are:

That your goals need to be specific. Describe in specific detail exactly what it is that you want to achieve.

They also need to be expressed in the present tense as if now; as if you already had the goal

And each goal needs a precise time: day, date, month and year, and in some cases it might even be a time of day

  • Now identify your number 1 goal. What is this?
  • When do you want to achieve this by?
  • What will you see, hear or feel once you have achieved this goal?
  • Why is this goal important to you?
  • How will this goal impact others?
  • What impact will working on and achieving this goal have on other areas of life?
  • If you don’t achieve this goal what would happen?
  • Now imagine 6 months have passed, and you’ve done it.  You have achieved your number 1 goal. Write down how you would feel.
  • Now repeat this process for goals 2 and 3.
  • If you wouldn’t feel wonderful about each of these, then you might like to go and re prioritise.

 

Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.

See Part 5 tomorrow or access the whole programme online here


What Do You Need to Do Differently to Achieve Your Best Year Ever

Step 3 ~ RULES FOR SUCCESS

 

Yesterday’s exercise probably wasn’t as pleasant as the previous part of the exercise but that is OK; we can now extract learnings from what you didn’t achieve so that you can ensure you make the next 12 months different.

So we’re now going to identify your ‘Rules for Success’.  What I want you to do is go over all of the things you have achieved over the last 12 months and work out what it was that you did during those times that enabled you to succeed.

By going through the goals that you have achieved and also going through the goals that you didn’t achieve you can put together your personal rules for success, the rules that you know you have already proven that if you follow these rules you succeed.

It is a good idea to keep these rules for success somewhere handy, to keep reminding yourself of them.  Then next time when things aren’t going the way that you want you can refer to your rules of success.  I keep mine pinned above my desk as a constant reminder.

So take some time now to review the previous year and work on your own personal set of rules for success.

What are the rules that if you follow them you succeed?

Then look at the things that you didn’t achieve, what were the rules that you weren’t following that if you had followed them you would have achieved these goals?

  • What do you need to start doing?
  • What do you need to stop doing?
  • What do you need to continue doing?
  • What do you need to do more of?
  • What do you need to do less of?
  • What strengths can you draw on?
  • What are your rules for success?
  • Where will you put these to act as a constant reminder?

 

Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.

See Part 4 tomorrow or access the whole programme online here


Setting goals for your business

Step 2 ~ WHERE ARE THE GAPS

So, yes, some things fell through the cracks. Take a look at that, too, without the drama

So the next part of the process is to look at the last 12 months and this time look at what you set out to achieve but you haven’t achieved yet.  The goals that you set, but haven’t yet actualised in reality.  And again take some time to make a list of all of these things.

 

  • What are the things that you wanted to be by now but not yet achieved?
  • What are the things that you wanted to do, but haven’t done yet?
  • What are the things that you wanted to have but haven’t had yet?
  • Have you any outstanding unspoken conversations?
  • What do you regret or feel guilty about?
  • List all the other on-going things that bother you and cause you negative energy – however minor.
  • What do you need to do with them: action or let go?  Make a decision one way or the other; how important are these things to you?
  • What are the things that need to be done?
  • What things do you leave behind you and stop worrying about them?

Get your business off to a flying start in 2013 with one of my complimentary business retention strategy sessions. Find out more here.

See Part 3 tomorrow or access the whole programme online here


Build rapport and build a sense of anticipation with your customers

Before your customers arrive, start to build the relationship and get your customers excited about their visit. Let them know in advance what they can be doing the make the best of their time with you. Offer your help in booking restaurants, (yours or JV partners’), entertainment, outings, taxis, accommodation, attractions. etc. Anything that will make their stay or visit with you memorable.

Introduce your future customers to the team; let your head chef describe the menu or his/her signature dish, personal recommendations from one of your local team members of places to see or things to do, your gardener to talk about what’s in bloom,  your events team about any special entertainment. Anything that will whet their appetite.

Pass on useful (and most importantly up to date) information that will enable a smooth journey: forewarn of expected traffic delays, what’s the quickest and/or cheapest way to get from the airport or railway station, personalised driving directions from their home post code.

Act like a travel company and give tips on what to bring, and what you provide, so they don’t have to overload their suitcase or cram the car with unnecessary toiletries, clothing, sports’ gear or travel books.

Say thank you

The quickest and easiest way to create an impression and get remembered by your customers after their visit is to send a thank you note. A handwritten and personalised card or note will win hands down over and above an automated email.

Show you appreciate their custom, and show you care. Make reference to the rest of  their day out, their holiday, onward journey or something they mentioned during their stay. And one of the easiest ways to show your appreciation is with a small gift of some kind. This might be an exclusive offer or deal for them or a friend, a memento for them to keep or pass on, or some useful snippets of relevant information or tips.

A follow up thank you is also a great opportunity to get feedback too. If you know they enjoyed their visit prompt them to write a review in TripAdvisor or Google Reviews (make it easy for them by providing a link). Ask for direct feedback too; what they enjoyed most and any ideas, comments or suggestions they have to enhance their stay next time.

Tomorrow we’ll look at how to start to build the customer relationship before they have even become a customer.


Keep in touch with your customers

Have you ever heard yourself saying ‘Keep in touch’? When we leave a job, or made friends on holiday we often come out with a remark such as this, whilst at the back of our mind thinking we are unlikely to see or speak to these people ever again.

But can we afford to do this when it comes to our valued restaurant customers? We’ve worked so hard to get them in the first place, so surely we want to do everything we can to get them back. Simply saying ‘I hope to see you again soon’ is not enough. Hoping or wishing them to return needs some action on our part to make it a reality.

Yesterday we talked about how to build your list, so don’t waste that valuable database by doing nothing with it.

Keeping in touch is a great way to continue to build the relationship with your restaurant customers and keep you in their mind when the time comes for a return visit or when asked to make a recommendation.

How you keep in touch will be dependent on the type of business you have, and the messages you want to convey. Obviously email is the cheapest and easiest option. But if you have an audience who are less IT savvy (someone like my father comes to mind, who would never even had a computer, let alone an email address) then a physical mailing or phone call may be a better option. And let’s be honest here, how many emails get deleted before even being opened these days, so it’s not always the most reliable format. A hard copy mailing with a hand written envelope, a small gift, or something quirky will often get someone’s attention far more effectively than 10 emails.

Irrespective of the format the important thing is to keep in touch. And not just to bombard people with offers that they are not interested in.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to use your customer contact list for existing customers.


Building a customer mailing list

Your customer mailing list is one of the most valuable assets of your hotel or restaurant.

I am amazed how few hotels and restaurants use e-mail marketing. It’s never too late to start building a database, and e-mail marketing is a great way to continue to build the relationship with your customers and keep you in their mind when the time comes for a return visit or when asked to make a recommendation.
Without a list, every time you want to get something in front of your customers or prospects you have to start all over again. Your list gives you the opportunity to tell every existing and potential customer about promotions, seasonal events and any other newsworthy information relevant to your target market.
The more detail you have on people who are interested in what you offer, the more often you can return to them with additional offers that are tailored to them. And the more often you do this, the more likely it is that this will result in business.

Offer incentives to build your list

To build your list, you may need to set up incentives for people to fill in a physical form or coupon, or sign up online and share their details. Some ideas might be:

  • Discounts or vouchers (ensuring they are attractive offers,  but include time limits and offers that won’t leave you out of pocket once redeemed)
  • Free information such as a pdf downloadable guide to something of relevance and of interest to your target market, your business or your local area. For example, recipes for your popular dishes, aromatherapy guide related to your spa, golfing tips if you have a golf course, 101 things to do with the kids during your stay….. You get the picture
  • Prize draws or competitions, with relevant prizes from your own products or services, or those of your joint venture partners
  • Access to exclusive offers or ‘members only’ offers

Whatever the incentive it needs to be something that is of value and highly desirable to your target audience; something that will compel them to fill out the form and part with their details.

Where to find contacts

There are three key sources of names:

Existing customers: Simply ask them to leave their business card, or fill out a blank card which enables those who’d rather not give their business details to fill in their personal contact details. Present this with their bill so it gets their attention.
You may want to combine data gathering with gaining feedback on your customers’ stay or visit at the same time.

Collecting phone numbers at the time of booking will allow you to make follow up calls, and having a mobile number allows you to confirm reservations.

Online: This may be existing customers, but more likely will be for people in response to an advert or people who have just stumbled on your website.  You’ll need an ‘opt in’ or ‘landing’ page to capture their details.

As there is no relationship yet with these people you need a really enticing offer to encourage people to share their details. Remember, some of these may be those who may not want to buy right now, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be potential customers in future.

In order to track the effectiveness of your marketing activities it’s useful to be able to identify the source of the contact. So you may need to include a ‘how did you hear of us?’ field, unless you have dedicated urls for different adverts or press mentions to help you keep track.

Your joint venture partners: Ask your JV’s to give their customers your discount vouchers or an invitation to receive your exclusive offers. Then ask customers to complete their details in order to redeem them with you.

Never compromise your contacts’ trust by giving or selling your list to anyone else; if a joint venture partner wants to offer something to your contacts do it through you, and vice versa.

You could in theory use contact information taken from customers’ registration details, but use this sparingly and only for a follow up and very relevant offers. You’re legally entitled to contact your own customers with future offers, but always seek permission to use customers’ details for any marketing activity. And of course if any customer asks not to be contacted at any time, you must respect this, and record their preference on your database.

Whichever way you capture prospects’ and customers’ contact information, under the Data Protection Act 1998 you must have permission to communicate with them. The Information Commissioner’s Office website (www.ico.gov.uk) shows what you need to do.

What information you really need

The more information you have the better in order to tailor your mailings to suit the needs of your customer. Asking for a lot of personal detail up front is, however, not very practical (and likely to be very off putting) so it’s better to gather it over time.

What you gather first off will depend on how you want to contact them, so if emailing is your preferred option start with just their name and email address. But if knowing who is local and who is not is important, you may want to gather mailing addresses too. This opens up the opportunity for a physical mailing, which although more expensive is certainly more eye catching than an email and may be a better match for your audience.

So balance what you ideally need with what is reasonable for people to share with you.

Tomorrow we’ll look at what to do with your list.


Red tape getting in the way of a good performance.

Yesterday’s blog was about time and people preventing a good performance, today it is about having the right system in place to support a good performance.

Systems
Having systems and procedures is usually a good thing. Having systems in place for when things go wrong is key if staff are to take responsibility for putting things right without having to come running to you all the time e.g. dealing with customer complaints, wrong deliveries, faulty equipment.

Give people training in the systems. If they don’t know what the system is, or, just as importantly understand why you have it, they wont follow it. And I include in here IT systems. How often have you seen someone doing something longhand because they don’t know how to do it on a computer system in which you’ve invested £’000s?

Ensure that everyone works by the same set of ‘rules’ or systems; there is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone else do something that you are ‘not allowed to do’. But, don’t be so bound by red tape that people can’t use their initiative and take control of situations when needed.

It’s important to review your systems from time to time. Are they achieving what they set out to do, or are they leading to frustration and bottlenecks? Talk to the people who actually use the systems to check this, as often you may not be aware of any issues. Staff will normally come up with the best way to resolve it, if you allow them.

So next time we feel like blaming the workman, just reflect for a moment.  – Is it the workman that’s at fault, or is it down to a lack of the right resources – equipment, products, time, people or systems. Or do you have the right resources and the right people, but failed to provide the right training to get the best from each other?


Who will hold you accountable so you achieve your goals?

Your Best Year Ever ~ Goal Setting for 2012
Step 6 ~ KEEPING ON TRACK

 

Congratulations you have finished your best year ever process.  Just for a moment consider how much time you have just spent creating the coming year the way you absolutely want it.  My guess is about 1 -2 hours and that is probably 1 – 2 hours more than most people you know have invested in creating the coming year as they want it.

So now it is time for you to take action in the doing, the being and the having.  You want to make sure it becomes a reality.  Consider with whom you share what you have written.  For many people the best time to discover what your goals are is when they see you achieve them – you know; the cynics who will mock you, and make you doubt your ability to achieve them.  Instead, share your goals only with those who will support you, chivvy you along, encourage you, and congratulate you on your progress.

Remember there will always be uncertainty, the coming year will be as uncertain as last year and every year to come will be.  They will always be uncertainty in our lives.  The secret is to act with certainty in everything you have written down.

 

Give up the all-or-nothing, only-perfection-will-do approach.

Avoid becoming obsessed. Not many of us have a 100% hit rate so there may be times when you set a goal and you end up making a mistake or your goal doesn’t work. It’s really not the end of the world. At this point you have a choice: you can get all flustered, beat yourself up and go back to wandering about without direction – or you can learn from the experience and move on.

You can’t break a resolution by messing up just once or even several times. Whenever you notice you’ve gone a bit off-course get back on-track by shifting your actions to get you back on course.  Keep it simple: Pay attention. If things aren’t working try something different. Correct your course.

Re-visit your Rules for Success.  From this list, what single thing if you did it regularly would make the most difference in helping you achieve your goals?

What will be your milestones for keeping track of your progress?

Celebrate your Succes

 

1

2

3

 

  • When you see yourself making progress what will you do to reward yourself?
  • What will you do to celebrate your success when you achieve your goal?
  • Assuming we all have some way of holding back or sabotaging success, what would be the way you might do this? (For example: procrastination, arrogance, believing it can’t be done, not saying ‘no’, indecisiveness, being too proud to ask for help
  • When you notice yourself doing this, what will you now do instead?
  • Goals are easier to achieve when you have a support structure in place.  Which support structure will you put in place this week to make these goals fun and easy?
    For example:..Ask colleagues and family for support, and to check on how it’s going
    ..Join up with someone else who has the same goal
    ..Join a club or network group
    ..Find a training programme to give you the skills
    ..Set up a coaching programme with a good coach
    ..Find a mentor to guide you, support you and hold you accountable

Get your hotel business off to a flying start in 2012 with one of my 12 complimentary hotel business focus sessions. Find out more here.