Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cross Channel Marketing Week 2

*Remember to subscribe to the "Posts" on the left of this page for updates

Developing an In-house Coaching Library
People development or career planning is always a touchy subject for senior management in the hospitality sector. The usual answer I get is that “there is no money for “training” (which term I prefer to use for dogs!) - anyway people leave so it's a waste of money”. I can understand this reaction as the hospitality sector has always been very transient. My solution to this is to use online free resource, like TED videos, YouTube videos, webinars and slide presentations. So throughout this tutorial we will put together an inhouse programme for you and your staff- your own “coaching library”.

Introduction to Social Media
Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media use web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein also define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, which allows the creation and exchange of user-generated content."[1] Businesses also refer to social media as consumer-generated media (CGM). A common thread running through all definitions of social media is a blending of technology and social interaction for the co-creation of value.

Just click on the above link

Please file this page located on the right of this blog "pages" week 2 in the “training” folder, on your computer, which you should have opened as per Week 1 tutorial.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cross Channel Marketing for Hospitality Week 1

Cross Channel Sales and Marketing Strategy - Week 1

* Subscribe to the "Posts" to the left of this page to ensure you get updates.
* Print out the work page to the right of this column under "pages" for Week 1

Open a file -print out this page, as some information needs to be written on it, which we will use at a later stage.

Gather all of your printed collateral into one place and review it for consistency of brand, updated info and contact details. Make changes for the next print run so that the same mistakes do not appear – for future printing add QR codes.
To design your QR code go to INVX All you have to do is type your info such as website URL into the box provided, decide on the colour scheme and size. Copy the QR code as an image file. This can then be given to your printer for inclusion on all future print material. Watch the demo to understand how QR codes may be used.

Open a folder on your computer with the above title “Cross Channel Sales and Marketing Strategy”. Open sub-folders; Social Media, Digital Media, Website, UserNames, Analysis, Training

What did you spend on sales and marketing in 2010?
What ROI (return on investment) did you get, e.g. for each €/$/£ spent – was it 2:1, 5:1. If you find it difficult to answer this don't feel alone! Take your ad and marketing spend – divide it into your nett turnover and work on that ratio for the moment. Not at all scientific but we will get there for 2011.

What will you spend on sales and marketing in 2011?
What ROI do you expect?

What is the Average Occupancy Rate for your peer group?
What is your Average Occupancy Rate?

What is the Average Room Rate for your peer group?
What is your Average Room Rate?

What is your Average Daily Rate for your peer group?
What is your Average Daily Rate?

What is your ADR, ARR, Occupancy forecast for 2011?
What is your budgeted turnover for 2011?
What is your nett projected profit/loss?

Ascertain if you have Google Analytics set up on your website. Go to your website → View → Page Source → Edit → Find ….. Google-Analytics. If you are not able to do this speak to your Webmaster and ask them to set it up for you if it is not already in place. View the Google Analytics Tour to understand it's importance.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sales/Elevator Pitch

The concept of the "elevator pitch" is simple - you should be able to speak to a stranger in a lift and by the time the lift gets to the top floor, have introduced yourself, and your business in a positive and memorable way.  As the saying goes- "you get one chance to make a good first impression".  

People who do this with apparent ease generally have it very well rehearsed.  You too, need to get your sales pitch perfect.  I have been researching this for some time and have come to the conclusion that nobody does it better than TV ads.  The perfect television ad does what we all need to do when networking our business.  There is generally a mix of components covering;  Who, What, Where, When, Why, How.  These can be arranged in different sequences but what is important is to cover the benefits of doing business with you and a call to action.  There is so much noise out there at the moment that if you don't get them to commit NOW, the next person offering a similar service or product with a call to action may close the sale which you have opened for your competitor.  Watch the ads and make some notes.  Certain brands like BMW, Lexus, Apple will focus very much on luxury, aspirations, a "you have arrived" message.  Others will focus on price, discount - "buy today or before a certain date" - very strong call to action.  Some will emphasise a need that they meet - as good as their competitors AND Cheaper - UPC vs SKY would be an example of this. There are also those who use scare and guilt tactics - insurance/pensions industry would be an example of this. Personally, I think giving people a feel good factor rather than a feeling of guilt is a nicer way of doing business.

Once you have decided on what your Unique Sales Proposition is - what gives you added value in your line of business, what makes you special, it is important to make people aware of it. So write it down - Who are You, What do you do, Why should I buy from you, How, When and Where can I buy from you.  This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your business.  If you find people need to ask you a lot of questions about your business - answers to which you thought were obvious - then your sales pitch is wrong.  Review it, rewrite a couple and test them on friends and family.  Would love to get your comments on any particular sales pitch that you believe to be brilliant.  Leave a comment below please.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Entrepreneurs' Smart Business Plan 7

Today's To Do List

Turning an Idea into Something - Listen to Jim Rohn
Put A Value On One Hour Of Your  Time 
Do Your Pricing and Payment Strategy

Time is money - if you don't put a value on your time - who will?  Many new businesses do not survive the first year - not because the business does not have potential but because of cash flow problems.  New entrepreneurs also don't realise how much of their time will be "non revenue generating".  There is a general consensus that 3 hours per day is the average revenue producing time for those travelling to clients. It is imperative to take this into consideration when putting a value on your time.

If your outgoings are €3,000 per month and your revenue producing time is 60 hours - are you confident before starting your new business that your clients will pay €50 per hour for your services. Your terms and conditions for payment are also very important, these should be clearly communicated to your clients. It is very important to target as much business as possible in your immediate vicinity as travelling just eats up money, time and energy. Good luck with valuing your time, after all time is our most precious commodity!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Entrepreneurs' Live Business Plan 6

Today's To Do List 

Write Down Key Objective 1 - Financial Goal
List the Services/Products You Will Offer
Allocate a Value to Each of These Items
Decide on a Name for your Business

By now you will have set your first Goal - financial turnover - if you haven't and are struggling with what to put down I suggest the following.  Of course, your first financial budget will be a "bit hit and miss" and especially in today's tense economic environment.  A good starting point is: a) to calculate what your current monthly expenses are; b) add on what extra expenses you will incur in your new business; c) add on 20% for contingency expenses; d) the total amount per month x 12 becomes your financial goal for your first year in business.

Now that you have set your Financial Goal/Financial Objective you need to break down the services/products that you will offer to reach this target.  If you offer multiple items list these in the template provided and allocate a realistic annual financial target for each of these.  This is the beginning of the "how to" reach your annual turnover, we refer to these as the tasks.  The tasks need to be listed, dated, allocated to the person responsible and measured.  The template provided allows you to do this in a very simple format. I find that once your ideas are on paper it's easier to analyse them as they become more tangible.

Once you have identified your service offering it is time to start thinking about a name for your business.  Keep it simple, short, memorable and specific. The above article will help you to choose the name for your business.  Put it down on paper, in your business plan and "feel" how it feels.        

If you missed our previous tutorials check out the Programme Recap for a very speedy catch up.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Entrepreneurs' Live Business Plan 5

Today's to do list:
 If you have missed the previous articles you can catch up on the "Flying Start" by just clicking on the links given below.

  1. We identified that "everybody wants to be happy" or fulfilled or satisifed 
  2. Write down your personal motto for living
  3. Familiarise yourself with Google Calendar
  4. Set up Internet Banking 
  5. Set up a PayPal account (or other internet payment system)
  6. Start researching your business - Google Alerts
  7.  Read for Inspiration 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, S. Covey -  
  8. Wheel of Life 
  9. SWOT Analysis 
  10. IntegratedBzStrategies Docs. 
  11. Excel sheet for income/expenses  IntegratedBzStrategies Docs. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Flying Start Business Plan

It never ceases to amaze me that people don't have a life plan or business plan.  We have wedding plans, holiday plans, weekend plans, party plans and more - a plan for every event except for our most prized event "life".  Why is that?  Make today the day when you put a value on your gift of life.  Put a plan in place, it's not written in stone, just on paper.  I won't quote all of the well used cliches about plans/planning, safe to say, your life is in your hands, why not live it the best way you can.

The flying start life/business plan allows you to customise it and make it your own.  This is a totally free resource.  Much of the work is done for you, all you have to do is change some of the headings or content.  This programme is written in conjunction with free resource from YouTube and other Social Media content and uses only the best of the best. Let's get started, check out below what we have covered so far and catch up. I suggest reading the previous articles on the Entrepreneurs' Live Business Plan, contained in this blog. Some of the links will take you to videos, others to published articles and some will take you to IntegratedBzStrategies website, where there are prepared documents there to facilitate you.


  1. We identified that "everybody wants to be happy" or fulfilled or satisifed 
  2. Write down your personal motto for living
  3. Familiarise yourself with Google Calendar
  4. Set up Internet Banking 
  5. Set up a PayPal account (or other internet payment system)
  6. Start researching your business - Google Alerts
  7.  Read for Inspiration 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, S. Covey -  
  8. Wheel of Life 
  9. SWOT Analysis 
  10. IntegratedBzStrategies Docs. 
  11. Excel sheet for income/expenses    IntegratedBzStrategies Docs. 
 Tomorrow we will set Goals, easy as 1,2,3.  Happy planning


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Twitters Give Me The Jitters

After reading the below article and to get started click on the links in the headings. 

As a novice to Twitter, my impression of it was a "teenage like message centre".  However, having spent some time researching and working it, I have to say it is truly amazing. I am in awe of the information that is shared by the Twitter community and the relevance that people who are serious about their business apply to it.  If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of wasted time.  In an attempt to save novice tweeters from the same fate I have set out, what I call a "Master Class" or flying start to Twitter.  I have no doubt that the experts out there would have much to add, but this will give you a quick start and as you go you should educate yourself on the full content that each of the recommended disciplines has to offer:

Some Do's
  1. Know what you want from Twitter
  2. Write a Twitter strategy
  3. Identify 20/30 key people,associations,news feeds to follow
  4. Follow back those that follow you (particularly at the initial stage)
  5. Un-follow those that don't follow you if you feel they don't add value
  6. Send a direct message to each follower - including your web/blog or special message
  7. Schedule your tweets (Hootsuite/Tweetdeck/SocialOomph) to be sent throughout the day
  8. Acknowledge retweets, mentions, direct messages
  9. Retweet those tweets that will have value to your followers
  10. Ensure that you share something original, of intrinsic value to your followers
  11. Try to keep your tweets to 120 characters, easier for others to retweet
  12. Use it for information and education
  13. Embrace humour and have some fun with it
  14. Be careful it can be addictive!
Some Don'ts

  1. Bore your followers to death by constantly tweeting the same message
  2. Follow just anybody for the sake of following
  3. Constantly try to sell
  4. Be negative, rude or derogatory
  5. Retweet others' messages unless you have clicked on the link to check it out for yourself
  6. Forget -this is also part of your image/brand 
  7. Don't follow and unfollow too many people at once, Twitter has built in limits (50-follow and unfollow in one day) 

A website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc.,
which offers a social networking and micro-blogging service.

A Social Media Dashboard. It provides  a website and online brand management service, which publishes to websites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare.

Lets you un-follow twitter users who do not follow you.

Is a utility that allows users to shorten a long URL,
share it, and then track the resulting usage.
It also lets you follow twitter users who follow you.  It also provides stats.

Klout identifies influencers on topics across the social web and gives you a personal score.

Find out which of your Twitter updates made people follow or leave you. This is a great monitoring tool especially in the beginning when you are trying to develop your theme and strategy.
Get the latest activity on various social media accounts in one place, in an email update.

Socialoomph allows you to set up an automated message to automatically follow new followers and acknowledge them.  There is a host of statistical and other information available on here.  I use it particularly for the automated DM. (direct message for my new followers)  

Tweepi is a simple collection of Twitter tools: Geeky Follow, Flush, Reciprocate and Cleanup. I use it to select followers or friends of somebody I consider of value - you can set up a dashboard of criteria such as Klout score, location, followers, friends, tweets, etc.  You can also use this to "unfollow" people who don't follow you and many other features. 
Twellow is a directory of public Twitter accounts, with hundreds of categories and search features to help you find people who matter to you. I use it to find people locally and also for specific industries.  It's like the yellow pages of Twitter.  It is very important to list your business here.  It's free.

Organizes links shared on Twitter into an easy to
read newspaper-style format. Newspapers can be
created for any Twitter user, list or #tag.

Takes your Twitter followers' profile photos and
 puts them on your Twitter background.

Is a free service that fetches Twitter replies for
you (and gives you an easy way to view AND export them).
Easiest way to archive a Twitter response thread

Helps you grow a larger, more diverse, and more
valuable network on Twitter.

Say "Hello" To Your Followers With a Video
This is an amazing site for Twitter apps. Many of which are not necessary for you but good to know about.

This is a very powerful  search tool for companies - globally or locally

Updaded 2/02/2010

      Wednesday, September 29, 2010

      Entrepreneurs' Live Business Plan 4

      Today's To Do List 

      If you have not already done a SWOT analysis for your new or existing business now is a good time to do it. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.To help you on your way, I have included some content on the links below. I recommend working in threes and not having more than twelve points in each section.  There are thousands of factors that could influence your business, however we will focus on those items that have a high probability of happening and a potentially high impact on your particular business.

      Tuesday, September 28, 2010

      Enough, funny old word!

      Enough- funny old word!

      I was recently asked the question “What is enough”? I’ve been thinking about this over the last few days and realised, like so many other adjectives, it varies from person to person and continent to continent. The definition in the dictionary is “in or to a degree or quantity that meets one’s requirements”.  So what is your “enough”?  As I had been working on a benchmarking exercise two days earlier it made me think about whether enough would be good enough for any of us.  We all seem to aspire to so much more – but so much more of what. 
      Then I thought about what enough means to homeless people - to be warm, to be fed – so they don’t end up dead.  What it means to people in drought ravaged areas – half a glass of water-  to them would always be a “half full” glass – not theirs the flippancy of discussion – only the urgency to wet their blistered lips – you see their life is saved by just enough sips.  What does enough mean to the unloved baby, left in a cot, just a touch they say – babies die if they don’t experience human touch – so for them just a touch is enough.  What about our staff, our family our friends, very often “thank you”, is enough.   

      The sad thing is that most of us don’t realise that we have more than enough until it’s too late.  Right now I know many people, who, for the first time in their lives could quantify what enough means to them.  A couple of years ago, everything was not enough, much wanted more and more and more.  I hope this gives you food for thought and my wish for you is that you shall always have more than enough!