If I could offer you a scheme that for £10 would bring 100 new prospects into the door of your café, pub or restaurant business would you be interested in knowing more?
Having enjoyed a tour of the Isle of Wight this month I was taken by how often businesses who are wholly dependant on the tourist trade post notices on the door to say that the toilets are only for the use of their cash paying customers.
Now let’s consider an alternative.
What if you were to allow these people to use your preciously protected toilet facility?
- If we assume that 100 extra visitors will cost a few toilet rolls, some soap, electric for the hand dryer and an extra clean. By my sums, I can’t see that being more than £10.
- The toilets in most venues are near the back. By the time a visitor has made it to your toilet they have seen all your key marketing messages and maybe even been greeted by you. Why not enhance that with a leaflet that visitors can take away detailing your food options or forthcoming entertainment schedule.
- Customers worry that dirty toilets are an indication or poor cleaning in the kitchen too. If your toilets are clean, by extension people assume that the kitchen is also likely to be hygienically clean. If your toilets are clean, let prospects see them.
- Most people are decent and will want to repay your generosity with their patronage during their vacation.
- If your local competitors are equally short sighted about this opportunity, why not change the poster on the door to say, “You are WELCOME to use our toilets”. You can have their share of the available prospects too.
If I owned a tourist based business, I would make the free and unhindered use of our toilets one of our marketing pillars.
The ‘Core Values’ of a company are its culture, its heart and its DNA. Too often I have seen companies do that thing where they get their staff to sit around in a circle and brainstorm what they would like their Core Values to be from an aspirational point of view. Then they paste the long wish list on the wall as a motivational poster. This rarely reflects the true culture of the business and the chasm to leap from where they are to where they want to be is just too great, so it just doesn’t happen.
If you want to know what your core values are, take some time out of your business and when you come back, look at the decision making process your staff have taken to move forwards. That’ll tell you a lot. Culture is what happens when the Managing Director is not in the room. In 2015 I was ‘in the room’ at my IT business no more on average than 2-days a week. Plenty of time to learn what works and doesn’t and I have to say, the culture is one of the many bits we have right. It’s ingrained.
The point is, you don’t just set Core Values, you live them. Assuming your business is good you are already living them, you just need to identify them and then help the people you lead to develop actions that reinforce the great behaviours that will continue to deliver your Core Values. This is critical if you have any plans to scale your business, as I certainly do.
In staff interviews, ask scenario based questions that will give you a guide as to how a candidate will handle a dilemma related to your values. Assuming you provided adequate training, when a member of staff does something that breaches your core values it becomes easier to make the decision as to whether you need to start the disciplinary procedure.
Business Computer Solutions has just started a scheme to promote and reinforce its three Core Values using some very smart glass trophies and a lot of team engagement. Have a read of the blog article on the BCS site if you want to see who won in January.
- Integrity – The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.
- Dependability – Tell people what you plan to do and then do it. Every time.
- Education – Having a quest for knowledge and supporting colleagues with their continued development
Although presented at the end of January by the leadership team, in future the award recipient will be selected and award presented by the previous winner. This further reinforces the importance of the role, both in the giving and receiving.