POUR YOUR OWN PINT

December 10, 2012

Imagine going into a pub, to an event, stadium or racecourse and being able to pour your own pint. Technology is everywhere controlling our World and now it will allow you to pour your own pint.

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THE FOUR KEG WALL

Pour your own Pint –The system that allows your customer to pour their own draught beer, either from a table, beer wall or mobile unit.

The ideal solution for volume businesses and customers pay for every drop of beer.

This system, new to the market can be fixed or mobile. The fixed solution is for new builds or refurbishments as beer lines need to be run to the table. The mobile is ideal for events, stadia or any volume occasion. The mobile unit holds 2 kegs and gas. The beer wall holds four kegs and gas and will therefore service more people, ideal for volume occasions like stadiums. The system works wirelessly and staff are totally in control from behind the bar or a central point. The customer purchases an i-button from the bar or cash point and this allows them to pour beer to value on the i-button. The system has a number of advantages including:

  • Instantly increases profitability as customer pays for every drop of beer dispensed
  • It saves time and allows staff to focus on other areas
  • It has proven success in where it has been installed with customers booking beer tables in advance when there is a major event
  • The screen on beer pump allows customer to order other drinks and food directly from table
  • Mobile units provide a solution to volume environments or in temporary situations such as marquees.

8 Tablet 2

A TABLE TOP UNIT COMPLETE WITH TABLET

The draught beer unit above shows the beer taps complete with tablet which can be used for ordering food, alternative drinks and would connect to the tills so the orders can be bought to the table. The tablet can also be used for advertising to improve the pay back or advertise future events and menu items.

This technology has use throughout the hospitality industry and has tremendous appeal to the customer. Imagine being able to book your own beer table in your pub to watch a major event on the big screen or going to that major event and not having to queue for a pint.

The capital outlay is offset by a number of factors including it allows you to serve more beer, there is no waste and you can sell advertising space on the tablet.

If this is of interest please contact me for further details


ENHANCING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

March 27, 2012

In looking at enhancing our customer experience we never have to lose sight of the fact that the customer is King. In today’s very competitive market place it’s those businesses that put themselves out for their customer and also train this philosophy into all their team that succeed, to help your team get on board with this why not offer them an incentive for exceptional customer service. The cost of getting new customers is a big cost to which you also need to allocate time and resource to do this all of which can be better utilised in more effective ways. How do we keep our customers, there are a number of key things we need to consider.

COMMUNICATION

Ensure you maintain regular communication with your customers and the most effective way of doing this is by email. Firstly we need to ensure that we capture all our customers email addresses and then when we email them ensure it is personal to them, you know how you feel when you receive a personalised email. This regular email does not always have to sell them something just keep them informed of what’s happening, so that when they do want to use your service or buy one of your products you are at the forefront of their mind. Also actively encourage customer feedback with a customer comment book, satisfaction surveys and then when you receive useful comments act upon it and let the customer see that you have taken their advice.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Look at the products and services you offer and build up additional products and services to offer your customers. If you don’t have any products or services further to offer look at companies in a similar market place and set up a joint venture to extend your offer to these existing companies, remember there is more profit from a relationship with an existing customer. Customers always want to know what is in it for them, what benefits can they receive, so look to add perceived value by adding something on, a great example is Sunday newspapers giving away free CDs/DVDs which customers perceive as to having a value of about ten times the value of the paper, but to the paper it is very little cost.

MARKETING

All forms of communication with your customers, be it websites, correspondence, emails, advertising, menus or price lists reflect on your business so regularly take a ruthless look at these and ensure they are portraying the correct image. Ensure in all your marketing material you focus on the benefits to your customers, not the features of the company, tell them how you can add value to them. The majority of our customers are coming to us via the internet so use this and your emarketing effectively, ensuring that you use the opportunities to capture email addresses. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by offering something free. We should all look at turning our businesses into multi level marketing machines. Advertising is very expensive and not as effective as the marketing tools we all have already at our fingertips. We can also capture further customer information by asking them what they think of our services in the form of customer satisfaction questionnaires and when we receive this feedback we should always take all comments on board in our journey to improve quality and exceed customer expectations. Also look at the major high street retailers and how they capture all the information about our shopping habits on their store cards and then target us with specific offers why not offer your customers a loyalty card. It is estimated that 68% of people leave a business because of indifference, correspond regularly with your customers. There is a golden rule in marketing that will make you wealthy, once you have someone’s details keep on following up until they buy, die or tell you to stop.

STAFF

The people who most represent our business in focusing on the customer are our staff and used correctly they can add significant value, so keep them informed and involve them, they can be a source of valuable information. Look at their communication methods and skills and ensure like your marketing material they are portraying a positive message. It is your staff that can upsell to your customers. Look at the fast food chains who are the greatest exploiters of upselling, by asking at every transaction is that large or super and of this upsell 85% is profit and though a single transaction does not offer a lot, do it a million times a day and it makes a very large difference. Also allow your team to be involved in the business, hold regular brainstorming sessions, you will be amazed where some of the best ideas come from. If the staff are involved in the business and are made to feel part of the decision process, then you will see return in their loyalty and effort in moving the business forward. Always Remember

Together

Everyone

Achieves

More


PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

December 16, 2011

My last blog explained the strategic plan for your business, in this one I explain the requirements for preparing your business plan. The strategic plan sets out the direction for the business whereas the business plan sets the objectives and defines the steps to achieve these objectives. The strategic plan is usually a shorter document and provides the foundation and framework for a business plan, which is more substantial and detailed.

It is essential to have a realistic, working business plan for your business. The plan will describe the business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and the financial forecasts. It has many functions from securing external funding to measuring success within your business. The business plan is a living document that will help you monitor your performance and stay on track and will need updating as your business grows.

The plan needs to include:-

  • An executive summary
  • A description of the business opportunity
  • Your marketing and sales strategy
  • Your management structure and profile of key personnel
  • Details on premises, management information systems and IT
  • Financial forecasts

When preparing your plan there are a number of points to consider ensuring you achieve maximum impact:-

  • Keep the plan short and to the point, it is more likely to be read if it is of manageable length
  • Include a cover or binding and a contents page with page and section numbering.
  • Start with the executive summary.
  • Ensure it’s legible – make sure the type is ten point or above.
  • You may want to email it, so ensure you use email-friendly formatting.
  • Even if it’s for internal use only, write the plan as if it’s intended for an external audience.
  • Edit the plan carefully – get at least two people to read it and check that it makes sense.
  • Show the plan to expert advisers – such as your accountant – and ask for feedback. Redraft sections they say are difficult to understand.
  • Avoid jargon and put detailed information – such as market research data or balance sheets – in an appendix at the back.
  • You may have detailed plans for specific areas of your business, such as a sales plan or a staff training plan, but it is best not to include these, though it is good practice to mention that they exist.

I hope that the above information has been useful, but if you require assistance in preparing your business plan, we have a prepared template ready and would be delighted to assist you in ensuring your business is well prepared.


KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

December 5, 2011

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

How do you measure the success of your business? Do you use

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?

KPIs are designed to give you a snapshot of your business in relation to the goals you have set for it. From it you should be able to see exactly how you are doing against pre-designed criteria be that historical data, goals or competitors.

There are three things that you need to think about and keep in mind during every stage of defining a KPI project. It should also be noted that KPIs should not be confused with a critical success factor – that is, something that needs to be in place to achieve an objective; for example, recruiting skilled resource may be a critical success factor for an objective related to business expansion. Rather, a KPI is a measure of the effectiveness of this objective in contributing to business growth; for example, sales revenue or market share.

When deciding on the KPIs for your business ask yourself some questions:

Is it key?

Is this essential to your business success?

What are the real opportunities that will make a real difference to the success of your business?

The right place to start is to look at financial and management reports. Do you have a benchmark for comparison, such as industry norms or from previous personal experience, find which items are not in line and highlight them, which of these are projecting your business forward and which are holding it back?

Is it about performance?

Is the measure something that actual affects or is affected by your business performance, is changing this measure by 10% going to alter the success of your business, is it something you can control or is it impacting your business or is it an environmental opportunity that affects everyone in your market equally. Can you do anything about it or would you be wiser to focus your attention on other directions?

Is it really an indicator?

What is it telling you, are you managing it realistically? Can you put a numeric value on the measure so that you can track progress and change and if something is changing do you know why?

Once you have a realistic list of KPIs (I would suggest no more than 5) you have done half the work, but now you need to make some truly strategic decisions.

DON’T FORGET IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT

EXAMPLES OF KPI’S

  • Sales revenue year on year
  • Spends per customer/transaction
  • Customer satisfaction levels
  • Stock levels
  • Occupancy levels

Choose KPIs that are important to the business and everyone involved can commit to it and focus on them.

When you have selected the opportunities most critical to improving your business performance and identified the KPIs that will monitor and deliver change you need to identify all the business processes involved in the activities you want to measure. From there you can identify the IT and manual systems that manage these processes and report on the results


UPSELLING IN YOUR BUSINESS

November 7, 2011

HOW TO UPSELL  TO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND CLIENTS

How do you persuade your customers to make an additional purchase at the point of sale, have you trained your team on all the useful techniques. If you do not utilise upselling in your business to its full potential you could be losing thousands of pounds worth of sales and a large percentage of this additional sale is profit. Upselling is how we persuade our customers to make an additional purchase at the point that they buy – either at the till face to face or at the point where they order online. All the major retailers have this down to a fine art, where they offer buy two for a discounted price, the customer thinks they are wining, you know you have won. Its a win win situation.

Upselling is very powerful and relatively easy because your customers have already made the important buying decision by making the decision to purchase from your business and the actual amount he or she is prepared to spend is often flexible.

Upsells are nearly all profit so you can offer a substantial discount on the upsold items and still be making a lot of money, you have already covered your biggest costs, which are marketing, staff and overheads.

The biggest and best exploiters of upselling are the fast food chains. Who ask “is that large or super” and of that upsell 85% is profit and though a single transaction does not offer a lot do it a million times a day and it makes a very large difference.

The fast food brands drill this upselling into their staff from their very first part of their training and continually enforce it daily, that is why you will have noticed that the server will always offer an upsell. You should be doing the same in your business. You need to train your staff the correct phrases like was that a large one or would you like a cake with that.

The fast food chain is an example to the mass market and you don’t have to follow this example. Your business may have some more affluent buyers and it can work just as well to offer an expensive upsell. So if your core product/service is £100, your upsell could be £500 or more. The fact that the majority of your customers won’t want to spend £500 is irrelevant. The question is can we get 5% or maybe 10% to go for the high end upsell. If we can the impact on your profits can be substantial. The only way to find the best price for your upsell is to test the market.

As well as upsell we should look at product “bundling”, which is where we sell linked products together, such as toasted tea cakes and pots of tea or meal deals such as sandwich, crisps and a drink, at a discount and therefore increase your customer spend.

There is another very important reason to do upsells and product bundling. The purpose of getting more money from each customer is not just to make more money for you and your business it also means you can spend more per customer to acquire that customer at the outset. The purpose of a customer is not to get a sale. The purpose of the sale is to get the customer so we can make more money selling to them again in the future.

So let’s brain wash our staff into upselling and look at products we can bundle together as packages.

 


Customers Maintaining Existing Ones and Winning New Ones

October 17, 2011

The cost of getting new customers is a big cost and also you need to allocate time and resource to do this all of which can be better utilised in more effective ways. How do we keep our customers, there are a number of key things we need to consider.

COMMUNICATION
Ensure you maintain regular communication with your customers and the most effective way of doing this is by email. Firstly we need to ensure that we capture all our customers email addresses and then when we email them ensure it is personal to them, you know how you feel when you receive a personalised email. This regular email does not always have to sell them something just keep them informed of what’s happening, so that when they do want to use your service or buy one of your products you are at the forefront of their mind.

PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Look at the products and services you offer and build up additional products and services to offer your customers. If you don’t have any products or services further to offer look at companies in a similar market place and set up a joint venture to extend your offer to these existing companies remember there is more profit from a relationship with an existing customer.

MARKETING
All forms of communication with your customers, be it websites, correspondence, emails, advertising, menus or price lists reflect on your business so regularly take a ruthless look at these and ensure they are portraying the correct image. Ensure in all your marketing material you focus on the benefits to your customers, not the features of the company, tell them how you can add value to them. The majority of our customers are coming to us via the internet so use this and your emarketing effectively, ensuring that you use the opportunities to capture email addresses. One of the most effective ways of achieving this is by offering something free. We should all look at turning our businesses into multi level marketing machines. Advertising is very expensive and not as effective as the marketing tools we all have already at our fingertips. We can also capture further customer information by asking them what they think of our services in the form of customer satisfaction questionnaires and when we receive this feedback we should always take all comments on board in our journey to improve quality and exceed customer expectations.

STAFF
The people who most represent our business in focusing on the customer are our staff and used correctly they can add significant value, so keep them informed and involve them, they can be a source of valuable information. Look at their communication methods and skills and ensure like your marketing material they are portraying a positive method.


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