About a year ago I was having a conversation with my Dad, the owner operator of a winery tours business in the Geelong region.
We got talking about how bookings were managed in the business.
It was still a manual process. Back and forward emails with prospects, sorting dates, times and venues, and lining up tour guides.
However tedious, Dad really didn’t mind.
To me, it was nonsense to be managing bookings like that. But that’s my personality. Put systems in place that you can trust and let them do their job. Get onto other more important things in the business, like crafting the customer experience, building relationships with other operators in the region, or marketing.
Cutting a long story short, a year down the track he is now using a booking system, which is loosely integrated into the website.
So what changed? What were the magic words used that flicked the switch?
I asked him what he wanted for the business. What were his medium term objectives.
One of them, was to be potentially ready to sell if the time was right.
I told him that if that was the case, selling a well constructed machine that can run without a business owner, was going to be easier and more profitable than trying to sell off something that has undocumented processes and very few systems doing the heavy lifting.
Suddenly, an investment of a few hundred dollars a year, look far more appealing than simply viewing it as an unnecessary expense.
So whats the lesson here for your tour business?
You need to balance actions in the business, between the doing now, and the long term good.
If you’re actions line up with your long term objectives you are far more likely to get what you want out of the business in the future.