Business lessons can be found everywhere 

I’m not long back from a lovely week off in the Tenerife sunshine. Seven days of relaxing and reading, a proper fly and flop – our first all-inclusive holiday. I have been reflecting on my experience and here are a few things I can relate to business. 
Flight delays dampen spirits - they’re the pits especially when you’re excited and looking forward to your holiday. They’re equally rubbish when your holiday is over and all you want to do is get home. You can sense the frustration of people waiting for information. It’s much easier to palate when you know why and for how long you’ll be delayed by. 
🌞 Communication with customers is key. 
Packing early and having a checklist means you start your holiday more relaxed. It makes things easier as I don’t have to try and hold everything in my head. I have learnt to pack light as we mostly travel with just cabin baggage for ease. Having a limited colour palette means things mix and match and are more versatile too. I have a couple of blogs on packing and how to create a capsule of 72 combinations from just 12 items of clothing plus accessories. 
🌞Investing time to plan and prepare properly is worth it. 
Burger King at the airport is neither the same quality nor same price as those elsewhere. The past few times we’ve been at the airport it’s been busy. The queues for food and drink are long, tables left with rubbish on and needing a wipe. Well established brands, where you expect absolute consistency and certain standards, have not been up to scratch. 
🌞Don’t under deliver, or drop your standards because you’re busy, your reputation won’t count forever. 

Customer experience is key  

Jet2 seat belts are much longer than Ryanair seat belts. Most of the flights I’ve taken over the past 20 years or so have been with Ryanair as I visit my bestie in Spain. As time has gone on, I dread *this* being the trip where I feel body shamed by a seat belt and have to request an extender belt. The Jet2 belt length was positively luxurious compared to what I’m used to. Lots of belt to spare. It made for a much more comfortable flight in more ways than one. 
🌞Little details that add to making the customer experience better mean a lot. 
Luggage handlers are very rough with suitcases. 22kg luggage allowance meant we could put our bags in the hold and have the convenience of taking lotions and potions in vessels larger than 100ml. But it also meant my beautiful new suitcase, was at the mercy of the handlers. It was a right state when I collected it the other end. 
🌞Having a clear policy and procedure for complaints to be resolved quickly is good customer service. 
Don’t forget the sun cream. I’m always a factor 30/50 girl, my bluey white, pale skin burns very easily. Paul, on the other hand tans like David Dickinson. He only has to look at the sun and he’s brown. However, on the first day his back got burnt. He ended up peeling, the bed looked like we’d been storing Desiree spuds in between the sheets. 
🌞Just because you’ve done something many times doesn’t mean you should be complacent and skip the steps. There will be consequences down the line. 

Do what is right for you and your clients 

Listening to books is easier than reading them in the sun. I’m a big lover of Audible. Up until last summer I’d only ever used it for business or personal development books. Last summer I purchased a couple of novels and started listening by the pool to use some credits up– game changer! There’s no need to squint, turn pages or get arm ache as you hold the book so that the sun is not shining in your face. Rewinding is simple if you doze off lol. 
🌞Offer more than one way of doing something to suit your customers preferences. 
People are creatures of habit, like familiarity and to fit in. On the first day you notice people looking around, not sure what’s what and establishing how things work. You watch and copy what other people do. It doesn’t take long to settle into a routine. The pool area, the bar area, and the restaurant – all areas where people gravitate to the same spot each day. You have ‘your’ spot by the pool. You nod to the other people in ‘their’ spot. It would feel weird now to sit somewhere different… 
🌞Start how you mean to go on because it’s harder to change things once they’re established. 

Stay current 

Table manners are dying out. My dad was a stickler for table manners. We weren’t allowed to turn our forks over to scoop up peas growing up. I’m more relaxed than that, but I do admit to ‘having standards’ when it comes to table manners. Based on my holiday observations it would seem that I’m a little outdated. The younger generation seem far more ‘relaxed’. 
🌞Keep up to date with current levels of expectation and standards or you could appear outdated. 
Eyelashes and lips are BIG. Paul didn’t realise that false eyelashes could be semi-permanent features these days. He thought that the girls had glued them on every day before breakfast to sunbathe in. Whereas insanely long, thick, curled eyelashes were mostly adorned by younger women, the trout pout lips feature across a wider age range, probably due to lip fullness dissipating with age. What was once a treatment exclusive to the rich and famous is now mainstream confidence boosting to many. 
🌞Awareness of current solutions can help you make informed decisions. 
Quiet hotel with bar closing at 11pm. Would you see this as an advantage or disadvantage when deciding on where to go for your holiday? For us, in this instance, it was definitely a selling point. We wanted somewhere really quiet where we could relax and enjoy the peace. 
🌞Not everyone likes or wants the same things, tailor your business to attract your ideal clients. 
Even Canute would struggle 
Trip advisor – sea too noisy. Our hotel was literally next to the sea. We loved it! The sea breeze flowed through the patio doors from the balcony, the sound of the waves relentlessly crashing against the rocks sent us to sleep each night. We knew what to expect because we’d seen the photos and read the reviews. One person on Trip Advisor had complained about the sea being too noisy and being kept awake. 
🌞Do your research and remember some things are not within your control, focus on what is. 
Great staff outweigh peeling paint. Smiling, friendly staff providing great service made for a lovely customer experience. Yes, the décor was a little tired in places but I’d rather that than grumpy, unhelpful staff. 
🌞 Things don’t have to always be perfect to give a good experience. 
Rules can be broken 
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The ‘rules’ said no saving of sunbeds. So we didn’t. Until day three that was. We naively thought that people would abide by the rules. It became a source of stress on day two, would we get a good spot? We liked it where we were yesterday. What if all the beds had gone? When you don’t have anything else to think about apart from which drink to order next or which book to read next you end up focusing on these kinds of details. On day three Paul took the towels out straight after breakfast. I felt slightly nervous to be breaking the rules. By day four, that feeling had gone. I had peace of mind that we’d get our preferred spot but only because we’d followed the crowd. 
🌞Sometimes it’s hard to go against the masses despite your beliefs. You have to weigh it all up and do what’s right for you. 
We learned a lot from this experience. I hope you’ve enjoyed how I’ve translated these learnings to business. 
Tagged as: Personal Brand
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