The blog continues. As the business has progressed over the last couple of weeks I’ve learned some more lessons.
- Yes I’m selling myself and the company as a Concierge Tour Service. With that comes the necessity to be willing to adjust the tour to fit the often changing needs of the guest. However, there are some absolutes that need to be held firm too. No, the guest cannot bring open containers of alcohol into the van. They absolutely cannot drink or finish drinks while we are driving. The Wineries can loose their liquor license, I can be arrested and they would get out fairly scott free. I don’t want to be a jerk about that policy, but it is an absolute.
- Reservations for the wineries and restaurants need to be made early. I mean as soon as I discover the purchase of their tour I need to make the reservations. Trying to find a winery that will take last minute reservations is very difficult, and the wineries typically are not thrilled with me.
- I’m needing to spend about an hour in the office for each tour day, that hour involves making winery reservations, restaurant reservations, confirming payments, scheduling the tour, assembly of the gift bags and answering emails. Time management is becoming a critical skill.
- Part of that office time includes maintaining the website, updating and maintaining Facebook and Instagram. I’m glad I’ve hired Kaylee to help with that aspect. My eyes tend to glaze over when it comes to working with Facebook.
- Figuring out how to get reviews has kept me busy as well. I would like the process of getting a review to be simple enough that I can hand the guest the iPad, ask them if they enjoyed the tour would they mind giving me a good review. Then with a few clicks, before they even get out of the van, a review has been posted. While the guest is sitting in the van, the tour and me as well are still high on the guests priority list. They are still engaged with me. As soon as they get out of the van, About Town Wine Experience naturally drops from high to low on the guests concern list. I need to strike while the iron is hot, so they say, and get the review before they leave. A good review is worth a couple hundred dollars of advertising expense.
The list of lessons will grow I’m sure. It has been exciting to have these bookings start coming in. It has also been exciting to finally be delivering the product I’m selling i.e. UnEqualled Wine Tour Experiences. The guests have all been great so far. I think that meeting the guests is my favorite part of the whole process. Meeting new people and learning about them and their lives is very exciting. It has really helped me stay engaged in this process. I love that fact that I get to be a part of their free time. In many cases the guests are celebrating an event that is special to them (anniversaries, birthdays or honeymoons). what an honor to get to participate in their special occasions.
On to personal issues. I don’t want to sound WOKE, but their are some personal considerations that need to be addressed when you are starting and running a business. When it’s your business, I mean your blood sweat and tears, your investment, your passion there are a lot of emotions that happen. Every day I wake up buzzing with energy. Running lists through my brain on what I have to do that day. Worrying about the website, the reviews, the guests, the tours, the wineries, the vehicle etc… Those emotions need to be managed, and in a healthy way. When things start to get normal and I begin to have some confidence in the routine of it, those emotions will be easier to handle. Right now, I need to make sure that I have some reserved time in the day to process everything. I’m considering taking the first hour after I wake up and just using it as quiet time to process and organize my thoughts and emotions. That all sounds kind of new ageish, but those emotions are definitely real, and absolutely need to be handled and handled well. Have a blessed day and I’ll be blogging again soon.