How to make the most of your holiday to develop your business, part 1

Today I watched a toddler out for a walk with his Dad. They didn’t get very far. The little lad kept stopping to look into puddles, to look at the trees, to study leaves. He would walk a few yards and then he would go back to where he’d just come from to take another look. His eyes were full of wonder. He saw things we grown ups take for granted, things we have stopped seeing.

Our worlds have become so complicated and so busy that we don’t usually have time to dawdle, to look into puddles or stare at the sky. We rush from place to place and task to task with no time to take in what is around us. Holidays are different. Holidays give us the chance to slow down, to take the time to stand and stare, to look for new ideas and opportunities. We can become that toddler again.

Spotted on a mountain walk in Switzerland last year

Time to spot the flowers on a leisurely mountain walk.

Be open to new ideas

Make sure you have your eyes open to spot different ways of doing things, to see opportunities and to learn from the mistakes of others. Regular readers of this blog will know how many articles are inspired on my travels.

New ideas won’t just come from businesses like your own. You might see new uses of technology that could be applied to your business. Last year I got a number of text messages to remind me of some of my holiday bookings. Do you text your clients to remind them of their next appointment? Could you make your booking system easier for repeat bookers  for example by copying something you have seen on holiday.

What could you learn from the way you are served or the way people communicate with you? One restaurant in Budapest got around the language barrier by using an I-pad to show images of the dishes on the menu making our choices so much easier. Are you making the most of technology to aid communication with your customers? What did you find unexpectedly easy or difficult, would something similar apply to your business?

Capture ideas

Take a notebook and camera so you can capture new ideas and thoughts. You don’t want to spend your entire holiday thinking about your work or business but you don’t want to lose good ideas either. A notebook will help you remember ideas and details.

A camera will allow you to capture a moment, a strong image or something too complicated to write down. Photos can be shared on social media and in your blogs etc. I often snap images that I can use in marketing, on my blog and in PowerPoints for training sessions. This has saved me £s in stock images as well as giving me access to original work. An image communicates loads to visual learners and can be much more powerful than lots of words in a presentation. Images typically attract a lot more engagement on social media so keep your eyes open for photos you can use.

Coffee cup chandelier

Inspiration from a coffee shop in Vienna

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