Proactive x Reactive

When I start working with a client one area that’s really important is to introduce the right balance between being proactive and reactive. I find a lot of restaurants, bars and hotels, particularly independent businesses, are incredibly reactive to situations and therefore aren’t able to achieve the best results – it’s my job to provide the support required to find a balance in becoming more proactive to achieve the best return for their business.

I’ll explain… in order to be successful in the hospitality sector everything comes down to planning and execution, if you don’t plan properly or you execute badly you’re not going to see the returns you had hoped for. To plan effectively you need to be proactive, you need to decide what you want to achieve months in advance and plan how you’ll gain the best results for the business.

Let’s use an event as an example, since they’re the most common cause of reactive behaviour. Take St Patrick’s Day – everybody knows St Patrick’s Day is going to happen and it’s a great opportunity have a bit of fun with your team and customers whilst adding additional revenue. The problem is far too many people let events creep up on them, they forget to plan, leave no time to market effectively and end up throwing a last minute deal together or copying what a competitor is doing. Following the event they’re disappointed with the result, blame it on X, Y & Z knowing they could of done better. A subsequent problem then occurs when operators don’t allocate time after an event to analyse and react to it’s success or failure, this would’ve enabled them to enhance their proactive behaviour before next year’s event, but in the case of this example there’s no time as no doubt they’re already late planning Mother’s Day – and so off they go with another last minute deal and ultimately another disappointing event.

It’s important to avoid these simple mistakes by finding that balance between proactive and reactive to drive the business forward year on year making the most of all opportunities no matter how small the additional revenue may be, continuing with the events example this would help grow brand awareness and attract more consumers over time. Getting proactive will both save time and create time to react smarter and improve on pervious events, whilst usually saving money by enabling the business to book paid media or equipment hire etc. in advance – not to mention the stress reduction for the team and ownership knowing everything is in hand.

Although most of the calendar year can be proactively planned they are some situations you have to react to, these are usually news related or the outcomes of sporting fixtures / local corporate awards etc., the trick is quite simply to get ahead wherever possible – whether that means reallocating your own time as the manager/owner of the business or by recruiting a sales/business development executive it’s crucial to start planning, marketing and selling events well in advance to get the best return.

It’s not that people don’t understand this approach or don’t agree when I pitch it, it’s more they see the idea as an additional cost, something they don’t have time to do, or they take it on board and implement it for one or two events then forget about it… the thing is, it’s important; with heightened competition and the imminent uncertainly of consumer spending, not getting the right balance of proactive x reactive behaviour now will cost hospitality businesses lot more in the long run.

Two weeks ago I introduced my new brand Nibble… Nibble will support hotels, bars and restaurants to help them become more proactive, we will act as an extension to the business and provide sales and marketing tools to ensure our clients get ahead and stay ahead, achieve the best possible results whilst having more time to focus on operating their business.

If you’d like to know more about the support Nibble could offer your business, get in touch and get proactive.



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Tim Coulston (TC) is the Managing Director of Nibble, a hospitality company focused on building food & beverage brands, specialising in Strategic Communications, Business Management & Commercial Interiors.

For further information please contact:
Sophie Chadwick, Communications Manager, Nibble.

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