Future planning with a purpose – thinking about your target market.

As we get further into this lockdown, it’s important to remember:
“We cannot control what happens, but we can control how we respond. ”

“The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…”
— Epictetus, Discourses, 2.5.4–5

We can’t control our external circumstances, as philosophers have been pointing out for centuries. Worrying about whether the lockdown will be extended or when travel will start again makes us anxious because it isn’t something we can change. It uses up our energy in a negative way. A more useful response might be to take a look at our family, our businesses and our community, to see what is within our ability to change or improve.

Begin with the end in mind.

As you work on your plan to get you through this period, it’s important to think where you want to end up. If you lose sight of your “brand” and start to panic, you may end up affecting your long-term viability by dropping prices dramatically and never recover from that.

Before you change prices, think about “who will be buying?”.

Consider your market.

Take some time to consider who it is you hope to get back through your door once it opens again.

Are you focused on the right target market? Where do most of your guests come from? Do you know what they like or dislike? How old are they? What do they do? Do they find you expensive or very reasonably priced? Do you know why they choose you over the competition?

Dig into your reports and gather some data. Or ask past clients if you’re actually not sure. Being clear on whom you’re trying to attract is the basis of your marketing and pricing strategy.

A marketing strategy focused on everybody will appeal to nobody. Think about your niche.

Consider your product.

While you can’t control when flights will take off again, you can control what guests will find when they visit your property. Have you looked through your online reviews recently? Are there comments about maintenance or helpful suggestions? Are there things that you spend a lot of time or money on that guests never mention?

Think of your product: what you can add or fix. Or what you can subtract to simplify and save costs, without sacrificing quality. Think about how or why your “product” appeals to the people you’re trying to attract.

Write down a list with words and descriptions that describe the type of guest you hope to have in future.

Then describe your product: what your target guest will find when they visit. What will appeal?

You will be able to use these descriptions as a basic guide to come back to again and again as we think about pricing strategies, marketing and communication.

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