Saturday, February 9, 2008

Business Update

Hi All:

A rainy Saturday here in S. Fla. Of course, I worked the pool bar, so that didn't work out in my favor. Anyhow, Lago Mar is getting a bit more crowded, and we will be jammed full next weekend for President's weekend.

I've been working on a few photo restorations and some signs for our annual golf tournament in early May. Karen is keeping busy with the cleaning biz, but just can't seem to get completely booked! Gain some, lose some is the nature of the biz, but every time we think she's booked, someone drops off or cancels because of someone home sick, vacation, etc.

I met with a printing company on Friday and instead of her sending out letters in envelopes that are hand addressed, hand signed, personalized, hand stamped etc., we are going to have 1000 preprinted postcards made, and just throw a mailing label on it. Too much time and effort is being spent on the former method, even though we thought we'd get a better response with all the extra personalized touches. I guess the reality is, if someone really is need of a home cleaner, and the piece arrives in the mail that day, it doesn't matter how personalized it is, they just need the phone number. We're learning as we go through the process... She has a 200-piece mailer going out this week, and I'm saving all the addresses on the computer so we can print out labels next time once the postcards arrive.

Also, I need to work on her "reference cards" whereby she offers a client 50% off if they find her a referral, and offer that referral 50% off their first cleaning as well.

As you know, the photo book I did for the Lago Mar couple was a big hit, and they ordered 4 extra copies at $125.00 each. Everybody who saw it raved about it. I took the same book with all the great postcard perfect shots of Lago Mar and turned it into a mock up of a convention book as if a company held a meeting at Lago Mar, and sprinkled pictures of a business meeting and all the fun business-social events throughout the conference in among the beautiful Lago Mar pictures.

I added some neat touches like the company's logo on the front, and on the back it says "Thank You Key Bank" written on the sand near the ocean. The premise is, the books 30 or so Lago Mar pictures stay the same no matter who the convention is for, and all I have to do is drop in the new photos from the new meeting on the computer, change the logo on the cover, and change the "Thank You" message written in the sand on the computer.

I have no idea what the response will be, but I'm asking for a meeting with the owner this week, and I've already had the book printed and ready to show. The book can be used as part of a "package" too woo corporate meetings, used as a "thank you" if they have the meeting at our place, or just flat out offer the company the opportunity to buy the book to take back to the office up North or wherever they come from. If I owned Lago Mar, this is the type of book you would want people showing to other people because the photos are so perfect. Otherwise, they only have the website or a brochure to reference the place, and I think those photos are so commercial and so overdone they're almost fake looking.

I already showed the member book to the meeting planner at Lago Mar, and hinted that I could do the same for her conventions and she was so excited for me to produce something so she could show her bosses and use as a sales tool to attract more business. But I know how that place works... everything is top down management, so the only thing that really matters is if Mr. Banks likes it. The odds are against me in that he doesn't do anything new to market that hotel, and he never even speaks to the service staff other than "hi" "bye." However, I've got a great looking product with a good idea that it's worth a shot to see what he thinks.

I also think we should offer tourists the same opportunity to have such books done, but I figured I better pitch the idea for conventions first, since that's where the big dollars are in the resort business.

Regardless of the response, I now have a solid sample in hand to pitch to 10 or so other area Resorts to see if the concept has any legs. If they all pass on it, I'll put it away and move on, but for now I'm excited to see what happens.

1 comment:

Karen said...

You just explained all of this on the phone to me, now I see the pictures...good luck, I'm nervous about what Walter will say to you or about the book.
I'll be so disappointed if he says..neat idea but no thanks...if he does, tell him you are going to the other hotels nearby with the idea, but wanted to give him the 1st shot at it!