Time to start the fight­back

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

A SMALL busi­ness op­er­a­tor wants to lead the charge in the switch from “sur­vival” to “fight­back” mode with an in­for­ma­tion forum to bring to­gether tour desks and niche tourism prod­ucts.

Dan Smith from Akoonah An­gling is tak­ing the first step and look­ing at ways to bet­ter im­prove time-ef­fi­ciency and cus­tomer ser­vice be­tween his busi­ness and tour desks.

One call too many from an accommodation tour desk ask­ing a ques­tion found in his brochure prompted Mr Smith into ac­tion to find ways to im­prove ef­fi­ciency.

“I spent a lot of time and money mar­ket­ing to make sure my brochure has all the in­for­ma­tion the client and tour desk op­er­a­tors could ask,” he said.

“We’re com­ing into peak sea­son and could im­prove ser­vices to both op­er­a­tors and clients sim­ply by hav­ing the tour desk op­er­a­tors more in­formed.

“This is not only for my mo­ti­va­tion, I’ve been on the phone to other op­er­a­tors and one tour men­tioned tour desks had booked a man with a hip re­place­ment onto a 4WD tour and he was left out.”

One idea is to or­gan­ise a get to­gether with busi­ness op­er­a­tors and tour desks/accommodation for an in­for­ma­tion night.

“We could give each busi­ness 10 min­utes to tell ev­ery­one what their busi­ness is about and what their niche mar­ket is,” Mr Smith said.

“At the end of the day it would be bet­ter for the tour desks, bet­ter for the clients and bet­ter for us small op­er­a­tors - we don’t have the lux­ury to em­ploy peo­ple to mar­ket our prod­uct.”

Des­ti­na­tion Cairns Mar­ket­ing (DCM) owns 100 tour desks in the Cairns re­gion and di­rec­tor Denis Don­aghy said he would get be­hind the idea.

“If the desk in­volved im­parts in­for­ma­tion that’s go­ing to make the guest en­joy­ment of the area much bet­ter they’re likely to re­turn to that desk,” he said.

“I’d be happy to talk with small busi­ness and get our sales peo­ple to talk to them and fig­ure out if there’s some com­mon ground we can help each other.”

Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent Ken Dobbs said the idea is pos­si­ble through both PDCC and Tourism Port Dou­glas and Dain­tree as part of their eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tive.

TPPD ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Doug Ryan said his or­gan­i­sa­tion would def­i­nitely help or­gan­ise the event

small busi­ness owner Dan Smith and Erin Men­zie to get ev­ery­one to­gether for an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion.

He said the best thing for small op­er­a­tors is to or­gan­ise a mar­ket­ing plan so they do not rely solely on tour desk op­er­a­tors to sell their busi­ness.

“I’m happy to help them with that, happy to sit down and do a mar­ket­ing plan and if any­one out there wants ad­vice on that,” he said.

“It’s dif­fi­cult for small busi­ness but the num­ber one way to sell your busi­ness is to take agents out on a famil, they can see it and ex­pe­ri­ence it.”

If you are in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved in an in­for­ma­tion ses­sion reg­is­ter with Dan Smith dan@ akoon­a­hangling.com and for more in­for­ma­tion about de­vel­op­ing a mar­ket plan with TPDD con­tact 4099 4588.

Photo by AN­THONY CAPOGRECO

An­gling for a bet­ter out­come:

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