We're still trading because the GBP vs Euro exchange rate makes it very attractive for European visitors to come to the UK, and also makes UK families think about holidaying at home.
We keep our prices up rather than discounting, because we can only improve the quality of our accommodation if we keep re-investing in our properties.
We've brought two properties up to 4-star standard and have three properties at excellent 3-star standard at the moment, and of course in any business which is related to property - LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION - four properties are located very close to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh - which is a magical place to visit, full of history, great tales to tell, good places to eat.
The fifth property is in a small fishing village, near the seaside and a park - so families love it and come back year after year. We're already taking bookings for 2010!
We're in business because we really thought hard about what holiday makers would like before buying property, and then we made it so comfortable and welcoming that we'd want to stay there ourselves ... over and over again.
It's keeping your customers returning that makes a business successful.
Very interesting to see all the different responses here - some really good snippets to pull out about why people feel they are still going.
To toss something slightly different into the mix - has anyone else noticed a pick-up in business recently? Although our 'closed' sales haven't increased asuch, we certainly have a lot more new clients involved in project discussions, and more a lot more in the pipe than we did at the start of the year..
By not being greedy, taking time to get to know my customers (far easier to maximise business with current customers than to pick up new ones) also by not being afraid to push boundaries and try different approaches- currently offering open book trading with some customers where they see my buy price and we have pre agreed % margin, quite unusual but it gives transparency in a very murky market
Mark Bartley- Senior Project Manager & WiSE Guy CP Ltd
Good customer service, hard work (darned hard in the early years), and, lets face it, good, loyal customers. We've had some customers for 12 years in one side of the business and many for 8 to 9 years on the company formations side, so whilst we must be doing something right, I think part of success of any business is your attitude both to the business and to customers. Treat customers how you would like to be dealt with and you cant go far wrong.