Want to manage it? Measure it!Want to manage it, measure it!

In the tourism sector much of what affects your business, such as weather, the economy, school holidays and policy decisions, are out with your control.

In some tourism businesses these factors can have an enormous impact on your footfall. As an example, in one attraction I managed footfall would vary by as much as 70% day to day depending on the weather!

This level of fluctuation makes staff and stock planning very difficult!

All of this means you should work hard to really understand the factors that affect your business that you can control! If you want to manage it, measure it!

Are you measuring the right things in your Tourism Business?

I truly believe that unless you measure something you can’t manage it! Perhaps this is simply the scientist in me coming out, but, over the last 20+ years I have found it to be very true!

There are some absolute basic metrics that you should be monitoring. These include Footfall, Spend Per Head (SPH) Ticketing, SPH Retail & SPH Catering, Gross Profit margins, gross overheads.

By tracking these basic elements you will be able to gain a course understanding of how your business is performing.

By then comparing them against a rolling historical average and your budget you will gain a closer understanding.

However, if you really want to understand your business then you need to be measuring things like:

  • Cost of Sale
  • Conversion rates for secondary spend items
  • Transaction times
  • Visitor demographic
  • Home Postcode
  • Travel time
  • Dwell time
  • Average transaction value
  • % utilization of each area of your attraction.
  • Customer Satisfaction level
  • Energy utilization and costs measured against degree days

Essentially the more your measure the better you will understand your business and what effects it.

All of this will not necessarily be possible in every business and it very much depends in the staffing resources you have and the management information system you deploy.

If you want to manage it, measure it!

Continual Improvement

In order to improve anything, you first need to understand its current state. Whether this is your income, your overheads or your profits, your Customer Satisfaction levels, dwell times, engagement or outputs! You need to first devise a method of measurement then devise a strategy for improvement!

There are many different management theories and text books which explain this basic process in overly complicated ways, designed to show how intelligent the author really is! Entire theses have been written around the subject and Management Students will spend many hours being taught how to implement “Six Sigma” or “Lean Manufacturing”.

In essence it boils down to performing the following basic tasks to achieve improvement in any specific area.

Plan – Think carefully about what it is your trying to improve. What affects it and how can you influence it? Create your plan of how you will influence it positively.

Do – Put your plan in to action.

Check – Re-analyse the impact of the changes you have made.

Act – Improve your original plan and make small adjustments.

Repeat – Go back to the start and keep going until you achieve what you set out to do!

want to manage it, measure it!

If you would like support in implementing the right measurements for your tourism business, please get in touch.

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