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Groupon Case Study: Derrynoid Centre, Draperstown Northern Ireland

On June 1st, I published ‘Pros Vs. Cons: Are Group Buying Sites Good For Your Business?’ here on Bloggertone.

In it, Shane O Leary, Communications Manager for mylunch.ie and I looked at the group buying model, and weighted up the advantages and disadvantages for businesses and consumers. Something the post was missing however was a case study. So I am now delighted to publish the following successful example from Aidan Breslin, Sales, Marketing & Business Manager at Derrynoid Centre.

Background:

Derrynoid Centre is a Conference & Training Centre with 40 en-suite rooms, restaurant & bar, leisure suite, nestled within a 250-acre forest in Draperstown (right in the middle of Northern Ireland)

The problem:

The main customer base has historically been groups for conferences & training in the business, community and voluntary sector, with the subsequent spin-off from these groups for the accommodation / restaurant / bar.

On analysing our occupancy rates we found that we followed the pattern for Northern Ireland B & B Occupancy rates, except for during the holiday periods (in particular Summer and Easter). During July & August 2010, the NI Average occupancy was 43% and 48% respectively, whereas ours dropped to 6% and 10% in comparison, due to our over-reliance on the Conference and training market.

The objective:

We wanted to promote our B & B business to the tourism & leisure sector, as we are ideally suited to that market, and it would also allow us to even out the seasonal fluctuations in demand in the conference / training sector.

To address the imbalance, we identified that we had an excellent product offering, but our issue was one of brand awareness in that no-one knew who we were.

We then identified Groupon as a vehicle for reaching a large audience very quickly, with an immediate impact.

After researching the downside of this type of voucher offer, we were confident that we could make this work, and set our objectives for the campaign:

  1. Raise awareness of our facility within the B & B market in NI
  2. Retain the ability to upsell any customers who booked through Groupon
  3. Develop a customer retention program for all Groupon deal purchasers to encourage a second visit.
  4. Encourage TripAdvisor reviews to further enhance our marketing opportunity.

The deal:


Upon contacting Groupon, I was impressed and found them to be extremely professional – they are a well-oiled marketing machine. With their help put together a deal (see graphic above) based on an experience for customers (Dinner + Wine + Bed & Breakfast).

The discount was set at 61% (their minimum for our sector is 60%), which with their fees (50% + VAT) left us below break-even point for every voucher sold, but which we were prepared to do for the new customer acquisition.

We set the deal so that if someone wanted to come here and not spend anything else, they would have a really good experience just with the Groupon deal.

However we anticipated that a percentage at least would have such a good experience that they would spend extra on further wine / drinks / dessert / extra nights accommodation, which is exactly what happened (see results)

After also reading the horror stories of other offers (on both the business side and the customer side, we decided on the following:

  1. We would be as prepared as possible for an increase in call volume when the vouchers became active
  2. There would be no restrictions as to when voucher holders could book (midweek or weekend)
  3. Every Groupon voucher customer would be treated exactly the same as a full-paying customer

The live day:

Our deal started 8/3/11 as a side offer and trundled along nicely, selling approximately 2 per hour. During the day we then moved to be the main feature, and then started to really move – we ended up selling 426 vouchers by the time the offer closed, with which we were delighted.

The voucher active day:

The vouchers became active on 11/3/11, and our phones rang off the hook for 2 days (nice problem to have but I was conscious that this was one of the main bugbears of voucher buyers – that they can’t get through to make their reservation). The girls returned a lot of answering machine messages during the next few days to try and ensure everyone was sorted.

We simply had a system in place for collecting the various reference numbers required, and forwarding them to Groupon regularly to make the claim for reimbursement. They will pay vouchers for holders who have made a reservation within 5 days of claim, and I found them to stick pretty close to this (maybe a day or two after, but no later)

The review:

At the time of writing we have had an 88% redemption rate on the vouchers, most of whom have now visited us. We have taken an average of 31 Groupon vouchers (i.e. 62 customers) per week since the offer went live, and our bar and restaurant takings are up by 26% over last year.

  • We have added virtually every Groupon visitor to our email database to receive further offers from us, and upon our first email offer to these subscribers, we have had a 12% uptake for these customers to book again to revisit. Before we started we had 1 review on Tripadvisor, we now have 21 and counting, with the vast majority being very positive.
  • As another benefit from the offer, several of our Groupon guests were members of various large organisations who use off-site conference and training facilities, and we are now able to pursue these much more effectively than we would if we had to start with a cold call.
  • All in all Groupon worked very well us and achieved all the objectives we had set. It can be extremely effective at delivering a huge amount of extra customers, but you just need to have a clear strategy as to what to do with those customers when they visit, and then afterwards to make it work for your business.

(We have just completed our second Groupon voucher offering, where we sold 255 vouchers in 2 days (slightly higher price this time). This time we learned from our previous experience and Groupon set in place for us an online booking system for customers’ convenience so that we wouldn’t have the huge call volume and frustration at not being able to get through.)

 


Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (TweakYourBiz.com, BizSugar.com & MyKidsTime.ie) to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care. http://tweakyourbiz.com/

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  • Gavbourke

    good study, useful information thanksn

  • Good to hear how N. Ireland businesses are using Groupon and making it work!

  • Niall,u00a0nnThis is real good stuff. I’d PDF it and drop into Slideshare.u00a0

  • Amazed you didn’t get all mobile numbers. Recent studies by Yahoo suggest that as much as 50-60% of nmarketing emails never reach the desired recipient. nI personally sent out 60 by Constant Contact to people I ndeal with as an experiment and 16 were opened. nA week later sent 60 by texting and ALL got the message.u00a0 sendbulktexts dotcomI then Googled B and B Draperstown and no sign of it, have to do some things with your Place page e.g more reviews, citations and video. irishlocalbusinesslistings dotcomI then checked your website and no video! videoforimpact dotcom n

  • Andrew Leonard

    Interestingu00a0article but confusing:nn”We wanted tou00a0promote our B & B businessu00a0to the tourism & leisure sector” -u00a040 en-suite rooms with restaurant, leisure suite, hot tub and sauna is not the B&B sector, it is the hotel sector!!!Restaurant Takings up by 26% – what was the actual % increase in profit?Why was the original offer run in March 2011, when the lowestu00a0occupancy rates in 2010u00a0were in July and August?u00a0I think the u00a312,000 in Groupon fees would have been better spent on trying to encourage groups to book for residential weekend courses, such asu00a0religiousu00a0organisations, craft courses, photography courses etc.u00a0″Before we started we had 1 review on Tripadvisor, we now haveu00a021 and counting, with the vast majority being very positive.” u00a0I would have chosen a better trip advisor review to include in this article: “All in all would go back for another overnight stay if GROUPON deal was offered again”.u00a0That suggests not good value for money unless staying on a Groupon Voucher.u00a0Would that really make people want to pay full price?????An up to date website would also helpu00a0instilu00a0some confidence u00a0- 17th June 2011 and the website’s menu for the conference centre has a link for Valentine’s Day offers and the Tariffs are for March 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Why are there no special rates displayed on the website for July and August 2011 on the Tariff pages. After all that is the time of year that has the lowest occupancy rates.

  • Hi Andrew, as I did not write the case study myself, I’ll respond best I can under the circumstances.nn”We wanted tou00a0promote our B & B businessu00a0to the tourism & leisure sector” -u00a040 en-suite rooms with restaurant, leisure suite, hot tub and sauna is not the B&B sector, it is the hotel sector!!” My understanding is that they wanted to promote the B&B part of their business ie. B2C rather than B2Bu00a0nn’Why was the original offer run in March 2011, when the lowestu00a0occupancy rates in 2010u00a0were in July and August?’ again see above, I would imagine thatu00a0targetingu00a0new customers then was to optimise reach reach, remember this was a marketing rather than a sales excersise.u00a0nn”I think the u00a312,000 in Groupon fees would have been better spent on trying to encourage groups to book for residential weekend courses, such asu00a0religiousu00a0organisations, craft courses, photography courses etc” Very possible! but the devil is in the detail here plus the objective was B2C. u00a0u00a0nn”I would have chosen a better trip advisor review to include in this article: “All in all would go back for another overnight stay if GROUPON deal was offered again”. I choose this review, not Aidan :)nnThanks for youru00a0comments,u00a0nnNialln

  • I know Groupon is not everyone’s cup of tea, and the fees seem to be very high – on top of huge discounts – but as a marketing exercise they seem to be very happy. Well done!

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi PeternnThanks for your comment, and apologies for the delay in responding as I’m just back last night from holiday.nnWe actually do collect mobile numbers from our guests where possible (as with email addresses, not everyone will give them), and mobile / text marketing is on our agenda. We realise we do have some work to do on other aspects of our marketing too in this market (i.e. website, SEO, place page, reviews, etc) before we get there, but the Groupon offer was a good exercise for us with regard to profile raising in a market we were not known for in Northern Ireland, but to which we are actually well-suited.nnThanks also for your feedback on what has worked for you with regard to text messaging & for sharing your open rates. Over the weekend I will check out the sites you’ve listed – thanks again for your commentsnnAidan

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi AndrewnnFirstly thanks for your comments – really appreciate such comprehensive feedback. Secondly please excuse the delay in responding as I have just returned from holiday last night.nnTo take your points in turn: -nn1. B & B / Hotel – this is probably an issue of terminology – we regard our B2B clients as “Conference” and our B2C customers as “B & B”. As Niall said we were looking to promote the B2C side of the business, which we’ve always called B & B. Apologies if the teminology caused confusion.nn2. Restaurant takings – the percentage figure I gave was for takings from Groupon customers over and above the actual Groupon offer, which was obviously heavily discounted. The takings figure increase was 26% with a resultant profit increase of 21%.nn3. You are correct to point out that our lowest occupancy rates were July and August, but we also had spare capacity on the B2C side for weekend bookings, as our conference / training side was quieter then than mid-week. Therefore we ran the promotion in March with a view to increasing the business during March, April & May, with the subsequent growth in email list & TripAdvisor reviews in preparation for the July / August season. As Niall has pointed out this was a marketing rather than a sales exercise, and we did anticipate that we would run another offer just before the summer, which has just completed and should yield a similar result to the first one.nn4. Better spending of the u00a312K Groupon fees – I can see your point, but we took a different view on this, if I may explain. With the Groupon offer we took the view that it was only going to cost us money when an actual booking was made, which in my view makes it more measureable and effective than traditional advertising, as long as you can make the figures stack up (i.e. there is no marketing budget wastage as every pound spent has an actual measureable result). Our centre has many years experience of running the types of courses you suggested, and we do separately market to groups to this end, but for this particular exercise it was purely the B2C customers we wanted to target and grow our database in that market. We saw this as a means of tapping into this with a fairly immediate result which if managed properly could make an impact on our bottom line, which it did.nn5. As Niall pointed out he included the TripAdvisor review for the post. nn6. Your points about the website are absolutely correct – it needs a major overhaul and one is in the pipeline. nnThanks again for your feedback – I really do appreciate itnnAidan BreslinnDerrynoid Centre

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi AndrewnnFirstly thanks for your comments – really appreciate such comprehensive feedback. Secondly please excuse the delay in responding as I have just returned from holiday last night.nnTo take your points in turn: -nn1. B & B / Hotel – this is probably an issue of terminology – we regard our B2B clients as “Conference” and our B2C customers as “B & B”. As Niall said we were looking to promote the B2C side of the business, which we’ve always called B & B. Apologies if the teminology caused confusion.nn2. Restaurant takings – the percentage figure I gave was for takings from Groupon customers over and above the actual Groupon offer, which was obviously heavily discounted. The takings figure increase was 26% with a resultant profit increase of 21%.nn3. You are correct to point out that our lowest occupancy rates were July and August, but we also had spare capacity on the B2C side for weekend bookings, as our conference / training side was quieter then than mid-week. Therefore we ran the promotion in March with a view to increasing the business during March, April & May, with the subsequent growth in email list & TripAdvisor reviews in preparation for the July / August season. As Niall has pointed out this was a marketing rather than a sales exercise, and we did anticipate that we would run another offer just before the summer, which has just completed and should yield a similar result to the first one.nn4. Better spending of the u00a312K Groupon fees – I can see your point, but we took a different view on this, if I may explain. With the Groupon offer we took the view that it was only going to cost us money when an actual booking was made, which in my view makes it more measureable and effective than traditional advertising, as long as you can make the figures stack up (i.e. there is no marketing budget wastage as every pound spent has an actual measureable result). Our centre has many years experience of running the types of courses you suggested, and we do separately market to groups to this end, but for this particular exercise it was purely the B2C customers we wanted to target and grow our database in that market. We saw this as a means of tapping into this with a fairly immediate result which if managed properly could make an impact on our bottom line, which it did.nn5. As Niall pointed out he included the TripAdvisor review for the post. nn6. Your points about the website are absolutely correct – it needs a major overhaul and one is in the pipeline. nnThanks again for your feedback – I really do appreciate itnnAidan BreslinnDerrynoid Centre

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi AndrewnnFirstly thanks for your comments – really appreciate such comprehensive feedback. Secondly please excuse the delay in responding as I have just returned from holiday last night.nnTo take your points in turn: -nn1. B & B / Hotel – this is probably an issue of terminology – we regard our B2B clients as “Conference” and our B2C customers as “B & B”. As Niall said we were looking to promote the B2C side of the business, which we’ve always called B & B. Apologies if the teminology caused confusion.nn2. Restaurant takings – the percentage figure I gave was for takings from Groupon customers over and above the actual Groupon offer, which was obviously heavily discounted. The takings figure increase was 26% with a resultant profit increase of 21%.nn3. You are correct to point out that our lowest occupancy rates were July and August, but we also had spare capacity on the B2C side for weekend bookings, as our conference / training side was quieter then than mid-week. Therefore we ran the promotion in March with a view to increasing the business during March, April & May, with the subsequent growth in email list & TripAdvisor reviews in preparation for the July / August season. As Niall has pointed out this was a marketing rather than a sales exercise, and we did anticipate that we would run another offer just before the summer, which has just completed and should yield a similar result to the first one.nn4. Better spending of the u00a312K Groupon fees – I can see your point, but we took a different view on this, if I may explain. With the Groupon offer we took the view that it was only going to cost us money when an actual booking was made, which in my view makes it more measureable and effective than traditional advertising, as long as you can make the figures stack up (i.e. there is no marketing budget wastage as every pound spent has an actual measureable result). Our centre has many years experience of running the types of courses you suggested, and we do separately market to groups to this end, but for this particular exercise it was purely the B2C customers we wanted to target and grow our database in that market. We saw this as a means of tapping into this with a fairly immediate result which if managed properly could make an impact on our bottom line, which it did.nn5. As Niall pointed out he included the TripAdvisor review for the post. nn6. Your points about the website are absolutely correct – it needs a major overhaul and one is in the pipeline. nnThanks again for your feedback – I really do appreciate itnnAidan BreslinnDerrynoid Centre

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi AndrewnnFirstly thanks for your comments – really appreciate such comprehensive feedback. Secondly please excuse the delay in responding as I have just returned from holiday last night.nnTo take your points in turn: -nn1. B & B / Hotel – this is probably an issue of terminology – we regard our B2B clients as “Conference” and our B2C customers as “B & B”. As Niall said we were looking to promote the B2C side of the business, which we’ve always called B & B. Apologies if the teminology caused confusion.nn2. Restaurant takings – the percentage figure I gave was for takings from Groupon customers over and above the actual Groupon offer, which was obviously heavily discounted. The takings figure increase was 26% with a resultant profit increase of 21%.nn3. You are correct to point out that our lowest occupancy rates were July and August, but we also had spare capacity on the B2C side for weekend bookings, as our conference / training side was quieter then than mid-week. Therefore we ran the promotion in March with a view to increasing the business during March, April & May, with the subsequent growth in email list & TripAdvisor reviews in preparation for the July / August season. As Niall has pointed out this was a marketing rather than a sales exercise, and we did anticipate that we would run another offer just before the summer, which has just completed and should yield a similar result to the first one.nn4. Better spending of the u00a312K Groupon fees – I can see your point, but we took a different view on this, if I may explain. With the Groupon offer we took the view that it was only going to cost us money when an actual booking was made, which in my view makes it more measureable and effective than traditional advertising, as long as you can make the figures stack up (i.e. there is no marketing budget wastage as every pound spent has an actual measureable result). Our centre has many years experience of running the types of courses you suggested, and we do separately market to groups to this end, but for this particular exercise it was purely the B2C customers we wanted to target and grow our database in that market. We saw this as a means of tapping into this with a fairly immediate result which if managed properly could make an impact on our bottom line, which it did.nn5. As Niall pointed out he included the TripAdvisor review for the post. nn6. Your points about the website are absolutely correct – it needs a major overhaul and one is in the pipeline. nnThanks again for your feedback – I really do appreciate itnnAidan BreslinnDerrynoid Centre

  • Aidan Breslin

    Thanks ElainennYou’re absolutely right, the fees are very high, as are the discounts (in fact after I’d agreed the offer with Groupon I signed up as a user myself when I saw the deal people were getting!)nnAnd as a marketing exercise it has worked well for us, because we did research the horror stories (and there are many) of other businesses who didn’t have a positive experience to learn from what went wrong. I found Groupon quite good too for direction on this (obviously they did OK out of the whole transaction too! ;-)nnThanks againnnAidan

  • Yolande Bell-Nieman

    We didu00a0a similar promotion with Boardsdeals and although it worked very well for us in terms of sourcing new clients to our hotel we were not prepared for many elements including data collection and dealing with the sheer volume of calls.nMy question however would be this? The vouchers that are bought through companies like Groupon and Boards are offering seriously good value and we found people tended not to be too critical in the service or food offering as they bought something considered as ‘a steal’ anyway. Will this affect business in the long run. Will those who had a good experience at that price return at a higher a price or will they go to the next great deal on Groupon or Boardsdeals which results in a lack of loyalty as price will dictate?

  • Aidan Breslin

    Hi YolandennOne of the things we had identified as a negative before we ran our offer was exactly that – the sheer volume of calls, and the negative feedback from customers at not being able to get through to make their reservation because the phone went either unanswered or was always busy. We thought we were prepared for it with extra staff in the 2 days following the vouchers becoming live, but we still had missed calls (these went to answering machine and were then followed up). What I would say to anyone doing this is, be prepared for a deluge of calls (great complaint to have in any business, but only if you’re ready for it)nnWith our second offer we discussed with Groupon and they sorted out a simple online reservation system which seemed to resolve the issue and result in (hopefully) a smoother booking system for customers – this should be relatively easy to set up for anyone running something similar – for instance set up a simple SurveyMonkey form and gather data that way – then at least the phone call is outbound (i.e. when suits you), and it’s a lot shorter as you’re just confirming a date rather than taking all details (name, contact details, voucher codes, etc)nnYour point about people not being too critical is true in most cases, but again because of the negative experiences I had read about we tried to be careful not to let standards slip for Groupon customers. One of the other main bugbears I had read about was that voucher holders were treated differently in some establishments than non-voucher (or “normal”) customers. We decided that we wouldn’t do that, and as a result the feedback through the various channels we collect it has been very positive, although it’s like anything, it’s not possible to keep everyone happynnWith regard to your point about loyalty, it’s probably too soon for me to comment with any certainty on this, but our initial promotion to come back a second time after someone has been here with a Groupon offer has had a 10% take-up rate so far. The price is 30% higher than the original Groupon offer, of which we get to keep 100% this time. I’m taking that as a good indicator that because of the good experience people had the first time they visited us, they still see this as good value, which I think is the keynnHope that helpsnnAidan

  • Paula Ronan

    Thanks Aidan and Niall for a really clear, informative case study – I’m impressed with the attention to detail Aidan gives his responses to comments, well done!

  • Aidan Breslin

    No problem Paula – thanks for commenting – great to get the feedbacknnAidan

  • Anonymous

    This case study highlights the vagaries in these promotions. Oftentimes there are some variables that simply canu2019t be put on a spreadsheet and u2018measuredu2019. There has been a flurry of papers of late all analysing the Group deal model and whether or not itu2019s actually sustainable (numbers of businesses not willing to try it again etc).nnThe numbers are sometimes frightening and have to be studied before you sign the dotted line. nnWe developed an interactive spreadsheet to try and capture some of the mathematical variables in these promotions.u00a0nnPrior to the promotion you can plug in the numbers for your own business and then make some subjective u2018guessesu2019 where the numbers are not known yet (ie number of returning visitors etc). Then see what the numbers look like and make a call on the unquantifiable elements (positiveu00a0Trip Advisor comments etc) and see if your prepared to invest.nnYou can muck around with the maths here: nnhttp://www.ilevel.ie/media-blog/digital/101811-daily-deal-and-coupon-calculatornnnItu2019s as interactive as can be with an embedded sheet. We have a better (faster and with a little more style!) version of the spreadsheet.u00a0nnIf anyone wants it, just request it in the comments and we will mail it to you. nnnC

  • Hi Elli, Great Topic!!! u00a0I’ve been involved in a new initiative in Waterford City called FAB (Females at Business) this programme is to help women in business who might be thinking of starting a business or who has just started one but not sure where to go next. u00a0It is a programme that takes them through the whole process from Idea Generation to getting them started to giving them full support when they’re up and running, but it’s run on a voluntary basis by established business owners and this is where the support comes from. u00a0It was very interesting in the beginning as 100 people turned up for the opening day, a good 60 of them applied for the programme, but it was felt that the majority of women don’t start a business because of a lack of belief in themselves to be able to do it! Once they had the support and knew there was always someone on the other end of a phone they could call for help they were raring to go!nnWe had 15 very successful businesses established from the programme and are now entering into year 2 of it. u00a0I think people need support and know they can pick up the phone and speak to a person who will help them whatever the problem is or if the person on the other end of the phone can’t help them, they can put them in touch with someone who can. u00a0As well as a nurtured belief that they can do it and it doesn’t take a special ‘talent or gift’ it just takes a bit of work!

  • Eibhlin Curley

    In my opinon Confidence, Role models, Mentors

  • Eibhlin Curley

    In my opinon Confidence, Role models, Mentors

  • I totally agree with your point Niall,u00a0but in the overall balance of male to female members of the Dail does it really matter whether the Minister is male or female they should be qualified to do the job and have the interests of us the citizens at heart.

  • I take your point but I think it’s about leadership for me, appointing a man as minister for children would have sent a new message, I accept it’s a symbolic gesture mainly but I thinks it would have been effective in that media would have picked up on it and it would have created a conversation that would lead to real change. u00a0

  • Derbhile

    The myth that they can have it all.

  • Anonymous

    Judy,nnI’m delighted you commented! Are the factors really choice-based? We’re socialised from an early age into gender preferences which may hijack the choice process. For instance, are women who found businesses more likely to be in industries that are tradtionally female? Does this matter when a business owner, regardless of being male or female, still has to understand business principles and concepts and create a competitive and money-making enterprise? How does this fit into the larger economy of a nation?

  • Anonymous

    Robin,nnThanks for commenting about the myths. Myths can serve the purpose of being the “folklore” of business. Stories are time-honoured ways of explaining the intangibles so that we may be aware of them in our lives. The wrong myths may have started off as cautionary tales but they can become tools to limit or eliminate certain behaviours. Could entrepreneurial initiatives create new stories that embolden us to see our business through to our exit strategies?nnIf we stop and look at Mr. Perry’s question, do women business owners/entrepreneurs need new myths to start their business? Or do they need something more pragmatic like training, funding and opportunities to connect with more powerful individuals and organisations?

  • Anonymous

    Judy,nnThank you for responding to my questions. I agree that when all is said and done we make choices about our lives and that’s what defines us. Looking at your response makes me wonder if all of the resources are currently in place and what women business owners/entrepreneurs need most is actually an internal re-calibration of confidence.

  • I’ll echo Niall’s comment – Is Feidir Linn 🙂

  • Some great pointers here for reducing daily stress also, I agree that some time-out everyday for physically activity is excellent, even if its only a brisk walk in the fresh air… looking forward to reading more from you Paul 🙂

  • Debi Harper

    Brilliant blog, it actually makes me want to try and give a presentation:) and that comes from someone with the biggest fear of standing in front of any audience. Your approach makes it sound like fun.

  • Elishbul

    Hi Debi- what a gorgeous sentiment! I think the fear of performance dissipates when you approach it with this frame of mind: (apart from being well prepared) that you are about to share some of yourself with others, that it’s not about ego or your fear of what people think about you – it’s about generosity of spirit, what you want to contribute. And yes it becomes fun, and eventually addictive.

  • Super article, Elish and I’m delighted to see you refer to the performing arts sector for tips and inspiration.  It’s always been my opinion that business presentations are just that a performance. Also, great to see you mention improv skills as a necessary tool, I’d add that they can be and should be used in the preparation too. 

  • Hi Niall – Thank you for the comment. Its important to stress Improvisation is a Skill and not = Ad Libbing due to lack of preparation. Quite the contrary, good improvisation demands strong background knowledge AND preparation as a foundation. And it is also important not to think of Performance in this context as being false – Charisma is in fact its about being all the more Present and Genuine  vis a vis the people you are trying win over.
    Regards
    Elish Bul Godley

  • PaulJohnstone

    Great Blog Elish, I think we are on a similar wave-length I’ve subscribed.  Keep up the good work

  • Elishbul

    Thank you for the comment Paul- nice to know

  • I am intrigued and now wish I’ll be a Fly on the wall- Best of Luck! i take it there will be much irony & personality involved! Thanks for the supportive comment.

  • Sharon is a great source of support to business people and other VA’s alike. Delighted to see her doing so well 🙂

  • Thanks Jenny 🙂

  • Thanks for your kind words Debbie, although I wouldn’t say Queen of Excel – more like 1st year princess 😉
    I’m glad you like the blog, my aim is to share & help anyone who doesn’t know a lot about MS Office but may be too shy to ask!

  • Great tips there for MS Office users, ones that seem to be rarely taught or shown in a formal training session, and yet so helpful!! Thanks Sharon and Sian

  • Thanks Elaine – glad you found it useful 🙂

  • Thanks Elaine 🙂

  • Thanks Sian – Flor has a great way with words and takes a wry look at life 🙂

  • Thanks Sian. And thanks Helen for doing the interview. Glad you enjoy the emails. Pressure’s really on now to keep them interesting!

  • Great sharing…thanks. A few I had never heard of and now need to figure out how to use them!

  • Kristen Hanna

    Thanks Wise Mona for your feedback.

  • Ger Deane

    Flor, Interested to know do you always write the emails daily or do you sometimes have them ‘lined up’?
    Also,
    do you proof-read your emails before sending? I find bad spelling &
    grammar infuriating but I know it’s hard to keep it perfect if you are in a rush.
    ….For example I notice this post has your name wrong (as McCarty)….twice

  • My pleasure Elli, it’s always nice to see the original crew up there too.

  • Thanks for this great article Boris. I’m also always amazed at some people that believe cashflow is indicative of profit plus they don’t think of the long term commitments that need to be covered like the dreaded taxes

  • Mohan K V

    Hi Cayla, seems good.

  • Cayla

    Thanks so much Mohan

  • Cayla

    Thanks a lot Sian for the appreciation . Will try to come up with few such tips in my next article

  • Jatin Bawa

    Hi Cayla,

    Its very useful Info, can you provide your some own experience, so we can take the benefits




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