Fringe Benefits of Edinburgh

Even when on holiday or taking a short break you can pick up great tips for business.

Reflecting on a weekend trip to Edinburgh I recalled:

  • The views from Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat and the Scott Monument – all providing a wonderful panorama and higher perspective of the city and its surroundings. When was the last time you took an overhead or sweeping vista view of your business?
  • How much you notice when you stop to take a look – rather than walking with your head down or just concentrating on not bumping into people. When was the last time you stopped in the High Street, looked up and noticed something new, different or unusual?
  • The superb customer service at the restaurant Locanda de Gusti – a wonderful example of great product, admirable work ethic and outstanding team work (something one of the cafes on the Royal Mile could do with learning about)
  • How you don’t need a tour guide to enjoy a tourist attraction. The self-guided audio handsets given to every visitor to the Royal Yacht Britannia provided an excellent commentary on different aspects of the historic craft. Is there a way for your business to let customers and clients just do their own thing or learn for themselves?
  • How the hotel got almost everything right – just a couple of things were missing. That meant it wasn’t quite a 100 per cent wow. What’s missing from your business that could make all the difference between good and very good, very good and excellent, excellent to out of this world?
  • Just how much a person’s mood can affect their enjoyment of an experience or influence their buying decisions – how can you get people into the right buying mood for your products or services?
  • The turbulence during the flight and the wind trying to push the plane sideways on landing – and the pilot keeping the aircraft in control for a safe landing. What do you have in place to deal with the rough times?
  • The thought that you (and your business) will never be loved by everyone. We found the tram a great way to travel between the airport and the city. Many drivers, including taxi drivers, are not so keen on it as it causes delays to their journeys. Some travellers preferred to catch a cab for their flight as it usually worked out quicker. Just offer what you offer – as my friend Peter Thomson once told me – “Some will, some won’t, so what?

If you keep your eyes and ears open, you can find valuable lessons and thoughts for business wherever you go.


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