Running a business can be tough at the best of times.
But with taxes rising, inflation spiralling and everyone going on about the ‘cost of living crisis’, things are even more challenging.
Which – you might think – would result in companies trying harder than ever to acquire customers.
But it seems there are some people just coasting along and hoping for the best.
And I was reminded of this reality just the other day.
My son turned 18 this year, and back in February we started planning.
He quite fancied having his party at the local pub, so I rang and left a message saying what we were looking for, the date, and asking them to call. I also sent them an email.
I didn’t hear anything back in February, and then other party arrangements were made.
I thought no more about it until Thursday 29 June, the day before the party.
But on the day in question, I had several missed calls on my mobile from a local number, and one voicemail: “We have an 18th birthday party pencilled in for your son for tomorrow evening. We haven’t heard anything from you about whether it is going ahead or not. Please call us if it is going ahead”!
Flabbergasted doesn’t really cover it.
No confirmation of booking whatsoever, no contact for four months, and then a cursory phone call the day before to ask whether it was “going ahead”.
The answer was – obviously – yes, but not at their venue.
It makes me wonder what they would have said if I’d said ‘yes’ though – would they all of a sudden have been able to accommodate 50 teenagers and provided food and drink flor them all?
Perhaps they would, but if their lackadaisical attitude towards booking is anything to go by, it’s likely it would have been a rather half-hearted affair.
As businesses, we all need leads. But we also need a robust, repeatable and reliable way to convert them into sales, otherwise we’re just throwing business away.
Just like my local pub.