Growing your visitor attraction
How to Plan for Growth
In order to ensure the Attraction and Experience is geared for growth (and recovery from the Pandemic), it will be necessary to do a ‘deep dive’ into the business and plan a strategy for growth – based around the key drivers of the business.
This learner guide will take you through the following steps and provide guidance on developing a strategy for growth for your business.
Analyse your Business & Historic Performance
To understand the requirements of what it will take to grow your business, first seek to understand the past and current performance over the entirety of the operation of the business. Understanding the reasons for the ups and downs of the business and the reasons for the historic decisions made will enable you to understand each of the levers which you may pull and push in order to drive performance and positive change.
This analysis should include Customer metrics (Satisfaction/Feedback), People Metrics (Staff Engagement/Training stats/turnover), Facilities Management Metric (Equipment reliability/breakdowns/utility costs) s etc, however the best place to start is the financials.
Examining the current Profit and Loss in detail is a good start, and historic information will give you the insight into trends, gaps, and possible issues. For this reason, it is useful to arrange the information into Daily/Weekly/Monthly and annual trends to identify aspects which may not be immediately obvious if you are immersed in the day to day.
Simple Profit and Loss Account: Revenue – Costs = Profit
Identifying each specific revenue and cost line in detail, and converting in to ratios and percentages over key items such as revenue totals or profit totals will give you Key Performance Indicators which can be tabulated as graphs or in a format which will allow you to establish trends and possible issues, and so determine strategy for improvement.
Tabulating your findings into percentages, ratios and graphs will allow you to freely look at data and allow it to become information which you can then base your future planning on. The key element of this is to ask why is the information this way, and to establish root cause. Be open minded to ask the questions of your staff and your colleagues.
A core component of making great decisions is understanding the rationale behind previous decisions. If we don’t understand how we got “here,” we run the risk of making things much worse.
Chesterton’s Fence is a heuristic inspired by a quote from the writer and polymath G. K. Chesterton’s 1929 book, The Thing. It’s best known as being one of John F. Kennedy’s favoured sayings, as well as a principle Wikipedia encourages its editors to follow. In the book, Chesterton describes the classic case of the reformer who notices something, such as a fence, and fails to see the reason for its existence. However, before they decide to remove it, they must figure out why it exists in the first place. If they do not do this, they are likely to do more harm than good with its removal. In its most concise version, Chesterton’s Fence states the following:
Do not remove a fence until you know why it was put up in the first place.
Chesterton went on to explain why this principle holds true, writing that fences don’t grow out of the ground, nor do people build them in their sleep or during a fit of madness. He explained that fences are built by people who carefully planned them out and “had some reason for thinking [the fence] would be a good thing for somebody.” Until we establish that reason, we have no business taking an axe to it. The reason might not be a good or relevant one; we just need to be aware of what the reason is. Otherwise, we may end up with unintended consequences: second- and third-order effects we don’t want, spreading like ripples on a pond and causing damage for years.