How do you get to the top of your game and stay there? It’s something we’ve been thinking about recently, as we were delighted to be awarded a 2017 Travelers’ Choice Award, putting Sunlover Retreat in the top 1% of all B&Bs and Inns on TripAdvisor. This month on the blog, I thought I’d share some thoughts about sustaining your A-game through the busy summer period.
Our region’s summer population turns Tairua into a bustling primetime location during the high season. Locals and business owners make the adjustment from living and working in a sleepy town to living and working in an extremely busy one. We have discovered that in order to sustain our energy in the height of summer, it’s important to find time to enjoy the delights of Tairua that our guests enjoy. We love to walk the dog, swim in the Tairua Estuary, mooch about Sailors Grave and of course catch up for coffees with our friends at local cafes. Also, we employ help. Whether it is housekeeping or marketing, it certainly helps take the pressure off over the busy season.
Whether we are accommodation providers, restaurant owners, retail or trades and service providers, we are all ambassadors for our area. Thousands of people come to enjoy the place we are lucky enough to live in year-round. Many are coming to Tairua for the first time. What we say and do makes a massive impression on their overall perception of our town. We think it is important to remember that. How did you feel when you came to Tairua for the very first time? Were the locals friendly and helpful? I’ll bet you can remember your initial impression very clearly, we certainly can! People have a huge influence on one another, either positively or negatively. Kindness matters and is remembered. At Sunlover, we really do believe every person who walks over our doorstep goes from a stranger we haven’t met, to a friend. We treat every guest like our best friend and it enhances their experience and enriches our lives too.
Be it the height of summer or the quieter winter months, we adhere to the same customer service strategy. It’s simple, but it works for us and we recommend keeping it in mind and sharing with summer staff when the holiday population descends on your business. Ensure the answer is yes. If the answer isn’t yes, always offer a viable alternative. A flat-out “no” can be received like a door closing shut in the face. “I can’t provide this, however I can offer you that,” shows you care and are prepared to go the extra mile, which we have learnt goes a long way with most people.
Another thing we have come to understand – and it can sometimes be a challenge at the height of the busy time – is that the high season has a life span. For us it is from November to end of April. The high season is incredibly constant: 24/7. We manage the seasonal nature of business in Tairua by going with the flow of the seasons – using the heat and light of summer to function with high energy and full capacity. We know winter is only a season away, therefore it is about learning to put aside earnings for the rest of the year, doing maintenance when and where we can over winter and getting marketing, especially for the international market, set up for the upcoming season.
One of the pleasures of winter for us is to ‘re-join’ the Tairua community. The mellow pace of the winter months affords us time for catching up with children and grandchildren, hosting dinner parties and attending wine club. Every season has its pleasures – so go out and make the most of them and do what you can to sustain your health, wealth and wisdom whilst living and working in a seasonal location. We reckon it’s worth it!