I’ve just done a bread workshop in Airlie Beach, put on by Tourism Queensland. It was for the Smile Whitsundays campaign. People say to me: “What’s a baker know about tourism?” Or selling medical equipment, or real estate? I believe the basic fundamentals of business don’t vary that much. My business, like everyone else’s, is all about serving the customer.
I get to talk to all sorts of groups, from funeral companies and energy suppliers to accountants and church groups. You name it, I’ve probably spoken to their industry. From miners to teachers to oil riggers, most people find it pretty incredible that these people will pay a baker to come and talk to them.
I just tell them our story: how we’ve built our business and how we’re still doing it today.
These workshops, which I run with our sales trainer Roger Simpson, are condensed down to four modules. Number one is customer service: how the commitment to great customer service begins at the top. So I speak for half an hour with photos and examples.
Then Roger gets the group to write down how they could do customer service better. There’s lots of interaction and questions amongst the group. They share ideas and discuss how they could do things better. Plenty gets written in these workbooks. Roger does a fantastic job running the workshops.
Number two is on marketing: keep it simple yet clever. Again I speak on how we do it and show examples. Then Roger gets to work on the audience. Number three is on culture: all about creating a strong organisational culture. How our culture gives us that competitive advantage.
Number four is on comfort zone: getting out of your comfort zone. It’s all about goal setting. I do believe everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.
The workshops with Smile Whitsundays went really well. We got lots of great feedback. No matter what the business or industry or setting, you should never stop learning.