Restaurant and Lodging Business Owners

Profit Generating Tips for Restaurant and Lodging Business Owners

Over my years spent in the travel and tourism industry I have used several successful, low cost marketing methods to increase a business’s share of the group travel market.

As such, what follows are four of my easy, low cost steps that any lodging, restaurant or attraction business owner can employ to increase their share of the group travel market in 2011.

Step One

First and foremost, those that want to build their share of the group travel market should become familiar with the following organizations and their publications; “National Tour Association”, “American Bus Association”, “Pennsylvania Bus Association”, “Maryland Motor Coach Association”, “Ontario Motor Coach Association”, and the “Group Travel Leader.”

Examples of the publications include but are not limited to; “Group Travel Leaders”, “Bank Travel Management”, “Going on Faith”, “Winning Sports Meetings and Destinations”, “Destinations”, “Courier”, “Tuesday Newsletter” and the “NTA Trip Planner.”

These magazines, newsletters and e-zines are produced throughout the year and focus on different market segments central to increasing group travel market share.

For example, “Group Travel Leader” magazine is published monthly and has a circulation of 30,000 group travel leaders. 74 percent of the magazine’s readership includes visits to theaters in their trip planning.

Step Two

Once one is familiar with the previously mentioned organizations and their publications, it is time to obtain copies of their media kits, editorial and event calendars.

Accessing the editorial calendars of each is a simple task. Most of the publications maintain websites wherein current media kits can be readily downloaded.

These items will be needed in order to implement the next suggested steps for building one’s share of the group travel market.

Step Three

With information in hand, one should begin to review the editorial calendars first to see when the publications are focusing on things pertinent to one’s marketing efforts.

For example, “Destinations” magazine’s 2011 editorial calendar indicates that the March/April issue will be devoted to highlighting culinary tours, food festivals, farmer’s markets and agritourism.

Therefore, restaurant marketing managers may want to consider writing articles on their businesses and sending them into “Destinations” magazine for possible inclusion in their March/April issue.

The restaurant manager may also want to consider purchasing advertising space in that issue as well. Doing so will give the manager more proverbial “bang for her buck.”

Step Four

After the editorial calendars have been reviewed it is time to look at the organization’s event calendars. The event calendars generally contain such pertinent information as a list of upcoming trade shows, FAM trips, special events and other joint industry marketing opportunities.

This information is important because it gives tourism industry suppliers a chance to showcase their wares on a broader scale through such things as sponsorships, door prizes and gift baskets. Often times the cost of participating in the event is as low as the price of the item one is donating.

For example, organizations such as the “Pennsylvania Bus Association” participate in “National Travel and Tourism Week.”

For the uninitiated, “National Travel and Tourism Week” is an annual event that is scheduled to take place this year from May 7th until May 15th, 2011.

Those businesses that feel that it is too cost prohibitive to make their own gift baskets may want to consider soliciting the help of various related businesses in their area to make up one basket.

The gift baskets should then be given to organizations such as the “National Tour Association” to be distributed during key local, state and national events.

Additional Information

The above are just four easy steps to take towards increasing one’s share of the lucrative group travel market in 2011.

Those that would like to learn more about travel and tourism marketing techniques should consider consulting with their local tourism marketing professional.

Entrepreneurship and Dreams

Anyone who is an entrepreneur (current or aspiring) knows that passion and dedication are essential qualities to building a business. So is the ability to self-motivate. Nonetheless, hearing the stories of others can be incredibly inspiring and serve as a gentle reminder to look up from what you’re doing and stay connected to why you’re doing. Hearing Eric Lochtefeld speak at NYU on Tuesday night was one of those moments.

Eric is the founder and CEO of the University of Dreams, a company that provides professional development opportunities to college and high school students through internship placement and experiential learning. In listening to Eric speak, it’s clear that his mission in life is to encourage others to discover and pursue their dreams.


On his personal journey to building Dream Careers into the powerhouse it is today, Eric has gone from high to low and then back again. Several times, in fact. At various points in Eric’s career, he has worked with music legends such as Gwen Stefani and the Beastie Boys, slept on a warehouse floor, started multiple companies out of little but his own strong will and the ability to inspire others, experienced significant personal pain, and traveled the globe. He spoke to the students ‘” all interns in the program ‘” about the importance of following your dreams, and that as long as you do what you’re good at and what makes you happy, you’ll be successful.


We share Eric’s sentiment, as launching and building Urban Interns was truly our dream. Despite our own highs and lows, not a day goes by when we’re not proud to have chosen the path of the entrepreneur. We also share the view that internships are critical experiences for students and college grads, particularly those who aspire to one day work with or become entrepreneurs. The experience of learning from those who have taken an idea and from there built a business will not only give you a glimmer of what you might have to deal with yourself someday, but it will help you evaluate whether entrepreneurship is really right for you.


Another key point Eric touched on last night ‘” finding a mentor and the importance of maintaining personal relationships in our increasingly connected world. We can relate- there are several moments in our history where personal relationships opened doors that were game changers for us.


If this doesn’t make you want to run out and intern for an entrepreneur, how about this one? 75-percent of the Dream Career’s team started as participants in the Dream Career Program. Entrepreneurs value good people, and as organizations grow, so do the opportunities.


From two entrepreneurs living their dream, a heartfelt thanks Eric, for the inspiring words.

Entrepreneurship Tips for Everyone

How do people come up with business ideas? There’s no single answer to this question. For some people, business ideas pop up while taking a shower. For others, it’s while walking. For still others, it’s while driving. The list goes on and on. Those types of situations usually generate new ideas. And as you know, great business ideas do not have to be new ideas. You can make a fortune out of just improving existing products. This article is about how to get inspirations by examining existing business ideas.

While the techniques I’ll outline apply to all types of industries, my primary focus is the Internet. A crucial part of online businesses is that you need to find a good niche. Why is this important? Well, let’s take myspace and facebook, for example. They are really 2 big social networking sites. You might be able to come up with a great feature for networking sites that will make you stand out – if you were to create a new networking site. But it’ll be only a matter of time before those major players integrate the feature into their sites. So your run will not be long – if in fact, it’ll even make it. In the light of this consideration, it makes sense to start looking into something that’s a little bit different from what those social networking sites offer. So what’s the effective way of doing that?


The first thing to think about is the underlying model or purpose of the existing product. Most business models follow a paradigm that usually has two components: a static framework or foundation and a dynamic target or audience. The static component refers to the “verb” used to talk about the business. That is, what the business does. The dynamic component refers to who finds the business useful. For example, Intel Corporation builds [computer] chips. They target personal computers. So I can have a company that builds chips for other electronic devices such as mp3 players, dvd players, etc. The idea is the same (build chips), but the target/audience varies (computers, mp3 players, dvd players). For social networking sites, it’s connecting people together – primarily to share trivial stuff. So the idea is to connect people using some sort of common ground. Well, what if we could use the idea of connecting people and top that with a very specific “ground”? That’s what did. They connect professionals.


Google set out to be the search engine for everything. Well, that certainly works. But what if we take the idea of “search engine” and apply it to some specific areas. did exactly that for jobs. They are a search engine for jobs. How time consuming can searching for jobs on various sites be? You go to all these job sites, fill out the same type of forms and clicking to go through the results! The founders of understood the paradigm we describe above and used it well.


So from now on, when looking at existing business ideas, you should ask yourself two essential questions:

1) what’s the foundation/framework of the business or what does it do?

2) who/what’s the target/audience?


Once you have clear answers to those two questions, you’ll be in a great position to determine how – if applicable – you can extend the business idea.


The second point I’d like to make deals with connecting multiple business ideas. You would agree with me that a car dealership is directly related to an auto insurance company. That is, I’ll certainly need auto insurance if I own a car. Thus, some business ideas just go together or converge to a common (well defined) point. If you are able to find that convergence point, then you can create a business out of it. And what makes it even better is that your business can be very viable/sustainable because business usually specialize in specific areas. In other words, the car dealership focuses primarily on selling cars – they are not into auto insurance. Likewise, the auto insurance company deals with insurance matters – no car selling. Let’s take another example. If I buy a new house, I’ll probably need some housing related services like tv, internet, cable, moving, etc. So it makes perfect sense for someone to create a connection point between a real estate agent and housing service providers. So right in there lies a viable business!


To sum it up, you can find business ideas using the following two methods: 1) use the static component and vary the dynamic target of an existing business and 2) create a connection point between directly related businesses. I hope you find these tips useful. If you are interested in the various web 2.0 projects, a good place to check out is They have long lists of the different web 2.0 sites Рnew  amp; old. Look into the business ideas and try applying the techniques outlined in this article.


Good luck in your entrepreneurship endeavors.