I’ve just had a great four weeks off work. I spent a couple of weeks in Lanzarote, then had my brother and nephew staying with us for a week. They live in Japan, so I usually only see them once a year and it was great to have them over here.

But, of course, being the boring accountant I am, I couldn’t help but pick up a couple of business lessons over my time off!

And the main one was from the hotel in Lanzarote and about how sometimes it’s the simple things that trip you up in your business. The little things you should be doing right but, when done wrong, actually have a big impact.

The hotel was absolutely gorgeous – when you walked in, the reception area looked brilliant. Everything felt like it was really classy. And they did all the big things right. There was a huge pool with a mock boat in the middle with sunbeds on. And other pools dotted round the grounds. The food was really good, with a number of different restaurants, snack bars and coffee shops. And an onsite crazy golf.

They also did some of the lovely little flourishes really well. For example, we got a bottle of Cava to welcome us. There was also a bottle of Cava for my daughter, Beth, on her birthday. She was only 13, but they do start them young in Lanzarote!

But the thing that let them down was one of the really, really simple things – having towels in the bathroom of our hotel room.

There were four of us staying and on any given day it was pot luck how many towels we’d have – it was any number between zero towels and five towels. Now, as you can imagine, five towels was fine. Four towels was fine. Even three.

But, on a few days we had no towels. And that’s a problem. You get back from the pool, you want to shower and get ready to go out and there’s no towels in the room. The first time, it took over two hours to get some towels after repeated visits to reception.

This is just one of those basics they should be getting right. And, when it’s happened a few times, it starts to become a bigger deal than the gorgeous reception, big pool, free Cava, etc.

So it did make me think about how that applies to business.

For example, I have an accountancy firm. At the very core of our business, we do accounts and tax returns. We do try to do the big stuff well – we give proactive advice for tax savings and business growth, and we help many of our clients reach their business goals.  And we try and do a few of those flourishes – the nice bits that people talk about, like offering prosecco in meetings.

But, if we forget to do your accounts and your tax return, all the other stuff is forgotten and you’re not happy.

So, take a look at your own business and check you are doing the basics – the stuff that people are actually paying you for. Because, you can have the best hotel in the world but if you can’t have a shower in the evening……


PS Overall, we had a great time!!

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