Featured

Working smart not hard

As time has progressed in our company this statement has become never so more important than now. In a time where things are so unsure, we need to do exactly this. Working smart not hard.

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We learnt early on that working 24/7 may bring in a little money to get you started but it does not build a stable future in your business. I think we all remember, when first starting our new business that we think we have to price low to win from our competitors. However all this does is create the infamous “race to the bottom”. When your competitors, many who have been in business a longer time and therefore able to afford to cut prices. So where does that leave you? cutting cost until you are working all the hours for little or no profit with no work / life balance.

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This just leaves us feeling tired and stressed, an ultimately not very productive. So here are some of the things that we learnt early on, that we needed to move forward and grow our business not just work in it.

  • Have an effective business plan
  • Know your worth
  • Understand your business
  • Be clear about your costings
  • Be proud and loud about your company
  • Link with others that can help you grow

You need to have a solid business plan. If you don’t know where you are now and where you want to be, how do you know how to get there. Think of a business plan as your “SatNav” to steer you in the right direction.

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When it comes to pricing your services, remember “know your worth”. By this I mean believe in your skills, knowledge and experience. Don’t forget everything you sell is because you have worked hard to source / build or invest your time and energy to create it. This is particularly important when you consider your USP. There may be 2 very similar companies selling services that appear, on the surface, identical. What makes you stand out, and what is the value of that uniqueness.

Most sole traders or SME’s will have a good idea on what there business is and what it represents. However, check you are fully aware of every aspect of what you offer, costings and the finer details that makes you what you are.

Now we have met so many companies who price according to their competitors. While I would not disagree that you need to be aware of what those around you are charging, do not fall into the pit of comparing yourself on price alone. So many companies, I have spoken to do not cost their expenses in properly.

  1. If you are not even covering your costs then how are you ever going to make a profit and grow your business.
  2. Consider ALL costs; for us that is not just fuel and wages. We consider EVERYTHING! This is the one thing that most new businesses find hard to deal with. Trust us, we were no different. Now we have learnt, and unbelievably it is not a huge cost to the client.
  3. Of course once you have discovered your break even point (no 2), you need to add on your profit!! I know, hard for some people to accept and feel good about. Just think you are in this to make a profit (unless of course you are a not for profit organisation). Yes you enjoy your work, running your business, but profit is not a swear word. It is not unreasonable to make a profit. This is also very important if you want to grow your business. PROFIT and GROWTH are not the same thing.
  4. Once you have your costing formula; cost + % profit = your charges
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Never be frightened or embarrassed about “blowing your own trumpet”. You have worked hard. Also it helps promote your business to potential clients. One thing we have found incredibly useful recently is networking with Your Partnerships.

The one thing we learnt was that there is a right time and a wrong time in business for everything. You won’t always get it right, don’t be too hard on yourself, don’t give up. Seek advice. This is where networking is so good. There will always be others to ask for advice or bounce ideas off of.

When we started out, we had no money, no real business experience. We did things as money allowed. Such things as; getting our website, having a video made, business logo etc. Amazing all three of these things came from recommendations to other local businesses. Helping one another, particularly local businesses is an amazing feel good factor too. Just remember there is a right time to take the leap and a time to wait. Choose a time that is right for you……

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If anyone would like to chat about our experiences, suggestions and recommendations or about how to join Your Partnerships https://www.yourpartnerships.co.uk/ or Silvatree http://www.silvatree.co.uk/agent (a modern bartering group that allows you to utilise your empty services and sales for other services you need – win win), book a chat with me; Nicola Hollis

Finesse Chauffeurs https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk

finessechauffeurs@gmail.com +441726810804

Experienced business and tour providers across the UK.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicola-hollis-98b67a13b/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/finesse-chauffeurs

https://www.facebook.com/finessechauffeurs/

Featured

NOT JUST A TOUR

Finesse Chauffeurs & Tours presents you with an entirely unique experience

“Everyone deserves a little finesse in their lives”

https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk/tailor-made-private-tours/

Oxford and Blenheim Palace ~ Whether you choose to take our walking tour around Oxford with our experienced guide, take part in a private access guided tour of the Bodleian Library, or visit one of it’s many Museums. Oxford has much to explore and learn. As we leave and drive across to Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace, hear about some very personal untold stories of the Palace and how the Hollis family have lived in Woodstock, been closely linked to Blenheim and how 3 generations have worked within it’s walls.

The Cotswolds ~ Having lived in this beautiful area for many years ourselves, we are well versed in what this amazing location has to offer. We can take you to some familiar locations for travellers to the area such as Bourton on the Water, Broadway, Chipping Campden and Stow on the Wold. Or alternatively we can take you to some lesser know villages, that are still full of Cotswold Charm. Here you will find what is known as the “True England”, travelling along the old Roman “Fosse Way” through scenic quaint villages.

Bath ~ This city is full of culture, history and charm. From the ancient Roman Baths in the City Centre to Pultney Bridge and the Georgian Crescent. As the City Centre is not a driven route, the best way to see this amazing location, and enjoy lunch is with one of our experienced tour guides. Fans of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” will also have the opportunity to explore the area. Also hear about Bath’s links to Cornwall via Bath Spa University.

Wells Cathedral ~ This majestic Cathedral with its three towers was built between 1175 and 1490. The Cathedral allows Wells to be classed as a City, the smallest in England. There has been a choir here for over 1,000 years and the current boys, girls and men can be heard regularly on Radio 3. A truly magnificent location to visit and well enjoyed by all of our visiting guests.

Cornwall ~ Rustic, rugged coastlines dominate this county. Deep mining heritage and a proud nation built on it’s fishing industry. Visit hide away coves, villages off the beaten track and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. Join us on a tour built for you, no time limits, no shared travel. We arrange unique experiences to make your stay memorable.

Some examples of our amazing experiences;

  • Afternoon tea with the butler
  • Private yacht hire
  • Exclusive library tours
  • Helicopter flights
  • Pasty making
  • Open air theatre tickets
  • Foraging on the Moor with private guide
  • Behind the scenes tours
  • Unique garden tours
  • Private talks at Stately homes
  • Wildlife cruises
  • Meeting the locals, arts, music
  • much more ………

This is just an example of what we can provide, for our other services please follow the link: https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk/

To book or make enquiries please email Nicola: tours@finessechauffeurs.co.uk

If you are an agent and wish to speak to us please use our contact form on the following link: https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk/inbound-tour-agents/

We currently work alongside some top VIP agencies in London, Scotland, USA and Canada. We have full policies, risk assessments and procedures for COVID-19 and continue to provide a safe environment for our clients. https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk/coronavirus-support/

Cornish mining heritage

Quaint villages of the Cotswolds

Dartmouth Weir

What’s in a tour?

  We always start our tour planning with an open conversation. Many people will do a Google search and find places that are commonly visited. The result of this is all tours are the same and don’t reflect or provide you with a fulfilled vacation.

  We have built our business to provide a friendly and professional service to everyone. What makes us unique is our complete flexibility in achieving our clients needs.

We create what is right for you

“Everyone deserves a little finesse in their lives”

  How do we achieve this? We have worked closely with many amazing people and companies to build a vast array of very special events and activities for our clients. We are always looking for new ways to expand these services and basically if a client requires a particular service then our tour planner will seek to resource.

  For example some of the current opportunities include, but not limited to, are;

  • Private helicopter or plane flights (inside UK)
  • Accommodation
  • Fine dining experience
  • Local pub visits
  • Personal tour guides
  • Horse and Carriage rides
  • Steam train
  • Private picnics
  • Personal photography sessions
  • Cooking demonstration
  • Local cuisine
  • Theatre – open air
  • Exclusive tours of historic venues
  • Sealife boat trips
  • Private yacht hire
  • Afternoon tea
  • Coasteering
  • Bird watching
  • Private golf lessons
  • Spa days
  • Walking tour
  • Pasty making
  • Pottery
  • Watching Local crafters at work
  • Music events – classical and modern

  All this in addition to your own personal chauffeur vehicle to drive you around in comfort and style. We plan our days on 8 hours. Obviously more or less as required.  Most importantly we go where you want, when you want.

  A coach tour will give you a driver and guide. However you are with many people and are strictly limited by time, locations and where the coaches can access on very narrow country roads.

Typical local road.

  Finesse Chauffeurs are able to provide travel for your party for your very specific needs.

  We are waiting to help you. So please don’t hesitate to contact us on;

tours@finessechauffeurs.co.uk

Contact Us

+44 1726 810804

  https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk/tailor-made-private-tours/

Tours of Cornwall and the UK with a little “Finesse”

Winter 2020

  Well we all know what a difficult year this has been. Who would have thought as we saw the new year in, and the start of another new decade, what was ahead of us. 

 

  So many difficult times have befallen us since we first entered the sphere of lockdown. We have learnt to live in a different way.

Covid has affected individuals and businesses the world over

  Around these restrictions, we have been resourceful and learnt to work in a new way.

  Social distancing – has taught us it is okay to work from home, given us the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and networking has replaced face to face meetings.

  I recall a conversation I had before Covid-19 with a fellow business friend. We were discussing the trend and speed of life in general, but also exacerbated by running a business.  We agreed that wouldn’t it be good, if just for a while, we could holt the merry-go-round of life and take a breather.

When our lives spin out of control. Take a step away and breathe

  Oh how these words have come back to me so frequently recently. In all the toil and negatively (of which there has been many) I am proud to say that if exactly what we have done. YES, like so many business’s we have struggled with the financial burden and crisis caused by Covid-19. However we have also enjoyed the opportunity to sit back, reflect and plan ahead.

  I think we all need to remind ourselves that this situation in no way reflects our individual businesses or our personal abilities. It is very easy to be hard our ourselves. No one, no matter what happens during this time, is a failure.

  Through continued support and contribution from fellow members of the business community we can move forward.

Online networking

  Thank you for supporting us throughout this entire time. We thank you all and look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store.

 

Staycation with Finesse

Finesse Chauffeurs (aka Mark and Nicola Hollis) have been away for a refresh break this week.

It is always good to visit some of our beautiful countryside that we have in the UK. This year we decided to visit the amazing Mendip Hills area. Close to Cheddar Gorge and Bath and Bristol.

We found a wonderful cottage (barn conversion) that is dog friendly 🐕‍🦺 as you know we have our beautiful girl Nessa to accommodate.

Time to relax
https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/cottage/56550-twycross-lodge

The thing about breaks are they give you the opportunity to see and appreciate all that is great. Even on a wet rainy day we put on our wellies and rain macs and went exploring.

The cottage was self catering and we were happy, on most days, to enjoy cooking our own meals.

Cheese and Wine anyone 😋

With one or two exceptions …….

One tip when you are out and about, “always leave a review”. They are a valuable asset to all businesses. Both these meals were given a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 review, and well earned.

Having some time away, a staycation is a great way to support local businesses that will be struggling at this difficult time.

So if you can get away, think #supportsmallbusiness

Finesse Chauffeurs can provide you with travel, collection, relaxing journeys and accommodation in many areas of the UK. Tours of the local area also available and as you can probably tell we are #dogfriendly.

Finesse Chauffeurs are committed to protecting you and your loved ones from Covid-19. #weregoodtogo following government guidelines and beyond. SAFETY IS OUR NO 1 PRIORITY.

https://www.finessechauffeurs.co.uk finessechauffeurs@gmail.com 01726 810804