Flexcation, a new Covid-19 pandemic family travel trend, allows families to escape for three to four weeks or longer, with parents working remotely and children enrolled in virtual classes anywhere in the world. Families embrace new ways to mix business with pleasure by traveling during the off- and shoulder season during the calendar school year.
A nationwide Vrbo survey of families revealed that 50 percent of those surveyed agreed that flexible school schedules provide more flexibility in vacationing, while 48 percent said they can work from anywhere. And 21 percent of respondents said that working from anywhere creates big opportunities for travel.
Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City, spotlights key tips for destination marketers, hoteliers, and vacation hotel rentals to inspire families to book a flexcation with their establishment.
WiFi is Key
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed our lives forcing many parents to become digital nomads and their children to embrace online learning. It is important for hoteliers and vacation rental owners to showcase WiFi access throughout the property. Connectivity is key since many family members will need access to WiFi often at the same time.
Zoom meetings are the new normal to keep managers in touch to their team, as well as teachers connected to their students.
Showcase Shoulder and Off-Season Travel Savings
By traveling during the shoulder and off-season, families will reap huge savings, on average, for a family of four. Every destination has a shoulder and off-season travel period and savvy travelers can reap substantial savings, 20 percent or more, on airfare, hotel, car rentals.
“Flexcationers who wait until later in the season to visit sought-after destinations are also experiencing more attractive prices, with drops of at least 20 per cent in average nightly rates and lighter crowds from August to October, compared to prime summer travel dates. Prices for vacation rentals typically drop during off-peak seasons, which will appeal most to families who are not tied to strict in-person school or office commitments,” according to Short Term Rentals.
Shoulder and off-season packages showcase deep discounts will inspire parents looking for a change of scenery to book a flexcation at your establishment.
Location is Key
Flexcation presents an excellent opportunity to check off a bucket list destination. It is important for destination marketers, hoteliers and vacation rental owners to showcase the endless adventures for parents with younger children, teenagers, and college students.
Families will have a chance to live like a local and explore hidden treasures in a particular location. Family packages for local tourist attractions will inspire parents to venture with their children during their free time.
The Covid-19 vaccines are injecting a new lifeline into travel and inspire many families to escape for an adventure of lifetime. Although the number of Covid-19 cases are declining in the U.S., it is still important for families to book travel insurance during the pandemic.
Travel insurance will also give families an additional protection should things change unexpectedly before family getaway.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals are here to help. Give us a call.
By Joanna Allen, chief executive officer, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Opening a new restaurant is a notoriously stressful affair. Securing the proper licenses and permits, finding equipment, hiring staff, and thinking about how to draw in customers are typical stressors — and we didn’t even mention making sure the food is great!
Much of the underlying stress that unites all restaurant tasks has to do with money. With that in mind, here are some ways to cut costs during the first few phases of your project, courtesy of Allen Marketing Communications, Inc, a boutique travel, food and beverage and lifestyle public relations agency based in New York City
Test Your Concept Through Pop-Ups
One of the hottest ways to bring your restaurant business to life is the pop-up. By taking advantage of bars and restaurants that will host your idea, you can create a clientele prior to ever opening a restaurant, cafe, or food truck. You will also have the flexibility to choose which neighborhood you want to be a part of.
Though the traditional reasons a chef or restauranteur would want to stage a pop-up are exposure and attracting investors, nowadays, pop-ups can be a solid way to generate buzz while also being a semi-permanent strategy. Organizing a well-prepared pop-up allows you to place your “restaurant” close to the action — a brewery, street fair, or other event. The overhead is also very low, which can help immensely in the beginning stages of your concept.
The best things you can do after you get your idea together is to ensure your business will be a legal entity and secure a free EIN number. Make sure that you check with your state and local authorities about how a pop-up should operate in your area. You will also want to plan for the future by creating a business model that you can use to expand when you are ready. Choosing a business service will help greatly with making your dream a reality.
Don’t Blow Your Budget On Marketing
Public relations is an effective marketing tool to generate credible third party stories about a new restaurant. By incorporating the SEO keywords into all press materials, then you will increase your visibility in online searches and drive traffic to your restaurant.
Blogs are another effective low cost marketing strategy to enhance your restaurant’s visibility. It is important to blog at least two times a week. Content is key to increase your online visibility.
Social media is another low cost marketing tool. Develop a content calendar. Post at least two to three times a week on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Snapchat to build loyal first time and repeat customers. It is also important to respond to any posts on your social media feeds.
Free advertising is always the best advertising. One of the biggest things new restaurant owners overspend on, in the beginning, is marketing.
There’s really no reason for a new restaurant to sink thousands of dollars into traditional marketing campaigns anymore — at least, not at first. Radio, print, and TV campaigns can be of use, but those should wait.
Let Technology Help
You surely know about low-cost point-of-sale systems and how they can lower your restaurant’s initial (and long-term) operating costs. But there are so many more apps and technologies that can not only help you trim costs, but also analyze your business and tell you where you should trim costs in the future. Some of these include inventory management, cost analytics, invoicing control, and automated payroll software.
Don’t Staff Up Too Quickly
It’s tempting to want to hire a full, quality staff from day one, but that might not be the best thing financially. It’s better to err on the side of understaffing rather than overstaffing as those payroll costs can be brutal at the beginning of your venture.
“Paying a large workforce can cause a strain … when you’re not bringing in a lot of money. Start by hiring for the most crucial positions and try to design a schedule that maximizes each employee’s productivity,” suggests Silverchef.
Once you have your staff set, you can reduce labor costs by reducing turnover, being smart and flexible with your scheduling, making changes to your menu, and streamlining your floor setup to minimize back- and front-of-house labor excess. You’ll also need to get very familiar with the world of payroll, which will require a bit of paperwork on its own.
For example, you’ll need to collect W-4 forms, make sure you have a pay schedule set up that everyone understands, and pay taxes on time to avoid any penalties or fines. Fortunately, you can outsource this work to payroll for startup services, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
When you break down all the costs associated with opening a restaurant, you’ll find that a $250,000+ price tag isn’t that rare. No matter how much you get through loans, investors, and your own savings, you’re going to want to do everything you can to trim the fat. Every little bit counts, as the restaurant game is a game of inches.
For professional guidance on successfully marketing your venture, connect with Allen Marketing Communications.
By Tina Martin, Life Coach and Creator, Ideas Inspired.com
Clubhouse, a new social media platform that sells itself as a podcast with audience participation. It aims to disrupt the social media scene with something completely new.
Clubhouse is generating a buzz at the moment -- it is a new social platform for business owners and marketers to find new customers and spread the word about their company, product or service. It also provides an opportunity to work with social media influencers and celebrities to move the need on a company’s product or service..
Let Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, share fun and exciting facts on a new social media platform!
What is Clubhouse?
Founded one year ago, Clubhouse is a new, completely auditory social media network. Users take part in conversations, debates, or interviews that happen live based on their interests -- upcoming events to controversial topics to book recommendations.
We’ll start from the beginning - joining - to best explain the app. Firstly, it is in its beta stages, so the app is invite-only. Existing users can send you one of their two invites, but only if you have an iPhone. Unfortunately, the app isn’t available on Android yet, but beta testing began last month.
Once you’ve joined, you’ll pick out a few of your favorite topics so that the app can best connect you to like-minded people and discussions. Like most other social media platforms, you can choose a profile picture and bio to present to the world, as well as connect your contacts to follow friends and family. Clubhouse also offers the option to share content through text or other social media platforms as well.
It’s as simple as that, now you’re ready to join or even start your own conversation! All of these discussions happen in ‘rooms,’ which you can find in the feed of content you have followed or indicated your interest in, or through the calendar feature, which holds every planned event on the app.
Within a room, there are speakers and listeners. If you did not start the chat, you are automatically made a listener unless the speaker dictates otherwise. To participate as a listener, you must raise your hand and state your question if the speaker calls on you, just like an old-fashioned, in-person Q&A session.
Once you’re done, you’re free to leave a room whenever you want. If you’re the speaker, you’re free to close the room whenever you please and the conversation will end for everyone. Clubhouse doesn’t record anything, so the discussions disappear forever once they’re over. This doesn’t mean that participants can’t record the conversations on their own, however.
Who’s On It?
One of the reasons for the app’s quick rise to popularity is the number of celebrities and influencers on the social media platform. The accessibility to these celebrities is much higher than on other platforms. You’re given the chance to speak directly to the stars, something that doesn’t always exist on other social media networks.
Clubhouse also feels more intimate than other social media platforms, especially when it comes to celebrities, but even when you’re interacting with friends or random strangers. Conversations that happen in real-time allow for deeper connections, which is important when considering the common criticism of social media - that it encourages solely superficial connections.
Should I Try It?
Now that you know what Clubhouse is, there’s really only one question left: should you try it? Well, that’s up to you and whether you can get an invite! It’s a good platform to find and converse with other like-minded individuals, so if that sounds like something you want, it’s definitely worth it!
The creators are also working on a monetary portion of the app, whether that is subscriptions, tipping, or something else entirely, which will make it easier to work and make money on the app as well!
In the end, Clubhouse is a new, interesting social media platform that breaks from the rest. While it still has to undergo beta testing and more development, it seems to be gaining popularity and here to stay.
Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, can help you navigate this new social media platform!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Facebook is the most widely used social media platform. “More than 2.7 billion people use the platform every month,” according to Statista, “giving it a lot of power when it comes to marketing your business.”
Recently, Facebook has made a few changes to the social media platform -- new algorithms, email marketing capabilities, Collab, a new app similar to TikTok, just to name a few enhancements. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique NYC travel and lifestyle PR agency, guides marketers through the new changes/
Facebook Business Suite
Facebook Business Suite streamlines content -- create, schedule, post -- on Facebook and Instagram, while also creating one interface for all of Facebook’s companies, such as Messenger and WhatsApp. This allows users to access all of these platforms in one place.
This new feature promises to save businesses and influencers time, as they are able to post on multiple platforms at once. In addition, Business Suite insights can help you learn what your customers are looking for and tailor your content to that vision!
Individual posts can now be assessed with less difficulty using analytics integration as well.
Email Marketing Tools
While they are still being tested in a smaller group of Facebook users, new email marketing tools should be coming to the platform for everyone soon. These tools are intended to help businesses and pages reach customers - both new and existing - through digital marketing.
As Facebook has access to multitudes of user data, business can utilize it to create extremely helpful tools. While we’re still waiting for Facebook to reveal more about this new feature, it appears to be a big benefit for businesses.
Currently, Facebook’s algorithm tailors your News Feed to best fit your interests based on the accounts and posts you interact with the most frequently. As of March, users are gaining more control over their own feed.
There will now be a “feed filter bar” that will allow users to change the order in which they see posts. The bar offers three options:
Integrating with Shopify
Shopify helps businesses or individuals sell their products. Anyone is able to make an account - after paying for the subscription - and set up their shop.
One of the largest benefits that Shopify supplies is Shop Pay, which is one of the quickest ways to check out while still keeping your information secure. In fact, Shop Pay is about 70 percent faster than the typical online checkout.
Now that Shopify is integrating with Facebook, it’ll be much easier to purchase products on the platform, making it an even better place to market and sell.
TikTok has become increasingly popular over the past year, and it has been proven to be a great place to market and advertise products. Facebook has been watching, and now they’re working on a similar app: Collab.
While Collab is only in the beta stages right now, so users require an invite to join. While it might be a little while before it’s widely available, it’s worth paying attention to, especially if it has a similar impact to TikTok.
Facebook has made many changes in the recent past that make it the ideal place to market and sell goods, and it looks like they’ll only continue to do so.
Let Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique NYC travel and lifestyle public relations agency, help you navigate these changes.
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.