Glamping and the staycation: holiday parks in the austerity age

Listen to this podcast interview with Victoria Brannen, co-founder of Maya Asset Management, which specialises in the acquisition, turnaround and operational management of investment assets, in particular holiday parks.

Brannen, who specialises in strategic planning and marketing strategy integration, examines the implications for the holiday park sector of the rise of eco-holidays and short breaks and the squeeze on consumer incomes.

Asked to highlight the key trends in the camping and caravanning sector, she notes “an eco-trend, where you have the rise in tipis, yurts, pods… the whole ‘glamping’ experience. You have the mainstay holidaymakers who like to go to static caravan parks, and then your diehard campers who want to pitch up their tent.” [See rest of transcript via link above]

How I won the Apprentice

A podcast interview with Lee McQueen of Raw Talent Academy:

Lee on the importance of winning the Apprentice in getting a business off the ground…

It was an absolute necessity in my opinion. I cannot underline enough how important it was and how much I learnt working for Lord Sugar for the past two years.

I went in at a time when Lord Sugar and his son were setting up a business called Amscreen. All they had at the time was an idea; they had no markting, they had no engineers, no product no services, nothing.

Listen to the podcast and read more at BusinessesForSale.com

Examining the hotels market

Listen to a podcast interview with Haydn Fentum, co-founder and CEO of Bespoke Hotels, a fast-growing boutique hotel chain.

Fentum, who founded the first hotel 11 years ago, says “the market is quite volatile at the moment, there’s quite a lot of activity. It’s only the last two or three years that have not been great for the hotel sector.”

He also suggests that cash-strapped consumers have very different expectations to the typical boom-time consumer: “There’s always a flight to value, so hotels that have been underinvested and undercapitalised suffer, and properties in good order and which provide good value for money prosper. The market has become more polarised that way; you’re less inclined to forgive a bad experience.”

The secret millionaire and starting a marketing agency

I spoke to Liz Jackson MBE for this podcast interview about her experience on Channel Four show The Secret Millionaire and setting up Great Guns Marketing.

On Great Guns Marketing…

“We’re an outbound, business-to-business lead generation company, which means we makes sales appointments, book delegates into seminars, build databases, client engagement… that kind of activity.”

On the secret of her success…

“Predominantly I would say the talent within the business. The team of people we have here, both the leadership team and the telemarketers, who deliver projects for our clients, which makes a massive difference.

“For all entrepreneurs, we really covet a good team, and understanding who in our team has potential to go from good to great, and working out how you take that person from where they are to realising their full potential. So we work hard at that kind of stuff and it really does pay off.”

Listen to the podcast interview

Go into business with a plan for selling in mind

I did this podcast interview with Australian business broker Michael O’Connell at the tail end of 2011.

Concentrating on the business-sales process from the seller’s point of view, I quizzed him on planning your exit, business valuation and how to forge a constructive broker-seller relationship.

The Q&A format works well online: visually, with the bold questions alternating with the answers, it’s easy for the eyes to process, and it’s the easiest interview format to digest for the reader.