Today I’ve got a few jobs on, and I want to schedule a little bit of each.
Hotels in Tuscany and Umbria
Firstly, I’ve got to confirm a bunch of hotel bookings, mostly in Italy, both Tuscany and Umbria.
Bespoke groups in Umbria and the Dordogne
Then I’ve got a handful of email enquiries to answer. There are two groups of people who want to run bespoke tours, one in the Dordogne, one in Umbria.
I love these bespoke tours – you get a group of friends who already know each other, but they’ve got a holiday slot which doesn’t quite match our programme.
The theory is great, but if their planned 8-day trip round Umbria ovelaps 2 planned tours of Tuscany, that means I need 15 more bikes and an extra guide. And the guide will only be working for 8 or 9 days of 14, but (obviously) needs paying for two full weeks. And all our guides are guaranteed a weeks holiday each month, so I might have to enter into a bit of negotiation with Guido and Orlando.
So there’s a little bit of planning required, and the later I leave it the more complicated it gets. Sadly, I know this from long and bitter experience!
Send Out Tons of Our Cycling Tour Brochures
As a result of an email campaign over last weekend I’ve got a ton of Chain Gang brochures to send out. A great task, I love putting a big pile of brochures in the post box, but entering loads of names and addresses into our database? Well, thank God for sport radio!
We’re in the process of contacting everbody who’s contacted us about any of our bike tours in the last few years. We’ll send out a maximum of 400 emails a day over a period of a few weeks. What’s lovely about this is that we ask people to say ‘Yes’ if they want us to send them our bike tour details again (these are all people who have asked us for brochures before), but I also suggest that if they’re feeling particularly polite they can say ‘Yes please’. If they don’t want to hear from us ever again, I ask them to reply with ‘No’, or ‘No thank you’.
Virtually everybody adds that little please or thank you. You’d be surprised, if somebody says basically they want to be removed from our database, but says it with a ‘No thank you’, it feels much nicer than ‘No’. That’s what The Chain Gang is – a bike tour company for cyclists who say please and thank you.
That will do for today. If I can get all that done by 3.00 pm, I reckon I can justify a little bike ride. The sun is shining, and I can do a bit of work after it gets dark later. So that’s the plan, and I’ll let you know what happens.