Looking up in the Highlands


Lyndsay Henderson took a long weekend recently and came back even more energised than usual.  Here are her thoughts:

Last weekend, I escaped for a few days away to my friends’ hotel in the Highlands of Scotland. The hotel is next to Rannoch station and with no wi-fi and limited phone signal, it’s the perfect location to spend quality time with friends, relax and reflect. The last time I was there was nearly four years ago, not long after Scott and Steph had taken over the place.

Whilst my focus over the weekend was not work, business, and blog topics, a few things were said by our hosts that really stuck out for me as important values that all businesses could do with thinking about.

  1. Be true to yourself and your customers

Or, don’t be afraid to say no if it doesn’t work for your business. The hotel is a place of retreat and relaxation for the guests. This means that Scott and Steph don’t open the bar to serve non-residents during the day as they want the lounge to be available for the guests who may want to relax with a book or enjoy a beer after a long walk. They know who their customers and what to do to deliver the best service to them, they aren’t distracted by incidental revenue opportunities which could impact the quality of the experience and service.

  1. Keep evolving

Just after we arrived Steph gave us a tour of their veg patch where they have started growing their own produce. She said that ‘they always had to be changing to give their guest something new’. This doesn’t mean a whole new service or fundamentally changing your core offering, but incremental changes that ultimately improve the experience overall for your customers.

  1. Be innovative with what you’ve got

Lesson number two from the veg patch – when you live in a remote location, you can’t easily get the council to pick up old baths you’ve replaced so you have to use them. Here they are used to grow herbs. Its quirky, looks great and is a talking point! The business lesson? Use what you’ve got and don’t discard skills or physical objects too quickly, innovate and think how you could use them in the future.

  1. Look up

These words of wisdom didn’t come from our hosts, rather from a friend when we were on a long walk – look up and enjoy the view, don’t just focus on the path ahead. As small business owners, we can spend so much time focusing on and delivering the next task it can be hard to look up from the path, enjoy where we are and what we’ve achieved. So, once you’ve finished reading this, take some time to think about what you are doing now and your successes for this week.

If you feel you need some help with your strategic direction and looking up get in touch for a chat and we’ll see if we can help: rachel.eden@holybrook-associates.co.uk

If you want to escape you can find out more about Moor of Rannoch Hotel here – tell them Lyndsay recommended you!