I’d like to carefully discuss and analyze what I have observed, experienced and learned during the placement at the Hibiscus Tree, a Chinese restaurant based in the city of Adelaide since 21st May, 2021. The final report will analyze the external / industry environment according to Porter’s Five Forces model, and a political, economic, social & technological (PEST) analysis will be provided as well. In addition, this report will offer an internal organization analysis, including organizational diagnosis, organizational structure & interpretation as well as reflections on the initial goals that I set. Furthermore, there is a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis in this report – this further explores the Hibiscus Tree in detail. What’s more, important observations, key recommendations and in-depth reflections about my work experience from 21st May 2021 to 11th June 2021 are also included. Therefore, this article provides a useful, meaningful and solid foundation for my future employment in the hospitality and tourism industry; the knowledge and skills that I have accumulated during this placement will certainly inform my future career in the long run.
In his book This is marketing: you can’t be seen until you learn to see, Godin (2018) suggests that advertising is basically dead in today’s day and age, partly because consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in modern-day society, and partly because traditional media such as radio, television and newspaper are not getting enough attention, while the Internet has almost everyone’s attention these days. That being said, it does not mean online marketing is about using the Internet to get a service or product in front of the audience; in fact, internet marketing is about targeting those people that a business is keen to serve as well as their qualities. More precisely, targeting specific groups of individuals are the future of online marketing, whereas attempting to get as many eyeballs as possible is not a good move. What’s more, social media marketing is about bringing the right audience together into a close-knit community or tribe by using language which connects with the target audience’s worldview. A case in point: once the right niche of people has been identified, a business should connect to them through speaking in a manner that relates to how these individuals feel and think, as feelings, emotions and thoughts significantly influence people’s behavior. Word of mouth happens online as well: a business can use the power of networks so as to take the offerings from initial superfans to a much wider audience, i.e., the general public. In other words, reaching a much wider audience is all about making use of the initial fan base as well as their social networks. This book has informed and shaped the way I think about Internet marketing, thereby influencing how I manage online marketing projects for The Hibiscus Tree.
In the article Five smart ways to integrate cross-promotion with online marketing, Tarcomnicu (2016) claims that cross-promotion is a very useful technique which allows a business to tap into already established communities and tribes, thereby expanding the business’s reach in record time. For example, a business can collaborate with a non-competing brand and get the opportunity to promote this business in front of new potential customers without spending advertising dollars. This is a dynamic approach that has been extensively used by switched-on business people on the Internet. In this way, internet marketing becomes more productive and efficient in building a reputable and trustworthy brand. After considering these key ideas, I have identified a list of non-competing brands that The Hibiscus Tree can collaborate with in Adelaide.
The 80/20 rule:
In the New York Times best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss (2007) points out that 80% of a business’s success results from 20% of its high-leverage activities. That is to say, a business should identify which tasks, activities and efforts lead to big wins and major achievements, and then focus on those high-leverage tasks, activities and efforts. Meanwhile, a business would be well-advised to minimize low-leverage tasks, activities and efforts. That is also known as the 80/20 rule which increases a business’s revenue, improves employees’ productivity and decreases everyone’s stress. In truth, the 80/20 rule also applies to my own work in the long term: I can find out which activities of mine contribute to the big wins and main achievements in my career & focus on those high-leverage activities. In the meantime, I can eliminate most of my low-leverage activities so that I will be able to have more time and space for beneficial professional development. Similarly, in the article The 80/20 rule and how it can change your life, Kruse (2016) states that the 80/20 rule can help a business owner to stay focused on their strategic plan and blueprint while spending significantly less time chasing endless (and possibly meaningless) new opportunities that may not bring good results – it is probably the cure for ‘The Shiny Object Syndrome’ which is considered a major distraction in entrepreneurship, marketing and business management in this day and age.
Apart from the well-known 80/20 rule, Ferriss (2007) also implies that a business should not automate something that can be eliminated & never delegate tasks that could be streamlined or automated. Otherwise, the business owner would waste somebody else’s time rather than their own, which wastes the business owner’s hard-earned cash now. I have presented these valuable ideas during the staff meeting at The Hibiscus Tree, and the business owner feels inspired and enlightened as a result – the business owner of the restaurant has decided to get rid of low-leverage activities that do not bring results, e.g., giving promotional materials to people in the street and having more than one staff meeting per week. At the same time, the business owner will focus on high-leverage activities such as building a highly engaged audience on the Internet, as most customers prefer ordering takeaways on the smartphone in contemporary society. Another example is fully automating bookkeeping and accounting processes through Xero. In the past, the business owner would do bank reconciliation manually on Xero, which was very time-consuming and inefficient, yet now the business owner has investigated some extra features on Xero and has created a wide variety of rules that Xero can utilize automatically – in this way, bank reconciliation is quick and easy as it’s mostly automated by the online system.
In the article What is (and isn’t) true networking? My interview with Jordan Harbinger, Steele (2020) indicates that networking is not really about what I can get from others; it is actually about building genuine relationships, meaning instead of focusing on ‘Always Be Closing’ (ABC), I would be well-advised to focus on ‘Always Be Giving & Always Be Generous’ (ABG). Then Law of Reciprocity will make other people want to help me. Furthermore, networking is not a one and done event at all; as a matter of fact, networking is something that I always need to do as I am supposed to build a village that can support me professionally and personally in the long term. Considering the above-mentioned key points, it is clear that the big wins that I have achieved so far come from people that I know. For instance, I found this placement opportunity through my existing network in Adelaide.
“Apparently, networking is within the 20% of my high-leverage action that can lead to major success in the long run in the hospitality and tourism industry.”