iHop Hunter Valley lifts the game through improved marketing strategy

After moving to the beautiful Hunter Valley wine region of Pokolbin, Tim and Kristy noticed a gap in the local vineyard tour market and started to build a hop-on-hop-off business model. This would give consumers an affordable and flexible transport option for the area.

‘When we initially workshopped our new business idea, we reached out to Business Connect to get some feedback. They were generous with their time and more than willing to offer advice and provide local contacts to set us off in the right direction,’ Kristy said.

The couple successfully started iHop Hunter Valley and after three years, Kristy and Tim were in a position to expand the business. The couple reconnected with a Business Connect advisor to discuss this.

Business Connect advisor Jelinda Millgate worked with Tim and Kristy to perform an analysis of the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Based on their discussion, Jelinda suggested strategic actions to help them achieve their goals and guided the business how to use email marketing to build relationships with customers and drive sales.

To build mid-week business, Tim, Kristy and Jelinda discussed targeting corporate groups with customised day and night tours and team building events. They also recently introduced a ‘taste and graze’ progressive tour experience that showcases the best of the Hunter Valley in one easy tour.

‘Jelinda had great local knowledge and a good understanding of what opportunities were available for us to help grow the business. This included grants so we could hire staff, and reporting and statistics so we could delve deeper into our understanding our clients. It’s such a fantastic service that is offered by Business Connect and one every local business owner should take advantage of!’ Kristy said.

‘We are about to roll out a new timetable with the confidence of knowing our business is in good shape.’

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