Entering the State Tourism Awards has been the biggest assignment of my life. A massive endeavour to write 12,500 words and produce the longest list of supporting documents. If you have ever been in this situation, you can relate. The whole freakin ordeal took more time than I care to remember. And there was a mad, furious dash to the finish line. A project that would ordinarily take a whole team of multiple staff members in a big organisation to complete. I had no one to delegate to. It was just me. It was ridiculously overwhelming.
I recall one night going to bed at 8am, waking at midnight, working all through the night, going to watch my girls play netball, coming home and working the next 24 hours. I went to the library to work, sat in my neighbours’ vacant holiday house, whatever I had to do to focus. It was winter and I didn’t have many tours to deliver, and I never wanted to be that quiet again, so I knew it was perfect timing to lay the foundations for a stronger business. To get this Juggle House in order.
Several years ago as the Tourism Manager at Monarto Zoo I led the project team to complete a State Tourism Award. I beamed proudly living through the CEO standing on stage accepting the award on behalf of our hardworking crew. This week when the standard group email came out from the Tourism Industry Council (who have been unbelievably supportive to me also) about how to conduct yourself if your business is called out as a winner, I deleted the email. I honestly have not allowed myself to dare to dream what that moment would be like for this little sole trader.
I liken it to this. Last month my father reached a pinnacle and had one very lovely dog running in the Adelaide Cup after 40 years of raring and training greyhounds. It was incredibly prestigious and all his brotherhood (even the competitors) were really chuffed for him. They stood by his side wishing him well. Tinker drew the dreaded box 5, crunched and munched in the middle by the big guns. The 3 fastest dogs in Australia right now drew Box 1, 2 and 3. And that’s how they passed the finish line. My father had no level of expectation at all. He was simply chuffed to be in good company. And in this years running for a Tourism Award, that’s exactly how I feel. Simply so happy and proud to be a finalist.
Heartfelt thankyou to those who checked in. To my friend and tourism colleague Jo who read over the submission in the final hour when I dumped it on her! To my unwavering husband who ran the rest of our crazy life at that time.
I am just relieved to make myself go through this process to have this Juggle House in near perfect order. When you pay for a tour, you are not just paying me to drive you around in a fancy vehicle. There’s juggling behind the scenes. And so many rich opportunities for tourism in our State.
To the customers. Thank you. The biggest support you can show right now is to book a tour. I’m ready. Gather your tribe, round up the troops, heard the cats. Live your best life. Put the balls down and let me do the juggling.
Oh, and here’s my list.
- Business Plan
- Business Operations Manual
- Customer Service Procedures Manual
- Catering for Specific Needs Policy
- Emergency & Evacuation Procedures
- Cleaning & Maintenance Procedures
- Preparing Food Manual
- Procedures for Ordering and Purchasing
- List of Suppliers/ Contractors
- Procedure for Handling / Storage of chemicals
- Risk Management Policy
- Risk Management Plan
- OH&S Policy
- Emergency and Evacuation Procedures
- Incident Report Form
- First Aid Kits and Maintenance Procedures
- Environmental Management Plan
- Indigenous Engagement
- Social Media Strategy
- Continuous Improvement Plan
- Permits & Compliance
- Financial Systems
- ATO compliance
- Sales forecasts
The Juggle House is in order.