Life on the road

My annual spend on hotels and conference suites is enormous – into 6 figures.
The majority of that investment is on good quality conferencing for our delegates – there is little point in conducting workshops focused on customer service and quality in lousy places.
Similarly – when I travel, I stay in 4 or 5-star accomodation. It’s not that I’m bathing in goat’s milk – just that £150 a night buys me a very comfortable room and access to excellent food, drink and leisure facilities – as well as great customer service.
When I invest £100 a night (or less) I end up sleeping badly, eating rubbish and writing blog posts about poor service – no doubt you have read some of them!
When I invest £150 a night – I sit in bars and restuarants surrounded by successful people with manners. At £100 I’m often sat with chain-smoking reps, drinking pints, eating stodge and complaining loudly about their jobs and their lives.
So the extra few pounds buys a world of difference – isn’t that always the way? And isn’t it the difference in your own profession as well?
If a client reduces their investment in fees by, say, a third – I’ll bet they reduce their investment in quality and care by much more. There’s probably a “rule” out there – or maybe we should invent one.
Barrow’s Law – 33% less invested creates 66% less received – something like that.
My Lancashire ancestors were tellng us that a century ago – “you don’t get ‘owt for nowt lad.”
Yesterday I invested the extra – and spent the day at the Thorpe Park hotel in Leeds (location of our Leeds workshop for years now – and one of the best conference hotels we use).
I had no client meetings or calls – but an ENORMOUS back-log of reports, articles, musings, stuff to do with my team – a classic Buffer Day as Dan Sullivan would call them.
So I used two locations for my work.
First my hotel room:
Second, the conference suite at the hotel.
And aided by excellent customer service, copious cups of tea, a nice lunch of mushroom soup, a 90-minute sauna and swim at 4.30pm and a lovely dinner, the long working day was a productive pleasure.
It pays dividends to invest in your environment – whether its a home office, a business location or just a pit stop on a Northern tour.
Perhaps Barrow’s Law should be switched around to give a more positive focus:
33% more investment creates 66% more value.
Or perhaps a more qualitative approach:
A few extra pounds creates a world of difference.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.