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PHUKET: One of the common mistakes a business can make in a location like Phuket is to forget who is really important.

In a holiday location it is very easy to focus on the tourist market, because the perception is they are the ones who are here spending without a care in the world and that there is an endless supply of them. In other words… easy money.

However, as we know, tourist demographics have been changing, as has what they consider important and are spending their money on.

So, for businesses, it makes far more sense to have a two-pronged focus, namely a tourist strategy and a local strategy.

I suggest to all of my clients that building a loyal local following should be a priority, and then when the tourists do come in the high season, it is just a financial bonus.

As business owners, if we can build a local database comprised of resident customers, this can be far more profitable in the long term as they are here all year round. By looking after the locals you can smooth out the highs and lows of the holiday cycles to have year round cash-flow and profitability.

So consider this, always look after the residents, and then when you really need them they will be around to look after you.

Simon Wetherell is a social media expert and lawyer. He trains businesses and individuals on how to profit from the social media industry. For more information: Visit PhuketOnlineMarketingSchool.com or call 095-085 3355.

— Simon Wetherell