_88300969_flagsThere’s an old saying…’When America coughs, England catches a cold’. That was way back when we were bestest friends with the USA and hadn’t found our new playmates  the EU. Right now,  England is coughing and Europe is reaching for the thermometer and the Night Nurse.

I predicted that by the middle of May ICSA members would see a downturn in short courses  bookings – and from what is being reported back to me from members right across the UK, this is proving to be the case.  So if the ICSA schools are feeling it, so are all the other 1,000+ small, medium cookery schools in the UK. Be prepared to see some heavy discounting popping up.

Why is Brexit making everybody nervous and hanging on to their cash? Well, we are being told that our houses will lose value and money that will be hard to come by. Sterling has already taken a bit of a tumble against the Euro and Dollar – good news for overseas students, but not so good if you have planned a holiday abroad this summer and have only paid a deposit. Uncertainty about the future, whichever way the vote goes means that for the next month at least the slow-down will get slower. It’s only a 4%  margin at the moment leaning to stay in but there’s a huge swathe of undecided voters – it is not a comfortable place to be.

This is when the ICSA kite mark can make all the difference to whether someone will book on a cookery course. If you were looking for an architect or a builder, you would get personal recommendations, and look to see if they had a kite mark of quality. There are so many cookery schools out there who will be discounting .
Use your ICSA kite mark, get it up on your website, on your letter-headings, on everything. Create a link across to the ICSA site.
Last month an amazing 10% of visitors clicked through the ICSA website to visit Members sites.

If you would like to think about joining together for an ICSA SEO Google campaign – which would need to be co-ordinated and those wishing to join in would share the costs…then we can talk about this – let us know if there is anything you want to add to this.

Stella West- Harling