"Get out!"

That is one of the phrases that many licensees no doubt dread having to say to a customer.

It is also one that they should pay attention to themselves.

I don't run a pub myself but getting out is essential in my own little world as a journalist covering the sector. You can of course interview people on the phone or via Skype or various other contemporary ways but to really understand a pub and its business you need to see it.

Plus the challenges pubs face differ across the county.

I headed to Coalport in Shropshire last week. For a start this meant that I got to go to the nearby and very lovely Ironbridge for the first time.



It also meant that I got to have a good look at the pub I was going to be writing about, The Brewery Inn.

If I hadn't gone and had a long chat with landlady Fiona Hotchkiss there are things I would have never have found out about the pub, such as its association with an air rifle club and its library which has raised hundreds in memory of Fiona's father Roger.



It was a similar story when I visited The Churchill Arms later that day in the Cotswolds village of Paxford. Owner and chef Nick Deverell-Smith had already spoken to me about the pub and its offer but seeing it and tasting it brought it to life in a way that a phone call couldn't.



Through this website and the pages of our monthly print magazine we do our best to bring information and trends to you so people in the trade can learn from each other and share business building and best-practice ideas.

And as helpful as we hope that is I would always recommend getting away from your own pub and seeing what's happening down the road from you or further across the country.

It's healthy to spend time away from work anyway, especially if that building also happens to be your home. Everyone needs a break from that environment to stay sharp and enthusiastic.

It also gives you the chance to measure yourself against the competition and to judge what you are doing better and areas where you could improve. You can also borrow or put your own spin on the best ideas that you see.

The other benefit to getting out and about is that you can meet other licensees - who better to help you navigate the turbulent waters of running a pub than somebody who is in the same boat as you?

So here's the plug to finish with: we launched our Next Generation project earlier this year to bring new licensees and managers together to do exactly that.



Our next event is in Manchester on September 13 and we have a host of top speakers to talk about subjects such as turning Facebook into footfall, training and retaining staff and understanding the millennial market.

Perhaps most importantly it also gives pub operators the chance to meet people in a similar position, have a drink at some pubs in the area and a chat about life in the trade.

I hope some of you can get out to that one.

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