Uncover the Hidden Bed and Breakfast Business Tips That Will Skyrocket Your Success!
31 May, 2023
Running a bed and breakfast requires passion, some technique and the right software.
Things are not like they used to be. You used to travel a while, stop at a place and try find yourself on a paper map while behind the wheel of a car with no seatbelts.
These days it’s OTAs, Google and social media that rule the roost when it comes to booking one’s travel and direct bookings and good old-fashioned customer’s loyalty are in short supply – as we explain in one of our free training courses.
In this article, I want to shine the spotlight on tips that can help you boost your business:
· How to build a business plan that works
· Maintaining an attractive and SEO-Oriented website
· Being active on social media
· Encouraging your customers to write reviews
Keep reading to know how those simple but fundamental tips can turn your B&B into the most popular in town. To have more information about this topic I strongly recommend you also read this article about how to run a bed and breakfast. All those tips will help you to increase your occupancy rate and – obviously – your profit margin. Try it to believe it.
How do I make my B&B successful? Ideas for business tips that will revolutionise your B&B
1 - How to build a business plan that works
A business plan for a bed & breakfast business is a formal document that outlines the goals, strategies, and financial projections for establishing and operating a successful B&B. And plus, it serves as a roadmap for the business and helps you communicate your ideas to potential investors, lenders, or partners.
To build a business plan that works for a bed & breakfast, consider the following key components:
1. Executive Summary: provide an overview of your B&B, including its location, target market, unique selling proposition, and financial projections.
2. Business Description: describe your B&B in a detailed list, including its concept, theme, and the type of experience you aim to offer guests. Mention the size of your establishment, the number of rooms, and any unique amenities.
3. Market Analysis: conduct thorough research on the target market for your B&B. Identify your ideal guests, their demographics, preferences, and needs. Analyse the competition, local tourism trends, and pricing strategies in the area.
4. Marketing and Sales Strategy: outline your marketing plans to attract guests and promote your B&B. Define your pricing strategy, distribution channels, online presence, advertising tactics, and any partnerships with local businesses or tourist organizations.
5. Operations and Management: explain how you will manage daily operations, including guest services, housekeeping, maintenance, and food and beverage if applicable. Define your organizational structure and digital tools, like a Hotel management software, a Channel manager, etc, staffing requirements, and any relevant training programs.
6. Funding Request: if you require funding for your B&B, specify the amount required and how it will be used. Outline your capital structure, including personal investments, loans, or potential investors. Provide a repayment plan and demonstrate the financial viability of your business.
7. Risk Assessment: identify potential risks and challenges that could affect your B&B’s success. Develop contingency plans for issues such as low occupancy, regulatory changes, or unforeseen events like natural disasters.
8. Appendix: include supporting documents such as permits, specific licences, market research data, resumés of key team members, and any other relevant information.
Remember, doing a good job with your business plan requires careful research, analysis, and attention to detail. It should be tailored to your specific B&B and the local market. Regularly review and update your plan as your business evolves to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with your goals. Maybe it’s a small business, but it is a hard work requires an attentive planning.
2 - Have an attractive and SEO-Oriented website
I will never tire of saying how important it is nowadays to have a website and a strong online presence. As much as 80% of travellers use the internet to book their vacations, which undoubtedly includes choosing the accommodation in which to spend them. Therefore, having an attractive website that is SEO-oriented and has an easy-to-use booking engine is essential for attracting guests and encouraging them to book directly with you without using OTAs as intermediaries.
There are different ways to create it: you can do it yourself with a platform like WordPress, Wix, or others, but this honestly requires quite advanced knowledge and time. You can look for a web designer to create it for you. The costs are generally high because creating a website is not an easy task and requires not only a conversation with the professional to explain the soul of your B&B but also a long period of site construction and testing. It is a big investment of time and money and every time you want to change something on the site you will have to ask your web designer for help.
Another solution is to choose a solution that allows you to include in the same advantageous price digital management tools for bookings, prices, payments, availability, etc., and the website. Amenitiz is an example of this type of product. It uses a very easy-to-use platform, thanks to which you can keep your site up-to-date after one of Amenitiz’s web designers has created and put it online.
Sponsor local events
If your bed and breakfast is located in a holiday destination or tourist centre, you can sponsor local events for which the location is renowned. then your B&B will have a place in the marketing material of the events and you will be more visible to the visitors present or those who arrive. Doing this will also help you stand out from other businesses.
By becoming a sponsor, you can increase your visibility among the event attendees and those who are planning to visit. This strategic partnership can give your bed and breakfast an edge over other accommodation options in the region.
Collaborate with event organisers: Work closely with event organisers to explore partnership opportunities beyond mere logo placement. Offer to provide discounted or exclusive accommodation packages for event participants, organise pre- or post-event activities, or even host a welcome reception for attendees. These initiatives can strengthen your relationship with the event organisers and increase your exposure to potential guests.
Discuss all these events and partnerships on your website, considering that if it is optimised for SEO and present on Google Hotel, it will appear in the search results of potential guests. When they arrive at your site, they will find the best offers, updated tips for every season, and partnerships that will save them money, and they will be happy to book directly on your site. Provided that you have a booking engine that allows them to do so, of course!
Engage with the local community: Sponsoring local events not only benefits your bed and breakfast’s visibility, but also helps you establish a strong presence within the community. Attend networking events, participate in local business associations, and collaborate with nearby attractions or businesses to create cross-promotional opportunities. Building relationships within the community can lead to valuable referrals and partnerships in the long run.
Promote nearby attractions
People today travel to different places for adventure and discovery. If you own a bed and breakfast with many indoor and outdoor activities, you should promote them on your social network pages. You can participate yourself and share your experiences with travellers. The activities are in the vicinity and not directly on your domain? Communicate about fun activities, anyway. This will help to generate interest in your area and provide a reason for people to stay in your B&B. At Amenitiz, our web designers always recommend adding a page called “The surroundings” or something similar to help your guest discover the surroundings.
3 - Be active on social networks
Social media is the language of the new generations – those who are now gaining purchasing power and travelling or enjoying nights in luxury hotels. These customers are very active on social media such as Instagram and TikTok, for example, and these spaces allow you to strengthen your online presence. It’s another direct booking channel, and is perfect to showcase all the beautiful nooks and crannies that your property has to offer.
You can boost your bookings by using social networks to interact with visitors. Instead of trying all the social networks, be loyal to a few and be sincere. Try to focus on posts that might be useful for the traveller! Choose images that show an experience in your rental or bed and breakfast. Travellers are very sensitive to this, and it will make them want to book with you to experience the same thing.
4 - Encourage your customers to write reviews
When travellers look for hotels or bed and breakfasts they look for information directly from other travellers. It’s called social proof. They want to know the opinion of those who have already been there, before making a decision. It’s a good idea to encourage your guests to write reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and your website about their stay in your B&B. You can make it easier for them by leaving greeting cards in their room. You can also offer them a free drink in exchange for a review.
As reviews are important for Google Hotels and for TripAdvisor, they are crucial for your website too. Your reputation can reach high levels and it’s something that you should take in big consideration. We created a free e-learning course to help you and your staff to give more visibility to your website.
In short, the best way to promote your establishment is through simple interactions that travellers will appreciate. Remember that travellers book with you for an experience, so pass it on to them. Make them live it and share it wherever someone will listen. And you’ll see that word-of-mouth on the web always works very well.
31 May, 2023
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