Evaluate Your Offers and Increase Your Number of Guests

So, you followed your dream of opening a bed and breakfast. However, you just don’t seem to be getting the number of guests that you need to be a success. You think that you have an amazing place to stay and offer your guests exactly what they need, but somehow you just don’t sell the amount of rooms that you need to be profitable. But treating it as a business, not a hobby, is your first step.

Is there something that you can easily do to change that situation? How do you get more guests to stay at your bed and breakfast? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help improve your situation.

Look at What You Offer

This is probably the painful part. We all tend to think that our bed and breakfast business is the best available, but if you take a long hard look are you offering what guests want? Is the reason that you are not getting the results that you want is that your product is just not good enough?

Hopefully when you bought your bed and breakfast you did a lot of market research to check that there was a market for sustaining a business. If you did and now the guests simply aren’t coming, you must take a realistic look at what the reason for that could be.

Are you offering what your customer needs? Look at the local competition. Do they seem to be getting great occupancy rates and you aren’t? It is often very difficult to take a completely objective view of why the bed and breakfast down the road is doing very well and you aren’t. This is where you need to be very honest with yourself. Are you charging too much? Do your competitors offer something that you don’t? Are you offering the best service to your guest?

Is Your Website Helping You?

We live in the age of the internet. People are most likely to search online when they are looking for a great bed and breakfast. A website does not need to be expensive, but it does need to be a great marketing tool.

Your bed and breakfast website does not have to be complicated. It just needs to show what you must offer in the best possible light. This means great photos. Not just good photos, but great photos.

Technology is simple these day and most people can take great photos on their phone. Think about composition. Show things that will make your guests want to come and stay with you. If you can’t do this yourself then pay someone to do it for you. Great pictures are essential on a website which is marketing a bed and breakfast. You have a very limited time to capture your website visitor’s attention. Do not underestimate this. Display the best photos that you possibly can.

Make sure that it is easy to contact you on your website. Many people still want to contact you on the telephone so make sure that your number is clearly displayed. There should be as many ways to contact you as possible and this should be posted on your website.

Display your nightly rates clearly on your website. Bed and breakfast owners are sometimes cautious about doing this because they feel that it may deter potential customers. However, this is the wrong way of looking at this. You must display nightly rates so that your potential guests know exactly whether your bed and breakfast is within their budget. If you are competitive within your local area you should be confident that your rates are set at the right level.


Photo by paparutzi

Three Ways to Up Your Inn’s Revenue

Your Rival Can Be Your Friend

It is usually a mistake to see your competitors as the enemy. Most successful business owners know that being friendly with their competitors can bring advantages to their business. Do not see every bed and breakfast business in your town as a rival – they may be a good source of business for you.

You will sometimes have bookings that you cannot fulfill because you all your rooms are already taken. The bed and breakfast owner down the road probably has the same issue. Why just let the business go to another town or simply be lost altogether? If you had a great relationship with a bed and breakfast which is like yours, each of you could simply refer each other business. This is a winning situation for everyone if this is a balanced relationship. Do not always see the competition as a negative thing. You can learn from them and often by fostering a good relationship with them you can each increase your business revenue.

Referrals Are a Great Idea

We have already talked about how other bed and breakfast owners can refer your business to increase your revenue. Another good idea is to have a referral scheme for your guests. A lot of your business will probably already come from happy guests referring you to their family and friends. People always look for personal recommendation when choosing a place to stay.

It is very easy to implement a referral scheme. You can offer exiting guests a discount code for themselves with an incentive to refer other people to you. You could offer them a discount per night or a subsample monetary discount on their next stay. You can give them a coupon code for their next stay which they can also pass on to family and friends.

The simplest way to do this is to send them an email the day after they have checked out. You can ask for feedback and give them a coupon code with the terms clearly set out. This is a great time to ask for feedback. You can easily do this online as there are plenty of inexpensive and free survey sites, so that your guests can give you feedback.

You could also offer discounts for longer stays, or free nights if guests stay for a certain period.

Look at Your Expenses

All businesses need to look at their expenses as well as their income. Are there some areas where you could easily be saving money? We are not suggesting that you cut corners on things which are important to your guests. You will want to offer them a high-quality service. However, there may be simple changes that you can make to save you some money.

Your utility bills are probably one of your biggest expenses. Look at how you can cut down on your energy bills by introducing more energy efficient appliances.



Photo by peyri