If you are set on running a B&B to, quite simply, have fun, you should heed the worth of running that establishment with more of a business mindset. Not following this advice could lead you to basically accept “anybody” at your B&B – and, while that may initially work, you need a more discerning strategy for long-term success. Crucial to that is deciding what your B&B’s most suitable target audience would be and then working towards getting the word out to that group in particular.
What’s wrong with taking just “anybody”?
In a sense, nothing. After all, each lodger means more money for your B&B. However, by not being careful about who you target with your promotional endeavours, you might needlessly compromise your B&B’s potential. In advice on BedandBreakfastCoach.com, consultant Yvonne Halling warns that the scattergun approach is “not a long-term strategy for creating a real business that you love, attracting guests who love you, and making the kind of income you deserve to make.”
Let’s assume, for example, that you loved hiking in the mountains. You would struggle to attract guests who are like-minded and, therefore, you are especially likely to get along with if your B&B was beside the seaside. You would probably find little common ground with the guests you do get and, as a result, struggle to think of what subjects to talk about with them. The relationship wouldn’t get off the ground. Yes, it’s nearly like trying to make a marriage work.
So, who would your ideal guests be?
Before you try promoting your B&B to the people who would be the best-suited guests, you need to determine who those people are. A good start in this is considering what you are like. What age bracket do you fall into? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? What type of work have you enjoyed undertaking? What are your favourite foods, drinks, and TV shows?
Whatever niches you are in, you can then portray yourself as an expert in those areas. So, for a B&B in an ancient cathedral city with beautiful historical buildings left, right, and centre, you could pose as something of a history buff. On the other hand, should your B&B be close to an array of family-friendly attractions, you could emphasise your own family and what you have learned about keeping your partner and little ones all happy!
Don’t underestimate the potential of various online channels
A blog would be a great portal to which you could regularly add fresh articles, with which there would be the possibility of showing off your knowhow. However, these days, there is a much broader – and, frankly, amazing – variety of other online tools that let you do the same thing. If you’re struggling with developing an online presence, especially while you’re trying to run a business that you love, perhaps you should consider bringing someone in to do this for you. It might seem unnecessary at first but having a site that is optimised to attract new customers will see a return on the investment. If your operation seems too small to warrant hiring someone to take care of the technical side, you might want to consider services online like Big Fat Links who can help to get your website ranking and produce valuable content for your blogs. It’ll make all of the difference in the end.
There’s the exciting prospect of posting videos of your B&B and its surroundings to YouTube, using Facebook to highlight positive news stories about the local area, and… you get the picture. Also, check that people can easily book using an efficient hotel booking system for your website.