You’ve rented out a room in your home for a few years now, and like the extra money it brings into your pocket. But now you’re looking to open up a bed and breakfast and aren’t sure where to start. This process isn’t as easy as just renting out a room but requires a real and focused approach.
Thankfully, there are many tips for running a successful bed and breakfast that you can take into account to make your business thrive. Each of these unique tips will have a listing of several sub-steps that you need to take to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for your needs.
1. Know How to Market Yourself
If you need the best tips for running a successful bed and breakfast, it is important to know how to market yourself to get the best results. There are many fun and unique ways that you can get yourself to stand out in a unique manner. Just a few of these options include the following:
- Fun Apparel – When you sell various items like custom t-shirts to your customers (or give out promotional items), you create a name for yourself and produce a potentially fascinating array of marketing options. People will remember you and will wear the shirt and other items that you give them. And you’ll be able to get the high-quality help that you need to ensure you are satisfied.
- Social Media Posts – Even if you’re not a fan of social media, it is a powerful way to market yourself and your bed and breakfast. You can share positive reviews from customers or even highlight unique and fun activities available at your place. For example, you can show pictures of people enjoying time on ATVs, riding around, and having a blast, and use it for marketing your stop.
- Comfort Items – People who go to a bed and breakfast want a comfortable and cozy place to stay, a unique destination that is suited just for their needs. For example, you can focus on highlighting things like your comfortable beds, your sizable rooms, and the power of your HVAC system. Doing so will help to make it easier for you to appeal to people who may want to visit you.
- Far-Market Advertising – A strong marketing campaign should focus heavily on far-market areas that could draw in many potential customers. By this, we mean that you must pay attention to areas far from you or which you know people have visited you before in the past. Doing so can help to ensure that you get the attention that you need from a broad array of different customers.
Of all the tips for running a successful bed and breakfast on this list, we believe this is the most essential to get right. By understanding how to market yourself and successfully appeal to a broad array of individuals, it is possible to get a higher level of potential customers to your business.
2. Pay Attention to Reviews
Next on your list of tips for running a successful bed and breakfast is to make sure that you engage with your reviews to see what customers are saying about you. This step is going to be hard, we admit. But doing so helps you out in so many ways. Just a few steps to consider here include how you should:
- Read Each Review Carefully – When we say each review, we mean you should have someone on staff (even if it’s you) go over each review your customers leave. Sometimes, this can be a painful process. You are likely to have a ton of positive reviews but will also have some negatives. Take all of the information down as you read through them to get a feel for what your customers are saying.
- Praise the Positive Reviews – Even if the customers who left the positive reviews never check out or review the comments you leave, you should praise them anyway. By this, we mean you need to tell them “thank you!” and that you are glad that they enjoyed their stay. This step is a lot like patting a puppy on the head for doing a good deed. You’re rewarding them with positive attention and building a relationship.
- Address Negative Reviews – Don’t attack reviewers or engage in a bitter back and forth with them. You might find many of their complaints petty, silly, and even mean spirited. However, you need to tell them that you are sorry they had a bad time and honestly try to address the situation. You might even want to give them a refund: doing so builds a good relationship and shows others that you care.
- Use This Information Positively – If you are intelligent about your reviews, you can learn from them and move on in a surprisingly powerful way. For example, if your customers complain about the quality of your food, you may need to buy better ingredients, change your recipes, or hire a better chef. Doing so can help to transform your BandB and give you a long-term clientele list.
When you get good at working with your reviews, you can honestly change your business for the better in no time at all. Now, you need to move on to other tips for running a successful bed and breakfast that will help to give you the kind of high-quality experience that you want and need as a person.
3. Add Fun and Original Elements
Is your bed and breakfast a little old-fashioned and needs to be upgraded? Then, consider the following tips for running a successful bed and breakfast. They will help to make sure that you get the kind of high-quality reputation that you need to thrive. Just a few steps to take here include:
- Add Entertainment Options – Try to expand beyond a little BandB and include new and fun elements that make you more engaging. For example, you might find that entertainment like miniature golf, a hot tub, a swimming pool, or more can help produce great results for your needs as a business owner.
- Repair Options – Do you have golf carts on your premises that need to be taken care of regularly? Then, you might want to have a golf cart service on-site. These carts will help your customers gets around and, if kept in great shape, will avoid problems with customer frustration.
- Service Help – While it might not be fun to add mechanical and manual wheelchairs to your business, you should have them around anyway. They’ll help to keep your customers happy by ensuring that they can get around smoothly and with a minimum of effort when they visit you.
- Other Options to Consider – Make sure to add things like tape switches, cable, streaming video options, musical entertainment, and much more to make your BandB exciting. Remember: people often stay at these types of locations to get a more personalized and friendly option for their needs.
When considering these tips for running a successful bed and breakfast, make sure that you also don’t overdo it at all. Some people may find that these types of upgrades are quite expensive and may be hard to keep up with properly. Thankfully, it should be fairly simple for most people to handle them.
4. Create Loyalty Programs
Another of the most popular tips for running a successful bed and breakfast is to create a loyalty program that keeps customers visiting you. When you get people coming back to you time and time again, you will rarely have to worry about booking rooms out for new people. Just a few programs that can help you to make more money and keep your customers loyal include:
- Rewards for Frequent Stays – Try to provide your customers with real rewards for staying with you. For example, you can give them a certain amount of money off if they visit you multiple times a year. And you can also provide them with better rooms and access to different things that first-time customers don’t get from you.
- First-Time Customer Incentives – You can’t build loyalty without making an initial impact on your customers. As a result, it is a good idea to provide real incentives for visiting you the first time. These include things like dramatically discounted prices, access to unique suites, free meal delivery to your room, and anything else that makes sense.
- Friendly Service – Provide your customers with the kind of detailed and friendly service that you’d want when you visited a BandB. For instance, you can staff people who truly enjoy working in service industries and who have great personalities. You can also provide services like breakfast in bed, high-quality linen cleaning, and even extra security measures to make your customers happy.
- Free Visits – Have you ever been to a bagel shop and got a punch card that allows you to earn a free meal? You should integrate something like this into your BandB facility. These cards are likely to inspire people to visit you multiple times. Best of all, many people don’t hold onto these cards or forget about them but will still come to visit you anyway.
If you feel uncomfortable providing free visits to your customers, there are other tips for running a successful bed and breakfast to consider here. For example, you might find that it is better to provide a free stay for a certain number of visitors, such as letting one person stay for free. Doing so will increase loyalty and avoid expensive incentives.
5. Keep Your Facility on Point
Lastly, you need to make sure that you make your facility look as appealing as possible. These tips for running a successful bed and breakfast will produce an attractive and high-quality place to visit, one that will cause many repeat customers. Just a few steps to take here include:
- Keep Your Water Clean – Make sure that your customers have clean and safe water that is refreshing and not heavy, or they might struggle to come back to visit. A good water sanitizing program is a great option, as it can carefully get rid of various contaminants and avoid serious complications.
- Brand New Stores – Do you want your customers to feel comfortable when they visit? Then, make sure to consider custom doors installation for your facility. Doing so will help to make sure that they can get around your BandB easily. You might even want to put in automatic doors to minimize any issues.
- Improved Heating System – If you get a lot of customers doing cold-weather seasons (particularly for holiday vacations and other situations), you need to improve your heater. Pay attention to things like boiler venting and other types of repairs to give yourself the best quality for your facility.
- Exterior Improvements – “Oh, what a cute place, let’s go there!” This phrase is one of the most commonly heard when people decide which BandB to visit. Make sure that the exterior of your facility is as beautiful as possible, and work with professionals like a deck builder to add new elements.
Also, don’t forget to make your interior as attractive and appealing as you can to attract many different customers. These tips for running a successful bed and breakfast include things like matching your interior and your exterior and creating a fun and unique look for your business that makes sense for you.
As you can see, it isn’t too challenging to execute these tips for running a successful bed and breakfast. You just need to make sure that you pay careful attention to every element of your business and operate it as smoothly and efficiently as possible. And have fun! People appreciate a BandB owner who is friendly, open, and who seems to truly enjoy the company of other people. In this way, you can produce a sense of loyalty beyond service excellence.