The business world seems to be moving fast-forward at a frenetic pace. Even those on top of their corporate A-game tend to find themselves a step behind from time to time. And therein lies the deviousness of the trade industry. How can one perpetually beat the odds and come out on top?
Starting a bed and breakfast may seem overwhelming for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be the daunting idea that they will be forced into preparing lavish breakfasts several times a week for picky guests. For others, it might be the continual upkeep and renovating of an immaculate accommodation. However, one contributing factor bound to cause some stress (that is all too often entirely overlooked) is marketing. This oft disregarded and forgotten aspect is nonetheless a crucial one. Keep it in mind when starting up your bed and breakfast. It doesn’t matter how well you can whip up a Quiche Lorraine for breakfast if you don’t have any guests to serve it to.
Somehow, you’ve got to entice people to check out your inn. What will draw them in? What will bring about repeat guests? How is your inn better than the one down the street? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. The dilemma, therein, lies with seeking valid answers.
It’s probably a fair assumption that the vast majority of burgeoning bed and breakfast owners don’t have ample funding to slapdashingly throw down on advertising. So instead, clever, frugal marketing becomes vital.
Even if you have a shoestring budget of say, $100, you can definitely go places in getting your inn recognized. While you don’t have the luxury of shelling out money on expensive ad campaigns, phonebook advertisements, and expensive mailings, you can still market wisely. You’ll have to be smarter and cleverer than the competition, but for the resolute, that’s not really even a problem. While other inns may hide behind their stiff marketing plans, you have the adaptability and capability to make yours specifically your own. That means, however, that you have no choice but to find resourceful, economical, impactful ways of becoming visible and attracting guests.
Your marketing plan should be simple, but efficient.
For starters, you need to identify a target audience. A target audience is a specified group of people at whom you will market your key message—an idea that will reverberate with your audience. Include with this message a simple, powerful hook that should be succinct but memorable. From there, create a piece of marketing collateral that will attract prospects and thereby distinguish you from the competition. Get visible in the market—the old fashioned way. Go out and around. Show up to city council meetings, church gatherings, and community festivities. Introduce yourself to others and, more importantly, associate yourself and your cheerful demeanor with your bed and breakfast. This will stick with those whom you meet. Lastly, become one with the concept of “follow-ups.” Follow-ups are an oft-detested, yet crucial piece of marketing.
Introduce yourself to others and, more importantly, associate yourself and your cheerful demeanor with your bed and breakfast.
It’s normal for people to forget about what you tell them. Many will disregard it (even if they find it interesting) because of hectic schedules. Eventually, if you aren’t willing to follow-up, the work you did in garnering attention to your inn will be put on the back burner of most people’s minds. Your job is to bring it to the front. Follow up calls, cards, and emails can go a long way in victorious marketing.