Jackie e-mailed me a great question the other day – “What is the most important thing to focus on when operating a bed and breakfast?”
I’m pretty sure my answer wasn’t one she was expecting, because it has nothing to do with the day-to-day operations of your B&B. However, without it, you won’t have any of those tasks to do!
What am I talking about? Marketing! If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I like to say that if people don’t know your bed and breakfast is open for business, no matter how good it is, you won’t have any guests.
So, what is marketing?
Marketing is a process that focuses on customers’ needs and how to satisfy them by creating and communicating offerings that met those needs, on an on-going basis.
How do you “do” marketing?
Marketing is a series of steps that take your idea from the concept through to getting the word out to your potential guest. One of the things I learned about marketing is if you get it right, then yo-ur business will sell itself.
It is much easier to market a product that has a market ready and waiting for it, which is why the Design Your Dream B&B System, so much time is spent doing research about your potential guest – who they are, what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it.
Once you know that, you know how to create marketing materials that they can’t ignore!
Key Marketing Materials for Bed and Breakfasts
The main marketing tools that most bed and breakfasts use are:
- A website and blogging
- B&B Directories/OTAs (Online Travel Agencies)
- Social media
- Review sites
- Word of Mouth
- Print materials (Business cards and brochures)
Does this mean you have to learns about website design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and graphic design?
No! There are professionals out there who have the latest knowledge on how these things work and have the computer programs available to do the work. However, in order to do a great job, they need the information about your potential customers and what you are offering them – that’s your job.
For things like editorial calendars to manage blogging and social media posts, and photography, there is a lot of information available on-line – both free and paid.
Once you have the tools, you will need to learn how to implement and use these marketing tools to get the word out about your bed and breakfast and the value you offer to your guests.
The other important thing you need to know about marketing is not a one-off and done. Not only are the tools constantly evolving as technology changes, requiring a continuous investment of money, but of effort to stay timely and on-topic with your communications.
Do you have a question for me? Leave me a comment and as always, I will personally answer you!
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To begin your journey of discovery to see if owning a bed and breakfast is right for you, download “3 Questions Everyone Who Wants to Own a Bed and Breakfast Asks – or Should!”
And check out more on-line video training on Susan Poole, The B&B Coach’s YouTube Channel – and don’t forget to subscribe!