10 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening Your Bed and Breakfast
Here are 10 mistakes to avoid:
1. Not understanding your market & competitors Printing off brochures, pamphlets and putting up billboards might seem like a great idea, but what if your market is driven by international guests? Knowing who visits your market and why is one of the first steps to developing a marketing plan. If your in a market that most of your guests plan in advance to visit and guest book 30 days advance a billboard will be a colossal waste of money.
2. Over delivering and underselling so you love the new business and you get excited about hosting guests. Your service is beyond the normal realms of service. This will certainly gain you positive customer reviews and even returning guests there are costs associated with your phenomenal service it may start eating away at your profit. Don’t be afraid to raise rates to match the quality of service. If you deliver uncommonly superior service your guests do not mind paying for it.
3. I can do it all… can you?
You may love to interact with the guest maybe you enjoy cooking, gardening, cleaning repairing your home, accounting, sales and marketing, the odds of you enjoying, and doing every aspect of running a B&B exceptionally well are slim to non. Find some help, be that a partner or hired staff along.
4. Failing to do enough research Without research, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You need to conduct comprehensive analysis on the area you want to open in, your possible competitors, your possible target markets, and what guests will be expecting from a property like yours. Knowing this information will give you a clear plan of attack.
5. Rushing to open the doors
As we know, you NEVER get a second chance for a first impressions. Make sure every this is perfect before is ask a guest to pay for a room make sure you are ready. Invite friends and or family to spend the night. Treat them like a guest and ask for there feedback. Not being ready can damage your reputation long term.
6. Operating without policies
Set rules and policies for your guests. Let them know what to expect. This will help stop misunderstandings. Make sure they are consistent every place your hotel appears.
Sending out pre-arrival guest emails outlining all the policies your bed and breakfast may have around refunds, pets, property damages, early check-ins and late check-outs is the best way to keep guests informed, after all no one likes surprises.
7. Going in blind
It’s imperative you know what to expect from the job and the industry. As previously stated, you have to know this is the right job for you, lest you risk burnout in a short amount of time.
8. Being the same
If you’re not trying to differentiate your property and give guests and unique experience they’ll remember, what’s the point? Study your competitors and see how you can do things outside the box to delight guests and create the reputation that your property is the best in the area.
9. Sticking to medieval management strategies
We now live in a technological world and those who stick to pen and paper management methods are being left behind, still frustrated by the amount of time it takes to do their admin and confused by constant human error. Investing in technology like property management systems, channel managers, website builders and more will not only improve the way your business runs, but also the perception guests have of your business. These systems will give you cloud-based benefits that include automating and accelerating your administration and paperwork tasks, helping distribute your rooms online and expand your market reach, and enable your website to look and function great while keeping staying up-to-date with Google.
10. Not covering all bases
Before you operate, you need to make sure your business is fully legal and safe. This means taking care of zoning compliance, providing enough parking, obtaining permits and passing mandatory inspections, ensuring certificates and training like first aid and safe food handling are up-to-date, and purchasing insurance.