Hello, it’s Yvonne here and in today’s video I’m going to talk about the 4 big mistakes I made in my B&B and how you can avoid them, so if you’re not making the kind of money you want to make, or attracting the guests you want to welcome, and you’re sick of paying online travel agents as well, then I have 4 important tips you’ll want to pay attention to, which will help you.
When I started my B&B in 2001, I had no clue about business or how to run one. I just thought that my love of meeting people, entertaining, and keeping a lovely clean home would be enough, and that people would flock to my door! Well, why wouldn’t they? Well they didn’t and here’s the biggest reasons why they don’t.
Big mistake No. 1:
It’s not enough to be brilliant at all that, you’ve also got to learn about marketing, otherwise the best kept garden, kitchen, bedrooms etc. is going to be completely wasted unless people know about you. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the marketing is even more important than the actual “product” you create, although of course, it’s important.
And here’s the thing, when you start learning about marketing and you figure out what 2 or 3 things actually work for you, you’ll be amazed at how excited you’ll feel about your business. It’s kind of addictive actually! When you see something working, you just want to do more of it.
My tip is to dedicate yourself to upskilling in marketing your business, and forget about improving your services for a little while.
Which leads me to my next Big Mistake No. 2:
I printed out a gazillion leaflets and distributed them locally when my market is international, but I hadn’t figured that one out at that stage! Knowing your market, and your ideal guest, is crucial. Once I’d figured out that I wasn’t much use to domestic travellers – an Englishwoman in France, telling the French about their country! I don’t think so! I concentrated on who I could best serve and add value to. I went online, and I found them, and built relationships with them. I still printed up a few leaflets for local businesses who serve international customers, but I no longer went and plonked them anywhere and everywhere. They’re expensive, and they didn’t bring me any business.
My tip is to think about where your business comes from primarily, and then focus on those channels only and save yourself a fortune on printed leaflets, and wasted energy.
Big mistake #3:
I spent too much money on my “product” that is, the rooms, the accessories, the little touches, when what guests really want is an experience. They will not remember the toiletries, the flowers, the chocolates as much as they will remember the feeling they had while they were with you. Focus instead on creating an atmosphere of love, kindness, laughter and lightness, exuding from yourself and your team. This is “inside” work that might need to be done on yourself. If there’s any trace of resentment or annoyance while you’re in the company of your guests, they will feel it. This is very over-looked in the hospitality world.
So forget about your product for a minute, and start focusing on your own attitude and your own energy and how you show up on a daily basis, both for your guests and your team.
And finally, Big Mistake No. 4:
I was over-delivering. In my attempt to please my guests, I forgot about my accounting. Just an extra bottle of champagne here, and extra breakfast supplies there, and yes, I’ll be your taxi service because you don’t want to drink and drive, etc. etc. meant that my profit margin was becoming smaller and smaller. It’s lovely to be able to offer extra champagne or wine, bigger and better breakfasts, and be that occasional taxi-service, and so I put my prices up. And as my confidence grew with each little increase, and my sense of my own value grew, I just kept going until the balance between what I charge and what I deliver was clear. Then I could give a great service, but my books balanced too!
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of the year, and finding that you haven’t made any profit. If you’re running your B&B as a business, rather than a hobby, then it’s essential to make a profit. Otherwise, you’re working for nothing.
I created a framework that teaches you how to do this, so if you’d like to know more, then register below for my upcoming Masterclass where I’ll show you how to make more, work less, pay less commissions with less stress.
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