How B&B Owners Can Rise Above the Cost of Living Crisis and Thrive Through the Low Season

 

If you’re concerned, or stressed or even really worried about the cost of living and where the economy is headed, you’re in the right place.

Now, I know time is valuable, so let me just clarify that this call is for new and established B&B owners, but NOT for those who have not yet opened their doors or been receiving guests for at least a season.

I promise that if you stay to the end, you’ll have a simple, clear roadmap on the best way forward for you and your B&B. So if you’re feeling financially squeezed or stressed, I’m here to help.

All I ask is you give me your full attention for the next 30 minutes or so. Fair enough?

And do have a notepad and pen handy, because taking a few notes will really help you to absorb what I’m sharing with you. And do feel free to ask questions as we go along.

I don’t know how much you know about my story but I remember very well the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. We were living in the UK running our own corporate events business and suddenly in November 2008, right before the pre-Christmas busy season, the cancellations started rushing in and over the next few weeks we had completely lost our business, all our money and savings.

Then in September 2009, when my hubby and I were away at a conference in London, I phoned home to see how the girls were doing and I was met with something like “I can’t talk now Mummy the house is on fire and we’re waiting for the fire department to arrive”.

Fortunately nothing of value was lost, but we were now homeless. A friend offered us their caravan and we lived in that caravan for 4 months. It was a terrible time for us.

In January 2010, we borrowed some money from family and returned to our house in France as the tenants had left, and I started to open the doors again to B&B guests. It was painfully slow and we didn’t have enough money to pay the gas company so they cut us off. We were boiling water to wash.

The final straw came in March 2010 when I answered a knock at the door to find the bailiffs standing there, with the papers to foreclose or repossess our home.

I had a complete meltdown.

I’m telling you this not as a “look at me” thing but to let you know that I really, really know the feeling of having the wolf at the door, and it’s one of my big reasons for doing what I do: to help fellow B&B owners like you to prevent this situation, or get out of it if you’re already in it.

So let me ask you…

  1. What are you feeling right now when you look at your bank account?
  2. What are your bookings looking like – in reality – between now and the end of the year?
  3. Do you know you’ve got a shortfall you really need to make up, and pronto?

If I could show you a way to bring in bookings whenever you needed them, anytime, that feels good for you and your guests, would you be interested in that?

The thing is, we’re in the middle of a rising wave of cost of living increases. I’m sure you’ve seen and felt them. Plus, there’s a growing sense that the economy is very volatile and uncertain – with possible signs of us heading into recession, in the UK, US and Europe.

Either way, we’re in for a bumpy ride, and there’s no sign of it letting up any time soon.

Plus, in the Northern hemisphere, we’re heading into low season, when bookings can slow down and can even dry up.

In our Poll in the Facebook group, the two big things on the minds of most owners were: 1) the rising cost of living and impact on bookings, and 2) how they’ll survive the low season.

And that’s understandable. It’s a very scary place to be.

When faced with this situation, many B&B owners don’t act. They’re either lulled into hoping the situation will pick up on its own, or they stick their head in the sand and ignore it, or they panic, not knowing what to do. I can tell you, this is deadly. It’s like playing Russian Roulette. And I don’t even want to go further with where that ends up for your B&B and for you.

On the other hand, there are a couple of things that B&B owners do instead of nothing. But these two things are also deadly…

Some owners pay for ads. But in almost every case, the ads are too expensive, bring in very little results and leave you even worse off. Plus, you’re now several weeks or months further into your current cash crunch. Take it from me, that’s really scary.

The other thing that stressed and worried B&B owners do is slash their rates. Boy do I know that story. It’s so tempting. And you may even have people telling you that’s the only way to survive. But I can tell you from my own bitter experience, it’s a high-risk strategy that’s often the fast road to going broke.

Please don’t take that plunge without speaking with me first, okay?

Instead, back in 2010, faced with having my house taken away, I figured out a way and after a lot of trial and error I came up with a solution that has the ability to bring in bookings, direct bookings via your website, whenever you want them.

And that’s what I’m going to walk you through today.

But there’s one big reason that this system worked for me, and so many of my clients, and why it worked even during the pandemic. And why it will continue to work for B&B owners like you into the future.

And the reason is simple: it gives your past guests the connection they’re now craving.

Before the pandemic, airbnb, booking dot com, expedia and all those guys were doing great.  Business was booming and they were flying, and maybe you were too.

But over the past 2 – 3 years now, the world has changed. People have changed.

Our needs have changed massively, and how we get bookings, has changed.

People now are way more choosy on who they spend their money with, and who they spend their time with.

A faceless, soulless, “hospitality-less” experience won’t cut it anymore. I’m sure that’s not what you provide. But here’s the kicker…

If you’re “out of sight, out of mind” B&B hosts who have a distant, infrequent relationship with your guests, you’ve fallen into the same trap. No matter how friendly you are in person.

We as hosts have to be way more emotional about connecting with our guests, both online and offline. And that includes staying in touch, showing we care forever!

In the pre-pandemic world, you could get away with occasional  marketing, sloppy marketing or no marketing – and rely on the OTAs for bookings. People were travelling freely and they weren’t nearly as choosy – or stressed and exhausted, in need of a break.

Then many of us got locked up for 2 years, and during that time, priorities changed.

People shifted their perspective on their primary needs from expansion and growth to connection and safety.

Now, they’re travelling less, they’re concerned about their money and they’re less trustful. They’re now prioritising to shop and spend with businesses they know, like and trust. Ones that show they genuinely care.

This is actually good news if you can respond appropriately.

Because now, people want connection. That includes your guests.

But Airbnb is selling dreamy properties with spectacular views but no personal connection.

And Booking dot com is selling on discounts when people want connection and safety.

The need for connection and safety are PRIMARY human needs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So is physical comfort, by the way. And being looked after.

So we’re in a completely different place than we were pre-pandemic.

While travelling myself this year, I’ve noticed a huge lack of connection or “true hospitality” in the accommodations I’ve chosen. It’s like they don’t really give a flying fig about me and my needs – as long as they’ve got the booking.

The name of the game now is to create a sense of wellbeing for your guests, and for yourself.

I encourage you to stop talking about your awards and discounts and start talking about the wellbeing your guests will experience with you. Create opportunities for them to experience connection and safety with you.

Connection, energetic alignment, and emotional intelligence will help you rise above the noise of the media and the world, and allow you to forge a deep connection to yourself and your own wisdom, so you can bring more of the real YOU to the party.

Your guests will feel all of that, and then choose you over the discounts on offer, because you are meeting their human needs right now.

So based on this big shift in priorities by your guests, how do you put that in service for them in such a way that quickly brings you new bookings over the coming weeks?

In a nutshell, you connect with your past guests and make them an offer to return that they can’t resist. And here’s a clue, it’s all in the way you talk about it and present it. Here’s how…

Step #1  What’s going on in your area in the next few weeks that you’re really excited about?

Step #2  What extra value can you add to that event, that would delight you and your guests?

Step #3  Put a price tag on your offer  that feels good for you, and that your guests would love to buy now

Let me give you a couple of examples…

When the first lockdown lifted slightly in the UK in the summer of 2020, one of our clients got to work using our system.

She created a beautiful offer, which really focused on the well-being of her guests, inviting them to indulge themselves in some much needed time away from the confinement, and to take in the sea air and coastal environment.

She added in some gorgeous extras such as a massage, some champagne and optional dinner and gave it a big juicy price tag.

It was a bit of stretch for her, but with our coaching and support, she sent the offer out.

Within 1 day she had received over £11,000 in bookings (that’s over $12,700) and within a week, £17,000 in total (over $19,600). That would be a massive result for any B&B, right?

People were so desperate for a relaxing break away from home that they jumped on her offer, because it really honed in on their well-being and comfort, which is what they were craving.

Here’s another example:

Earlier this year, another one of our clients needed some bookings quickly and so we focused on one of the big attractions opening up again in her area, after a long lockdown.

She knew that the attraction itself would be communicating this to their past customer list, but we decided to go further and add in some fabulous indulgences when they booked with her.

She’d never, ever communicated with her past guests before, so she was a little apprehensive, but with our help and support,  she sent the offer out anyway.

Within just a couple of days, she reported 69 bookings, and by the end of the offer period, a total of 77 bookings. As you can imagine, she was thrilled – and hugely thankful.

Just think what a huge difference that sort of result could make for you.

Now let me ask you…

  • Is this making sense?
  • Is it resonating with you?
  • Do you think it would be valuable for you to learn how to do this too?
  • Would you like some help with this?

Now, it’s one thing knowing this approach in general terms, and it’s quite another making it work for you and your B&B. Especially in these uncertain times, which can be so stressful.

I know those horrible feelings when bookings and cash dries up – or have run dry weeks and weeks ago. And so do the B&B owners I’ve worked with to revive their bookings and revenue.

They tell me this method has been life-changing and saved their businesses (and in some cases, their well-being and closest relationships).

It breaks my heart seeing fellow B&B owners go through that awful stress. So I want to help you – to prevent that or fix it, depending on where you are right now.

Next Tuesday, September 20th, along with my colleague Matthew Newnham, we’re running a 5 day workshop to start getting you bookings within as little as 7-10 days. (By the way, if you don’t know Matthew yet, he’s brilliant at coming up with highly attractive guest offers and communicating them in a way that delights guests and owners.)

Our 5-day workshop called the Low Season High Occupancy Rapid Results Workshop and it leads you through my proven method. (You might even think of this as a Slow Economy, High Occupancy workshop – if that’s where we end up heading with the economy.)

This workshop has everything you need, including step-by-step guidance and live support. It’s especially tailored for the times we’re living in and meeting the current needs of your guests.

Each day, you’ll have a simple task to do, and then we’ll be on a live coaching call to help you complete that task.

We have a private community for this Workshop, off Facebook, so you won’t get distracted, where you can ask questions and get more of our personal help.

By the end of the 5 days you’ll have a juicy compelling offer, beautifully written up and out to your list of past guests, even if you’ve never communicated with them before, or you’re even a little bit afraid to reach out to them.

We’re offering you this opportunity to join at just $197, so with just one or two extra bookings, it will have paid for itself, taking all risk out for you.  And if you feel that after completing every task and getting your offer out in the way we suggest has not given you any value whatsoever, we’ll refund you, thereby taking all the risk away for you.

We’re confident that if you follow our process and our suggestions, you’ll be giving your past guests the connection they’re craving right now, plus you’ll have learned new skills and you’ll have a repeatable system to roll out whenever you want bookings in the future.