Welcome to today’s conversation on how to find the “right” location for your B&B.
This question is one that comes up a lot for those who are new to this business, and are searching for property.
And as there are a LOT of new and aspiring owners in this Facebook group, I want to help you get clear on how you decide on whether this property or that property is the right one to purchase and why it makes a huge difference in terms of how successful you’ll be
After all, you’re probably going to be making a life-changing investment and you want to give yourself the best chance of getting a good return on that, and not pour your money down the drain
If you’re in the planning and researching stage, then I hope this conversation will be helpful to you.
So how do you decide where to buy?
Most new owners fall in love with the property, spend a fortune on renovations and interior design and then list on the online travel agents and hope for the best
I’ve seen this happen many times and it doesn’t end well
So I want to give you another perspective
I’m going to assume that you’re already passionate about hosting and welcoming and helping people to have an enjoyable experience with you
The problem is that everyone starts out like that and then they end up looking and sounding all the same.
Before you buy, and to give yourself the best chance of success, I want you to consider 3 other elements
A successful independent hospitality business such as a B&B, Guest House or Inn depends on getting clear on 3 things
Who, What and Why
Who do you want to welcome, what will you be offering them, and why would they choose you to provide that?
To make this easier, why not grab a paper and pen or pencil and draw yourself 3 circles that overlap in the middle.
In the first circle, write the words “property location”, in the second circle write the words “what are people coming for” and in the third circle, write the words “my interests and passions”
It should look like this now:
And in the middle you’ll have a small area where all three circles overlap and that is what I call your “sweet spot”, your point of differentiation and the key to the success of your business.
So how do you arrive at your sweet spot?
Here’s some questions to help you…
1. What are at least five reasons people are visiting the area you’re considering
2. What are all the main attractions in that area.
3. Which of those attractions would you enjoy the most and why?
When you can match up your chosen area, with the reasons people are visiting with your own interests and passions, you’ve got the winning formula
So before you go and purchase a property, make sure that you’ve done your research in these areas.
Just because a particular town or area has a lot of tourists, that’s no basis for your success, because if you go down that road, you’ll find that you’ll be in competition with everyone else, mostly on price, and you’ll find it very hard to differentiate yourself and charge more
Let me give you a couple of examples on how this has worked for some of our clients
One client is a keen theatre-goer. Her B&B is in one of the main theatre towns in her area, and she loves to talk with her guests about the best shows to go to.
Over the years, she had built quite a good customer list, but had never communicated anything to them about the shows.
When we sent out a short email campaign about the program for this year, she got 77 bookings within one week
Years ago now, I worked briefly with an owner who loved trains. His B&B was the old railway station and there was nothing he loved more than sitting with his guests on his porch watching those long trains pass through. They had a mutual passion and he shared his with his guests
Every time he sends out an email with news of a big train scheduled to come through, he gets a flood of bookings
Another client owns an important historic house which has a ghost or two. She networks in online communities with like-minded people who are interested in haunted houses, and regularly gets bookings from the ghost busters!
As long as you can talk with some passion and authority on either your area, or a particular aspect of your area, you can build that community too, where you are the only game in town and when your people think about visiting your area, they are only thinking of you
Remember birds of a feather, flock together
This will give you a huge advantage over everyone else who doesn’t bother to do this, and so I encourage you, if you’re just planning and researching your new B&B business, to do this deeper work.
It will pay you back 100 fold over the coming years
And the next step is being able to market your point of differentiation online, but that’s for another day
Meanwhile, if you have any questions or want to know more about working with us, then please do book a free 15 minute call with me by clicking on the button below. I'll be happy to help you
Yvonne Halling is an award-winning coach, mentor, consultant to the independent hospitality sector, where she helps clients make more money while enjoying an easier and more fulfilling life.