Hi I’m Yvonne Halling and in this video today, I’m going to talk about the truth that no-one is coming to save you.
Does this sound familiar to you?
“I just received my “automatic renewal notice” from TripAdvisor; last year 475€ (for a 3 room B&B), this year 720€!
I called today to cancel and was offered a reduction, to 525€ but I am still going to cancel. I used Booking.com for a year & cancelled with them, changing to TripConnect, which actually ended up costing MORE than Booking’s iniquitous 20% commission.
A week or so ago I got caught in a weak moment on the phone & paid 250€ to a company who promised me my very own marker on a map of B&Bs in my area. Help!”
“If I had a dollar/euro/pound for every email like this that hits my inbox, I’d be a rich woman indeed!”
The problem as I see is NOT that this person has paid too much of her hard-won cash on services that haven’t worked. The problem is that she believes that someone or something else is going to “save her”, and they’re not.
Companies like Trip Advisor, Booking.com etc. have their own agendas and while it is beneficial to list with them to gain online exposure, we cannot rely on them entirely to keep us booked.
The only way out of the stranglehold is to take back your power. Stop paying them unnecessarily and instead, find a way to attract guests yourself, using OTAs/TripAdvisor in the beginning, but then build relationships with guests yourself, invite them to return yourself, provide valuable products and services for them yourself, be their trusted advisor for your area yourself, and then learn how to find more of them yourself.
Here’s some pointers to get you started:
- Decide on who is your ideal guest? What do they come for? What do they ask about? What are their needs? Where can you find them online, and how are you going to connect with them? You may have groups of ideal guests who come for different reasons and this is OK. Keep in mind though, that each group has different needs, so you must be conscious that “we welcome families with dogs” may not appeal to your business travellers who bring you regular business week after week.
- Tweak your website so that it speaks the language of your ideal guests. Make it about them not you. Try not to appeal to everyone, but appeal deeply to your ideal guest. This doesn’t mean you have to turn people away, but you will be focussed on attracting more of your ideal guests.
- Once you are clear on who you want to serve, then ask them what else they would love to buy from you, and then develop more products and services based on what they want. You’ll want to have an automated “upselling” system in place so that everybody who books with you is aware of your additional products and services.
- Ask for reviews and referrals and let your guests know why this is so important to you as a small business. If they’ve had a good time, and they love what you do, they will happily write reviews for you and refer their friends and family, as well as return themselves.
- Stay in touch with your past guests, and work on attracting more of your ideal guests by using the social media platforms, blogging, videos, groups and forums. Be sure to be offering something valuable in your interactions. Come from a place of “giving” rather than “getting”.
- Take off your “B&B owner” hat and put on your “marketer” hat for a couple of hours every day, and watch your business grow. It’s not enough to be brilliant at running a B&B, you’ve also got to be brilliant at letting people know about you.
It’s not difficult to do, but it does take a decision to do it. Once you’ve made that decision, the way will be shown to you.
I’m taking a stand for all B&B owners, guest house owners, innkeepers and small hotel owners everywhere.
You’ve got the POWER!
If you’d like to know more about how to implement all this in your business, then register now for my next Masterclass, where I’ll show you how easy and fun it is to run your business your way, using technology and systems. Click below to register now and I’ll see you there.