- Random people showed up on the doorstep late on Friday and Saturday evenings when I was either busy with my other guests or with my family. If I was fully booked, I would ring around a number of fellow B&B owners to find a room for them, or more often than not, NOT find a room for them, and sometimes when it was late, I would offer them the sofa bed in the TV room.
- Most guests never returned because they had either forgotten about me as I had no viable means of staying in touch on a regular basis, so a relationship could not be built which left a feeling of being let-down somehow, probably on both sides.
- We had to take whoever came along because we had no means of contacting our ideal guests, the ones who would love us and whom we would love, because we were a perfect match in terms of price, quality and value. It was all a bit hit and miss, and mostly miss.
- We relied heavily on the local Tourist Office and other associations and this meant that often we were double booked or worse still, empty on a Saturday night!
- We were afraid to go out for fear of missing a phone call or a knock on the door, and so our social life was pretty much non-existent at that time, and holidays……. Very rarely.
- We never knew from one day to the next just who and how many would be showing up wanting a room, and so there was always the unknown financial factor
My Bed and Breakfast Business was not very satisfying back in those days, and I definitely wasn’t in love with it. But then a new lover came along in the form of the Internet and boy, how things have changed around here!
Because we can plan ahead, take bookings online ahead of time, take deposits and holidays, life is so much more rewarding, probably on both sides.
When I learned how to
- Reach the people I wanted to welcome
- Help them to recommend us and return with their friends and families
- Take control of my own marketing, thereby conveying a clear message to our ideal guests
- Switch off at certain times of the day and at certain times of the year and ….take a holiday!
- Help guests to book and pay online while I’m busy doing something else, or even sleeping
- Plan the finances so we know what’s coming up, but more importantly, what we can do to change it if necessary.
I fell in love with my business, and indeed my guests. How about you? Do you love your business and your guests?