What can we learn from Apple, Amazon and the Rolling Stones?

Some people believe that running a big company like Apple or Amazon is different from running a small company, but I believe that we all have the same issues, regardless of our size and here’s why…

In order to remain in business, we all need to:

  • Attract customers
  • Encourage those customers to spend more with us
  • Invite those customers to spend again and again

Apple’s business model is about releasing new products periodically, whipping up a frenzy with their existing customers and then releasing that product at a given time and with a limited quantity available. And then bingo! They create a massive pay day for themselves which each new product.

Amazon’s model is to offer you similar products that other customers bought, every time you make a purchase, and then up sell you onto their premium service, PRIME, so that they are creating regular paydays for themselves – bingo! Ongoing paydays every day with up sells

The Rolling Stones haven’t created a new product in years, but no-one cares. Their entire customer base is only interested in their back catalog and all they have to do is roll it out again and again, by going on tour. When they release the new tour dates, bingo! Massive pay days doing what they’ve always done.

Your small hospitality business also needs to:

  • Attract guests
  • Encourage those guests to spend more with you
  • Invite those guests to return and refer you again and again

And we can do this by gently and organically leading guests up what I call the “staircase”. Your new guest arrives and has a wonderful experience. Then he returns just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. He has another great experience, and now he’s ready to start telling his friends and family and returning again. He’s now a loyal guest and loves you so much (and you love him) that he starts talking about you on social media so his wider network are also aware of you. Now you have a raving fan – the very best type of guest.


The final step on the staircase is “investor” and you may or may not even want your guests to take this step, but who knows, one day you might dream up a proposition that needs some investment and where’s the first place you’ll look? To your community of raving fans!

It happened to me and it could happen to you too.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know how you are moving your guests up the staircase so you’ve got your own core community of raving fans. I’d love to hear from you


Yvonne 150 October 2014





8 Responses to “What can we learn from Apple, Amazon and the Rolling Stones?”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Peter Meleg says:

    I love your latest blurb equating our B&B to the big hitters.You are bang on! OLT are another issue too. We don’t use them.
    Re the Rolling Stones. When it all goes out of control. “Just my 19th nervous breakdown”comes to mind and then “Fade Away” Hopefully it never comes to this…..
    Keep up the good work.
    Kind regards
    Green Door B&B
    Ont Canada

  2. Hi Yvonne

    Love this analogy – its so true but only if you have a B & B in a tourist hotspot. I can hear you now saying ” But have you created that special thing to get your guests wanting to come to your area that is unique to you?”

    This will still not work in our area. 50% of our guests come here and then only for a short break of maximum 2-3days, rarely 4 or 5. The rest use us as an en route destination. We do get repeat guests but only a few each year who are coming for a local religious conference.

    • Hi Paula and thanks so much for commenting. Be careful of your beliefs and your thinking – they can massively hold us back, or propel us forwards – it’s a choice xx

  3. Hello Bonjour, thanks for this other piece of wisdom Yvonne.

    Returning guests and recommendations are such a reward, just showing that we are doing right. And it is not just about money.
    I think that we also need to stay authentic and as you say love our guests as much as they love us.


  4. Chris Mason says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    Fantastic comparison. I love the way you reduce the big issues down to a size that makes sense for B&B’s. I think the biggest problem for B&B owners is that they have no business background, specifically marketing using today’s technology. Thanks so much for helping us get up to speed.

    • Thanks for your comment Chris, and you’re right, most B&B owners have never been taught about business or marketing – we aim to change all that 🙂 Thanks again, appreciate your input.