Five Lessons from the PAII Conference

join-button-websiteLast week I took a trip to the USA, to Charleston, South Carolina, where I was invited to speak at the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) annual conference for B&B owners and innkeepers.

I love travelling and intend to do a lot more of it in 2014.  I even opted for the 3-plane journey to get there, instead of taking a direct flight (not sure if there is one) because I love the feeling of travelling through time and space (!)  You can really switch off on planes, dive into a good book or better still for me, a film, and I watched 4 during the round trip.  Marvellous!

So here’s five things I learned from attending the event…

1.  You must attend events.  If you run your Inn or B&B in the USA and you are not already a member of PAII, then I encourage you to join.  All the online learning, courses, books, webinars and email lists you’re on, will never excite or inspire you as much as an industry event.  You meet people, you make friends, you help people, you learn in a learning environment, far away from the distractions of running your business, and that’s worth a whole lot.

We are not so fortunate in Europe.  I personally don’t know of any large scale events run for our industry here.      Could we put one on?  Would you come if we did?  Email me at if you think it’s a good idea.

2.  You must take time out of our business, to work ON it and not be forever IN it.  This time out is crucial for your own   sanity, survival and bottom line.  It’s too easy to say “I don’t have time”, or “it’s not important” but do you know what, it is absolutely essential if you’re serious about making your business work.  Just because “we love what we do”, doesn’t mean we have to do it 24/7 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, year in, year out.  No!  In order to keep loving what we do, we must take a break, recharge, refresh and renew.

3. Marketing is everything.  You’ve probably heard me say this before but the message at the event this year was very much in this vein.  You can have the best product in the world, but if no-one knows about it, then you will very quickly disappear.  Outsourcing your marketing without understanding it yourself, is a deadly mistake too.

Relying on others to make the right noises to your target audience without you understanding the implications of that can be very costly indeed, not just to your bottom line, but to your overall experience of your business.  You have to take responsibility, take control, understand, then delegate and follow up.  Don’t just dump it onto a sparkling marketing company who promises to do this, that and the other for a monthly fee.  Make sure they’re doing their job and doing it well, and that you’re getting value from the relationship.

4. Technology is here to stay, so you might as well make friends with it now.  If you’re too scared to face it, learn it and master it, then you’ll be left behind by others who will.  During my session, I asked “who likes technology” and just one person put their hand up!  I hate to break it to you, but you will have to learn it eventually, so you may as well start today, because sure as eggs are eggs, it will have changed by tomorrow morning, and become more sophisticated,  and you’ll be even further out of your depth, because you didn’t take responsibility when it was easy.

5. And lastly, shortcut your road to success by learning from those who’ve already been there.  You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.  There are others who’ve gone before you, so ask for help.

And because this is so important, I am offering you a free 30 minute telephone consultation if you are serious enough to step forward to learn. In this session, I will help you map out a marketing plan for 2014, and show you how to implement it.  There is absolutely no cost to this, and no obligation of any kind. I’m offering this service for free because I’m a Consultant, Mentor and Coach and there’s a good possibility that I can help you, and so if you find value in the help I give you, you may want to hire me.

With that said please understand that this is not a sales pitch in disguise.  I will not be pressuring you or pestering you in any way at all.  In fact, if you think I’ve wasted your time, I will even give you a $25 Amazon voucher!

Now just before you go any further, you need to know that I can’t help everyone.  I can only be of benefit to people who have a viable business and are committed to change.  If that’s you, and you want to schedule a session with me, here’s what you do now….

CLICK HERE where you’ll be taken to a short questionnaire about you, your business and your challenges.  Once I have that information, I will do some research for you and we’ll set up a time to go over it together on the phone or on Skype.

That’s all 🙂
Looking forward to assisting you



4 Responses to “Five Lessons from the PAII Conference”

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  1. Shelley Wright says:

    If you have not taken advantage of Yvonne’s excellent coaching and mentoring program yu need to do so asap. I have been taking advantage of her excellent service for about 5 months now. I have not only benefited as a business owner but also as a person. It is amazing what knowledge can do for ones self enhancement. I truly believe my business will see an increase in revenues this year. Already saw my reservations double in the month of December 2013. Yvonne’s team of mentors and her valuable friendship have kept me from feeling burnt out in the last 6 months. I have an entire new outlook on my business and my life. Take advantage of her offer and you surely will not be disappointed.
    Thanks again, Yvonne, Marion and the entire bed and breakfast coaching team.
    Shelley Wright
    Carbon Countrys Shady Rest Bed and Breakfast
    Washinton State USA

    • Thank you Shelley 😉 You have taken action, you have asked questions and you have contributed. It is a pleasure to be working with you. You will be successful x

  2. Good article with important points. I have taken time to attend a yearly conference and meet with our local association (infact I am standards chair and Bob is president), I have taken time to visit family and enjoy time off, I write online travel advice for Go-Trippin and try to keep up with my blog and Facebook and Google+ (have no idea what to do with linked-in). But I still haven’t figured out my target audience. I advertise with the university but only get about 2 families a year and they only attend so many games and functions of their student. The seaway trail and other historical venues haven’t brought me very many guests either. I had Elliott here to evaluate my B&B and he told me to specialize in pets since this is a very up and coming market. But I don’t want only pet people as some of them have not been very considerate of others here at the B&B and I don’t want to lose my regulars. You said not to make tourists my market, but they do seem to be the majority of my reservations.

    • Hi Sunny and apologies for taking so long to reply, I’ve just seen your comment. You need to choose a group of people that you can be comfortable with. If you go for pet owners, you have to love pets yourself. If you go for people who like hiking, then you have to like hiking yourself, otherwise there will be a disconnect between you and your guests. I suggest that you take a look at who is coming to your area and for what reason, and then focus first of all on helping them. First become an expert on your local area, and then narrow it down to a niche group. Hope that helps you 🙂