Four reasons why Bed and Breakfast Owners Struggle

Hello and welcome.  I’m Yvonne Halling, and I run a B&B just like you.  And until a few short years ago, I was struggling to attract the right guests and make enough money, and maybe that’s you too.  In my time as a B&B owner myself over the last 12 years, and more recently as a mentor to other B&B owners, I’ve identified at least 11 reasons  why B&B businesses don’t make enough money and today in this video, I’d like to share some of them with you.

Not defining a niche.  Many owners I speak to, simply set up their B&Bs, spend lots of money on furnishings and remodelling, having no idea who they want to attract to their B&B and why.  It’s like opening a shop, putting some nice items in the window and hoping that passers by will walk in.  It’s too random and too risky, especially when you’ve spent a lot of money setting it up.  Far better then to think about why people come to your area or your town, finding out what they need and then positioning yourself as the “go to” person.  This means that you’ll no longer feel threatened by discounts that others are making.  You’ll no longer be at the mercy of any economy. In fact you’ll have your own tribe of raving fans who love everything you do, buy everything you have and come back for more.    And this brings me on to the second reason…

Not having a database that you legally in touch with on a regular basis.  You may have heard the expression that the money’s in the list, and it is.  If we don’t have the names, addresses and contact details of everyone who’s ever stayed with us, then how can we let them know about our latest offering, our newly decorated rooms, our additional services we’re adding because they asked for them?  The answer is we can’t, and so we’ve lost a great opportunity.  Having a growing database of your guests details and keeping in touch with them on a regular basis will add great value to their experience with you, and add more revenue to your business.  You won’t ever have to think about discounting your prices again.  In fact, you’ll be more concerned with how high you can raise them.  Remember, it’s never about the price, it’s about the value we deliver.  So be valuable to your guests.  Which brings me to my next point…

Not having any products to offer.    When we’re only offering rooms and perhaps evening meals, it limits our income.  When we add some more products into the mix, so that guests can buy a bit more of you, then we can really start to increase revenues.  Making ourselves as valuable as we can to everyone who comes into contact with us is a great way to position ourselves as the “go to” people  in our areas, which is where we need to be if we’re going to create a 6 figure B&B business.  When we’ve defined who we want to serve, rather than taking random people at any price, and why – because we enjoy serving those people, then we can start to offer other products that they would find valuable, such as a guide to the local area.  It doesn’t matter if someone else has already written a guide, this is your guide with your particular take on things.  We can offer products by local crafts people, or other service providers, such as tour guides.  Teaming up with other businesses is a great way to add value, and make more money.

So how are we going to find time to this type of important work?  Well the next reason why B&B businesses struggle is that they have NO TEAM, they’re doing everything themselves because they believe they can’t afford to hire help.  When we’re doing everything ourselves, we first of all reach exhaustion very quickly and secondly, there’s no time to think about the important things we’ve just discussed.  Its false economy to think we can do everything ourselves, build a 6 figure business and remain sane.

In the next video, coming in a couple of days, I’ll be sharing 4 more reasons why B&B Businesses are struggling, so keep an eye on your inbox.  In the meantime, I hope you found this useful, and if you’re serious about doubling your B&B income in 2013, then now is a great time to be putting in place the strategies and processes that we’ve used to create a 6 figure B&B business.  We’re running a Workshop in November here in Champagne for a very small group of serious B&B owners, where we’ll be sharing everything we’ve done and are still doing to run and maintain a 6 figure B&B business.

Simply CLICK HERE to find out more, and I’ll talk to you again soon. Thanks for watching. Bye


2 Responses to “Four reasons why Bed and Breakfast Owners Struggle”

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  1. Nick says:

    Hi Yvonne,

    Interesting to hear your latest blog and whilst I agree in principal with much that you say it leaves unsolved a number of major issues.

    The two most obvious that come to mind are:

    1) It’s fine having a niche market and knowing who you want to attract but it’s an entirely different but equally important issue to reach that market. For example I may want to appeal to the typical National Trust type person – (retired, educated, appreciative and with money to spend). However, to market/advertise to that audience (or any other specific niche) is neither easy and certainly not cheap.

    2) I entirely agree that doing everything yourself means some tasks are not done very well and you can feel both pressurised and burnt out. Of course its great to build a team, particularly of experts but unless these are fellow B&B people who are willing to barter/share their skills, then the upfront costs can be prohibitive. Indeed, it can take many years to reap returns unless your property is of such a size and currently doing so poorly that even a small improvement in performance will make a massive difference. I’m not sure many people are in this situation.

    Apologies that this just seems negative, I’m not one just to pour cold water on ideas but do like to work through to conclusions. Think your B&B “school” is a great concept and would like to help where I can.



    • Yvonne says:

      Hi Nick and thanks for your comment. You raise two important points. First, I’m a little puzzled at why you would want to target people with no money. Surely there are other people you’d love to serve who do have the money to spend? Reaching your niche market is not as difficult as you think. Once you have your website set up properly, using language that your target market can identify with, and then targetting all your social media, blogging, articles etc. towards that niche, you’ll get moved up the rankings and be referenced a lot more for your keywords.

      Second, when I talk about a team, I mean a small number of helpers in your B&B. Someone to do the cleaning, gardening, laundry etc. to free up your time to concentrate on the all important task of marketing. A B&B or any business for that matter, is nothing if no-one knows about it. Marketing makes people who are interested in what you have be aware of what you have. Then we must make it easy for them to have what you are offering.

      Hope this helps, Nick and do let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. Thanks for your kind comments about the “B&B School” too.

      With love and blessings from Champagne