Running a bed and breakfast can be a bigger challenge than most people might think — but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. There are plenty of ways through which you can make your bed and breakfast more accessible, and therefore more successful in the long term. Some have more to do with look, location, and overall experience — which of course shouldn’t be neglected. Others are more technical — having the right kind of bed and breakfast reservation software, for example, can make your bed and breakfast much easier for employees and guests alike to use. It’s important for bed and breakfast owners to stay on top of hospitality technology trends, as well as the best hotel management solutions. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that running a bed and breakfast is about providing great customer service; but it’s also about mixing the traditional comforts that people love with the technology that keeps everything running as smoothly as possible. Below, we’ll look into some simple things that can help you offer a bed and breakfast experience that will have guests coming back for years — and remember, repeat business is the bread and butter of the hospitality industry.
1. Bed And Breakfast Reservation Software
Bed and breakfast reservation software might not be quite as interesting as a pool or a giant kitchen, but it is a necessary part of running a great bed and breakfast. Back in the day, it was common for bed and breakfast owners to keep track of reservations through paper records, but this simply isn’t reliable, and has long been eclipsed by bed and breakfast reservation software. The great thing about software is that it can be stored with plenty of backup copies, making it much more difficult for people to lose the records permanently. For that matter, reservations when made through software are either to modify than paper records. The more trouble people have with making reservations, the less likely they will be to come back to a bed and breakfast — in fact, in 2011 86% of customers stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience. Having good software in place is one small way of preventing this issue. If you build loyalty with 5% more customers, you should see an increased profit between 25% and 100% per customer.
2. An Online Presence
It’s important to have a great website marketing your bed and breakfast. Where once word of mouth might have been enough to market a bed and breakfast, now the hospitality industry is increasingly competitive. For that matter, lots of people find that they need to attract guests not only locally, but as far away as possible. An important part of advertising your bed and breakfast to as many people as possible is having a professionally-designed website, appealing to a wide category of people through things like photos and reviews. A single great review from the right person could completely change your bed and breakfast’s future. Of course, it’s not enough to simply have a website — it needs to be mobile-accessible. This means that it can be easily viewed through not only a computer, but mobile devices like phones and tablets as well. With 53% of people finding travel-related information through mobile devices, you’re losing out on a major market if your website isn’t mobile-accessible. You should also make sure to have your website updated regularly, as an updated website looks more professional and is easier to navigate.
3. Support Staff
While ideally, we want to run our bed and breakfasts by ourselves, it’s important to have support staff on hand — even if they aren’t regular. You never know when accidents might happen, when you might get sick, or when things might simply get out of hand. Having a support staff available makes it much easier for a bed and breakfast to run regularly. This means that even if an emergency happens, your guests will have a greater experience — and will ideally come back.