B&B Competitors – Why You Need To Watch Them

B&B Competitors

Why you must look at your B&B competitors

B&B Competitors

I see so many accommodation providers constantly worrying about what their competitors are doing and spending all their time watching them when that time could be better spent building their own business.

That said, however, it is still important that you evaluate the competition BUT it needs to be done properly.

It’s important that you study exactly how they are positioning and presenting themselves. It’s important to explore what they are doing and finding out what their strengths and their weaknesses are.

​You need to understand exactly what your competitors are offering to see if there is anything more that you could learn and if there is anything you could do better or different than them.

Your challenge is to find out as much information on your competitors as possible.

And I mean to take the time to seriously discover what they are offering.

Whilst it’s probably not possible for you to become a guest and experience everything for yourself as they know you, you can always ask a friend to go through the whole process of booking and staying or you could call in a mystery shopper to investigate everything for you.

I carry out “secret stays” for my private clients and stay at their competitors’ establishments.  During during a “secret stay” I focus on all the key areas of the guest experience.  At the end of a visit I produce a lengthy and detailed report for my client on every aspect of the stay even down to copies of the room books!​

Studying your competitors isn’t something that can be rushed. It needs to be done in a systematic way to get the best out of the exercise.

You first need to consider exactly who your competitors are and please don’t just say everyone in the local area who offers what you offer. Seriously think about who your competitors are. Just because someone else offers accommodation, it doesn’t mean they are actually a competitor!

It’s time to take action!

You need to compile a list of every establishment of your standard, in your area and then go through it in detail and work out which of them are really your competitors.

Once you have decided who your competitors are, then it’s time to start learning everything you can about each of them.​

I encourage you to take a sheet of A4 paper for each competitor, write their name on the top and then start making notes on each one.  Start with where they position themselves in the market and what their USP is.

Discover exactly what their competitive edge is.

Secretly request their advertising and promotional literature and spend time reading it. Visit their website and make sure you know every nook and cranny of it. Subscribe to their newsletters and request their free downloads, remembering, of course, to use an email address that isn’t linked to your business!

However you decide to do it, you need to find out what the inside of their place is like, what it offers and the standard of their service.

And then you need to find out what they charge.  Don’t just check their rates online – make a phone call, pretend you’re a prospective guest and discover exactly what their sales pitch is and what really is their best price. You might be quite surprised!

And how good is their marketing? Do they have a clearly defined target market and is their marketing message talking their language?

You need to discover what your competitors are offering that you’re not and write that down as well.

And when you’ve figured all that out then you need to start putting things in place to ensure you offer the same or better if at all possible.

The more you know about your competitors, the better placed you will be to make decisions about the best way to position and promote your business.  The more you know about your competitors, the more you can do to make sure that you really do stand out from the crowd.

Learning everything about your competitors isn’t something that you just do once.

You need to put a system in place to ensure you regularly overview their marketing materials, investigate their website and find out exactly what they’re up to. Then twice a year block out time when you can concentrate on reviewing everything you’ve learnt about your competitors and discover whether or not they’ve raised the bar.

Until next time, remember…

Whilst you don’t want to be counting how many cars they have in their car park, stalk them on social media or be constantly looking for their guest reviews, you do need to take the time to seriously evaluate your competitors.

It’s vitally important when you are trying to build a successful business because, at the end of the day, your competitors can and will take all of your guests if you let them!

Stephanie x

7 Reasons To Create A B&B Marketing Plan

B&B Marketing Plan

B&B Marketing Plan

B&B Marketing Plan

A B&B marketing plan outlines all the important pieces needed to successfully and consistently market your business.

Now before you panic – it does not have to be lengthy or complicated!  Creating a simple plan is something every B&B owner should do because it will help guide your efforts and keep you focused on your goals.

In this article I share just 7 ways that a simple B&B Marketing Plan can help you to get more guests:

#1  Specifies a vision for your B&B

Your vision statement is a vivid description about what you want your business to be so that it inspires and motivates you.

A well-defined vision creates a mental picture of the B&B that you are striving to build and it will …

–  Serve as a compass to keep you heading in the right direction.

–  Enable you to assess opportunities that are presented to you and make decisions based on whether the opportunity helps you get closer to your vision.

–  Help you measure your progress, set goals, establish priorities and know when to say no.

–  Enable you to focus on what needs to be done to get there and eliminate anything that wastes time and takes energy away from what is valuable to achieving your dream.

#2  Defines and communicates your mission statement

Your mission is a concise statement of what your business does, developed from the guest’s perspective, and aligned with the vision for the business.  It should answer these three questions:

1) What do we do?  Specifies what you deliver to your guests, not in terms of process, but by the real needs that are fulfilled for your customers when they stay with you.

2) How do we do it?  Defines the offering you deliver to your guests.

3) For who?  Identifies the target market that is most likely to book with you.

Knowing the answers to these questions provides focus for your B&B and helps you move from the present into the future.

#3  Outlines what you want to accomplish

Research has shown a direct link between setting goals and the probability of success. By setting goals and writing them down, you are forced to be specific about what you want to achieve, how you will get there and by when. Your marketing goals should be:

–  Focused on achieving your vision.

–  Prioritised and tackled 1 or 2 at a time.

–  Monitored and measured.

It’s common to reassess goals quarterly and adjust the time frames and priorities based on what is happening around you. Life happens and you need to give yourself room to change.

#4  Describes your Ideal Guest

Never underestimate the importance of defining your ideal target audience. Intimately understanding your ideal guest means you know with certainty what problem they are trying to solve or what need they wish to satisfy. With this information, you can then:

–  Clearly communicate the value you offer and why they should book with you.

–  Discover opportunities to provide additional services overlooked by others.

–  Establish yourself as an expert in serving that particular market.

Being focused on one particular target market enables you to make better choices for all of your marketing efforts, saving you time and money on activities that don’t make sense for your business and the guests you serve.

#5  Identifies what makes you different

The Internet levels the playing field for accommodation businesses, but in turn, it creates a very crowded market place. Those who can describe how they are different have a competitive advantage over those who cannot.

The secret to defining what makes your B&B different is to understand what your ideal guest really wants and make sure you deliver it better than anyone else. What do you uniquely offer that your guests find amazing?

Usually what makes us different doesn’t have to be a complicated service. In many cases, you may offer something that is simple but has extreme value to your guests.

#6  Creates a roadmap for achieving your goals

You wouldn’t take a trip without planning your route. Marketing your business is no different – you need a plan to guide you towards your destination.

This plan defines the marketing strategies and the tactics within each strategy that you will use to achieve a particular goal.  Marketing strategies and their associated tactics to consider are:

–  Social media marketing – Determine which social networks are relevant to your business then develop a plan to build your visibility and expert reputation.

–  Content Marketing – Define your content marketing plan for topics then use email marketing or blogging to communicate your expertise and message to your target audience.

–  Search engine marketing – Define your top 10 keywords and optimise your website, directory listings, and social media profiles to increase visibility in the search engines.

–  Advertising – Create and manage pay-per-click advertising on Google and Facebook.

–  News / media /public relations – Become an expert resource for the media, gain visibility through newsworthy activities. Send out press releases and write articles.

For example if your goal is to grow your email list, then you need a lead generation campaign that would include search, social and content marketing strategies to attract enquiries.

#7  Creates an action plan for what you need to do, when

Your marketing action plan eliminates random activities that create haphazard results. It defines each marketing campaign project in detail and assigns resources, dates and topics to each activity so that it eliminates the guess work.

With a detailed marketing action plan, you always know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it.  

Until next time, remember …

You are in business to make a profit!  Therefore it’s important that you view marketing as an investment and take the proper steps to ensure you are maximising your resources. 

A simple B&B marketing plan ensures you are focusing on the success of your business.  And once you’ve created your B&B marketing plan, make sure you review it regularly.

Stephanie x