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A Great Bed & Breakfast Means A Profitable B&B

Apr 15, 2008
Too many bed & breakfast locations fail even though the owner's have worked hard to make it a beautiful place to stay. Even though they are popular places for people to stay in, some of them just don't have what customers are really looking for. If you own a bed & breakfast or you are thinking of investing in one you really need to pay close attention to this information. It can make a significant difference for the course of your bed & breakfast business.

Too many people in this type of industry focus on obvious areas like a good location, offering great food, and the decor for the bed & breakfast. They tend to forget they are trying to meet a need for a customer base though. People stay at a bed & breakfast for more than a place to sleep and a hot meal. They can find all that at most any hotel and restaurant in town. They want you to offer them a personal experience that they will never forget. If you can offer that they will come back again and they will tell everyone they know how great your bed & breakfast is.

As with any type of market you are appealing to, you need to get to know what your customers are saying. This is a continuous effort because trends shift and you need to be ready for them. Take the time to find out what customers are saying about bed & breakfasts. You may be surprised to discover what they want isn't to see new furniture in the room but to have a personal experience and to be treated better than they would upon entering a common hotel. It is better to find out about this aspect of meeting customer needs in the bed & breakfast industry before you start so your business doesn't struggle to survive.

The internet is a great place to find information about the bed & breakfast business from the customer's perspective. Read reviews they have written about various ones they have stayed in. Read information on blogs and forums as well. You will find many of the things they want can be applied to just about any bed & breakfast location even if they are talking about a specific one.

Use the power of the internet to help you get information about what customers are saying about bed & breakfasts. The information isn't a secret so don't guess - go right to the sources. You can access blogs and forums online that have information written by actual customers. You can easily find out what they are looking for and what type of experiences they have had trying to find it. Look for constant themes that offer good information on what you definitely need to be offering and what you need to stay away from. Look for common pitfalls that could destroy your bed & breakfast if you don't prepare against them.

It is important to realize that each one of your customers that come to the bed & breakfast are going to have different interests and needs. Offer plenty of information for them on various events taking place in the area or sites they can visit. Offer them conveniences such as hair dryers and even internet access for them while they stay at the bed & breakfast. People often forget things when they pack such as their toothbrush or a razor. Make sure you offer such items at no charge to your customers.

After your customers have stayed with you, take the time to thank them for it. Send them a postcard telling them it was a pleasure to have them stay with you. They will love the personal attention. You may want to attach a postage paid questionnaire too. This is a great way to get feedback about your bed & breakfast from them. You can use this information to find out what your strengths and weaknesses are in the eyes of those that will determine if you have a successful business or not.

If you find that a particular customer had a terrible experience at your bed & breakfast, don't ignore it. Take the time to contact them and express your sincere disappointment in the situation. Ask them what could have been done to make the situation better and then listen to what they have to say. You may want to offer them a free stay at the bed & breakfast so you can make it up to them or even refund their money. Customer service is a very important part of ensuring your bed & breakfast will be successful. Pay attention to what customers are saying as they will offer you very valuable information.
About the Author
Patti Rob - entrepreneur, author, and B&B industry enthusiast. Visit the website to discover why most new B&B enthusiasts fail to reach their business dreams.
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