Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging shares profitable tips in this blog for B&B innkeepers to wanting to grow their hospitality businesses. She also offers marketing services such as blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and consulting. Her blog attracts businesses in the hospitality industry who would like to consistently attract more B&B guests, as well as book more private events, and offer additional packages, products, and services.
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New bed and breakfast novels are always coming out. Bed and breakfasts are ideal locations for stories to occur. Featured below are four bed and breakfast novels released in 2020. Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert, critically acclaimed author of A Murder for The Books, tells the story of a perfect B&B literary retreat--until a ... Read...
New bed and breakfast novels are always coming out. Bed and breakfasts are ideal locations for stories to occur. Featured below are four bed and breakfast novels released in 2020.
Booked for Death by Victoria Gilbert, critically acclaimed author of A Murder for The Books, tells the story of a perfect B&B literary retreat--until a rare book dealer turns up dead in the carriage house. Library Journal wrote, "Gilbert introduces an intelligent, mature amateur sleuth, and a shrewd elderly sidekick in the first in a character-driven cozy series. The leisurely paced mystery offers complex characters with well-developed backgrounds and motives. Readers of Ellery Adams’s Book Retreat mysteries will appreciate this new series.”
Chateau of Echoes, a novel by Siri Mitchell, features a suddenly widowed American woman who decides to buy a mysterious 15th century castle in France to open as a bed and breakfast. One reader wrote, "It's an inexpensive vacation to rural France with all the comforts of home and good food and interesting history." The drama unfolds when she gets talked into hosting a handsome American for an extended stay.
The Forbidden Promise by Lorna Cook is a brilliant new love story full of unexpected turns. Can one promise change the fate of two women decades apart? As the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Village, she writes another page turner. Kathleen McGurl, author of The Forgotten Secret, recommends the book, stating, "A wonderful tale of forbidden love, full of cliffhangers that kept me reading late into the night. And it has a fabulous twist."
The MacKade Brothers: Rafe and Jared, is actually two books in one written by the beloved author Nora Roberts. The first book, The Return of Rafe MacKade, is about his plans to open a bed and breakfast with the help of antique shop owner Regan Bishop. The second book, The Pride of Jared MacKade, when Jared's work as an attorney brings him up against Savannah Morningstar, her rude behavior and strong defenses do not scare him off, in fact, quite the opposite.
Theresa M. Lina, author of bestselling book Be The Go-To: How to Own Your Own Competitive Market, Charge More, and Have Customers Love You For It, encourages business owners to "differentiate in a way that is blatantly obvious to customers..." We should be able to instantly convey what makes us unique and valuable to a ... Read...
Theresa M. Lina, author of bestselling book Be The Go-To: How to Own Your Own Competitive Market, Charge More, and Have Customers Love You For It, encourages business owners to "differentiate in a way that is blatantly obvious to customers..." We should be able to instantly convey what makes us unique and valuable to a particular audience.
The goal for hospitality providers is to get prospective guests to understand what makes your accommodations and hospitality different. It is important to attract and retain the right guests. The guests that most appreciate what you offer and who can afford to come back time and again.
Guests will only pay higher prices when they receive higher value. Lina advises that we figure out how to raise the value of our offerings in order to raise our prices (at least proportionally to rising costs). Moreover, when we leverage and become more efficient in our operations, we can reduce our costs.
According to the author, the most critical competitive threat to most companies is commoditization in the eyes of customers and the market as a whole. When you are absolutely unique in what you offer, and it is of high value in urgent demand, then you can charge higher prices AND keep your rooms consistently booked.
Hospitality businesses that have defined, committed to, and established a unique market position are the ones that dominate their spaces and become go-to accommodations leaders. You can command much higher than your competitors because the guests consider what you offer to far outweigh your cost.
Focus lets you concentrate your message so it speaks directly to your guests' pain points and needs in their language. Lina advises that we focus on a specific market that is large enough to have enough opportunity, but small enough to concentrate our finite resources in order to capitalize on synergies. Target markets act as kindling.
A go-to business focuses on having a long-term relationship with its customers (guests). Be sure to keep up with changes in the industry to stay cutting-edge. This book focuses on four different phases which lead to becoming a leading business. The phases are not necessarily sequential.
For each phase, I share a practical example of how a bed and breakfast can differentiate itself from its competition. By offering a unique niche, accommodations can stand out to potential guests.
Author Theresa M. Linda dedicated this book to helping businesses be the Go-To in their market. It starts with finding your specific marketplace to dominate.
There are so many bed and breakfast niches, including:
Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers effective marketing solutions with blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, website design, and more. Contact Kristi for a complimentary twenty-minute conversation.
Serving others is the spirit of hospitality. Larry Stuart, CEO of LS Hospitality, is the author of The Spirit of Hospitality: How To Add The Missing Ingredients Your Business Needs. He advises those of us in the hospitality industry that IF we are NOT passionate about serving others, THEN we are in the wrong industry. Walking ... Read...
Serving others is the spirit of hospitality. Larry Stuart, CEO of LS Hospitality, is the author of The Spirit of Hospitality: How To Add The Missing Ingredients Your Business Needs. He advises those of us in the hospitality industry that IF we are NOT passionate about serving others, THEN we are in the wrong industry.
Walking in integrity is one of the key ingredients to a life of service in hospitality excellence. According to Mr. Stuart, we should "always choose to do the right thing for the right reason, no matter the cost." If we treat others with kindness, genuine care, and a heart of service, they will remember, and they will return.
It's all about the guest. We need to have the ability to anticipate the guests' needs. Acknowledge the presence of guests with eye contact. This lets them know we care for them and we are there to serve their every need. Give a sincere, from our heart, smile (with eye contact).
Make an appropriate and friendly hospitality comment such as, "We hope to have you back again soon." According to Mr. Larry Stuart, the key things our guests want are to be noticed, to be treated like they matter, to be served, and to be welcomed into a warm, inviting environment.
Being a blessing in life means serving others. Be willing to go the extra mile for guests and staff. There is always an opportunity to help others. Excellent guest service is a work of art that can only be performed by those who understand the spirit of hospitality. Our service instantly makes the guest feel welcome and sets them at ease.
Our willingness to listen to others gives them an opportunity to express their point of view. Guests who feel they have been heard; also feel they have been served. Our main goal should be to provide the WOW factor to every guest. The author quotes Zig Ziglar, "The complaining guest represents a huge opportunity for more business." He also reminds us that most guest complaints are sincere, legitimate, realistic, and warranted.
According to this book, the integrity of a true service-oriented business is how we respond when things go wrong. We can win a guest for life through our guest service recovery. This requires sincerity, empathy, and kindness. The key is to stay calm, maintain self-control, and always be professional. Demonstrate you are listening, accept responsibility, and work to find a solution.
Treat everyone you meet with politeness, kindness, and compassion. When we act in kindness, the recipient feels exceptional, important, and special. People return to us because of the spirit of hospitality we show them. We should always ask if there is anything else, we can do for the guest. This gives them an opportunity to share with us how we can make their stay even more memorable.
We can improve what we measure, and we track. Comment cards, surveys, and online reviews are just three of the many other ways to receive guest feedback. Stuart recommends that we track our guests' satisfaction as well as how we stack up in the industry against our competition.
Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers a 20-minute complimentary conversation to any bed and breakfast owner/innkeeper. Contact her to understand how you can be more effective with your hospitality marketing.
We must be innovative during this national pandemic. As a Vendor Member of the Association of Lodging Professionals, I attended their Virtual Development Day that they hosted on May 6, 2020. Many different topics and issues were discussed. Above all, innkeepers want to do everything they can to protect the health and safety of their guests. ... Read...
We must be innovative during this national pandemic. As a Vendor Member of the Association of Lodging Professionals, I attended their Virtual Development Day that they hosted on May 6, 2020. Many different topics and issues were discussed.
Above all, innkeepers want to do everything they can to protect the health and safety of their guests. That is their highest priority. The people who embrace making changes have a better mindset and are more likely to succeed. Small properties will welcome the first travelers. The perception is that smaller is safer.
People will not stay at places they do not think are clean. One guest review that says your place is dirty (regardless if they have reason to claim that) will kill your reviews. The public expects you to be safe. Be very proactive in your efforts to provide clean, safe hospitality accommodations. Communicate the changes you are making both to staff and to the public.
In conclusion, this is an unprecedented time in history. Now is the ideal time to set up and deliver an effective plan for your marketing. You are welcome to contact me for a complimentary phone consultation. I'm a great listener and a trusted advisor. Together, we will be innovative and improve your hospitality business success.
Want to be irresistible to guests? I recommend applying the wisdom found in the book, Lingo: Discover Your Ideal Customer's Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible. Jeffrey Shaw is an entrepreneur, professional photographer, author, coach, speaker, and Creative Warriors Podcast host. According to Shaw, when we understand our ideal customer's secret language, it allows ... Read...
Want to be irresistible to guests? I recommend applying the wisdom found in the book, Lingo: Discover Your Ideal Customer's Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible. Jeffrey Shaw is an entrepreneur, professional photographer, author, coach, speaker, and Creative Warriors Podcast host.
According to Shaw, when we understand our ideal customer's secret language, it allows us to develop a connection so genuine and authentic, that guests are simply drawn to us. To speak someone's "lingo" we must understand many things about them:
The key is to find the people who most value what we do. When our customers already value your product or service, then we don't have to sell. First, define your ideal guests. What types of guests would most appreciate your hospitality and accommodations? Then understand, speak, communicate, and think in their secret language. The strategy is about deeply knowing your ideal customer.
"Doing business with your ideal customers is the best, most efficient, profitable, and life-fulfilling way I know of to build the business of your dreams." (Jeffrey Shaw)
Shaw tells us to be clear about what life values you think are important for others to know about and what those values allow us to fulfill. Answer the question, "Who will love that?" Consider what is unique about what you offer. "What are the top 3 things you want every one of your ideal customers to say?" Decide what will cause your ideal guest to give you a favorable view.
Author Jeffrey Shaw recommends we learn everything we can about the perspective of our customers (our ideal guests). See the world through their eyes. Track our progress as we grow. When we understand where someone is coming from, we are more likely to empathize with them and offer compassion. Go to the places they go to. Read the magazines or blogs that they read. Get to know their lifestyle, preferences, likes, and dislikes. Look for what is common in the way they live. If we want to serve them, we must understand, empathize with, and respect them. We'll know what the world looks like from their perspective and we'll have a deeper understanding of what they value.
What's familiar to us creates an instant connection, according to Mr. Shaw. Familiarity will attract your ideal guests and filter out the rest. Speak the proper language of the market segment you are aiming for. Create situations that are attractive and magnetic to that specific ideal guest. Understand the brands, businesses, and products your ideal customer already interacts with. Every interaction you have with your guests is an opportunity to create an environment. Use the power of familiarity to trigger the feelings of comfort and belonging so they feel right at home.
Knowing the style of your ideal customer helps them make a quick decision to choose you. What "speaks" to your ideal customer? Trust your ability to get inside the minds and lifestyle of your ideal customers. According to author Jeffrey Shaw, you want them to feel as though the style of your brand fits them and they are a fit for your business. Once you understand your ideal customer's style, you need to understand the components of style: personality, voice, and price point. Your brand must have a personality. Start with 5 words that capture the essence of the personality you want to portray. You must have a consistent voice that is authentic, clear, and comfortable. With a consistent voice in your brand style and all that you create, your ideal customers will know your are a right fit for them.
Pricing sends a message to your customers--to those you want to attract and to those you don't. It lets people know they are in the right place and ensures you don't waste your time with the people who are not most advantageous for your business. It also matters how the prices are presented. Focus less on what the price is and more on how it makes people feel. People are emotional buyers. Be committed to service and be confident in your abilities. Author Jeffrey Shaw states that pricing creates perception. The position you choose has to be aligned with your market. Price has to fit with your ideal customer. The actual prices of your products and services let guests know if they're in the right place.
Use words to stop ideal customers dead in their tracks. Compel them to know more and to put aside any other concerns about price and competition because they feel they must have you.
Stand Out Statements (let the world know what you stand for, who you stand with, and how you stand out):
To stand out from all the clutter and get anyone's attention, our words must be remarkable. Shaw encourages us to be compelling. Pique their curiosity so they want to know more. Ask questions that cause your ideal guests to feel as though your are inside their head. Know who your ideal customer is. Understand their perspective (what they are going through and what they are thinking). Identify what thoughts are going on inside their head. Offer a solution.
The 4 essential components should support each other. Here are some examples (pertaining to specific hospitality niches).
The more we understand and speak the language of our ideal customers, the easier it will be to attract them. We'll have a deeper idea of what they value and how we can meet their needs. If you would like to get some clarity around who your ideal customers should be and/or learn how to attract your target guests, you're welcome to contact me for a free 20-minute phone consultation.
Deborah Gardner is a woman of many talents and accolades to her name. A competitive swimmer, a former broadcaster with CBS Sports, a published author, an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, and a hospitality and trends expert. Deborah also happened to earn the title of Mrs. Arizona 2020 (in her spare time)! She's a beautiful person ... Read...
Deborah Gardner is a woman of many talents and accolades to her name. A competitive swimmer, a former broadcaster with CBS Sports, a published author, an entrepreneur, a keynote speaker, and a hospitality and trends expert. Deborah also happened to earn the title of Mrs. Arizona 2020 (in her spare time)! She's a beautiful person inside and out. I am honored to share her responses to my curious questions.
Kristi: "Deborah, as an accomplished athlete, at what age did you start swimming, and would you tell us about your experiences as a competitive athlete and how that helped you become the person you are today?"
Deborah: "I started at 7 years old. My parents wanted all 3 of their kids to not get in trouble. So, they kept us busy participating in different sports. They chose swimming. It was something we all could do together. We had to qualify to make the team. We had to swim across the 25 meter pool. I remember jumping in the pool and immediately I thought a shark was chasing me. I was so scared, I swam really fast to the other side and got out feeling exhausted. Then, the coach looked at me and said, 'Yes! We want you!"
"Instead of feeling excited, I just cried. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done at that point of my young life. Refusing to go back, the very next day, I somehow changed my mind and said, 'Let's go swimming!'" I’ve never looked back at that shark but instead continued to swim throughout college at Arizona State University and even today with the Master’s program. I love to swim!"
"Although I could not go to the 1980 Olympics (due to the boycott), the sport of swimming has taught me to be disciplined, accountable, responsible and how to set and achieve goals. I learned to better myself as an individual and a teammate. I am able to adapt easily to changes because I've been able to do both things."
Kristi: "What did you learn from your 5-year career as a broadcaster for CBS Sports?"
Deborah: "I learned not to listen to others when you want to do something you love. As one of the first women sports broadcasters, it was tough because it was a time when it was not acceptable for women to give football score. But, people considered me a trailblazer that has served well for what I do today. Even today, you can't listen to what other people say you cannot do!"
Kristi: "You're a published author of several books including your most recent book called, Life In The Fast Lane: 52 Tips For Women To Get Off The Block and Go. You don't have to be an athlete to love this book because your motivational messages for women help encourage them to reach their dreams, set big goals, and do amazing things with their lives. What’s impressive is that you write in a way that is beneficial to everyone who wants to become better. What else do you want readers to get from this book?"
Deborah: "Confidence! I want women to have the confidence that they can do ANYTHING they set their mind to. They can stand up and say, 'I can do this.' Life is in the fast lane is where we all live. It’s just a matter of what you do in the fast lane."
Kristi: "As an entrepreneur who consults with companies and organizations so they can advance to new levels of success, what is the core of your message?"
Deborah: "My consultation is in the hospitality industry. They call me a 'Triple Threat' because I am a hotel supplier, a meeting professional, and a public speaker. Recently, I've been extremely busy helping leaders during this Covid-19 crisis. Many of the leaders are deciding who to furlough and lay off. It’s heart breaking and exhausting during this difficult time when people in the front lines to to the back of the house are losing their jobs every day.
Kristi: "Deborah, as one of only seven certified meeting professionals in the speaking community, what are the keys to hosting a successful meeting or event?"
Deborah: "It all comes down to what your goals and objectives are. You must know what they are in order to come up with a plan. Applying risk assessments to determine what is needed lie, safety and security procedures. Our industry changes minute by minute and it’s important to serve our number one boss, the audience."
Kristi: "Speaking of audiences, why do you think your keynote presentations do to resonate so well with your audiences?"
Deborah: "Today's audiences are very smart, experienced and skeptical. Speakers need to make sure it's worth their time and effort. It's not about getting their attention by making it all about the speaker. To promote and market a meeting and event, audiences are going to want to know, 'What's in it for me?' It's all about hospitality and the people. To do this, it’s a matter of being in my audiences shoes. They may want to have the best B&B property in the world and it’s up to me to provide interactive exercises that allow them to participate while seeking solutions to their challenges. I want them to think about their own life, business while taking action."
Kristi: "As a hospitality trends expert, what are your predictions?"
Deborah: "Today, I believe that bed and breakfast inns will make a faster comeback than big brand hotels. A lot of things will happen more locally. Individuals will travel first before meetings and events come back. More people are going to be driving, riding buses and trains. The key is to be adaptable. What worked yesterday isn't going to work today."
Kristi: "Deborah do you have any words of wisdom for innkeepers?"
Deborah: "Find opportunity in chaos. Exercise different parts of your brain to find creative ways to manage what will become the new normal. Consider doing a SWOT Analysis [Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats]. Then set new goals. It's not what happens to you, it's what you do."
Kristi: "Thank you for sharing such excellent advice for all hospitality professionals and for being Mrs. Arizona 2020. How did this idea transpire?"
Deborah: "I just turned 60 years of age and thought, what can I do differently in my life. Reflecting back, I remember competing for Miss National Teenager and failed miserably. Wanting to get back up on the horse and try again, I dusted off a gown in the back of my closet and went for it. Surprisingly, I won! It proved to me, age is just a number. You can reach your goals and dreams at any time of your life. Winning Mrs. Arizona 2020, had even opened up other opportunities, including being on national television while being the Fiesta Bowl Parade. Today, I’m presenting to more women groups as well. If you try something new, you will be surprised that doors do open for you."
Kristi: "In closing, you know B&B’s are all about hospitality. What comes to mind where you have experienced firsthand exceptional hospitality service?"
Deborah: "I was asked to speak for a program in Seattle. It just so happened, it was the same day as my 15th wedding anniversary. Knowing I can’t clone myself, I told the Fairmont Hotel in Seattle about it and they recommend I bring my husband, Jerry with me. Well, Jerry never travels without our four legged kid, lover boy dog, Chief. We call him that because he's chief of the house. Anyway, before you know it, Jerry agreed to fly to Seattle with me."
"We were already missing our lover boy, tearing from time to time. But, when we got to the hotel, we had the perfect surprise waiting for us in our room. In addition to a wonderful celebration amenity of flowers and chocolates, there was a framed picture of our dog, Chief. I'll never forget that the name of the employee I spoke to over the phone is Sarah Carter. She must have gotten Chief's picture off Facebook and made the special gift. So, it was like our lover boy was there with us, after all. Now, that was a memory we will never forget and continue to share with many audiences. I would think that is how B&B’s want to be remembered too."
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