Bed & Breakfast News Christmas 2016 (#43) - Page 8

8 | | Bed & Breakfast News | | Christmas 2016
Just after the Scottish Minister of Tourism launched the Scottish B & B Association and welcomed them as founding members , Carol and Gordon gave a Presentation at ‘ Guest Scotland ’ on 16th November on the ‘ Secrets of their Success ’. Here are their six ‘ secrets ’:
‘ Secret 1 ’ – Planning & Research
Before you start your business , you need to decide on how to balance what you want for your own lifestyle with what the market needs : what kind of house and where ? What part of the market will you aim for ? Write an outline business plan - and regularly review and update it .
Discovering and understanding legislation is also vital when you start out . That is where the Bed & Breakfast Association can help - Carol and Gordon found their early membership invaluable .
Using reference sources is very helpful when you start out - Carol & Gordon bought and read ‘ How to Start and Run a B & B ’ ( above ) by Louise & David Weston , which they recommended ( the eBook version is currently free to BBA and SBBA members ).
‘ Secret 2 ’ – Marketing your B & B
Gordon & Carol are great believers in the value of independent accreditation , to reassure and attract guests .
An attractive website with online booking on your homepage is vital . The Bullochs don ’ t use any online travel agents ( OTAs ), so taking bookings directly online is vital to The Dulaig .
On setting your rates : Carol and Gordon emphasised their mantra : “ fair pricing , ensuring value for money ”.
Manage and optimise your presence on marketing websites , and on Tripadvisor - and use all ‘ free ’ marketing , including repeat business and recommendations ; other businesses e . g . travel guides and tour companies ; and social media .
‘ Secret 3 ’ – Quality Accommodation
Think carefully about house alterations – make them sympathetic . Take care with décor , fittings and set up to fit the market you are aiming for , and your house style .
Use great beds and bedding !