By Honeypot Marketing, Jun 24 2014 09:03AM
Part 2 of our guide to setting up and running a successful accommodation business.
6. Make sure you have great photos of your accommodation, inside and out. Photos are the way to really sell what you have to offer so you should make sure that they are as good as you can get them – and be sure that they are of the right digital quality when they are re-produced. Your web designer and printer should be able to advise you. The pictures your guests will most want to see are photos of the bedrooms followed by photos of the outside of the property and surroundings. Use them on your website, leaflets, business cards, social media and anywhere else you can think of!
7. Get yourself a website. There are lots of templates on the internet where you can do it yourself, and many companies out there who will provide reasonably priced websites for you, so look around and get some quotes. It doesn’t need to be ‘state of the art’ but it does need to display details of your accommodation business and make it look appealing. It should also show clearly how visitors can contact you and include lots of photos.
8. Marketing is a necessary evil. Accept that you will need to do some marketing, otherwise how will potential visitors know about you? Put leaflets or cards in local pubs and restaurants, tell local Parish Council offices, tourist information services and trade associations such as the Chamber of Commerce, and be sure to advertise on local and regional destination websites.
9. Check out the competition. Talk to your local competitors – what are they doing that works, what can you do better or differently? They may also be able to refer business to you if they are full!
10. Seek out local accolades. For instance, a Breakfast Award if you’re using good quality local produce, or a Walkers or Cyclists Welcome award if your business is close to good walking routes and cycling paths. Many pet lovers are looking for pet friendly accommodation, so consider this idea if it’s something that might work for you. These can be the difference between a visitor deciding to book with you or to take their business elsewhere!
Oh yes, and just one more really important thing! It’s a great idea to have a comment book for guests to write lovely things in about their stay, but it is a legal requirement for accommodation providers to have a book or registration document where you collect your visitors’ name, address, onward destination, car registration and (for overseas visitors) their passport number. This is an absolute must!
This is not an exhaustive list, but it should give you some ideas of what to consider in setting up an accommodation business.
If you would be interested in finding out more, we’d be happy to share some of our experience in setting up and marketing accommodation businesses – just email us. Or you might be interested in attending a workshop to hear more about setting up an accommodation business. Please email us and we will be happy to let you know when and where the next workshop will be.