1. DO celebrate your accomplishments
First things first; don’t wallow in your despair! Starting the year with a negative attitude won’t help you to be more pro-active. Write down a list of the things you have accomplished in the past year that you are proud of. Whether it’s fixing a faulty radiator for the first time or winning an award, you’re sure to have something to celebrate. Once you’ve written the list, pin it up in your room so that every time you feel a bit down in the dumps you can remind yourself of the year’s accomplishments.
2. DO list your top ten goals for the year ahead
Trying to think of all the things you want to achieve in a year can be a mind-boggling task. To keep it simple, have a brainstorming session and write down all your ideas on a sheet of paper. Leave the list for a day, then come back and sort through the ideas you have written down. Straight away you should be able to write off some ideas that are impractical. Other ideas you might end up marking as being of minor importance. Once you’ve been through the whole list, pick out the top ten goals and list them in order of their importance and urgency.
3. DO write up a marketing plan
If your marketing wasn’t effective last year, you need to write up a new plan to see you through the year ahead. Look at last year’s plan and decide which ideas worked and which didn’t. Pinpoint the areas that you need to improve upon and focus on these in particular. If you find yourself struggling, enlist the help of a professional.
4. DO reward your recurrent customers
If you have some loyal guests that keep coming back to your B&B, see if there’s any way you can reward them. Whether it’s a room for the night at half the usual price or a free voucher for the local spa, your guests are sure to appreciate it if you show that you care. If you reward your customers, they will be more willing to help you promote your B&B through good reviews and recommendations.
5. DO attend more industry events
If you tend to be a bit of a wallflower, strive to improve your confidence and attend some industry events this year. Even if you’re naturally a chatty person, a bit of networking never goes amiss! Make sure to take your business cards along to promote your business. Try to talk to everyone and ask questions to show that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say.
6. DON’T be afraid to ask for help
Running a business on your own or with a partner isn’t easy. Sometimes getting an outside perspective is all you need to give your business a new lease of life. If you find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Put aside your pride and hire a professional B&B consultant or simply seek out other B&B owners on forums.
7. DON’T make promises you can’t keep
Making promises to yourself that you can’t keep is the best way to be disappointed. Be realistic; if you don’t have the time or money this year to complete that kitchen extension, don’t do it. Start off small and gradually work your way up to bigger and better things. If you find yourself with time to spare, you can always amend your plans.
8. DON’T try to work 24/7
It’s tempting to think that more work = a better business, but this isn’t always the case. Quality trumps quantity every time, and if you’re working 24/7 you might forget to keep the standards in your B&B high. There’s nothing worse than a grumpy, bleary eyed host who hasn’t got the energy to meet their guests’ needs. We all need some ‘me time’ to recharge our batteries, so don’t forget to take yours!
9. DON’T ignore the internet
Okay, so the prospect of trawling through a million and one webpages to find something useful isn’t very appealing. While the internet can seem like a minefield, there are some helpful websites out there. Bookmark a few webpages that you think might be useful and take some time to read through them during your lunch break. Start subscribing to business blogs so you can get regular updates direct to your inbox.
10. DON’T forget about customer service
If you’ve got a million and one things on your mind, it’s easy to overlook the importance of customer service. The fact is that the best B&Bs have fantastic hosts who are happy to help their guests. Have a read through any complaints from the past year with an objective eye; try to see things from the customer’s point of view and work out whether you can make some positive changes based on what’s been said. Whatever you do, don’t take things too personally!
Image from Flickr user *Sally M*
Category: B&B Management