Bed and Breakfast Inn Owners – How Market Research Can Improve Your B&B
If you own or manage a B&B you should consider the following benefits obtainable from market research as part of your business success.
Benefits of Market Research
One of the greatest benefits obtained from undergoing some form of market research is a richer understanding of your target market and competitors. Being able to assess how well aligned your Inn is with your target market and its competitive marketplace can be invaluable. You will begin to get an idea of what others in your industry are doing in terms of marketing and budget in order to attract and retain guests.
Market Research is particularly important for setting up your business marketing plan & objectives, along with making strategic business decisions. The information you find out can help you refine your marketing campaigns. You may find that a certain radio station, bed and breakfast publication or website has returned a profitable return on investment for other Inn owners and therefore decide to devote more of your advertising budget to this source.
Market Research Ideas & Sources
– A good habit to get into is regularly reading free and paid reports about industry trends and patterns. You can also consult other B&B owners; join up to industry forums with other owners from around the world and within your country.
– There are many sources that contain industry related information such as: online and print magazines, newspapers and journals. Being aware of what is going on in the bed and breakfast marketplace can help you anticipate potential declines or slow times and make allowances for this period.
– Find out about upcoming hospitality conferences where consultants from the accommodation industry will be speaking about statistics and trends. Tourism business advisors can provide you with comprehensive information relating to your industry.
– Read travel blogs, reviews and testimonials about other bed and breakfasts with a similar value offering to your own, look for what they liked / disliked about their stay. Making comparison with similar bed and breakfast providers helps you ensure you are on the same or better playing level.
Another idea for gaining valuable information is to ask friends and family to stay at other accommodation providers’ which target the same market as you, and then supply you with constructive feedback on how your business compares. Again, helping you understand if you are meeting the needs of your target market.
Feedback from guests about where and how they found your Inn is another important form of market research. If you provide an evaluation / rating card, covering service questions such as : How did you find us? and How would you rate our B&B meals? which guests can fill out after their stay, you can use the information found from this tool as a benchmark. Giving you an opportunity to improve on areas which are scored lower than you would prefer.
Given that the burn out rates for B&B providers can be particularly high, it is even more important to dedicate sufficient time and resources to market research. You should continue to invest in marketing that works and drop others that are less effective. Eventually you will be able to reduce your marketing spend to just those mediums which provide you with a steady flow of guests, whilst trialling other advertising methods that you have found in your market research process which are associated with your target audience.
The Number 1 Bed & Breakfast Website is a joint venture between B&B websites of various countries to create one truly global site. 1bbweb.com is on the way to fulfilling the aim of being the best bed & breakfast site in the world. In the short time we have been accepting international listings we have achieved a membership of nearly 10.000 members from USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, as well as increasing numbers from European and Asian countries.
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