Build the right niche. Create a much smaller pond where you are the only fish. This will allow you to achieve market dominance and pricing power. Guests are willing to pay the extra price if you are the only accommodations that offers fill-in-the-blank (and enough guests desire what you offer).
Focus On Your Guests
Focus on what your guests want, not on what you want to sell. The more you learn about needs and wants of your target guest, the easier it will be to attract them. You will know exactly what they want. According to author, and real estate lawyer, Bruce M. Stachenfeld, a "power niche" is "a small-sized niche within a bigger industry that no one else dominates or owns." The niche you pick should not be too big (you will not be the obvious choice) or too small (there is not enough demand in the marketplace). Learn every single thing about this smaller niche to have a dominant presence. Since the pond is smaller, you look like a big fish!
Matter To Your Market
Stachenfeld states you do not have to appeal to everyone, you only need a tiny bit of the market to want you in the worst way. How will you stand out from other hospitality providers? How will you be different? Who are you trying to attract as guests? Think from your guests point of view. Be sure to regularly read your online reviews and any comments written in your guest books. Since every guest is different, you cannot assume what worked with one customer will work with the next one.
Niches Earn Riches
Reach out to potential guests through your blog and on social media. Be enthusiastic when you speak to guests (or potential guests) over the phone and in person. Think from the guests' point of view and create the experience your ideal guests would love. If you want to have more success than other inns, you need to do things differently. When you are the only accommodations in your area to offer specific amenities, services, and packages or cater to a specific niche, that gives you pricing power.
Choose A Power Niche
Stachenfeld advises your niche should be an area you already familiar with. Ownership of the niche is necessary to having what the author terms "a power niche." By offering things that other places do not, you do not have to compete on price. Your niche should be small enough that you are a dominant force in your local area. Your niche should not be too big (you will not be able to dominate it) and it also must be useful (appeal to enough guests).
Spread The Word
Start telling everyone about this focus. By letting the world know how your inn is unique, you invite others to see your bed and breakfast in that light. See your accommodations from the point of view of the guest. The author says to ask "why should they hire us?" As an innkeeper, you can ask, "Why should guests want to stay with us?" By being part of a B&B association, you can make referrals to other member inns (and they refer their guests to your inn).
Welcome Friendly Competition
The author argues that sometimes the best people to make friends with is your competition. This makes sense when you think about how well bed and breakfast associations do by referring each other when there are no vacancies, or when a nearby inn offers something you do not (such as being pet-friendly or hosting weddings).
Do not be afraid to ask for referrals--you just might get them. Your marketing must stand out as different and memorable (for the right reasons) from other accommodations. You do not need every guest--just the guests that want you the most.
Achieve Guest Satisfaction
Go out of your way to make sure guests enjoy every interaction. Expand your relationship with guests so that you nurture the relationship to encourage repeat visits. Get inside the mind of your guest. There is no "one size fits all" answer. Be likeable by showing you genuinely care for your guests. Be qualified by demonstrating your expertise. Your products and services should have value to your ideal guests.
Meet Their Needs
Think about what your ideal guests really want. You can learn this by asking questions of potential guests. Learning what is important to them allows you to meet their needs. Hospitality businesses do much better with guests who are inspired by your message and your reason for being in business. Let your guests know what your bed and breakfast is best at. It is critical that you offer something that people want.
Convey Your Message
Guests can be inspired by your message and why you are in business. People like someone who gets to the point quickly and in an easily understandable way. Make sure they understand what you are saying. How can you stand out and be memorable? Build the right niche!
Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography