How to Find Your Inspiration as an Innkeeper (Part 2)
To find you inspiration as an innkeeper, there needs to be a match with your motivation for working, your individual talents, and your hospitality niche/ideal guests. In Part One of this blog post I gave three hypothetical situations. I will give some suggestions for each scenario.
Innkeeper Irene loves cooking for others and entertaining guests, but she dislikes anything involving paperwork–especially finances. I suggest that she finds a skilled accountant or bookkeeper to manage her finances. She should seek referrals from other innkeepers or other people in her local community.
Since Irene’s restaurant is becoming more known in the community, having an active online marketing presence is very important. She can also hire someone to actively manage her online marketing which should include consistent and strategic blogging and social media. By focusing on what she loves (cooking and entertaining), she Irene will likely grow her business and be able to afford to hire two experts who are skilled at those tasks and able to ease her burden.
Bob the B&B owner is very successful with marketing his inn. His grown children manage the day-to-day operations of their thriving business. If you remember his situation from the last blog post, his occupancy rate is very good, but he is wondering how to earn more income outside of bookings. Even if Bob does not have a restaurant or a spa in addition to his inn, he can still increase his income in a variety of different ways:
- Hosting private events (such as private parties, murder mysteries, book signings, wedding or baby showers, holiday or seasonal gatherings, etc.)
- Offering customized guest packages (such as a Girls Getaway package, Romance package, or Local Attractions package)
- Providing items for sale at his B&B (such as coffee mugs with his B&B logo, T-shirts/sweatshirts, signature goodies for guests to take home, etc.)
- Teaching classes (such as cooking, writing, painting, etc.) to guests
In the third example, Shirley & Dale are a husband and wife innkeeping couple. Shirley’s favorite thing to do is to plant and grow flowers and produce in their gorgeous garden as well as to decorate their inn. Dale loves construction and renovation projects (both inside and outside). I think the long-term goal is for Shirley & Dale should keep doing what they love. However, since they have a real need for adding housekeeping and kitchen staff, they will need to continue to handle those responsibilities until part-time employees are found.
Shirley & Dale should advertise for part-time employees in a variety of places including any professional hospitality associations to which they belong. Their ad should provide information (or a link to more specific information) detailing specifically what they are looking for so that they are more likely to find someone with the exact skills they need. Once housekeeping and kitchen staff are found, then they should focus on achieving a consistent marketing presence.
Some professional innkeeping organizations have Vendor Members. For example, Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging is a Vendor Member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International. I am happy to set up a free (no obligation), 20-minute phone conversation to answer any questions innkeepers have as well as provide practical ideas for bringing in more business.