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Most effective marketing tips for guest house owners and managers in 2021

Samkeliso NkwanyaneClick here to view Samkeliso Nkwanyane’s profile

Samkeliso Nkwanyane

Helping Hotel, Lodge & Restaurant…

Published Apr 10, 2021

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Your worst nightmare as a B&B or guest house owner or manager is closing the evening and realizing that your rooms are empty. Even worse when your competitor is fully booked! The ultimate aim of managing your own guest house is to generate profit. As every guest house owner will know, in the top of the head is to ‘put the bums on the beds’.

Effective marketing will persuade potential guests to buy your product. Having a wonderful establishment without anybody knowing about it is of no value to your business. Unfortunately, many guest house owners experience difficulty in marketing their establishments because they do not have the necessary marketing skills. In this article, I will assist you to identify how and where to market your establishment most effectively.

Marketing can be very expensive in terms of financial cost and time spent. However, if you do thorough market research and keep the basic marketing principles in mind, you will be able to market your guest house creatively and cost-effectively. This article will also introduce you to the basic concepts of marketing and their practical application in the guest house sector.

As a guest house owner or manager, here are the most effective marketing ideas you need to implement for your guest house to succeed:

  • Understand the importance of market research
  • Draw up a guest profile
  • Identify potential sources of guests and analyze your competitors
  • Formulate a mission and objectives for your guest house
  • Position yourself in the accommodation market
  • Provide service with a smile – Word of mouth is the best form of marketing
  • Manage sales channels and online travel agencies (OTAs)
  • Clearly define the type of products/services you wish to sell
  •  Price your products and services correctly
  • Define your major ways of distribution
  • Decide on strategies to promote your guest house
  • Design a great website
  • Use social media

By the way, before I forget, I have an amazing course for both the aspiring and current guest house owners. This course will give you all the tools you need to open and run a successful guest house. Check this amazing course below. I am offering a 10% discount to the first 10 people to enrol and quote “LINKEDIN2021”https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8964031030103081352

Understanding the importance of marketing research

It is important for you to know from the onset who will book your guest house. A profile describing the type of guest who would be likely to use your services will direct your marketing actions. You cannot even begin to design a marketing strategy or budget without thorough market research. If you do not know who your guests will be or what they will want, you will not be able to reach them through your marketing actions, nor will you be able to satisfy their needs and expectations.

The guest house sector is highly competitive and you must know as much as possible about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. If your guests or potential guests are not aware that you offer better value than your competitors, they will not use your services. Having a competitive edge means that your guest house is superior to that of your competitors in terms of location, rates, facilities, services or the total offering.

Remember that your competitors include not only the other guest houses in the area, but also other accommodation establishments such as guest houses, self-catering units and even caravan parks. Your guest will probably have stayed in other guest houses before and will expect the same or better standards from you. This means that you will have to comply with the minimum standards applicable to South African guest houses at the very least.

The standards required by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa will provide you with guidance in this regard.

Market research must be undertaken before the guest house is established. It should also be done on a regular basis after the establishment to ensure that your marketing is on the right track and that you are not wasting money on inefficient marketing activities.

Thorough planning and research will save you money and help you avoid costly mistakes. It will also assist you in identifying potential pitfalls and problems and guide you towards areas in which you can excel. It can be very expensive to find out that you have completely misjudged the market! This is a very common error, with the main reasons being that the location, the facilities or the rates of the guest house are not appropriate.

People are often so enchanted by their own dream that they forget about the hard realities of business. You must be willing to adjust your dream to the business reality, as it is not possible for you to force people into buying what you think they want. Market research will help you avoid making wrong choices that can cause serious problems for your business. In order to be successful, you must know as much as possible about your potential guests, your competitors and the opportunities and threats faced by your business.

Your market research will complement your business plan in the following ways:

  • Market research will help you make absolutely sure that there is a need for the product you intend to offer – and therefore a place in the market for your planned guest house. If there are two guest houses next to the local hospital, would it be wise for you to open a third guest house in the same area? Will there be enough guests for everyone? Perhaps you are able to offer something that guests may want that the other two do not offer. For example, you may offer a self-catering facility for people wanting to stay for a longer period or you may offer facilities for young children.

Market research will help you confirm whether your guest house is located where it will attract the most business.

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