What to do when competition moves into town

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Kay Nein's picture
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http://smallbizsurvival.com/2013/07/what-to-do-when-competition-opens-in-your-small-town.html#comment-18142

I needed to read this.  We just had our surprise inspection and the inspector said that someone is trying to open another B&B downtown.  Right now, we are the only one.  I've been stressing about it.  But, I am confident of our level of quality, so I'm not sure where my issue lies. I think I might just be more upset about not being able to say we are the only one downtown.... No big deal, right?  

The only good news so far is that our building has been a B&B so long that we got grandfathered in on most of the new regulations.  The people trying to open up are struggling to be compliant and make renovations to meet those regulations.  Should I feel bad that I hope they don't pull it off??

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Oh my, I just got around to reading this one. I hate it when I laugh so hard at JB's expense!

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I knew it was too good to be true.

She has called again with a diff cell# from the one she gave me. She is coming by RIGHT NOW to see the rooms. I told her three just checked out. Not ready. She cannot do DRIED FLOWERS or anything scented.  She can't do stairs.

She said B&B's are always so country, I can't do that.

Well we are not DRIED FLOWERS, but the upstairs actually smells like cleanser from cleaning. So there is NO WAY she will stay here...I already know this.  She also mentioned she can't have patterns.

Yeah you know the rest of the story. It is foretold by Mother Murphy "When someone comes by at 1145AM they will be a PITA"  

I GIVE UP!

Nothing good comes from it, what a shocker SHE DOESN'T SHOW UP! Whowouldathunkit?

We busted our butts, and no show. I called her back. Btw.

She lied "We will come by a another time..."

I said. Oh lovely.

She said "Yes." with an evil grin into the phone

I said "Lovely that you told us you are coming by and demanding to see rooms just as guests have checked out and then don't show up...this is something innkeepers really appreciate!"

TA here we come...

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Highlands John's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I said "Lovely that you told us you are coming by and demanding to see rooms just as guests have checked out and then don't show up...this is something innkeepers really appreciate!"

Ha Ha. Good for you!!!

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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I said "Lovely that you told us you are coming by and demanding to see rooms just as guests have checked out and then don't show up...this is something innkeepers really appreciate!"

TA here we come.

I'm glad you told her off! What a horrible person she is.

It's a good lesson for all of us to stick to what our gut is telling us. Very rarely are we wrong! I'm sorry she was so rude to you.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I said "Lovely that you told us you are coming by and demanding to see rooms just as guests have checked out and then don't show up...this is something innkeepers really appreciate!"

TA here we come.

I'm glad you told her off! What a horrible person she is.

It's a good lesson for all of us to stick to what our gut is telling us. Very rarely are we wrong! I'm sorry she was so rude to you.

Thanks. This is why we don't bend our rules, when we do it bites us every time. We already know this to be true.

Now for the kicker, she is actually a consultant company to help small businesses. No I kid you not.

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Oh, my, that was a laugh out loud.  It may not be the end of the season, but we can see it from here....deep breaths, these too shall pass.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

I said "Lovely that you told us you are coming by and demanding to see rooms just as guests have checked out and then don't show up...this is something innkeepers really appreciate!"

TA here we come.

I'm glad you told her off! What a horrible person she is.

It's a good lesson for all of us to stick to what our gut is telling us. Very rarely are we wrong! I'm sorry she was so rude to you.

Thanks. This is why we don't bend our rules, when we do it bites us every time. We already know this to be true.

Now for the kicker, she is actually a consultant company to help small businesses. No I kid you not.

Is SHE the company or work for the company? If work for, I believe a word to the boss would be in order.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Here's what you don't do: (mostly obvious, but it's been done to us)

Don't ever say anything negative to your guests about them or other townspeople, even if you think it. Mumble and grumble to yourselves, but keep it to yourself. Things like that spread like wildfire in a small town.

Don't put a little dig about 'other places' in any of your marketing.

Don't make judgement claims about yourself in your marketing like "best, friendliest", etc.

Don't get upset when they copy you...it's a compliment and they can't do it nearly as well as you do.

 

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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One thing that's getting to me right now is that this "competition" is stating on their new website that they are "the highest rated bed and breakfast in XYZ county".  This is totally false! I'm biting my tongue because it's not worth confronting them. It really gets me though!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

One thing that's getting to me right now is that this "competition" is stating on their new website that they are "the highest rated bed and breakfast in XYZ county".  This is totally false! I'm biting my tongue because it's not worth confronting them. It really gets me though!

They believe in starting off on the wrong foot don't they.  Put the back up of the people who could help you the most BEFORE you are even open. What a bunch of dunderheads. You have my permission (as if it was needed) to readjust your adjusted attitude. Ignoring them would be a good idea.Just do your own thing and if asked about another (you being full of course) give the info that there is another B & B but they have not given you their phone number. I would not pan them, but with that attitude (highest rated when they are not even open?) I would not help them one iota.

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gillumhouse wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

One thing that's getting to me right now is that this "competition" is stating on their new website that they are "the highest rated bed and breakfast in XYZ county".  This is totally false! I'm biting my tongue because it's not worth confronting them. It really gets me though!

They believe in starting off on the wrong foot don't they.  Put the back up of the people who could help you the most BEFORE you are even open. What a bunch of dunderheads. You have my permission (as if it was needed) to readjust your adjusted attitude. Ignoring them would be a good idea.Just do your own thing and if asked about another (you being full of course) give the info that there is another B & B but they have not given you their phone number. I would not pan them, but with that attitude (highest rated when they are not even open?) I would not help them one iota.

They've been open for about 7 or 8 years now. It's the same 'dunderhead' that I was mentioning in above posts. It's always something like this with them. He started up a FB page for the chamber I quit, and what did he do? Started posting about his place! All the time. I called up a member of the board who has a motel and informed them what was going on. Had to explain to them that ALL lodging should be targeted. The folks around here are so low tech, they had no clue about FB or anything else (that's the reason I quit).

This guy is impossible.

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I did not notice it was your post or I would have known that. It has been a crazy day today. My roofer got me out of bed delivering the materials for the roof, then my City Manager needed my signature, and then DH wanted to go to the Park for the History On the Road (18th century hands-on for kids - or adults - to make rope bracelets the way rope was made, dip candles, experience a yoke with buckets, etc.) for him to take photos and I also took some for the City. A typical nutso day for this house. Then as we were about to come home my City Manager called again for me to come choose the workshops I am going to attend next week at the 2 Conferences we are going to. Yesterday I processed the remains of a 25 lb box of peaches (succeeded in giving away about half of the box as I do not have a lot of room in the freezer).

Tomorrow other than going to the doc's office to pick up some prescriptions and whatever else he can figure to do, it is clean the upstairs for the Friday full-house & put up the cot and the Pac N Play because the rest of the week is zoo-time.

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Oh brother..probably some no name directory said they were the best and maybe even years ago...so they ran with it Sad   No telling who designates them as the best????

Madeleine's picture
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If they don't mention where they are the highest rated and guests find them on TA and other rating websites at 4th or 5th place they'll wonder what else they're making up.

We have a couple of places that jockey for 1st on TA but one of them never takes it off their website when they're in 2nd place.

Another place, now closed, used to call itself the 'premiere' B&B. Not only were they not the best, they were not the first either, so making it up as they went along.

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Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Don't get upset when they copy you...it's a compliment and they can't do it nearly as well as you do.

 

Altho, it is very hard not to get upset when what they are copying is your website, word for word!

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Madeleine wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Don't get upset when they copy you...it's a compliment and they can't do it nearly as well as you do.

 

Altho, it is very hard not to get upset when what they are copying is your website, word for word!

NOOOO, that would not be acceptable!

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Great info BD.

I heard today an inn in a nearby city (that we go to and DH works in) is for auction. They had never called me back every time I called in the early years here. They have no web presence or social media, mostly ended up an event venue.

I would show you but cannot even find them online now. i thought early on there would be some comaradery, sharing guests or something, but never heard a peep. Now I am wondering if it is the same couple buying this place in our town, as they are said to have a B&B in that city... who knows. I will find out.  yes

On the same note, Catlady - there is that B&B in Huddleston lakefront that closed up. They could not make it on functions alone, and could not sell as a B&B... They open, they close, they sit.

Sorry to hijack--

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I would say that if there is enough business for both, don't sweat it. If there isn't, then the thing to do is up your game, NOW. Make your reputation and product hard to emulate and better than theirs, so they are naturally the second choice.

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and they may have stayed with you. That is what will make you more nervous, and try to emulate all the great things you do!

They are not competition however, whatever they are, it won't be your place, and your innkeepers. heart  I know how you feel there is one opening (converting an historic home) into one a couple blocks from us.  They can REALLY pull the historic card as it has one of the favorite generals of the Civil War Law Office on the property. It is also right next door practically to our hospital, so may get more that way (visiting Drs etc), or perhaps just more functions? They bought it for a bargain, they could have bought this stock lock and barrel, so they still have to add 5 bathrooms etc and tons of renos which cost big bucks.

I wish for you instead of dread, to be excited, they may be someone who can really boost your area, such as yourselves are doing!  You never know K9! smiley

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You know, I was thinking about that JB - did they stay with us?  My other half would remember them - she's got the memory of a elephant!  I'm not sure how I would feel about that... angry, betrayed, violated... Whatever, there's nothing we can do about it.

The only area I worry about is food (we aren't fancy - will they be like Sunshine serving grilled salmon and rhubarb bread for breakfast?),  but we make up for it with customer service and friendliness.  The guests just love my other half - she's perfect for this job, they love her from the time she opens the door.  Give her a friendly hard-time and you're in for plenty of it coming back to you. They love that s**t!  

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K9 wrote:

You know, I was thinking about that JB - did they stay with us?  My other half would remember them - she's got the memory of a elephant!  I'm not sure how I would feel about that... angry, betrayed, violated... Whatever, there's nothing we can do about it.

The only area I worry about is food (we aren't fancy - will they be like Sunshine serving grilled salmon and rhubarb bread for breakfast?),  but we make up for it with customer service and friendliness.  The guests just love my other half - she's perfect for this job, they love her from the time she opens the door.  Give her a friendly hard-time and you're in for plenty of it coming back to you. They love that s**t!  

There is an inn in a nearby city that is double what we charge for a weekend stay, and they called this morning. I have never met them, they are a newer inn, select registry, beautiful urban.  I called them back (as I have three rooms checking out) and it wasn't them, it was their guests and they recommended us!

COOL!

I will send them a thank you card, if these guests book for two nights, like they wanted to!

I am totally into scratching backs...you scratch I scratch. This is unusual to have this happen! Hurrah!

Sending me PITAS that is what they are doing!

Madeleine's picture
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Competition can be a good thing. Another B&B could bring MORE business. When there is only one game in town there is a perception that there is nothing to do in the area.

What you don't want are a couple of 100 room hotels!

Kay Nein's picture
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We have one Comf ort Inn and it's great - they send us business when they are full, great relationship.

Da ys Inn - disgusting place run be foreigners, we get business from them after people demand a refund and are looking for somewhere else to stay last minute

Doug las Inn - small, independently owned motel, gross, has a few people living in it but not many guests

Luckily, there are no plans to bring in another large hotel.  The CI always fills up so another chain would be the next choice for the tourists, not us.

Highlands John's picture
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Totally agree with others, better to work together. A new B&B has just been built down the road from us, we've known it was coming for a while as I'm on the community council so I saw the plans go through. They opened this week, already sent two people to them as we're full. 

Competition is a great motivator too. Our room renovations which we started last winter, we've been talking about for a while, knowledge of this new B&B got us of our a**es and into action.

Similar with the trees between us and the lake as they block our view, been meaning to get permission from the land owner for years to cut some back, did it this Spring.

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What will really help us is the plumbers recon they can do a bathroom in 4 days which will help get another one done before xmas we hope which will move our reno program along as we can plan to fit it in as soon as we get the money!

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Joey Camb's picture
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We have had a similar problem - they are building a 110 bedroom premier inn virtually across the street from me which is a good quality budget chain with a huge advertising budget.

However found out yesterday that they will have no breakfast and only 17 parking spaces for all those rooms! feel a lot better now!

Highlands John's picture
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The budget chains have moved into Inverness in a big way in the past couple of years.

We were throwing around some marketing ideas the other day and I came up with this, not sure if it use it, but made me feel a lot better.

 

All prices as of hotel website, 17th July.

 

Joey Camb's picture
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we don't have competition with our travel lodge - this is why - http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187046-d308697-r13607487-T...

 

as a rough guide this is pretty standard for every review and every weekend -

Noisiest hotel we have ever stayed in, abandon all hope of getting to sleep before about 3am if you are at the front of the hotel, tried earplugs but too much noise for that.
Nightclub opposite had around 70 people on the pavement singing & shouting !

 

 

Highlands John's picture
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No competition there then.

gillumhouse's picture
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K9 - Attitude adjustment time. Make nice. Welcome them with open arms and pray they reciprocate. I have been doing everything and anything I could to get another B & B in my city of 2300.

We could share marketing costs, take groups to big for one, AND it would help the economy of my city.This is the way I see it: ONE B & B can be anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there to see and do. Oh please send them my way!!! I will help them find ways around any hoops that exist. YOU do not have any competition because the other B & B does not have YOU! Each will be different. You do not have competitors, you have colleagues. 

Kay Nein's picture
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Oh, we would definitely play nice.  We've learned, after the culture shock, how to operate in this small town.  We're big city girls, but we know now to listen, play nice and don't say anything negative to anyone about anything or anyone.  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer wink

Good working-together ideas!

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EmptyNest is spot on.  One thing to remember is that competition (if you want to call it that) is good for business.  Marketing classes will tell you that is why B urg er K ing builds near Mick eyD's or We ndy's - they feed each other business.

When we opened 15 yrs ago there were 2 other B&B's in the area. One treated me badly from the moment we opened while the second one welcomed us with open arms, gave us SO much info and even guests.  Sadly they are both out of business and I am the only one left.  We have heard rumblings several times of another coming into play near me, but as of yet they have all fizzled before I knew anything more.  

Kay Nein's picture
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We already have a great reciprocal relationship with the other B&Bs in our area.  They are all miles outside of downtown, but we support each other and send referrals back & forth.  They welcomed us warmly when we took over last January.  We've been grateful for their support.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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As EmptyNest said, don't think of them as competition! You will be very different from each other and can partner in some marketing.

About 8 years ago another b&b opened in our nearest little town. I heard nothing from them, including that they were even there! From the get go they took the attitude of competition and to this day, pull dastardly tricks. I tried to change their attitude, but just couldn't. So, what happened? I NEVER refer to them. They're finally established after so many years, but I could have referred them thousands of dollars of business in just the first year.

It's much better to work together than compete.

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duplicate post

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Do NOT look at them as competition. Every place is different and there are plenty of people to go around for allSmiling

When and if it all happens, befriend them. Partner on things together..work together. We were a group of about 6 inns when we started ... most of us were new. We set up a group caledar, referred back and forth, did house tours for charity et. etc. Now there is only one of the originals left in business. Now it is everyonr foe themselves and no one works together..it is sad for me to see it this way. We were all such good friends.

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