The number 1 thing you must know, for your business to succeed

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The number 1 thing you must know, for your business to succeed

from Jim's Marketing Blog (Jim Connolly)

 

JB - - I hope you can take a quiet moment to read this and digest, it is one of the best articles I think I have ever seen on small businesses and marketing. Feel free to post your comments here.

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gillumhouse's picture
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In June, on the return leg of a bike trip visit, one of the 3 gentlemen told me they had stayed at B & Bs all over the world and I was in the top 5%.  I was flabbergasted! Shocked! I am in Podunk and do not think I am anything special and he tells me this. (I had a hard time getting my head in the door after that conversation.)

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gillumhouse wrote:

In June, on the return leg of a bike trip visit, one of the 3 gentlemen told me they had stayed at B & Bs all over the world and I was in the top 5%.  I was flabbergasted! Shocked! I am in Podunk and do not think I am anything special and he tells me this. (I had a hard time getting my head in the door after that conversation.)

 

That is the best compliment evah!

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After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

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You.Are.AWESOME! cool

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

I did a blog article once for men. You've inspired me to do another one soon. Here's the pic I used (minus identifying info!)

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

I did a blog article once for men. You've inspired me to do another one soon. Here's the pic I used (minus identifying info!)

I forgot what this thread was about and wondered if THIS is why those ladies told you not to do what you do, er an added amenity...one good lookin' man in a bathrobe complimentary with each room. cool Pretty much put my fluffy biscuits to shame. haha

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

I did a blog article once for men. You've inspired me to do another one soon. Here's the pic I used (minus identifying info!)

I forgot what this thread was about and wondered if THIS is why those ladies told you not to do what you do, er an added amenity...one good lookin' man in a bathrobe complimentary with each room. cool Pretty much put my fluffy biscuits to shame. haha

HA!!!! That would be whole different niche!

By the way, your fluffy biscuits are drool worthy! I really wanted one when I saw that picture!!!

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

I did a blog article once for men. You've inspired me to do another one soon. Here's the pic I used (minus identifying info!)

I forgot what this thread was about and wondered if THIS is why those ladies told you not to do what you do, er an added amenity...one good lookin' man in a bathrobe complimentary with each room. cool Pretty much put my fluffy biscuits to shame. haha

HA!!!! That would be whole different niche!

By the way, your fluffy biscuits are drool worthy! I really wanted one when I saw that picture!!!

I think I am looking at your text wrong, I think this should say how to get your woman to stay at a B&B! LOL

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

Do you see me? I'm down on my knees, hands waving in front of me up and down. You have outdone yourself on that one! LOVE IT!!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

After the enjoyment of another hearty home-cooked breakfast today by a father and son I decided to use the advice from this article and Haps to do a bit of confidence boosting on the blog, and to stand out from the pack who would never dare write what I wrote.

I try to be tongue in cheek and fun, it is hard to translate into type at times (although the best writers seem to do it successfully). There are many on this forum who do not get me, and take everything serious. There are those who will say I am generalizing, yes I am. There is no way to write one thing and have it apply to every person.

So for what it's worth here tis: Calling all men - breakfast is served

 

Huge smile!   Awesome.

happykeeper's picture
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In response to the bullet list from the article

    We built our business on word of mouth referrals.

    We determine our value and invite people to taste it.

     We push away unwanted inquires that are not part of our demographic.

     We work to make ourselves visible through any viable channel and we let our previous guests sell our rooms.
  
    We wait for our guests to tell us that they will recommend us before they depart and we work to ensure they will.

It may sound pompous- it may sound untoward- you might want to tell to get over myself- but this confidence is what makes so many of you, and us, successful.  

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Madeleine's picture
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You are very confident and it's a definite asset!

We discussed this at dinner tonight and we've come to the conclusion that we have never gotten out of the 'employee' mode.

It's a tough transition and we never accomplished it. We were always employees in other jobs.

Then again, we are kind of happy with what we do, other than a couple of points that could be eliminated by hiring out the work.

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Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
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happykeeper wrote:

It may sound pompous- it may sound untoward- you might want to tell to get over myself- but this confidence is what makes so many of you, and us, successful.  

I hear you! We've been called many of those things. 

If you are confident in who you are, what you are and that what you are offering is special and desired by others as well, it all works together to be a success.

happykeeper's picture
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What a relief to hear! Sometimes I worry about it. Somehow we have managed to keep our feet on the ground by reminding ourselves and others that we are knuckleheads, but we have learned and now know that being in the 1% boat requires a bold stroke with an original oar. You have to let the comments from the folks in the tour boat roll off your back like rain, for they do not know where you are headed and can't understand why you aren't in their boat.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Fortunately, we fall into the 1% category. That doesn't mean it's easy though! It also doesn't mean (at least in our industry) that we don't have to pay attention to trends and can't be hurt by the economy. We get word of mouth referrals, but I can't tell you how often I hear "oh, we love it here but I'm not going to tell my friends and family because I don't have to fight for a room! UGH?? They don't realize how we depend on them to spread the word.

It drives me crazy when DH gets on a kick and starts obsessing about what 'the others' are doing around us. I keep telling him we are NOT those others. Stop looking! We offer something completely different. No one offers what we do and how we do it. 

I wish it were as easy as Jim's article makes it sound. It definitely is not.

 

Madeleine's picture
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I don't think it's *fortunate*. I think it's hard work and focus! Good for you!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

I don't think it's *fortunate*. I think it's hard work and focus! Good for you!

Thanks Maddie.  

It's interesting that before we bought our b&b, I took an intensive aspiring innkeeping course given by a couple of very experienced innkeepers who wrote at that time, the most extensive book on the subject in this industry. They were great and I learned so much. BUT, when I told them my vision of what I wanted to do with my future b&b, they nearly jumped out of their seats and said "NO!!!!" They had many reasons why I should not do what I wanted to do.

When I did eventually buy, I stayed with my vision. It was a totally different approach than most b&bs. Not better, but different. We had a niche. As Happy says, we had "confidence". 

It worked for us. 

My advise to others is...don't be afraid to be different.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

I don't think it's *fortunate*. I think it's hard work and focus! Good for you!

Thanks Maddie.  

It's interesting that before we bought our b&b, I took an intensive aspiring innkeeping course given by a couple of very experienced innkeepers who wrote at that time, the most extensive book on the subject in this industry. They were great and I learned so much. BUT, when I told them my vision of what I wanted to do with my future b&b, they nearly jumped out of their seats and said "NO!!!!" They had many reasons why I should not do what I wanted to do.

When I did eventually buy, I stayed with my vision. It was a totally different approach than most b&bs. Not better, but different. We had a niche. As Happy says, we had "confidence". 

It worked for us. 

My advise to others is...don't be afraid to be different.

Are you kidding! I can't imagine, what you offer is amazing. Innkeepers of old didn't think outside the box.

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Because I haven't repeated this often enough. That's why I laugh when they compare price with another B&B... if it's price, you are NOT my customer.

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MountainMystery's picture
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I like this part:

Quote:

The 2 ways to position your business or your services

Right now you are in one of these 2 groups. You are either:

Just like all the others… but a little cheaper, faster or with a little better customer service etc. That’s what over 99% of small businesses do. It turns them into a commodity and is a key reason most small businesses continuously struggle… or go broke.

Uniquely you. Doing great work, your way, aiming to delight your customers or clients. This is what fewer than 1% of small businesses do.

 

This is exactly the problem we are now dealing with. In the past, the place was completely in group 1, and the guests knew it. They come back all the time and love the place, but absolutely hate the idea that perhaps the price might raise a bit, or the way we do things might change a little. Because the previous management kissed their pocketbooks and said whatever they had to to get the room booked, the guests expect us to do the same. 

However, we want to be in group 2- the group that brings in the guests because the place truly is fantastic and unique and cares about the guests, without having to undercut or constantly prove ourselves better than anyone else. It's hard to make the switch!

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When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do?
-- Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

 

Innkept's picture
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Something I definitely struggle with in my business. Amazing article!

Madeleine's picture
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99% here.

I struggle with this. We have about 1% referrals from previous guests and yet *they* return again and again.

We have half the reviews of similar properties. Even TA is telling me our averages are way below average for the whole area.

I struggle trying to understand if we are just that forgettable or is our cohort just not into reviewing. Of course reviews are just one metric but it's an obvious one.

When we get reviews they are often from people who have never done a review before. So I think our cohort doesn't review. Why don't they refer, tho?

As for the rest of it, yes, we are a commodity. We don't do anything differently than any other segment in our market and in a fair number of cases we do less.

We offer our particular take on our area but anyone reading my blog could do the same without even going to see the things we've seen.

And I don't get how to change that. And I'm not sure I want to. 

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No marketing on the planet can save a commodity business.

That sums it up so well! Great article!

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