Feedback Appreciated

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brucecadle's picture
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We're coming up on the one year anniversary of managing our first B&B here in SWVA. We received seventy five 5 Star Reviews and LOVED serving our guests but the physical labor of the lawn, landscaping, pool, maintenance etc caused a relapse of my back problems and my wife's neck problems so we decided not to renew our management contract.

The good news is that living 8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway has renewed our love for the best 469 miles in America!

We're scheduling a Spring Blog Tour and will be traveling the entire length of the Parkway over 30 to 60 days.

I would GREATLY appreciate your input on our marketing plan to partner with B&B's, Restaurants, Wineries and Attractions along the Parkway.

This is not a veiled attempt at a sales pitch. I just want to get  honest input before we approach businesses.

Here's the information on our Marketing Offer

Thank you so much for your help!

Bruce Cadle

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"This is not a veiled attempt at a sales pitch. I just want to get  honest input before we approach businesses."

I am not in agreement, Swirt, I apologize in advance. This is the line that forced my hand, as there has been only 1 post here so the pretense of getting input is invalid in my book.  The whole approach to what he is doing is his own business, and of course no one has to participate here if they don't want to, as he said he wanted HONEST input, so that is what he received. I too appreciate honesty.

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swirt's picture
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So after a couple of posts, a year apart you have put your stamp of disapproval on him and labelled him disingenuous?  He has already apologized and retreated more than he needs to.  

 

swirt's picture
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Admin note:  True to his word, brucecadle has reached out to me to remove this post, since he can not remove it once people have replied to it.  He promised he would remove it and that is what he asked to do. 

I admire him being true to his word, however I have respectfully denied his request because that would erase the contributions that many of you made without refunding you the time you took to make them.  

Reminder to all though.  Vendors related to our trade are welcome here.  There is no actual requirement that they post a bunch of small talk first and then get to a sales pitch.  The terms of service on the site requires that they act in plain sight (which Bruce has done).  Making small talk sometimes feels less like plain site than simple conversational niceties so I would rather not make that a requirement formally or informally.  We may or may not have to agree with what they are offering or requesting, but they are welcome.  Repeated Spamming is a different story and does not have to be tolerated.  

Breakfast Diva's picture
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He did not present himself as a vendor, but as an innkeeper. I would have no problem if his offer had been listed under resources. Transparency is the issue for me.

Swirt, I do appreciate you leaving it up. Thank you for all that you do.

swirt's picture
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HI Breakfast Diva,

A year ago, when he first landed here, he was an innkeeper.  He clearly stated in this post that he is done with that and taking a different but related direction.  This should probably not go under resources because this, to me, looks like a one shot event, not a continual service offering.  Posting in the 'wrong' spot is not a crime.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I think it was the 3-nights that bothered me and stating "at no cost". Having been doing a B & B, he certainly should know there IS cost involved. I give credit that he wanted it to go away but I believe you are correct it should stay up. He asked for feedback and that is what he got. Thank you again, Swirt.

OnTheShore's picture
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Innkeepers, there is some value to having others help promote your business -- with any advertising or promotion, one has to weigh cost vs. benefit (in other words, potential ROI)  -- so how much would you pay for the promotion efforts that Bruce is offering?

Bruce, have you provided sufficient evidence of your value to justify innkeepers and other businesses to actually pay you (rather than bartering room nights and admission tickets, etc...)?

I would agree that the value of your proposition seems inflated.

Curious, did your management contract require that you personally perform all the hard physical labor, or would you have had the option to hire some of that work out? 

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brucecadle's picture
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Hi on the shore!

My background is in Internet marketing, SEO and Public Relations. I have worked with hundreds of small business owners and have tons of testimonials. Last week I presented one of my seminars at the Virginia B&B Conference.

The reason I used the barter concept is because we did a barter deal here at the Inn, with a chain of radio stations. We gave $10,000 in room packages and received $10,000 in advertising. I liked that opportunity because our marketing budget is tight but we have empty rooms.

The Inn we've been managing only has 5 rooms and is in a rural area so the budget required that my wife and I do pretty much everything. I have ten different issues with my thoracic spine. I was doing great health wise prior to coming here but the workload was just too much.

 

Thanks so much for your post!

OnTheShore's picture
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No problem with the barter concept, so long as the both sides see the value of what they are getting as being similar in value (or even greater in value) to what they are giving. I am not sure what the room rates are the lodgings that you would be targeting, maybe somewhere between $100/night to $300/night, so how can you demonstrate that the value of your promotion is worth a $300 to $900 investment? Consider that your prospective innkeeper clients are going to be looking for an ROI of more than $300 to $900.  Think about whether your promotional efforts have the potential to drive 2x or more business (that they would not have otherwise gotten) to your clients than your cost to them.

 

For example, do you think your radio ads brought you $10K or more in new business to the inn? Business that you would not have gotten without the ads? Just curious... it's just business.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Exactly - the ROI is the problem for me. We used to give freebies to public radio, get mentioned etc. The freebie would be used but nothing more. I also did the match freebie for advertising pitch - results the same. The only B & B I know that has positive results with radio advertising (on PBS and otherwise) has a restaurant that is being flogged so folks figure why not a dinner and stay over. The restaurant is the draw.

In 20 years I have tried a LOT of avenues for marketing. Being in Podunk is part of it - but I have done fairly well at making my Podunk a destination.

Lee2014's picture
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   From what I hear your town is still on the map because of you! wink

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gillumhouse's picture
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You are too kind.

seashanty's picture
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Brucecadle, it is a shame you did not come back in the year you ran the inn.  

I, too, jumped into the fire and renovated and ran a b&b not with another person but solo ... eight rooms. It was exhausting and all that you say but this forum was my lifesaver. In the middle of the night I would check in here and rant or rave or laugh. They gave me info and insight and cut right to the chase. Someone on forum would jump in with a similar experience or just a sounding board. I started with nothing .. no website, no reservation system, no sign, no permits, water damage and holes in ceilings, crap for furniture, not even a working stove and an absentee owner who pushed me to my limits. I convinced a son to come on board as overnight relief and carpenter .... which he did sometimes. I learned things and was able to sometimes help another innkeeper.

Anyway, 

You could have benefited from the collective wisdom here as I did. 

That's all I've got to say. 

 

brucecadle's picture
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02/09/2015

Thanks for sharing!

brucecadle's picture
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02/09/2015

1. I appreciate the feedback from those of you who visited my site. 

2. I apologize for not participating in this forum. When we arrived 12 months ago as first time innkeepers we did not receive any training and inherited a plethora of existing challenges. We literally worked ourselves to the bone and I just didn't take time to come back here and participate like I should have.

3. I am completely sincere when I say I'm not trying to sell you all. I wanted honest, constructive feedback prior to reaching out to innkeepers along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I'm sorry for any offense my post caused. I started to remove it just now but wanted to respond first, then I'll remove it tomorrow.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Who knows, your new project may be a big hit. I don't really care. But what I do care about is your coming on here just to use us. You posted once before you became an innkeeper and got very useful information from all of us. Never once did you post during your innkeeping time. Now you come back and try to tell us that this isn't a veiled attempt to sell something??

As a marketer, you should have known better. When you want something from a forum like this you must participate, not just take. I'll give you credit though, it's a very creative method you've thought up to get a long vacation where you get donated lodging, food, wine and activities.

Best of luck

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Totally agree with Breakfast Diva on this one.  If I received this email I'd be deleting it as quickly as it came in.  I've dealt with travel writers before and gotten nothing from it - the one from a major newspaper didn't consider a high end log cabin B&B to be her idea of a bed & breakfast so she stayed her first night free and then headed to the local historic B&B and wrote about them instead after we were the B&B that was recommended by local attractions as the place to stay - she was biased and it totally came across in her article.

But this is different in that it's a pay to play article - you let me stay for free for 3 nights (1 night is certainly enough to get a feel of the place and write about it, but that doesn't give you a long enough vacation) which in my place would be equal to over $900 for my best room.  I'll have to tuck this one away for a few years from now when I retire so that I can use it (not)!!!!

dumitru's picture
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Using Facebook's Reach metric is completely useless. 1 Boosted Post + 1 Promoted Ad = 1 Million Reach for ~$50.
I don't think you can get free accommodation valued at thousands of dollars just with that. 

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seashanty's picture
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  sad

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I found it interesting that on the Platnum wine tour they need to donate 12 spots, but on a b&b it's 10 room nights. Do you really think that's comparable?

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I will assume you would want my best room - for 3 nights? - and that is not a cost to me?  The lost revenue IS a cost. I notice the biggie is "only" 10 nights. Even in my early days I did not give away 3 nights in hopes for publicity.

Experience talking to newbies and wannabee lurkers. In my early days I DID give rooms to "travel writers" some of whom even had bonafides. Results in the revenue stream? $000.00 from the articles - some of them were actually written. I am not saying this one is not legit, I am just saying I got nothing.

Fast forward to the current day blogging. I have been featured in several blogs lately - coffee and again on the teas as well as for solo-travelers. Lots of hits on the web site - but zero reservations. It increased awareness for which I am grateful - but none of them cost me 1 minute of time in my rooms. Sign up for Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and get requests for pitches. FREE.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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No cost to us? You don't consider free rooms as having a cost?

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10/07/2008

Orig post: We're coming up on the one year anniversary of managing our first B&B here in SWVA. We received seventy five 5 Star Reviews and LOVED serving our guests but the physical labor of the lawn, landscaping, pool, maintenance etc caused a relapse of my back problems and my wife's neck problems so we decided not to renew our management contract.

The good news is that living 8 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway has renewed our love for the best 469 miles in America!

We're scheduling a Spring Blog Tour and will be traveling the entire length of the Parkway over 30 to 60 days.

I would GREATLY appreciate your input on our marketing plan to partner with B&B's, Restaurants, Wineries and Attractions along the Parkway.

This is not a veiled attempt at a sales pitch. I just want to get  honest input before we approach businesses.

Here's the information on our Marketing Offer http://marketingpartnerships.traveltheparkway.com/spring-tour/

Thank you so much for your help!

Bruce Cadle

 

Interesting. This is the second time we have even heard from you on this forum, once well, looking at your join date above 02/09/15 and now, and it's NOT a veiled attempt at a sales pitch? 

 

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