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KayBee22

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Hi
We are thinking of compiling a guide that covers everything from marketing, to making your website user friendly, to competitor analysis and seo, pricing, offers and general customer service tips. I was hoping for some advice.
1. Do you think this is a good idea? Would you or aspiring innkeepers find this useful?
2. What do you think we should include? Do you have any ideas for sections?
3. Would you, if we did this, be interested in contributing your ideas and experiences (what works and what doesn't - you'd be listed in the contributors section)?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether you think this is a good idea or not, and what information you think would be of value.
Thanks!
 

Joey Camb

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I would be happy to contribute but (not that this isn't probably obvious) i would make sure you do a electronic version you can sell yourself through your web site or amazon or whatever but then you can keep updating it ie somewhere in the book it says sign up to our mailing list to receive updates on your book. Trouble is with so many of these advice books by the time they are out they are out of date this would combat this problem and then every so often you put out a full new edition. Also another of my bug bears is you buy a book called say running a bed and breakfast for dummies - no where on it says I am us focused. I have no problem with this but as a UK person I would have liked to know as the whole section on legislation is irrelevant to me and thats about 4 chapters.
 

Joey Camb

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also a chapter suggestion - swot analsis is this the place to open a B&B? people drive me mad with oh we bought this place to do B&B in the back end of no where and funnily enough we don't do a lot of business. what a shocker! People need to go into this industry with their eyes open. A big nice house don't cut it.
 

Hollowwood

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I am a Newby, but, I have found that to do a How To Book, you have to choose who you are talking to. There is a big differance between the Mom-Pop B&B and, The Country Inn w/Restaraunt & Pool type. Both are B&Bs, but, in name only are they the same. At the bottom end, manuals are where you look. At the top end you can get help from advisers also. This was true when I was getting into the Photography Business ( Hyside Photography ). I would think that applies to any venture. Art
 

Madeleine

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I really like your website. There are some good articles on there that are to the point and helpful. Like other businesses, book info goes out of date kind of quickly, even something you'd think would be stable like recipes!
An e-version that you could update on the fly would be better than a paper book.
 

egoodell

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That sort of thing is all over the web, and advice changes day to day because technology changes minute to minute. A blog would possibly be better. so you could keep your advice up to date, but it would be a full time job and you have a lot of competition out there already.
RIki
 

JBloggs

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It's already been done, but to do a more modern eVersion may be a good idea! There is so much changing so rapidly that is not covered in the older books. Since i know your website, I know most of what I am speaking about is covered THERE, so to compile it all in one place would be great!
 

Joey Camb

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or (i keep having thoughts) I would advertise it as buy it direct from us ie through your own web site and receive free updates for x amount of time. this will help prevent people sending each other copies which eats into your bottom line. You could also have a renewal fee for more updates afterwards. Doesn't have to be a lot ie 3 buck for 6 months but it all helps.
 

JBloggs

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and ps:
2. What do you think we should include? Do you have any ideas for sections?
3. Would you, if we did this, be interested in contributing your ideas and experiences (what works and what doesn't - you'd be listed in the contributors section)?
Yes. This is what would be valuable. Instead of one person's experience who writes the book and is the "expert" on everything, or doesn't cover everything correctly. Having it more than one, even some POLL questions from innkeepers to get some decent feedback. Poll questions will give you an overview of a topic. Those who have time can elaborate or not.
Is this for OPENING an INN or OPERATiNG AN INN? That is what I would determine. The books - pre internet, on opening an inn were way LESS HELPFUL than the books on OPERATING AN INN. Generic info is a waste of print, imo.
Some of the books tell the reader/aspiring what they will have to do in situations that there is no way of telling what they would do or should do. I recall one book stating you have to love people. I disagree with that. We all love who we love, we tolerate who we tolerate, no one loves everyone all the time, it was a misnomer. I laugh at that now, I can secretly go into my kitchen and say "She eats her peas one at a time!" or something. :)
 

KayBee22

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and ps:
2. What do you think we should include? Do you have any ideas for sections?
3. Would you, if we did this, be interested in contributing your ideas and experiences (what works and what doesn't - you'd be listed in the contributors section)?
Yes. This is what would be valuable. Instead of one person's experience who writes the book and is the "expert" on everything, or doesn't cover everything correctly. Having it more than one, even some POLL questions from innkeepers to get some decent feedback. Poll questions will give you an overview of a topic. Those who have time can elaborate or not.
Is this for OPENING an INN or OPERATiNG AN INN? That is what I would determine. The books - pre internet, on opening an inn were way LESS HELPFUL than the books on OPERATING AN INN. Generic info is a waste of print, imo.
Some of the books tell the reader/aspiring what they will have to do in situations that there is no way of telling what they would do or should do. I recall one book stating you have to love people. I disagree with that. We all love who we love, we tolerate who we tolerate, no one loves everyone all the time, it was a misnomer. I laugh at that now, I can secretly go into my kitchen and say "She eats her peas one at a time!" or something. :).
Like the idea of polls. Going to give that some proper thought.
Opening an inn is a bit trickier because a lot of what you do is dependent on the country you live in. However, we were thinking of looking at it from the operating/marketing/web perspective, but as if you were either a. starting out b. wanting to change or c. wanting to improve things.
I dare you to find someone who loves everyone! Patience is probably more valuable these days :)
 

KayBee22

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or (i keep having thoughts) I would advertise it as buy it direct from us ie through your own web site and receive free updates for x amount of time. this will help prevent people sending each other copies which eats into your bottom line. You could also have a renewal fee for more updates afterwards. Doesn't have to be a lot ie 3 buck for 6 months but it all helps..
Oh we weren't even thinking of charging! We want to do this as a free ebook resource that people find useful and can just download. Not the 'oh you must have a blog' type stuff either. We want to actually give detailed info on how you can do certain things step by step.
We want to chat to owners about the day to day stuff as well, there must be thousands of tips and ideas you guys have! You're the ones dealing with the people every day, so we could never be experts in that!
 

KayBee22

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I really like your website. There are some good articles on there that are to the point and helpful. Like other businesses, book info goes out of date kind of quickly, even something you'd think would be stable like recipes!
An e-version that you could update on the fly would be better than a paper book..
Thanks Madeleine, that's spot on what we were thinking. Maybe we can ask the internet to stop changing for a year or two? :)
 

KayBee22

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I am a Newby, but, I have found that to do a How To Book, you have to choose who you are talking to. There is a big differance between the Mom-Pop B&B and, The Country Inn w/Restaraunt & Pool type. Both are B&Bs, but, in name only are they the same. At the bottom end, manuals are where you look. At the top end you can get help from advisers also. This was true when I was getting into the Photography Business ( Hyside Photography ). I would think that applies to any venture. Art.
Yes, we have seen that as well. It's a great point. I think it depends on how an inn is being run as well. Some people just do it because they enjoy it and it's extra money, others treat it more like a business and want to make a profit.
 

KayBee22

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also a chapter suggestion - swot analsis is this the place to open a B&B? people drive me mad with oh we bought this place to do B&B in the back end of no where and funnily enough we don't do a lot of business. what a shocker! People need to go into this industry with their eyes open. A big nice house don't cut it..
Thank you. Maybe if they positioned the house as a country retreat for eco friendly travellers then it could change the whole ball game if you know what I mean?! And thanks for the offer to contribute. Will let this thread run for a while, and then plan some chats/polls/ideas out.
 

Joey Camb

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My only last point (actually thats a lie i will probably add more later) is what drives me mad is you hear this in conversations - Oh yes I was mad about SEO and then I dashed on to my meta-tags before doing some blogging though I am neglecting my tweets. I deal with small businesses every day and am helping a lot with social media marketing and web sites as they know this is something they should be doing but all the jargon terrifies them and they just shut down. A lot of people don't have much money in the marketing budget and as you know B&B people are time poor as well so want to make sure what they are spending is getting them the best return for their money. So maybe with some subjects do an idiots guide as well as a more advanced one. I am not saying you should treat people like idiots but for so many people and I get this every day with people who don't have web sites AT ALL! we can't afford it so we do nothing where as if they knew about the many cheap and free options they at least would have something. Now I know the more advanced among us will probably shoot me down on this but I think something is better than nothing, however they see the price charged by "so called professionals" for a decent web site and the number of cowboys out there and they are terrified. The going rate is $6000 plus round here and I know a particular couple who paid that 2 years ago and still have nothing. its a lot of money to shell out for nothing and believe me they are not alone and it scares the tarr out of people.
 

Madeleine

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My only last point (actually thats a lie i will probably add more later) is what drives me mad is you hear this in conversations - Oh yes I was mad about SEO and then I dashed on to my meta-tags before doing some blogging though I am neglecting my tweets. I deal with small businesses every day and am helping a lot with social media marketing and web sites as they know this is something they should be doing but all the jargon terrifies them and they just shut down. A lot of people don't have much money in the marketing budget and as you know B&B people are time poor as well so want to make sure what they are spending is getting them the best return for their money. So maybe with some subjects do an idiots guide as well as a more advanced one. I am not saying you should treat people like idiots but for so many people and I get this every day with people who don't have web sites AT ALL! we can't afford it so we do nothing where as if they knew about the many cheap and free options they at least would have something. Now I know the more advanced among us will probably shoot me down on this but I think something is better than nothing, however they see the price charged by "so called professionals" for a decent web site and the number of cowboys out there and they are terrified. The going rate is $6000 plus round here and I know a particular couple who paid that 2 years ago and still have nothing. its a lot of money to shell out for nothing and believe me they are not alone and it scares the tarr out of people..
Good point. There are plenty of ways an owner with little experience could get a WordPress blog-formatted website up with simple details just so they can say, 'YES! We have a website with photos, go here to look!' Paying $6000 or £6000 is awful if you have nothing to show for it.
Cowboys. You have cowboys? I thought that was just here.
And this is why something like this guide has to be an e-book, not a paper book. Too many things to go over to try to print it all out and have it mean anything in a year.
 

gillumhouse

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also a chapter suggestion - swot analsis is this the place to open a B&B? people drive me mad with oh we bought this place to do B&B in the back end of no where and funnily enough we don't do a lot of business. what a shocker! People need to go into this industry with their eyes open. A big nice house don't cut it..
A big nice house don't cut it.
It also depends on the layout of the house. I looked at many that were great until you walked in - the floor plan just would not work and I was not about to be moving walls and looking for load bearing, etc - then it is no longer that house.
And most people do not have a clue about marketing.
 
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