10 Point Checklist for Improving Your B&B Management
As a bed and breakfast owner, you want to succeed. This means full occupancy for the better part of the year, great food, beautiful curb appeal, and superb ambiance and comfort inside.
It all starts with how you manage your B&B. In fact, your management sets the tone for your staff and sets you apart from the competition. Your management is the key to your success.
In this article, we provide you with a 10-point checklist for improving your B&B management.
#1: Improve Communication
The best managers have an open-door policy and encourage communication.
Improve your B&B management by offering this same type of communication. You want your employees to feel comfortable and safe coming to talk with you.
Consider employee surveys to find out how your staff is doing. This provides an anonymous platform for them to communicate with you and allows you to improve processes. (tweet this)
In addition, find some tech solutions for outside communications as well. Consider an app like Slack to communicate with all of your team. Your team can also communicate with one another conveying guests’ needs to other team members.
#2: Streamline Housekeeping and Maintenance
You probably know that cleanliness, amenities, functionality and ambiance are the key to returning guests and referrals.
Do yourself a favor and use housekeeping and maintenance checklist to ensure your rooms are in tip top shape for every guest. Cleanliness is top of the list, and a checklist can help make sure it exceeds your standards.
While paper checklists can work, consider digital checklists that your team can use on the go on their own phones.
#3: Understand and Harness Technology
Do your research and know what tech tools are available to you. This might mean social media scheduling software, billing software, cloud-based systems and reservation software.
Use technology to be more productive, grow your leads, and meet the needs of your guests.
#4: Use Digital Marketing
Many B&B owners are so busy, they forget to use digital marketing such as emails, social media, their website and pay-per-click.
If you aren’t an expert in this area and don’t have time, consider outsourcing this. You’ll save money and ensure that your digital marketing isn’t neglected.
#5: Partner with Local Businesses
As a B&B owner, you know that your guests look to you for advice on things to do and places to eat in your area.
By getting to know other local businesses and even partner with them, you make your guests’ stay even better. This means happier customers and reviews spread by word of mouth.
Make connections in your community so you can also provide special offers to your guests that benefit you, your guests and your business partner.
For example, your local aquarium is a sought-after spot, but it’s quite expensive. Partner with the aquarium for some discount tickets. They win with more business, and you win because you “provided” the discount.
#6: Create a Conflict Management Plan
There will be problems in your B&B, so make sure you have a plan to deal with conflicts.
The best thing is to attend to issues and fix them before guests arrive, but if things do crop up during someone’s stay, make sure you have a plan for dealing with them.
The customer is always right (or should be treated as if they are), so create your plan with this in your mind.
You’re after a happy conflict resolution so no one is tempted to write a bad online review.
#7: Empower Your Staff
A good leader is an excellent motivator.
Your B&B will run better if you can motivate your staff. This is so important because a happy staff leads to happy customers.
You’ll improve your management if you learn how to inspire your team. This begins with empowering them to make good decisions.
If you concentrate on hiring the best staff possible, this task is infinitely easier, but you do have to work hard at motivating your staff.
You want to create an atmosphere where your team is happy to come to work each day and happy to provide excellent customer service.
Lead by example. Be willing to do the work, whether it’s serving breakfast, uploading photos to Facebook, or fixing a broken toilet.
All of this earns you respect while encouraging team members to show the same dedication and work ethic.
#8: Automate Billing
If you aren’t already taking care of billing in the cloud, the time to do so is now.
Not only do you want to automate your billing, but you want to be able to take reservations online. This not only helps you streamline processes, but it will garner your more reservations through its ease of use.
#9: Spend Time in Your B&B
Stay connected to your bed and breakfast.
Make it a goal to spend an hour every morning greeting your guests, introducing them to your breakfast and helping them decide what to do for the day.
Not only does this make your guests feel special and welcome, but it helps you stay connected. By doing this, you might notice things that need to change or things that are working well.
You might also get some much-needed feedback from your B&B guests.
When you spend time in your bed and breakfast, you have a better understanding what needs to be done to be successful, and in turn it helps you focus on the big picture.
#10: Focus on the Big Picture
It’s quite easy for busy B&B owners to spend all of their day in the minute details of running the bed and breakfast.
For many this means being stuck in a back office, away from the daily operations and the guests.
While your tasks are certainly important, you want to focus on the big picture. This means homing in on what separates your bed and breakfast from the competition and helping your staff create the right atmosphere.
Begin by setting short and long-term goals for your business, yourself, and your staff. Make a list of things you want to improve such as revenue, direct bookings, sending more emails, and obtaining more reviews.
Once you’ve set your goals, you can relay them to your staff and help them see the overall big picture as well. Help them understand your goals and what you’re trying to create at your B&B.
A good bed and breakfast manager is one who knows what he/she is doing.
Create a daily routine that involves being present in your B&B as well as handling the daily management. Your routine should also include time to increase your knowledge.
Stay abreast of the latest trends. Understand your community better and the needs of your guests. This helps you meet the needs of the people who come to stay with you.
Peruse blogs, download whitepapers, join the local Chamber of Commerce, and network. All of these things can help you stay on top of industry trends and improve your B&B management.
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