Category Archives: Books

How to Keep Guest Conversations Interesting

neon ASK sign, banquet tables and chairs

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Changes by Frank Sesno has a chapter on entertaining questions called “The Inspired Host.”

For innkeepers who host events such as dinners and private parties, knowing entertaining questions to ask allows you to engage your audience and keep guest conversations interesting.

The objective always revolves around creating an experience that all your guests will enjoy and remember. You can steer the conversation to draw in guests and energize the room. Create a mood that connects people in stimulating and surprising ways.

First, the author advises, you must know your audience by asking:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What do they know?
  • What don’t they know?
  • What do they care about?
  • What will they find interesting and funny and why?

Starting with an exchange that is spontaneous and a little unexpected often breaks the ice and sets the tone for a more relaxed and more genuine experience.

Then begin with a few topics that interest everyone. Mix it up with a few lighter, open-ended questions. Listen closely. Ask for different levels of experience and awareness. Ask for examples and encourage stories.

Pick questions that intrigue and interest everyone and are relevant to the event or occasion. Draw from a menu of topics and questions to create flow and engage different people on different levels.

Set the mood through signals, prompts, words, and timing. Trigger emotions through the subjects you pick and the questions you ask.

Try the one-word association game to open the conversation more and perhaps get a few laughs. Figure out what you want to talk about and map out questions and anticipated responses. You can excite the imagination, or you can prompt reflection.

Your questions should invite participation at whatever level your guests feel comfortable. Frame your questions in a way that is approachable and real. Be willing to change directions when someone observes an altogether different slice of life.

Good hosts are always on, always listening, and always interested in their guests and the conversation around them. The role of hosts is to draw out other people and make them interesting, funny, or noteworthy. Ask guests to contribute new ideas or share interesting experiences.

Make your questions open-ended (they cannot be answered with a yes or no response) as well as friendly. Avoid controversial topics like politics, money, and religion.

To make sure everyone responds, try throwing out a question with the challenge that everyone must respond in just one sentence.

  • “What’s the one thing you want everyone to know about you?”
  • “If you could transport yourself anywhere in the world right now, go to any country just to eat dinner, where would you go and what would you eat?”

By applying a little “conversation leadership” to get guests interacting with each other, you can create an environment that is inclusive, interesting, and dynamic.

According to Author Frank Sesno, good hosts use questions to have fun, make people laugh, or dive into the ridiculous. He encourages hosts to produce an experience their guests will enjoy and remember.

The more hosts understand the people in the room, the better you can steer the discussion. Hosts should ask questions, but don’t answer them. Be principally interested in drawing out others.

The objective of hosting is to direct the conversation, not dominate it. Direct questions so that everyone gets a chance to talk, but also recognize that some people prefer to listen. Alternate topics and moods to keep the conversation moving, varies, and interesting.

Hosting dinner parties and other private events are excellent opportunities for asking and answering entertaining questions, to getting to know one another, and to having a good time while examining life along the way. I hope this inspires more innkeepers to host events which involve guests in conversation with each other.

Why Time Should Be Important To You

time management book next to different colored clocks

 

Time should be important to you. According to the 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse, successful people think about their values, priorities, and consistent habits. We all have 1,440 minutes in each day. How effectively are we using them?

 

Highly successful people rank time was the most important item they have. It’s the one true equalizer. You can never lose time and get it back again. Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource. Innkeepers have a lot of demands on their time as well as guests to please.

You must know what to focus on and how you are going to get it done. Understand what is most important to you and what activities will provide you with the greatest leverage to getting there. What do your guests appreciate the most?

Identify your most important tasks (MIT) and do those before you do anything else. If you truly want to get it done, you must schedule time for it. Work from your calendar, not your to-do list. Master the practice of letting go of other things. Accept the fact that there will always be more to do and more that can be done. A dilemma not unique to innkeepers. Your guests also have pressures in their lives. They may be coming to you for much needed rest and relaxation!

Always carry a notebook to write down your ideas. When billionaire Richard Branson did not have his notebook with him, he wrote his idea down in his passport. Think of how many times you had a great idea, but since you didn’t write it down when you thought of it, you later forgot what it was! The notebook can be little in size, so it is convenient to put in your pocket and have with you at all times.

Email is a great way for other people to put their priorities in your life. If you send less email, you will receive less email. Use the subject line to indicate the action required. Keep emails short to respect other people’s time (as well as your own). Innkeepers can provide links to information that is on their website so emails to guests are shorter. Consider having a “frequently asked questions” section for guests to read on your website.

Billionaire Warren Buffet said that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything. Every ‘yes’ is a ‘no’ to something else. Say no to everything that does not support your goals. We should always be accommodating to guests, but that does not necessarily mean we offer ten different packages. Choose the ones that are the most popular and profitable.

80% of your results come from just 20% of your actions. This is known as the Pareto principle or the 80/20 rule. Look for time saving methods. Do the most important things exceptionally well. For all other tasks, “good enough” will do or hire them out to another person. This is NOT to say we cut corners in providing hospitality, but we should be as efficient as possible. Perfection is impossible.

  • How valuable is this task?
  • Am I the only one who can do this?
  • How can the same outcome be achieved with a faster process?

Focus your time only on the things that use your unique strengths and passions. Invest the first sixty minutes of each day to rituals that strengthen your mind, body, and spirit. If a task can be completed in less than five minutes, do it immediately. Of course, we cannot anticipate all the issues (including guest complaints and maintenance problems) that we inevitably will face each day, but we can be strategic in how we handle them.

Productivity is about energy and focus, not time. We must be mindful and live with intention. Focus on the things that bring you further to your goals each and every day. Remember we all have 1,440 minutes in a day. That is why time should be important to you.

There Has to Be a Better Way

Moonshot! multiple doors gray doors with one red door

 

There has to be a better way. According to John Sculley, former CEO of Pepsi and Apple, in his book Moonshot!: Game-Changing Strategies to Build a Billion-Dollar Business, adaptive innovators deliver an incredible customer experience on a quality level never experienced before.

 

The power of customer ratings, customer recommendations, and customer complaints cannot be overstated. In addition, consumers also have continuous contact with their friends on various social media sites like Facebook.

Sculley recommends that business owners have a passionate commitment because present day opportunities are boundless. Napoleon Hill said, “Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” We are all capable of so much more.

Sculley advocates for people to be flexible and be willing to look at alternative ways of doing things. For example, those receiving Green Leader awards in the hospitality industry are those who find ways to conserve more and waste less in order to be more environmentally friendly for the greater good of the earth.

Asking the right questions is much more valuable than having knowledge (knowing the right answers). Really listening to the suggestions of your guests is also key. If you hear or read the same guest comments over and over, there may be some truth to what they are stating.

Every “moonshot” begins with a noble cause, a higher calling, a mission that can make a real difference in people’s lives. It is important to know why you do what you do. According to author Simon Sinek, communicating what your organization believes in allows you to connect with your ideal audience.

“There has to be a better way” is the philosophy that Mr. John Sculley lives by. There is always a more effective or efficient solution to the way things are currently being done.

The opportunity to innovate always starts with customer experience. Exceptional customer service with the idea that “there has to be a better way” leads to adaptive innovation at it best.

Getting customers (your guests) to buy the products and services is only the beginning of the relationship. The transaction, Sculley states, is not the destination, but the launching point of a long journey. Personal service is pivotal to the success of many businesses.

Sculley argues, “If you want customers to remember you with profound regard, then you must go out and study their needs and desires with intensity.” Do you have your guests fill out any surveys to give you feedback? What other things could you do to learn more about delivering high guest satisfaction?

Success often hinges on asking the right questions and nowhere is that truer than in creating an exceptional customer experience. Sculley quotes famous Chef and Restauranteur Wolfgang Puck, “We’re not in the food service business, we’re in the hospitality business. It’s all about giving the customer an unforgettable experience.” Deliver a positive, memorable, and matchless customer experience.

The future belongs to those who see possibilities BEFORE they become obvious. Sculley said that before Uber existed, people wondered how to get better taxi service. Entrepreneur Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Business owners need to have an intense curiosity and ask questions. Am I actually open-minded to what my competition may be doing? Is the market ready for what I’m trying to do?

Sculley says that you don’t really understand something until you understand it more than one way. Having multiple ways to think about a problem and process information is also important. Look at other industries and imagine a similar scenario playing out in your competitive world.

The hospitality industry was disrupted by AirBnB. They thought outside of the box to come up with their idea. I am certainly not in favor of the corners cut by AirBnB, but what could you do to help positively change the hospitality industry as we know it?

Monitor negative comments and suggestions with intense attention. There is no substitute for talking with guests one-on-one. Companies and business owners that can adapt will be the big winners.

John Sculley encourages people to be curious, be optimistic, be inspired by what’s possible, but also focused on what’s probable. Develop a context for good ideas so they may actually become valuable. Learn in layers, keep a notebook with you for ideas, and never be afraid to borrow a good idea as long as you attribute the source.

Be committed to finding a better way and never give up in finding it. Prepare, like athletes with hours of practice, and question why things are done in a certain way. Put the customer at the center of your business.

Mr. John Sculley ends his book telling his readers that survival is driven by adaptation and that change is happening faster than ever. Zero in on your most challenging customer problems. Be obsessed with continually creating exceptional customer experiences. Be perpetually governed by the principle that “there has to be a better way.”

 

How to Stand Out In a Crowded, Distracted World

"Brand Now" Book by Author Nick Westergaard

 

Standing out in a crowded, distracted world is the topic of author Nick Westergaard’s book Brand Now. He argues that a brand that stands for something stands out. By standing out, you appeal to our hearts and minds of your customers. Westergaard asserts that your brand should be inspiring to others.

 

The author asks a series of questions throughout the book, to get readers to really understand their brand and how to communicate it to their audience.

  • What do you do and for whom (your brand promise)?
  • What is your audience struggling with?
  • What do your ideal customers care about?
  • What matters to them?
  • How do you make their lives better?
  • What’s your reason for doing what you do?
  • Do you have a distinct brand voice?
  • What aspects most show your brand’s personality?
  • What actor or actress would play your brand?
  • If your brand were a movie, what would be the genre and the plot?
  • What do you want your customers to do?
  • How can you create a better brand experience?
  • What kind of content can your brand create that no one else can?
  • What is your compelling story?

Mr. Westergaard shares the following brand tips with his readers:

  • People are looking for meaning now more than ever so understand who your brand is and what you must do.
  • Understand your brand and spark (why you’re here) and your promise (what you do and for whom).
  • Stories are patterns your brand can use for communicating who you are and what you stand for.
  • Create content that conveys meaning and tells your story as boldly as possible.
  • Reach out to your community and encourage user-generated content.
  • Make sure your brand is coherent (that every message is saying the same thing and amplifying your meaning).

Wondering how to apply this to your business? Take the time to thoughtfully answer those questions as they apply to you and your inn. If you have a compelling story, add that in the “About Us” section of your website. Share guest testimonials (that affirm that your brand provides what it says it does) on your website and in social media.

You’re welcome to read some of our related blog posts:

Are you looking for more clarity about your hospitality business? Are you wanting to know more about how you can be standing out to your guests? Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging offers an initial free consultation. Contact her today!

 

 

6 High Performance Habits Every Innkeeper Should Have

High Performance Habits book next to author Brendon Burchard

Bestselling author, speaker, and performance coach, Brendon Burchard, wrote about six high performance habits. High performance happens because of what you deliberately think and do on a routine basis in order to excel and serve at higher levels. Burchard also asks questions to get us to think more deeply about implementing each performance habit.

 

Seek clarity on who you want to be, how you want to interact with others, and what will bring you the greatest meaning. Get very clear on what you want and how to go get it. Develop a habit of asking questions, looking within, and observing your behaviors to assess whether you are on track. Consistently think about who you want to be and how to become that. List future projects that will lead you to a bigger dream. Have a vision for yourself for the future.

  • 3 words that describe my best self are…
  • 3 words that could define how I want to treat people are…
  • 5 skills I’m trying to develop most in my life are…
  • 3 simple ways I can add value to those around me this week are…
  • Something that I can do or create that will bring more meaning in life is…

Generate energy so that you can maintain focus, effort, and well-being. Be better rested, eat healthier, and exercise more to have enough energy to do what you need to do. The goal of meditation is to release both physical and mental tension. You’re in charge of how you feel. Consciously direct your thoughts and behaviors to generating positive emotion. Start doing what you already know you should be doing to optimize your health.

  • A way I could remind myself to release that tension throughout the day is…
  • If I felt more energy each day, I would be more likely to…
  • 3 questions I could ask myself every morning to prompt positive emotions for the rest of the day could be…
  • A new routine I could begin for replaying the positive emotions of my days is…
  • A weekly schedule that I could use to get healthier and actually stick to would be…

Raise the necessity for exceptional performance. Necessity demands you take action. High performers care more about excellence and thus put more effort into their activities than others do. High performers sense of duty to a higher vision, mission, or calling propels them through the hardships of achievement. High performance only happens when there are real deadlines. Affirming the why gives you added motivation. High performers spend more time with positive people than with negative people.

  • The values that are important for me to live include…
  • The people who need me to be on my A game at this point in my life are…
  • 3 things I’d like to become extraordinary at doing are…
  • Some ways I can remind myself about these important goals and whys are…
  • To add to the number of high performers in my network, I should…

Increase productivity in your primary field of interest. Focus and create the outputs that matter most. Find your best allocation of time and stick to it the best you can. To become a high performer requires thinking more before acting. For every major goal you have, figure out the main five moves. There’s nothing in your life that you can’t improve through practicing progressive mastery.

  • The outputs that matter most to my career are…
  • The biggest goal or dream that I need to plan out right now is…
  • 5 moves that would help me progress swiftly toward accomplishing that dream are…
  • The timeline for each of my five moves will be…
  • 3 skills I could develop that would help me feel more confident or capable are…

Develop influence with those around you. Have the people skills it takes to get others to believe in you or support you. People only like to work with leaders who make them think bigger and grow more. If you believe that your peers view you as a successful, high performing person, naturally you believe yourself to be more influential. Great leaders ask lots of questions. To gain influence with others, teach them how to think about themselves, others, and the world; challenge them to develop their character, connections, and contributions; and role model the values you wish to see them embody.

  • Someone in my life I’d like to influence more is…
  • The way I would like to influence them is…
  • What would inspire this person to treat people better is…
  • If I were going to become an even better role model, the first things I would start doing are…
  • 10 years from now, if the 5 people closest to me were to describe me as a role model, I hope they would say…

Demonstrate courage by expressing your ideas, taking bold action, and standing up for yourself and others, even in the face of fear, uncertainty, threat, or changing conditions. Take risks and speak up for yourself and others. Define what being more courageous means to you, and start living that way. You are capable of remarkable things that you will never discover without taking action. Struggle must be seen as part of the process and a vitally important part of any worthwhile endeavor.

  • The way I choose to greet life’s inevitable hardships from today forward is…
  • If I were going to be more “me” in my everyday life, I would start to…
  • A courageous action I will take this week because someone I love needs me to take it is…
  • What could I do in my work that would require stepping out on a limb but would also truly change things for the better and help people?
  • What good thing could I walk away from to advance my life?

This is a very motivational book. The 6 habits are to seek clarity, generate energy, raise the necessity, increase productivity, develop influence, and develop courage. How could you apply these 6 high performance habits to your life as an innkeeper? You’re welcome to comment below.

 

How To Magnetically Market To Attract The Right Guests

Wooden desk and chair in front of window with view of mountains

 

Magnetically market to attract the right B&B guests? That terminology comes from Dan S. Kennedy’s book Magnetic Marketing: How to Attract a Flood of New Customers That Pay, Stay, and Refer. Kennedy has some actionable advice that can be applied to hospitality.

 

According to Dan, priority number one is that you must know WHO you want to attract (to be your guest). What specifically will you do that’s different than your competition (other accommodations)? Kennedy recommends that you craft a compelling, emotional message that reaches their hopes and dreams.

Write it in THEIR language. Use words and phrases that resonate with them. How does your ideal guest think and talk? What do they hope and dream? You must establish credibility, authority, and trust to attract them to stay as guests.

Do you know where your WHO goes online? Kennedy advises for you to be where they are and not where they are not. Makes sense, right? Well, I think to many people commit to marketing without having a strategy for why they market where they market.

When you sell exactly what they want to buy, it draws in those who fit those wants. Dan urges us to know their needs inside and out and to meet them where they live with what they have been looking for.

You must get the right MESSAGE (a truly compelling reason why they should stay with you) via the right MEDIA (the best places to reach your audience) to the right MARKET (to those most likely to respond) and it all starts with knowing your WHO. Your offer must match precisely with the right people.

Kennedy encourages you to ask yourself WHO you want to host as guests over and again. The deeper needs you may be meeting are their need for: peace, connection with others, relaxation, making memories, feeling important, and so on. Be able to answer the question of WHY guests should want to stay with you despite numerous other options?

Kennedy briefly mentions the hospitality industry (along with advice for other major industries) when he suggests that hoteliers (innkeepers) can bundle a package of goods, services, and experiences together and call it a clever (and memorable) name to promote it as a one-of-a-kind buying opportunity that is both compelling and irresistible.

“Your Ultimate Weekend of Food & Fun for Only $XXX!”

  • 10% savings on a regular 2-night room rate (not applicable to other discounts)
  • Free gourmet dinner for 2 on both nights (can be gift certificates to local restaurants)
  • Complimentary bottle of champagne when you arrive (or sparkling cider)
  • Complimentary limo service from and to the airport (or a limo ride for an event)
  • 18 holes of golf for 2 plus cart (include something that applies to your area)
  • Movie tickets for 2 plus popcorn to boot (or something else instead)
  • Limited availability, reserve your spot before… (time frame depends on offer)

Kennedy also talks about the important of having a lead generation offer (information you offer for free in exchange for their name and email address). This allows you to regularly email them unless they unsubscribe from your list. The offer lets people identify themselves as having an interest. Examples of lead generation offers that potential guests would enjoy:

  • Free guide to your local attractions
  • Free guide to your local restaurants
  • Free travel tips

Once they “opt into” your email list, Kennedy directs us to send a monthly e-newsletter out. The content can include:

  • Briefly reaffirm the uniqueness of your hospitality and accommodations
  • Include puzzles, brainteasers, local trivia, recipes, cartoons, etc.
  • Talk about what has been happening at your inn and in your local area
  • Always include a call to action! Tell them what you would like them to do and urge them to book now before it’s too late… (for whatever the reason or event).

According to Kennedy, front end marketing is to reach out to attract new guests and back end marketing is encouraging guests to return and refer you to other people. “We really depend upon guests like you for referrals…”

In your email campaign, Kennedy states that you must have repetition if you want impact and response. A series of emails (appropriately spaced out) each with legitimately valuable content (about you, your area, your packages, testimonials from your guests, etc.), and a call to action every time.

If you note guest birthdays or anniversaries, you can even send an email or a postcard in advance of the dates reminding them to return. Perhaps throw in an incentive like a free bottle of wine or a free upgrade to a more expensive room. The bottom line is to stay on guests’ radar as the place where they want to stay and return again and again.

 

How To Make Your Hospitality Better With Marketing By Seth Godin

"This is Marketing" book next to picture of author Seth Godin

This is Marketing by Seth Godin is a must-read for anyone in business. Though this resource is useful for professionals from a variety of industries, this book is especially helpful for those who own and operate hospitality businesses. Seth Godin is a bestselling author many times over, the founder of many successful businesses, a former VP at Yahoo, and a member of the Marketing Hall of Fame. Thus, he has proven his expertise.

Godin advises that we must focus our work on the dreams and desires of those we serve. Obviously, innkeepers serve their guests. Effective marketing comes from understanding our target audience’s desires and connecting with them.

Godin recommends that we begin with an audience worth serving. Start with the needs, wants, and dreams of your ideal guests. Build your hospitality around what that audience desires. Tell a story that matches their hopes and greatest expectations.

  • What is the true story they want to hear?
  • Does your story match their worldview?
  • Is your story worded in a way that your audience will understand?
  • Does your story resonate with your audience?
  • Is your story memorable?
  • Is this a story your audience will want to share with others?
  • Have you positioned yourself to be the clear and obvious choice for accommodations in your local area?

Godin goes on to explain that what YOU (innkeepers) say about you is not nearly as important as what OTHERS (guests) say about you. This explains why quoting positive guest reviews on your website, in blog posts, and sharing on social media is so effective. Potential guests look at the words of your previous guests to let them know what they can expect. Your best guests become your new sales people when the words from their reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations spread.

How do we determine your audience (your ideal guests)? This means you decide who you can best serve. This is based upon the factors such as:

  • Your accommodations
  • Your amenities
  • Your events
  • Your food
  • Your guests
  • Your interests
  • Your local area
  • Your packages
  • Your weather

Examples of ideal hospitality guests (this varies depending on your inn):

  • Adventure seekers
  • Business travelers
  • Couples (romantic)
  • Culinary interests (“Foodies”)
  • Entertainment lovers
  • Families
  • Friends (Girls Getaway or Mancation)
  • History buffs
  • Pet owners
  • Sports fans

Based on Seth Godin’s advice to craft compelling true stories to attract your ideal customers, if you do not currently have it in writing, document the ideal guests you want to attract and write specifically to them. The more specific and personalized you make your content (including your blog, social media, and website), the more focused your content becomes on bringing in your ideal audience. Thus, you can make your hospitality (within your own specific niche) better.

Do You Know Your Signature Hospitality Story?

What's Your Story, Five Stars book cover by Carmine Gallo, megaphone

 

In Carmine Gallo’s bestselling book Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great, he teaches that you must be able to persuade others to buy into your vision. Also, you must answer the question, “What’s your story?” Innkeepers should answer, “What’s your signature hospitality story?

 

According to Mr. Gallo, your “signature story” has the following components:

  • It is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end (resolution)
  • It’s intriguing, thought-provoking, novel, informative, interesting, entertaining
  • It’s authentic (it must be true, or it could harm your credibility)
  • It includes specific details that enhance its authenticity
  • It reveals a surprise (people love surprises)
  • It introduces empathetic characters (your audience should be able to see themselves in your shoes)
  • It includes conflict and tension as well as overcoming a meaningful hurdle to achieve success
  • This signature story will help you, your product, and your brand story stand out
  • It differentiates you from your competition because no two brands share the same story
  • You must appeal to your audience’s emotion in order to persuade them
  • The story is about your brand or company

Keeping Mr. Gallo’s advice in mind, ask yourself:

  • What is my story of how I became an innkeeper?
  • What is the beginning, middle, and end (present day)?
  • What true facts should I tell others so that my story is worthy of their attention?
  • What specific details can I add to enhance the authenticity of my story?
  • What surprises have happened to me along the way as an innkeeper?
  • How can I connect my past to the present day in a way that others could picture themselves in my shoes?
  • What conflicts and tension did I experience as I overcame obstacles to achieve what I have today?
  • Does this story help me, my inn, and my brand story stand out?
  • Does this story help set me apart from my competition?
  • Does this story appeal to my audience’s emotion so I can persuade them to stay at my inn?
  • Is this story a positive representation of my business?

Great storytellers build trust. Think about the overall message you want to convey to your guests. The world needs to know what makes you different from other innkeepers and accommodations.

If you do not have an “About Us” page on your website, consider having one. Many guests would like to know who they are staying with before they book a room at your bed and breakfast inn. This is an opportunity to share about your signature hospitality story.

Feel free to share your experiences both inside and outside the hospitality industry. This will help you look more well-rounded. You can even include volunteer experience (if it is relevant).

You may want to include the names of some of the countries you have visited, if you have traveled across the world. This encourages guests outside your country to visit your inn. If you speak more than one language fluently, be sure to include that in your story.

If you have a talent (like playing a musical instrument) or skill (teaching cooking lessons) you are welcome to include that in your story. This is part of what sets you apart from other innkeepers and bed and breakfast inns.

When you can show what makes you and your inn special, then guests will be more likely to stay with you. If you (or your inn) has earned awards and distinctions, or earned media attention, be sure to add that to your website as well. The better you are at communicating what makes your inn special, with your signature hospitality story, the more likely you are to receive bookings.

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project with Donna Kozik

Everyday Joy: A Community Book Project, contributors include Kristi Dement

Hello, Kristi here. I had a wonderful opportunity to be part of Donna Kozik’s Community Book Project called Everyday Joy. Appropriately titled, we were asked to share a story having to do with anything that brings us every joy.

We are pleased it has already reached #1 best seller status for the category “Time Management in Business.” I can’t thank Donna enough for her words of encouragement to my fellow contributors and me throughout the process.

Everyday Joy is the most recent edition of her A Community Book Project series, where people come together to submit essays on a particular theme. In a weekend.

The everyday joys described include the subjects of children, pets, nature, travel, and in one case, bacon. My own essay centers around the everyday joy I receive from playing word games and solving word puzzles.

The inspirational essays, narratives, and insights hopefully will empower and uplift you, too, to be a more joyful being. Thank you for reading–and celebrating–everyday joy!

Innkeepers can make this book available to your guests to read during their stay with you. Everyone wants to think about joyful things when they are on a vacation. For your business guests, it will be a welcome break for them to read.

The beauty of a community book project like this is that we have many contributing writers, all with their own unique stories and perspectives of joy. We hope you find the book to be a joy to read.

Most innkeepers make a variety of books and magazines available on a variety of topics. This Everyday Joy book is filled with many subjects that will surely touch the hearts and lives of you and your guests.

If you are an innkeeper who has also published a book, I welcome you to comment below with your name, the name of your accommodations, and your book’s title in the comments below. Recently retired, Karen Pullen, the former innkeeper of Rosemary House Bed and Breakfast in Pittsboro, North Carolina, continues to be the talented author of several mystery fiction books including the Stella Lavendar mysteries series.

If you do happen to read the Everyday Joy book, feel free to comment below with your thoughts about it. Also, you can share the everyday joys you experience on a regular basis as an innkeeper.

Note: I receive Amazon Affiliate commissions from purchases made through Amazon links.

Start With Why You Do What You Do

Book Cover: Start With Why by Simon Sinek

 

Start with why you do what you do. Every single business on the planet knows WHAT they do and some know HOW (their unique selling point), but very few can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do, according to Simon Sinek in his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Us To Take Action.

 

Sinek argues that companies try to sell us WHAT they do, but we buy WHY they do it. WHY looks deeper than external factors. For example, the popular Apple brand capitalizes on the lifestyle, imagination, passion, innovation, empowerment and aspirations of Apple users.

It is not about telling people about what your brand makes or provides, instead, it is about communicating what your organization believes in order to connect with your target ideal audience. Emotionally connect with your guests and start a movement that you believe in.

 

Possible Bed and Breakfast WHY’s:

  • Business-friendly: to accommodate individuals and groups who are there for business (either at the inn or in the local area) by providing the resources and conveniences necessary to make their stay as efficient and enjoyable as possible
  • Eco-friendly: to encourage environmentally friendly practices to protect and sustain a high quality of life for all living creatures
  • Family-friendly: to enable families to comfortably travel and stay in overnight accommodations together as well as experience local family dining and entertainment
  • Romantic: to strengthen the passion, romance, and closeness of couples as they experience activities such as an inn’s spa amenities and room service
  • Urban: to offer guests many activities to do at your inn (like games, movies, reading) and in your local city (such as shopping, art, and theater)
  • Vegan/Vegetarian: to promote a specific diet lifestyle yet also show guests (who may eat differently) the benefits of committing to a particular eating plan
  • Waterfront: to provide relaxing amenities so guests can make full use of your waterfront property and have the ultimate vacation experience

Great organizations keep their WHY clear year after year. Their strategic marketing and training of employees goes a long way into developing a consistently, clear, and strong WHY.

If you start with why you do what you do, make it obvious to guests the deeper reasons WHY your business exists in the first place. This makes it more likely that your guests will return year after year.

Include an “About Us” section on your hospitality website. You can also reveal more about yourself (and your inn) when you write blog posts. Answer any of the following questions:

  • How did you become an owner/innkeeper today?
  • What is your background? (family, education, work experiences, travels, etc.)
  • What is your big WHY? (the deeper reasons you host guests)
  • What do you hope to accomplish as your dream/legacy?

When you reveal more of yourself to others, it helps them know, like, and trust you. We all do business with those we know, like, and trust. Win the hearts of your guests by telling your compelling true story. Start with why you do what you do.

« Older Entries