Tag Archives: innkeeper

Why Your Enthusiasm Makes All the Difference

Book Cover "Enthusiasm Makes The Difference" and sun shining behind clouds, hot air balloon, yellow tulips

Your enthusiasm makes all the difference in life. It makes the difference between success and failure, according to Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book Enthusiasm Makes The Difference. Enthusiasm is the priceless ingredient of personality that helps to achieve happiness and self-fulfillment. Enthusiasm is the dynamic motivator that keeps us persistently working toward our goals. Most outstanding achievements are accomplished over great odds.

The committed person is the one who finds real excitement in living. You can make yourself an optimist. You can develop your level of enthusiasm.

One method Dr. Peale advises is to determine which characteristic you desire to possess, hold that image firmly in your consciousness and develop it by acting as if you actually possessed that characteristic. Then believe and repeatedly affirm you are in the process of creating the quality you seek to develop.

Noted psychologist Williams James called it the “As If” Principle: “if you want a quality, act as if you already have it.” In other words, act on the assumption that you are what you see yourself as being, and you will in time strongly become that as long as you persevere in the process.

A vital element in developing enthusiasm is the way in which you start your day. The more good news you tell yourself, the more such is likely to be. That which the mind receives upon waking tends to influence (and to a considerable degree determine) what your day will be. Choose enthusiasm daily and you are likely to have it permanently. Have the kind of enthusiasm that believes there is always something new and better ahead.

Find a need and fill it. When you have something you really believe in, then you can put the amazing power of conviction behind your efforts. When you communicate and develop rapport with people, they will like you and buy what you have to offer.

When it comes to being an innkeeper, find a way to fill a need that is not currently being met. What can you do that is better or different than what other accommodations provide? Determine how you can stand out from the crowd.

Focus on what is right about life. Life is too short not to do that. To be a success requires that you give of your whole self, your whole mind. Peale stated the greatest selling job you will ever have to do is selling yourself on yourself. Believing in your own abilities requires the most enthusiastic persuasion. Make yourself believe that you can be better than you think you are.

Enthusiasm can cancel out fear, worry, doubt, depression, and anger. When you keep enthusiastic, the negative emotions do not have a chance. Worry and enthusiasm cannot occupy the same mind at the same time.

According to Dr. Peale, deeply built into human beings is the desire to excel. Competing with oneself (to be the best you can be) is the highest form of competition. Enthusiasm changes the quality of a job because it changes people. Enthusiasm is the powerful drive that makes things happen.

The author tells about his experience interacting with a hotel dishwasher. Being at the bottom of the totem pole at the hotel did not matter to this man because he dreamed of one day becoming the director or manager of this European hotel. By giving the best possible service in his current role, this man continued to assume new responsibilities.

Several years later, when Dr. Peale returned, this man was the Head Waiter, even closer to achieving his dreams. When a person applies enthusiasm to their job, the job becomes alive with exciting possibilities. Peale points out that there is always something new and imaginative you can bring to a familiar job.

Any person who develops enthusiasm for something (and the fortitude to carry it out) can make the most amazing things occur. No one has to be a victim of their circumstances. Enthusiasm builds power under all circumstances (no matter how difficult). Difficulties are part of the maturing process. You are being shaped for the real purpose of your life.

The attitude of a person toward their own self is very important in determining how well they perform and the outcome of their whole life. According to Dr. Peale, often our low status in life is not because our abilities are inferior, it is because our opinions of ourselves are inferior.

Let enthusiasm grip your mind and it will make all the difference. You can have what you want from life provided your enthusiasm is strong enough to push barriers aside.

 

How to Find Your Inspiration as an Innkeeper (Part 2)

the word "inspiration" written over a pretty sunset sky

To find you inspiration as an innkeeper, there needs to be a match with your motivation for working, your individual talents, and your hospitality niche/ideal guests.  In Part One of this blog post I gave three hypothetical situations.  I will give some suggestions for each scenario.

Innkeeper Irene loves cooking for others and entertaining guests, but she dislikes anything involving paperwork–especially finances.  I suggest that she finds a skilled accountant or bookkeeper to manage her finances.  She should seek referrals from other innkeepers or other people in her local community.

Since Irene’s restaurant is becoming more known in the community, having an active online marketing presence is very important.  She can also hire someone to actively manage her online marketing which should include consistent and strategic blogging and social media.  By focusing on what she loves (cooking and entertaining), she Irene will likely grow her business and be able to afford to hire two experts who are skilled at those tasks and able to ease her burden.

Bob the B&B owner is very successful with marketing his inn. His grown children manage the day-to-day operations of their thriving business.  If you remember his situation from the last blog post, his occupancy rate is very good, but he is wondering how to earn more income outside of bookings.  Even if Bob does not have a restaurant or a spa in addition to his inn, he can still increase his income in a variety of different ways:

  • Hosting private events (such as private parties, murder mysteries, book signings, wedding or baby showers, holiday or seasonal gatherings, etc.)
  • Offering customized guest packages (such as a Girls Getaway package, Romance package, or Local Attractions package)
  • Providing items for sale at his B&B (such as coffee mugs with his B&B logo, T-shirts/sweatshirts, signature goodies for guests to take home, etc.)
  • Teaching classes (such as cooking, writing, painting, etc.) to guests

In the third example, Shirley & Dale are a husband and wife innkeeping couple. Shirley’s favorite thing to do is to plant and grow flowers and produce in their gorgeous garden as well as to decorate their inn. Dale loves construction and renovation projects (both inside and outside). I think the long-term goal is for Shirley & Dale should keep doing what they love.  However, since they have a real need for adding housekeeping and kitchen staff, they will need to continue to handle those responsibilities until part-time employees are found.

Shirley & Dale should advertise for part-time employees in a variety of places including any professional hospitality associations to which they belong.  Their ad should provide information (or a link to more specific information) detailing specifically what they are looking for so that they are more likely to find someone with the exact skills they need. Once housekeeping and kitchen staff are found, then they should focus on achieving a consistent marketing presence.

Some professional innkeeping organizations have Vendor Members.  For example, Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging is a Vendor Member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.  I am happy to set up a free (no obligation), 20-minute phone conversation to answer any questions innkeepers have as well as provide practical ideas for bringing in more business.

How to Find Your Inspiration as an Innkeeper (Part 1)

a kitchen table set with orange juice glasses and breakfast on plates

Wondering how to find your inspiration as an innkeeper? Bed and Breakfast innkeepers each have their own unique story of how they entered the hospitality industry.  Think about how YOU got started as a bed and breakfast owner.  For your own reviewing, write down your own personal story of how you came to be a travel accommodations provider. Consider including your answers to some of the following questions.

Motivation:

  • Do you love cooking for others?
  • Do you like entertaining guests?
  • Do you desire to work from home?
  • Do you need to feel independent?
  • Do you enjoy helping others relax?
  • Do you receive fulfillment from serving others?
  • Do you like recommending things for people to do in your local area?
  • Are you a first-generation B&B owner, or does your family already have a history of hospitality management experience or ownership?

Innkeeping:

  • What do you like the most about B&B innkeeping?
  • What could you do more of? (things you find enjoyable)
  • What could you do less of? (things you dislike doing)
  • Do you have (or have you thought about hiring) part-time employees to fulfill the roles you least like (or are challenged by)?

Niche:

  • What amenities does your inn have?
  • What is your inn known for? (ex: artwork, restaurant, spa, etc.)
  • What in your local area attracts guests to stay for a visit?
  • What type of guests do you (or would you) like to attract?
  • How do you describe your place of hospitality to others (on your website, in your social media, over the phone, and in person)?

There needs to be a match with your motivation for working, your individual talents, and your hospitality niche/ideal guests.  Consider the following 3 hypothetical scenarios…

1) Innkeeper Irene loves cooking for others and entertaining guests. She dislikes anything involving paperwork–especially finances.  Her B&B restaurant is becoming more known in the community. She does not have the time or desire to learn online marketing. How can she keep doing the things she loves (cooking and entertaining) and hire out for other things (financial and marketing)?

2) Bob the B&B owner is very successful with marketing his inn.  His grown children manage the day-to-day operations of their thriving business.  Their occupancy rate is very good, but he is wondering how to earn more income outside of bookings.

3) Shirley & Dale are a husband and wife innkeeping couple. Shirley’s favorite thing to do is to plant and grow flowers and produce in their gorgeous garden as well as to decorate their inn. Dale loves construction and renovation projects (both inside and outside). However, they have a real need for adding housekeeping and kitchen staff (not to mention their need to promote their inn). What can they do?

Please add your comments and suggestions below and watch for Part 2 of this blog post!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What To Look For In a Bed and Breakfast Blogger

bed and breakfast blogger

 

Do you wonder what to look for in a bed and breakfast blogger?  You may (or may not) have a blog for your bed and breakfast inn.  If you do have a blog, chances are you are so busy as an innkeeper that you really do not want to take the time to write about your inn.  The key is to focus on what you do best (providing excellent hospitality) and let a professional bed and breakfast blogger do the rest!

 

Why do I specify “professional bed and breakfast blogger”?  First of all, you want someone who is a professional blogger.  Someone who understands key strategies to effectively blog online so that search engines notice your content.  Secondly, you want someone who is familiar with the bed and breakfast industry.  Plenty of people can blog, but they need to convey the awesome benefits of staying at a bed and breakfast.

 

Another key factor is how well they can promote your local area.  You want to give potential guests a reason to want to visit your area.  A few important ways to promote your local area that include:

 

  • Feature local places of interest: arenas, colleges, gardens, museums, restaurants, stadiums, theaters, tourist attractions
  • Promote local events: concerts, festivals, marathons, parades, etc.
  • Recommend fun activities: biking, fishing, hiking, canoeing, touring

 

A professional bed and breakfast blogger should have these personality traits:

 

  • Adaptable: readily adjusts to different situations
  • Brilliant: shows great intelligence and talent
  • Creative: has original thoughts and imagination
  • Dedicated: committed to doing a fantastic job
  • Efficient: competent and capable; makes good use of time
  • Focused: pays attention to what is important
  • Genuine: authentic, real, and sincere
  • Honest: truthful, credible, upright, and fair
  • Innovative: tends to do things that are new or improved
  • Just: guided by principle; does what is right
  • Kind: benevolent, considerate, and gentle
  • Loyal: faithful to commitments
  • Motivational: inspiring; has a positive influence on others
  • Neat: organized and orderly
  • Optimistic: expects positive outcomes; has a favorable view of events
  • Perceptive: shows keenness of insight and intuition
  • Quotable: words things clearly and succinctly
  • Reliable: dependable in achievement and accuracy
  • Steadfast: firm in purpose; unwavering resolution
  • Trustworthy: deserving of trust and confidence
  • Understanding: superior power of discernment; compassionate
  • Valuable: worthy of respect and admiration; contributes profitable work
  • Web savvy: has practical experience using the internet and online resources
  • X-traordinary: exceptional, noteworthy, and remarkable
  • Young at heart: has a youthful outlook regardless of one’s age; energetic
  • Zealous: enthusiastic, devoted, and diligent

 

Kristi-Dement

 

If you are looking for a bed and breakfast blogger who can help you add a blog or provide fresh blog content on a consistent basis, please contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free consultation.

 

 

Top image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Fun Bed and Breakfast Retreats

fun bed and breakfast retreats

I went online to BnB Finder to search for bed and breakfasts and to my pleasant surprise, I found some fun bed and breakfast retreats. These retreats include a board game tournament, a night walk, private art classes, and a literary weekend.  Typically, most bed and breakfasts do not offer these kinds of special retreats which makes these bed and breakfasts all the more attractive. Read on for more retreat ideas that you can apply to grow your own B&B business.

 

In Saugatuck, Michigan (near where I grew up in Holland, Michigan) at Sherwood Forest Bed and Breakfast they offer a Monopoly Tournament from November through April. If the entire B&B is booked, they promise to organize the “hippest” Monopoly Tournament ever played! The winner receives a complete set of Sherwood Forest Gear.  Lunch will be catered. This offer may expire at the end of this year.  Call for details at 800-838-1246. This reminds me of my Pinterest Board called Bed and Breakfast Games which features different board games and game rooms at various bed and breakfasts.

In the Saratoga Region of New York at Mariaville Lake Bed and Breakfast, they offer a Night Walk for a small extra fee.  This B&B invites guests to take a walk, guided by the innkeeper, to experience the full night sky. Guests will use a night vision scope and will be amazed at what they can see such as beavers working hard at their famous beaver pond. Advance notice is required and subject to availability and weather conditions. The offer may expire at the end of this year.  Contact the innkeeper for more details.

In the Hudson Valley Region of New York, at the Pine Bush House, they offer Stay and Paint private art classes with local artist Lana Privitera.  Originally from Spain, Lana graduated from the Fine Arts School of Zaragoza, where she majored in Fashion Design and Art History. Lana has won numerous art awards.  She is the current Art Curator for the Pine Bush Public Library.  A sampling of her work can be found on her website.

Currently, there are one day and two day Watercolor Workshops (four hours each) available and all tailored to suit individual needs, taste, and ability.  Supplies loaned by the instructor, but guests have the opportunity to purchase.  Guests receive one FREE double white mat and backing piece (plus an acetate sleeve to protect their “masterpiece”).  A list of art material suppliers as well as recommended art books will be provided.

Contact Lana Privitera at lanaprivitera@gmail.com or Barbara at barbara@pinebushhouse.com for detailed pricing! Discounts available if staying two or more nights.  This opportunity is available at least through June 20, 2015.

In lovely Vermont, The Governor’s House in Hyde Park offers Jane Austen Weekends full of literary-inspired diversions.  Quietly slip back into Regency England in a beautiful historic mansion.  Take afternoon tea.  Share your thoughts at a book discussion.  Attend an informal talk over desserts. Test your knowledge at the quiz brunch and possibly take home a prize.

Take a carriage ride or sleigh ride (depending upon the season).  Join every activity or simply spend the weekend watching the movies. Try English country dancing. Dress in whichever century suits you. Jane Austen fans unite!

Examples of bed and breakfast retreats, special packages, and events include:

Innkeepers are only limited by their imagination.  So get creative and think about what you have passion for. What interests, skills, experience, and talents do you have?  Innkeepers do not have to be the instructors.  In the Stay and Paint retreat example, the innkeeper has a professional artist and art curator coming to her inn. Arrangements can be made with the experts hosting the event if they are not the bed and breakfast owners or innkeepers.

If you are a bed and breakfast owner or innkeeper and have been successful with a particular retreat, package, excursion, or other event at your B&B, I would love to know about it.  Write about your successes to Kristi Dement below.  I promise to read every comment and reply when appropriate.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Mike’s Road Trip To B&B’s

Mike's Road Trip

 

Mike Shubic of Mike’s Road Trip is an outgoing man of adventure.  He has been traveling on the road since 2010.  Mike hosts and produces high quality videos for hospitality businesses such as bed and breakfasts, inns, restaurants, and other “hidden gems of the road.”  He has been featured in USA Today Travel, Rand McNally Best of the Road, The Travel Channel, and more.

 

Check out Mike’s Road Trip’s Intriguing Inns and Beautiful B&B’s videos from YouTube.  I highly recommend him if you would like entertaining and professional videos made to highlight the unique strengths of your bed and breakfast.  From his website, Mike gives several reasons why your bed and breakfast inn should have a video:

  • If a picture is worth a 1000 words, how many is video worth?
  • Video builds trust with your prospects. Trust equals paying guests.
  • Videos attract attention and help set you apart from your competition.
  • Video is important for SEO (search engine optimization). Google is ranking pages with video higher for the same search terms.
  • Video is not a fad. Four billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube alone.

Mike makes these suggestions to bed and breakfast owners:

  • Have a professional overview video of your B&B/Inn produced.  Be sure to include the owner/innkeeper in front of the camera.  Let prospective guests know what makes your inn special and memorable.
  • Guest testimonial videos can be very powerful.  This allows the viewer to hear what the experience is like from varying viewpoints.  Your guests may talk about things they liked that you never even thought about!
  • Informal videos for your social network can be a great way to showcase area events and/or activities at your inn while keeping in touch with past and future guests.
  • The visual impact of videos gives them a long shelf life.  Trust and interest can be earned as long as the video is live on the Internet.  You can be media friendly and share your videos with local media.

Professional and informal videos can be put on your website as well as shared on social media websites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube!  Mike is a well-spoken promoter of bed and breakfasts on his road trips all across America.  I recommend Mike Shubic of Mike’s Road Trip to all my Bed and Breakfast Blogging clients.

You Can Do Pinterest

you can do Pinterest

 

You can do Pinterest!  As promised when I started our series of blog posts on using Pinterest, I will share with you some of my Pinterest boards and how I organized them.  This is for you to get some inspiration when you pin on your boards!  It gets exciting when you grow more followers. You can see which pins get repinned the most.

 

Of course, food is a big deal for a bed and breakfast so I have more than one board for food.  Perhaps I will have enough pins to have a separate board for eggs (including omelets and frittatas).  I did have enough pins to have separate boards for crepes, French toast, pancakes, and waffles–even desserts!  Currently, I have the following boards:

Bed and Breakfast Cooking

Bed and Breakfast Crepes

Bed and Breakfast French Toast

Bed and Breakfast Pancakes

Bed and Breakfast Waffles

Bed and Breakfast Desserts

I also have a board for cookbooks and for other books, including fiction related to bed and breakfasts and nonfiction about running bed and breakfasts.

B&B  Cookbooks

Bed and Breakfast Books

Then I have few boards featuring bed and breakfast in the United States, bed and breakfasts in the world, and award-winning bed and breakfasts.

Bed and Breakfasts USA

Bed and Breakfasts World

B&B Award Winners

In case you are wondering why sometimes I spell out Bed and Breakfast and sometimes I shorten the name of the board to say “B&B”–it is so that the name of the whole board fits on the screen.  Otherwise, if the name you give your board is too long, it will show a … after it to show that there are more letters, but not enough room.  To me, it makes sense to name my boards short enough so that everyone can read its entire title.

I also name my boards with titles that are appropriate. For example, if it is a specific area of the house, I include that in the name of the board.

Bed and Breakfast Bathrooms

Bed and Breakfast Bedrooms

Bed and Breakfast Dining

Bed and Breakfast Kitchens

I also feature less thought of areas that can really look special in a bed and breakfast.

Bed and Breakfast Stairs

Bed and Breakfast Fireplaces

Bed and Breakfast Lights

B&B Stained Glass

Since so much of the visual appeal for a bed and breakfast comes from its outside, I put together the following boards:

Bed and Breakfast Entrances

Bed and Breakfast Porches

Bed and Breakfast Gazebos

Bed and Breakfast Gardening

There are some bed and breakfasts that specialize in an area.  They could offer weddings, be located on a farm, have a spa, and/or a restaurant.

Bed and Breakfast Weddings

Bed and Breakfast Farms

Bed and Breakfast Spas

B&B Restaurants

Some bed and breakfasts are unique because they are located in a registered historic home or even located in a lovely castle!

B&B’s with History

Bed and Breakfast Castles

Because of what services I provide, I have a board for social media and one specifically for Pinterest.  

B&B Social Media Success

Promote with Pinterest

Of course, I have not listed every board I have nor do you need to have the same boards as me.  It is really deciding what you think visitors would like best about your bed and breakfast and featuring those in pins as well as pinning other B&B’s from non-competing parts of the country or those of your innkeeper friends and fellow association members.

Be sure to use the name of your bed and breakfast (or a shortened version of it) on your boards and in your pins as often as possible. This is key so when your pins get repinned they will know it was from your bed and breakfast.

What do guests say they like about your B&B?  Start with that.  You can also offer tips such as home organization, kitchen gadgets, decorating advice, etc.  The sky is the limit. Whatever your strengths are as an innkeeper (ex: cooking, decorating, gardening, etc.) you can feature that in your pins.

You truly are free to make it what you want it to be!  Once you get started, you may not realize how fast the time goes by!  So starting pinning so you will be winning more business!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Innkeeper Trait Attentive

innkeeper trait attentive

 

 

 

Do you think of yourself as attentive to the needs of your bed and breakfast guests? Having the innkeeper trait attentive means you are:

 

  • observant
  • aware of others
  • thoughtful towards others
  • considerate
  • polite
  • courteous

The simple act of noticing little things (which is part of the innkeeper trait attentive) goes a long way.  This means treating guests they way they want to be treated.  If they have several questions when they first come in, then by all means make sure you have answered all of their questions. You can offer to give them a personal tour of your bed and breakfast or mention when the next event such as afternoon tea and goodies.

If they seem to want to go to their room right away to relax, then hand them a friendly information sheet on your B&B policies including check-out time and ask them to let you know if they need anything else. Do everything possible to show that you are completely dedicated to making sure they have a tremendous experience while they stay as your guests. This increases your chances of having repeat visitors as well as new friends.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Hosting The Business Traveler

the business traveler

 

Have you thought about promoting your bed and breakfast to the business traveler? Your B&B may be in a quiet area that is not too far from major companies.  You can offer a discounted rate to corporate business people.  One bed and breakfast called their promotion code “BIZRATE”.

 

 

You can emphasize all the reasons why the business traveler should want to stay with you:

  • Their own desk area with comfortable office chair
  • Wi-fi
  • Fax machine
  • Alarm clock
  • Located near a copy store like Kinko’s
  • Peace and quiet
  • Free parking
  • Flexible check-in times
  • Adjustable breakfast arrangements (including “to go”)
  • Lenient cancellation policy (ex: no penalty for canceling by noon on the day prior to your scheduled arrival)

Some B&B’s choose to limit this offer to specific rooms or do not make this promotion available at certain times of the year.  As an innkeeper, you can offer the traveler a certain percentage off their room.  One bed and breakfast offers 20% off the first night and 33% off all other nights.

You can emphasize that they will receive the same great breakfast, same wonderful service, and they are staying at an awesome place.  Be sure to discuss this promotion on your website, in your blog, and through social media. You may even contact local area major corporations to let them know their out-of-town employees and customers can stay at your bed and breakfast.  Be sure to take advantage of your closeness to major businesses.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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