Managing a bed and breakfast is rewarding, and can allow you to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle, but it certainly isn’t without its drawbacks. Luckily, the internet is awash with useful tools that can be used to increase occupancy rates, manage bookings and give you more time to spend doing the things you want to do. Here are some of our favourites.
While perhaps the most obvious point on this list, using social media is essential if you want your bed and breakfast to stand out from the crowd. Consumers are 44% more likely to discover a new travel brand on Twitter than they are on any other social network, so set up an account and start interacting with potential customers to try and boost your occupancy.
Social networking websites can also be used to post important updates about the service of your bed and breakfast and provide customer support to those who don’t want to call you.
Eviivo is an online suite for bed and breakfast owners, allowing you to take bookings from companies such as Laterooms, Booking.com and Expedia, as well as launch a fully managed website with a domain name. You can also see and manage all of your bookings in a single easy-to-use diary, and accept payments online to take the pressure out of phone bookings.
If you regularly host events at your bed and breakfast and want to promote them online and in your local community, use Canva. Not only can you download stunning posters without any graphic design knowledge, but you can also make Facebook covers, certificates, newsletters and a whole host of other promotional material, saving you time and money.
Job adverts can be notoriously difficult to get right – and that’s before the stresses of posting them on every local community board and job search engines. Indeed, one of the world’s leading job sites, is free to use and allows you to post adverts in minutes. If you’re looking for a cleaner or part-time help, there’s no better tool to use.
A mailing list can be used to encourage repeat custom, so using a tool such as MailChimp makes sense. Not only does the platform offer a free tier for up to 2,000 subscribers, but it provides a range of easy-to-edit templates to make your mailing list attractive.
If you don’t want to invest in a phone line and spend a lot of time away from your bed and breakfast, then Skype could be a sensible idea. Download the app to your desktop, laptop and smartphone and invest in one of their local Freephone telephone lines, and you’ll be able to receive calls from potential customers wherever you are – without being tied down to your bed and breakfast when you want to spend time outdoors.
There you have it – some of the best bed and breakfast tools to consider for 2017. These tools were designed to help you manage the everyday running of your establishment, so try them out and let the benefits speak for themselves.