Guest houses and Bed & Breakfasts can be extremely profitable small businesses if you impress your guests and acquire loyal, returning customers. Many guests choose B&B’s due to their cosy and welcoming feeling which is often lost on large hotels. If you feel your guest house could be cosier this winter here are a few tips on how to create the homely feel which guests simply can’t resist.

The Entrance

First impressions count, and if you’re not fully booked an inviting entrance hall and exterior can attract last minute customers. If you have a sign always make sure it’s accurate in displaying whether you have vacancies or not. Passers-by are unlikely to come in if you have your “no vacancies” sign displaying which could lose you potential custom if you do actually have vacancies. Simply maintaining the garden to ensure it’s neat and tidy as this shows to your guests that you take pride in your guesthouse and the interior is likely to be as well-kept.

The Rooms

Basic cleanliness may seem like a patronising tip for guest house owners, yet many hotels fall below an acceptable standard for guests. Clean, high quality hotel bedding is a necessity as comfort should be at the forefront of your B&B’s aim. Never forget the small things which need cleaning, grime around skirting boards and architraves can be easily forgotten but easily spotted by your guests. Make sure everything’s pristine and make a checklist if it helps you to remember every single aspect of the room which needs cleaning.

Add a touch of luxury to your B&B rooms by laying out dressing gowns, towels and slippers for your guests. Small gestures show your guests that you care about them staying and can make them feel extremely welcome.

The Service

Excellent customer service is essential, particularly in guest houses, small hotel and B&Bs. Many guests choose these options because they enjoy the personal service and often enjoy liaising with the small team of staff. Always show interest in your guests’ lives – you could ask them what they’ve been doing and what brings them to the area. Offering tourist advice to them is a nice touch as you’ll more than likely be well acquainted with the area – have maps available on request too. If you make your guests feel at home they’re more likely to return in the future.

The Exposure

Online exposure for your new business is essential. In order to continually increase your customer numbers, you will need to make more people aware of your new guesthouse. Using social media to promote your business can really help to spread the word of your new, luxurious B&B. Hosting competitions online can help to gain more fans and followers for your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Once you have a fan-base, engage with them to sustain their interest and post any news and events which are to take place at your guesthouse. Address your guests/potential customers personally to show you take great interest in your guests.

Your main aim should be to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable in their stay. If you have good food, cleanliness and service standards you’re more likely to get returning customers. Remember – the customer’s always right!