Wow! How did January get here so quickly?! I’m very grateful to have spent the holidays with family in Charleston, SC. If you haven’t visited, it’s a beautiful and historic city that’s not to be missed. Driving along the battery looking at all of the homes decorated for Christmas is a sight not to be missed!
Now I’m back at my desk planning the topics that I want to share with my readers in 2015 that will help them increase their bookings because more bookings equate to higher occupancy rates. The first couple of weeks of January are a good time for innkeepers to set their occupancy rate goals for the New Year if you haven’t already done so. I’ve outlined a simple process below that will help you focus your thoughts.
Step 1: Reflect on what happened in 2014
- Pull out your occupancy rate measurements and compare your results to the goals you set for 2014. Look not just at your overall occupancy rate but the By-Month trends as well.
- List all of the promotions, contests, coupons and discounts you used in 2014. Which ones worked to bring you the number of bookings you projected and which ones didn’t?
- Based on the amount of success you had with each marketing promotion or advertising source, which ones should you repeat? Which need to be modified to be more effective, and which ones should be abandoned because they weren’t a good fit?
- What did you learn about your guests, your staff, yourself, and your innkeeping business that you need to incorporate in your 2015 promotional plan?
- What were your biggest disappointments related to your marketing efforts?
- What held you back or limited your ability to get more bookings?
- Which promotion are you most proud of in 2014 and what made it so special?
Step 2: Look ahead. Based on your answers in step 1
- What is the most important thing you need to add, change, or get rid of to increase your bookings in 2015?
- What is the most important skill you need to acquire yourself or outsource to someone else to create more successful booking promotions?
- What will your occupancy rate goal be for 2015?
After you’ve completed this exercise, follow it up by creating a detailed marketing and promotions plan designed to achieve your occupancy rate goals and consider registering for the B&B Business Building Conference, hosted by Fully Booked Inn. Attendees will build a 12-month personalized marketing and promotions plan that they can start using immediately.