Tina the Tiny Troubleshooter March 2021 Issue

Question:

We’re only a small B&B with 4 rooms and have always had 1 table for all guests to sit around at breakfast. This has worked well in the past – people have sat together quite happily. With social distancing this may not be ideal moving forward. Last year when we were open between lockdowns we operated a rota system to ensure space but we don’t want to do this long term as it extends our already busy day. Do you have any thoughts?

Answer:

I’m inclined to agree with you that communal breakfast tables may make people nervous especially if we have to keep wearing masks and stick to social distancing. It may take a while before people want to get close to strangers. Only time will tell. Have you got space to put tables in the rooms and offer a breakfast hamper? Can you put smaller, separate tables in your dining room? These are the options that immediately spring to mind. Why not use this as an opportunity to reach out to former guests, asking for their feedback? Alternatively, share a post on social media asking guests to comment. Doing this will not only allow you to get the views of your customers, the people that matter, but also give you an opportunity to interact with them.

Question:

We have known for some time that we really need a new & improved website for our B&B but have always been put off by the prices that we have been quoted and moved it back down the ‘To Do’ list. During lockdown we have looked at the different platforms that would allow us to build our own website and are tempted to have a go. It would be a lot cheaper solution at a time when money is once again tight.

Answer:

My advice is don’t do it yourself unless you’re a professional website designer which I presume you’re not, or you wouldn’t be obtaining quotes. I appreciate that the quotes may seem high, but to get a high quality website with the correct functionality you will have to pay the price. Decide what you want your website to do. You want it to sell your B&B to potential customers but what else? It should tell your story, share images of your property (including rooms & breakfasts) and drive direct bookings. Knowing what you want from the website helps you to get a more accurate quote. Look at your competitor’s websites and decide what you like about each site. Sharing this info helps the website designer to understand what you want your site to look like. My advice is to reach out to other B&B owners and ask them who they used and what they paid. This way you will know if the prices you have been quoted are reasonable.

Let’s talk more about it…

It’s International Women’s Month!

There are many subjects that micro business owners ask for my thoughts and opinions on, not just B&B owners but across many sectors. Recently I’ve found myself discussing the impact of hormones and menopause on female founders and business owners. Many B&B owners are female and will find their decision making and ability to work impacted by hormonal imbalance. I hope to do a feature about this in the coming months and would love for ladies to come forward and take part. You can contact me at tina@tinaboden.com or any of my social media channels. Let’s start to raise awareness of this subject that impacts more or less 100% of the female population.