It’s time to grab a slice of toast and a sliver of jam, pour a mug of tea and take 60 seconds with Greg White from April Cottage.
What advice would you give someone before they took a leap into the accommodation business?
It would be to pick a market segment that you are comfortable with and that works for your area for example tourists, workman or luxury. Then work out a way to separate your private space from guest space. You need to be aware that many people do not differentiate B&B from a small hotel. And if you only have one or two rooms you cannot justify 24 hour ‘reception’ so you need to manage guest expectations.
What do you think is the most important thing about being running your own B&B, guest house or small hotel?
The most important thing is that it’s clean and is accurately described. There must also be good communication as answerphones loose you bookings, but not answering phones will destroy your business.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Trying to juggle the bird in the hand (the customer on the phone, wanting a Saturday night booking) with the two in a bush (the possible customer who wants to stay for the whole weekend).
What is the best part of your job?
Providing a great premium service, which most customers believe is a bargain.
What tips do you have to make sure guests book with you directly?
By offering a discount to returning guests who book direct. You could even offer a free bottle of wine or box of chocolates for direct bookings, which cost £5, but saves you up to £25 in commission fees.
Can you offer any tips for making sure you stand out against your competition?
Do what you do best, and do it very well; accentuate the positives. We over deliver on the quality of breakfast and we leave out the snacks – making people’s stays memorable (“that place with the huge breakfast, fresh pastries and platters of cut fruit.”)
What is the nicest thing a guest has said about their stay with you?
“Perfect room, in a perfect village, with perfect hosts”
To read more of our customers stories click here.