Making a Profit

How to devise a competitive pricing strategy for your B&B

When you’re offering a unique experience to your guests, you can make the deal sound even sweeter with competitive prices. Striking the balance between too low and too high can be tricky but this is a sure-fire way to make your B&B an attractive choice for customers.

Keep it low enough that you can beat your competitors, but high enough that you’ll make a profit and do justice to the quality of your service. Bear in mind the time of year and what else is on the market, as this will help you come up with a pricing structure that will appeal to any visitor!

Follow these 6 steps to price smart:

1.  Know where to pitch yourself

The prices you set will depend on what is on offer – if you’ve got a mouth-watering menu and luxury décor, you can justify asking for more. However, you’ve also got to consider your competitors, and how your business fits in the market. Value is key, and customers are generally willing to pay a higher rate if they feel they are getting more for their money.  All those little touches like good services, star rating, and breakfast options add up and validate your prices.

2.  Weekday and weekend rates / Sunday savings

Typically, the majority of business comes on Fridays and Saturdays, but there are easy ways of making your weekday bookings appeal to customers. Lower prices are always ideal for filling your rooms, and a cheaper room is so much better than an empty one!

Since the 9-5 routine keeps most people under 60 busy during the week, you’re more likely to get retired guests staying at this time, so keep that in mind when you decide on your prices. Perhaps you can put together a deal for the older clientele to really sell your rooms. Remember that business guests may also contribute to your mid-week bookings, so you can find something suitable for them, too.

3. Let your prices change with the seasons

Image courtesy of Court Farm Holiday Cottages, Exmoor's
Image courtesy of Court Farm Holiday Cottages, Exmoor’s

Your business should be just as tempting whichever season guests choose to visit it. In terms of seasonal pricing, offering deals during off-peak times will give people an extra reason to pick your B&B over anywhere else.

Do you have special events in the area like mountain biking trails or fishing that may be attractive off season?  You may also want to take the opportunity to do any redecorating during these times, and make the most of having fewer people to look after!

Want to find out more about carrying out a successful renovation? Click here to read our article!

However, during school holidays and bank holidays try increasing your rates – as there will be more demand for rooms. Maybe offer deals, such as free prosecco or 50% off dining with you to give your potential guests to book with you and no one else.

4. Special event rates

Take advantage of all the things your local area has to offer by staying on top of nearby events – such as flower shows, theatre events, festivals or annual celebrations – and use them to fill your rooms. This will also help you plan your rates to benefit from peaks in demand. If guests are coming from far and wide to enjoy the entertainment, then give them a reason to choose your B&B.

If you have purchased eviivo suite, you can set rates and promotions seamlessly with Promo Manager.

5. Single occupancy and group rates

Having a flexible pricing plan for your rooms makes you more appealing to all types of guests. For example, a family attending a wedding may be looking for value for money and somewhere that they can all stay together, so a group rate is a great way to attract them. Consider the rates you offer for guests under 18 too, especially if you have family-sized rooms available.  Alternatively, if you have a businessperson staying during the week, they will be specifically looking for a single occupancy rate and your rooms will appeal to them as well.

Would you like more expert advise? eviivo’s Personal Expert service will provide you with a pricing strategy that is not only bespoke for you but easy to implement.

6. Using ‘minimum’ for maximum effect

A simple way of filling some rooms mid-week and keeping a steady flow of customers is to encourage longer bookings. Why don’t you try implementing a ‘minimum stay’ requirement with a special offer, which may entice people to extend their stay over a few nights?

Small changes like this can give you back more time – with less paperwork checking in new customers, fewer replacement soaps to buy – making you more relaxed while your rooms fill up! Plus, people love a holiday, so encouraging them to stay for longer is a win-win situation. The longer they stay, the more opportunity you have to show off how much your business and local area have to offer, and how charming you and your staff can be. Just think of the glowing reviews that will earn you online!

At the end of their stay customers should be queuing to leave their review, but here’s how you can encourage them to do so if they need a little nudge: How to gain great guests reviews.

If you follow these tips, your B&B could get a lot busier! But don’t worry, eviivo are here to help. Our award-winning product, eviivo suite, is designed to make life as easy as possible for independent hoteliers and property owners, so you have time for the more important things like looking after guests and marketing your property on social media.