by Peter Scherman of The B&B Team
In the world of small hospitality properties, as for most small businesses, the Internet is the Great Equalizer. It has brought more democracy and more opportunity to more people in a more profound way than could have been imagined even ten short years ago.
If you own an inn or are simply looking for one to buy, the Internet is (or should be) your best friend. There are a few key elements which all good websites employ, especially in the bed & breakfast market.
Your written descriptions should be clear and inviting and cover not only the inn but the area you serve. Don’t let poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation get in the way of a wonderful property. If the written word is not your strength, get a pro to help you. You’ll find professional contractors of all kinds on www.Elance.com or www.Guru.com.
All inns simply must have wonderful photographs. Digital photography has made it easy for everyone to take a picture and post it on the web. However, “easy” and “good” are not the same. An experienced architectural photographer knows how to compose, how to light, and how to make your rooms look inviting. If you’re not a skilled photographer, hire one. But look at their portfolios and compare prices. Look at great websites of your competitors and find out who took their pictures.
Lastly, remember to have your contact information on every page of your site. Too often even lovely sites make it hard to find out how to contact the inn. If someone prints off any page of your site, they should be able to call or email you without having to go to the “Contact Us” page. Make it easy for the consumer.
With a great website, consumers will reward you with their business.