Guest Post: The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned About Getting More Guests and Increasing Revenue as a B&B Innkeeper

Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar with Yvonne Halling, the founder of When I first became acquainted with the B&B market, it was immediately clear that Yvonne had all of the attributes needed for success. She’s eager to learn about modern day digital marketing tools and techniques, has a genuine desire to ensure outstanding guest satisfaction and loves to share her valuable insights with others.

Yvonne shared some of her knowledge and expertise, particularly when it comes to social media marketing, during last week’s event. I love what Yvonne said about how you have to make social work for you – it’s not just about posting photos and videos but rather having a strategy, executing on it and then measuring the results. She shared a few steps to get started – if you couldn’t attend, you can catch up with the recording here. Plus, we’ve got more exclusive advice from Yvonne in this guest post below.  

Guest Author: Yvonne Halling, Founder,

Last weekend, I was doing my end of month figures and I decided to do a little analysis.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about getting more guests (which I’ll get to in a minute) and increasing revenue as a B&B Innkeeper is that focusing on just getting heads in beds is the worst way to increase your income, especially if you’re paying third parties to bring those guests to you.

Let’s face it, this business isn’t easy. When guests come, there’s work to do in preparing rooms, laundry, cleaning, etc. and the more guests that come, the more work there is to do.

Encourage Guests to Spend More With You

It’s far easier to focus on increasing revenue by increasing guests’ spend with you. If, like me, you’re in a tourist area, or there is some element of tourism to your business, then you’ll know that when people are on vacation, they have money to spend, so why not have them spend that money with you? They’re going to spend it with someone, so it might as well be you, as far as possible.

In my brief analysis, I discovered that over 30% of my revenue is coming from other products and services I offer, so if my room rate is $100 (in any currency) then I can add another $30 on top of that if I let my guests know about those products and services. Pretty cool right?

Knowing the numbers is key to any business and when you have those key metrics in hand, you can configure your revenue any way you want, and especially in a way that works for you, because you’re the boss and you can decide.

So let’s do a little calculation, just for fun (math is not my strong point).


Say you wanted to make $100,000 (in any currency) in 2016

Let’s say also that your room rate is $100 just to keep the math simple (for me)

So if you were just focusing on selling rooms, then you’d need to sell 1,000 nights. Now I don’t know how many rooms you have, but if you only have three – that means you’d have to be full every night on 333 days of the whole year, leaving you just one month to recuperate.

I’m feeling exhausted just thinking about that!

Let’s look at this another way. If you could generate $30,000 from other products and services, then you’d only have to sell 700 rooms. Staying with the assumption that you have just three rooms, then you would only need to be full on 233 days of the year, meaning you could take four months off!

Now I know it doesn’t work out as neatly as that and occupancy rates do vary from week to week and month to month, but you get my point.

There’s a limit to how many rooms you can sell, but there’s no limit to what you can create in terms of extra products and services that delight your guests and make your life easier.

The Ceders of Williamsburg B&B offers potential guests a variety of booking packages that create additional revenue

The Ceders of Williamsburg B&B offers potential guests a variety of booking packages that help create additional revenue for the property

But if you still want to get more guests, then let’s look at that.

What I came to realize many years ago is that there are guests, and there are guests, and it’s important to choose which guests you want to attract.

When you’re taking everyone and anyone, you’re actually not serving anyone very well, and so very few come back and they don’t refer you.

If you want to attract more guests, then the place to start is to take an inventory of YOU – your preferences, your interests, your skills, your expertise, your knowledge, your hobbies, your favorite topics, YOU, YOU, and YOU.

Guests choose B&Bs, guest houses and small hotels because they want to interact with the owners, so be sure that your guests are aligned with YOU then everyone will have a wonderful time, including you.

When you’ve decided on who you want to see more of (and who you want to see less of) then let your website – your storefront – reflect that.  Set it up so that when guests land on it, they immediately know that you are right for them and let the others go. Put yourself front and center on your website, don’t hide out – we want to see you!

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Yvonne Halling is the founder of and helps small hospitality businesses worldwide to attract more guests, fill their rooms in the low season, make more money and have more fun. Yvonne turned her own B&B into a booming 6 figure business by using the strategies she teaches.


Yvonne spoke at our recent webinar about making social media work for you. If you weren’t able to join us, catch the recording and slides here: Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It).

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