The WSA Method: a model for success

The WSA model, developed by our agency Guest & Strategy, integrates the concepts of “work”, “administration” and "strategy" (marketing) to help you have a smooth business launch. In this article, we will be focusing on the marketing aspect of starting your B&B.


Is advance marketing planning for all innkeepers?

The degree to which you plan ahead will depend on your goals and the style of your business. If your busines is complex with high occupancy rates and financial goals, it is in your interest to start planning your strategy at least 6 months to a year before opening your inn. On the other hand, if your business goals are a bit more modest, then you can allow yourself 3 to 6 months before launching your strategy. Regardless, you will want to plan ahead instead of finding yourself rushed a few weeks before opening.


Creating your advanced marketing plan

Stage 1; 6 months - 1 year before opening:

  • Choose your name
  • Create your logo
  • Create your business card
  • Build your website’s holding page (example: /features/coming-soon)
  • Build your social media presence 
  • Send email updates to the email addresses you collect from your hold page
    (Free tools: Mailchimp, Mailjet, Mailing report, Message Direct)
  • Start a blog
    (Free tools: Wordpress, Tumblr, Blogger, etc).

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Stage 2; 3 - 6 months before opening:

  • Launch version 2 of your website:
    • Create a tree structure of pages, including the text for each page
    • Add temporary photos (you can take these yourself)
    • Add a map of your location
    • Include a contact form, or an online booking system (if possible, add the booking system for the best chance of getting direct reservations)
  • Register on 2 or 3 top directories and partner websites, such as www.bedandbreakfast.com or your local association

 

Stage 3; a few weeks to 1 month before opening:

  • Have a professional photographer take pictures at your B&B
  • Integrate your new high-quality photos, replacing your amateur photos from version 2 of your website
  • Distribute your great photos on your partner websites and listings to maximize your returns from these platforms
  • Register on review websites like Yelp or Travelocity

With this strategy of planning ahead, you will improve your online visibility and generate direct bookings even before you open your B&B.


About the Author Jérôme Forget – Guest & Strategy Agency

Jérôme Forget specializes in globalizing B&Bs. With over 200 innkeepers, luxury lodging and hotel owners trusting his agency with their strategy since 2010, he is the foremost expert in e-tourism and marketing. Learn more.