For accommodation and hospitality businesses, the months outside of peak season provide a rare opportunity to get one’s house in order.
Sure, you’ll want to take some time to recharge your batteries (we all need some downtime), but the quieter months also provide an opportunity to take stock of the competition and lay the foundations for the busy season ahead.
We’ve outlined seven key steps you can take during a quieter period to make sure your accommodation business is in tip top shape for peak season.
Have you got your pricing right? The quieter months are a good time to investigate accommodation providers in comparable settings offering a similar standard of accommodation to you, to see how your pricing compares.
What has your occupancy been like, and have your operating costs increased? These factors should also be taken into account when considering whether a price update makes sense.
If you decide a price change is called for, then our short how-to guide to updating your pricing in Seekom will make the process easier.
It’s perfectly reasonable to require minimum stays of more than a day or two over peak times, such as public holiday weekends or the Christmas and New Year break.
While a shorter minimum stay will ensure your accommodation appeals to the widest possible number of guests, it can also result in more work for your team and lead to awkward windows of time between bookings that some guests may not find workable.
If you do decide to change your minimum stay settings, it’s easy to do within Seekom.
It’s crucial to create the right first impression when potential guests arrive on your website. There’s nothing worse than arriving on a site to book accommodation for a dream getaway, only to find the information is incorrect or room descriptions aren’t up to date.
The quieter months are a good time to do a website review to make sure everything you said about your property and rooms last year remains current. You may even be able to improve on your content based on guest feedback or an improved understanding of what makes your property unique.
Photos are worth considering as part of this process; the images you use on your website, social media and any other promotional channels should show your property in the best possible light and be high resolution so they look sharp and not pixelated. Paying a professional photographer is often worth the investment.
We have created a handy guide for uploading room and property photos within Seekom. For best results on our platform, we recommend image dimensions of 1,200 x 800 pixels.
If you have a lot of team members using Seekom, it’s a good idea to review staff permissions from time to time. Best practice is to grant staff permissions on an “as required” basis, so staff members only have the authority they need in order to do their job.
If staff have left, or changed roles, you may need to update their user profiles to remove permissions or make sure that they have the ability to perform all aspects of their role.
Updating staff permissions is important for efficiency, as well as security. Our recent article about keeping data secure provides a helpful guide on some important data-security considerations and actions you can take.
Do you offer breakfasts, tours, newspapers, hire of sports gear or other extras that guests staying with you can purchase?
Seekom allows you to make these available as add-ons that guests can pay for when booking your accommodation online using our booking engine.
If you haven’t already set up the extra services you offer, a quieter period is a great time to do it. Our ’Create a new extra’ help guide has details on how to get everything set up.
Most of your potential customers are now on social media but there are still a huge number of accommodation businesses that aren’t making the most of it.
A good social media profile can increase website traffic, promote deals you may have, highlight positive reviews from guests and gather customer feedback to improve your services.
If you’re starting out or want to up your game, a good first step is to take cues from what other successful accommodation providers do – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Lastly, remember that social media is just one of many digital marketing channels you harness to promote your business. Read our guide on growing revenue by increasing your direct bookings for more ideas.
One of the advantages of digital marketing over many other forms of marketing is that it is highly measurable. If you haven’t already, it’s worth making sure Google Analytics is set up on your website to ensure you have access to data about how customers are interacting with your site and which of your digital marketing efforts are bearing fruit.
For Google Analytics to work, you will need to have the latest GA4 tracking code in place. We’ve put together some handy guides to explain why Google Analytics is so important and how you can set it up on your website.
If you run advertising on Facebook or Instagram, it’s also worth setting up a Meta pixel on your website, to gauge the success of your marketing spend across both channels.
Hopefully this article has offered you some useful tips to set your business up for a successful year ahead.
Even if you don’t do everything in this list, ticking off at least a few when time allows will mover your business forward and put you in a better place for the next busy period.
Note: Something you may not know, is that we also build websites. Many of our customers have Seekom built, fully managed websites which we maintain, including SEO management. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, get in touch.
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