Running A Guesthouse: Small Gestures, Grand Returns

Smallest Gestures can be Emblazoned on their minds for Life

Giving guest the feeling that they are getting something for nothing is one way to ensure their satisfaction. It doesn’t have to be a gimmick, either. Using your place as an established business in the community can be one way of transferring discounts or packages onto visitors that would otherwise be unavailable. It can be something as simple as coupons in a specialty shop in town that offers typical items commemorating your destination or region of the country.

A major plus is to include a photolab in town where pictures that your guests take can be developed immediately during their stay. This makes it easier for traveling with film as well, avoiding the more powerful x-ray machines in airports and the possibilities of film getting damaged. Even in the digital age, where many people now use digital cameras, being able to burn the pictures to CD and make prints is an added convenience. You may even be able to have a computer with online access in your B&B available to guests who can check their email or burn CD’s right there in your establishment. If you know a guest is from London, then when you do your morning errands, grab the Evening Standard and put in front of their door or give it to them at breakfast. The gesture will be emblazoned on their minds for life, even if news of home is farthest from their concerns as they vacation.

Any small gesture adds to the guest’s feeling that you are concerned about them and want them to return and tell friends to visit, as well. Your best hope as an innkeeper is to make your guest’s experience so enjoyable that they tell other people how comfortable and accommodating you were so they, too, want to visit your place. Travelers want to know in advance that they are going to be welcomed to enjoy life for awhile, being able to expect warmth and sincerity when too often this world presents us with an unnecessary dose of the opposite. It is what we all naturally seek: certain acceptance and joy, to be sure that is what we will experience.

For you as an innkeeper, you gain not only a successful business that will give you a sense of pride and fulfillment, you gain a self growth and sense of actualization that is invaluable. It enables you to attain a level of personal satisfaction within yourself. “Je me sens bien dans ma peau,” a typical French expression that means “I feel good in my skin.”

Innkeepers are satisfied people because the role they have chosen is one that allows them to exude the exemplary in human interaction. To guide the enjoyment and pleasure in another person’s life is indeed a pinnacle of achievement. Innkeepers who cultivate that power of the smile and peaceful energy find that it becomes infused in their guests. A setting where you are nurturing good vibrations, what a wonderful place to call work!