Thomas Dowson, B&B owner

Thomas Dowson, B&B owner

I knew this book would be one that I would have no hesitation recommending to anyone in the hospitality business. To begin with, it is written by two people who not only know their field, but more importantly they know how to share that expertise in an accessible manner.

The book is well organised and very clearly written; Lucy and Caroline have produced a logical and readable set of coherent guidelines for hoteliers to get every aspect of their sales and marketing strategies in shape for great success.

In a step by step way, the book takes you from the basics such as thinking about who your guests are and determining what it is you are offering these guests, and at what price, through the minefield of marketing what it is you are offering, and then on to how the team you have work together, and, as importantly, how your team works with other ‘teams’ offering something similar, which may or may not be nearby.

It should go without saying that I wish I had had this book to hand when I started out in the beginning of 2005. Reading this book really has been one of those ‘I wish I knew then what I know now’ moments.

Now, to varying degrees different readers will find varying doses of common sense in these pages. But as is so often the case it is the common sense that is downplayed or even overlooked. Also, not everyone comes with training in hospitality, I was an archaeologist. This book not only sets out for the likes of me how to go about making a success of my B&B and holiday cottage, but how I can think about my background in archaeology and provide a unique selling point for my guests. Yes, of course I thought of that in 2005, but this book has provided the tools for me to make that a reality. We have been given the means for taking what are often disparate ideas to go on and develop a winning strategy.

What I appreciate most about this book is the philosophy that underwrites the approach we are offered. Far too often I have found that much of the marketing literature is nothing more than naïve capitalism outlining get-rich-quick schemes, producing an ‘I am alright Jack’ attitude. This selfish philosophy is surely, by its very nature, at odds with the purpose of the hospitality industry. In contrast, Lucy and Caroline bring common sense to bear on the very notion of ‘competition’ to foster a ‘win-win’ attitude at the heart of your business.

If you do not want to be the laughing stock of the next series of The Hotel Inspector you will want to read this book – from start to finish.

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