So we bought an inn that had no clientele, what to do? First thing was to get our marketing going and make our website better, actually better is not the word, we had to create a site as the previous owners did not have one.
The valley we live in has many talented people and two of those are Stephen and Lisa Surrette of North Country Graphics who we went to for help in designing our website and marketing materials. With their help we now had business cards, rack cards and a website that got rave reviews, . Our website became so popular with search engines that by the time we closed our business in March 2005 we were being listed on the first page of Google. I remember talking to Marti Mayne of Maynely Marketing 6 months after we had closed the business as she called me at the Chamber office to tell me she was doing a Google search and we were still coming up on the first page of Google. We did so well with the web thanks to Lisa and Stephen but also due to some SEO tips I learned through the years.
The other way we improved upon the inn was using local knowledge by joining an inn association, of which there are two in Mt Washington Valley; Bed & Breakfasts Inn Mt Washington Valley and the Country Inns in the White Mountains. It was by joining one of these that we became part of the Annual Cookie Tour and getting more exposure as we hosted a writer from a Boston Paper and got great press from that. Also, by joining the association we met great people like Kevin Flynn who had owned an inn on Long Island and then moved to Snowville to operate a successful inn there also. Others who were great resources were Bill and Lisa Guppy who owned an inn in Intervale and Mark Donaldson of the Darby Field Inn. These long time innkeepers were a wonderful source of knowledge for fledgling innkeepers.
Stay tuned, more to follow….