There are two things that I have noticed, time and time again, that innkeepers neglect, and both need to be reviewed at least annually, and the end/beginning of the year is the perfect time to look at them.
The first is to evaluate the past year with respect to marketing efforts (using Google Analytics – or other software if you prefer), monthly performance compared to prior years, and performance of specific rooms. I have written blog posts on these over the years, so, rather than re-post them, they can be found at http://www.abouttheinn.com/2015/01/last-year/.
The second is the plan (yes PLAN!) your promotional activities. Many innkeepers seem to simply respond to calls for marketing by local groups, or do what their competitors do. Neither of these has your success as their goal!
Local marketing groups want to bring traffic to the town (and they should!), but they typically do this by getting YOU to pay for it, either by subscription, or by discounting. Neither helps you make a profit!
Copying the competition does nothing to set you apart! Granted, all properties will promote some of the same things (fall foliage, holidays, etc.), but that doesn’t mean your offering has to be the same as the others!
Plan ahead, so your packages and promotions are ready in advance, and don’t be swayed by requests to participate in things that do not benefit you!
Here is a very timely, and much needed post by Heather Rasmussen-Turner about scheduling and planning (!) your promotional activities – with a calendar to help you with scheduling (customize it for your purposes).