End of Season? How to keep the momentum going during your off time.

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As a seasonal business, you get the benefit of having some down time when you are in your Closed for the seasonoff season.  You’ve worked so hard this summer with your rental or tour business, that you’re due for a much needed break.  Alas, you’d love it if you were able to continue to receive bookings for next season, right?  Check out these tips below on how to keep things rolling while you are taking a break.

24/7/365 Booking with an Online Reservation System

Many travelers (myself included!) love to plan their next adventure right after they get home from vacation.  For popular vacation destinations, booking early is the key to get what you want for rentals and activities.  Allowing your customers to book for next season is important and appreciated.  Having an online booking system** that is up to date and shows your availability for next season is a great way to get bookings while you are sipping Mai Tais in Hawaii (what? you’re not?).  Customers can book at anytime that is convenient for them, and do not have to contact you directly to make a reservation.  It’s a win-win for both you and the customer.

**If you don’t currently have an online booking system, now is the time to get one!  WebReserv offers an affordable and easy to use booking system for rentals, lodging, and toursContact us today for more information.

Offer Early Booking Discounts

Traveling is fun, but it can also be expensive.  If you offer discounts for booking early to your customers, this is a great way to earn income during your downtime.  Everyone is looking for a great deal, and offering a small discount for booking their next summer adventure early is an excellent way to lock in that reservation now.  Setup a promo code using your booking system, and advertise the code on your website.

Reach out to your Customers

Utilize your favorite email marketing program to send newsletters or updates to your customers over the winter season.  Add pertinent information about your business and include upcoming excitement for next season (“Brand new kayaks or “new sunset tour added“).  This will keep your business fresh in their mind as they’ll remember what a fun time they had while visiting.  Include that discount code you created for early booking in the information, too!

All in all – enjoy your off time as well as look forward to your next season with incoming sales all year round.

5 Tips to get more business this Summer

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kayakingIt’s summertime and this is the time your business thrives. Whether you run a kayak or mountain bike rental shop, fishing charter, or have a few rental cabins in the mountains, you are always trying to attract more customers to choose you when making their summer plans.  Try these tips to help you not only get more business this summer, but throughout the year.

Be active on Social Media As a business owner, social media is a very important outlet to advertise your services and offerings. If you haven’t already, create a business page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, then fill it with awesome pictures and information about what you offer. Ask happy customers to like your page, follow you, and post comments/reviews on your pages. You should post interesting things daily including images or something cool in the news related to your business.

It’s important to show potential customers your genuine self, and these social outlets are a great way to do that. Try not to be too ‘salesy’ in your posts and responses. Normal folks want to do business with other normal folks, so don’t be afraid to show who you are mixed in with what you do.

Join In! Join other Facebook groups where potential customers might go, and actively participate in comments. More than likely, you’re in business because you love what you do. It’s easy to find other folks that also love the same thing through Facebook groups. Find those groups, and engage with others. For example, if you own a water sport rental business, join groups geared toward kayakers or paddle boarders. If you have a cabin rental in a popular hiking area, join a hiking group. Then answer questions that come up, and be helpful and encouraging. Don’t use the forum to continually promote yourself, but instead be helpful by answering questions or encouraging others when they post about their experiences with the activity.

Leverage Happy Customers If you’ve been in business for a while, you surely have great customers that return year after year.  Use them to your benefit to get more happy customers. Encourage them to take a live video stream of their experience – this is an incredible way for others to see what you offer.   Make sure customers know it’s perfectly acceptable to take videos or via Facebook Live. It’s the best kind of testimonial.

Encourage reviews and referrals by offering incentives such as a discount on their next trip.  Make sure you include links to your TripAdvisor or Yelp pages, so they can easily share their experience with others.  Happy customers are usually thrilled to share their experiences with their friends and family.

Keep in touch with previous customers. Build an email list of all your customers, and send newsletters, helpful tips, or special offers to them. It’s a great way to keep your business in the forefront of their minds, especially when their dear Aunt Sally is looking for recommendations.  During your off season, send them information about your upcoming season, and encourage them to book early to get the best spot for their next summer adventure.

Make sure your SEO is at it’s best. Most people use Google or other search engines to find adventure, so ensure that your business is at the top of their search list.  Make certain that your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is at the top of its game by adding the best keywords to describe your business.  This will lead those “Google searchers” to find you first before your competition.

These are only a few key tips to keep your business rolling this summer.  Most importantly, if you LOVE what you do, and are passionate about it, then folks will find you and be thrilled they did.

Promoting Deals and Specials on WebReserv

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Everyone loves a deal and offering specials or deals is a great way for your business to attract new customers and get repeat customers year after year.  WebReserv is excited to offer a new feature where you can advertise your deals and specials on your listing page on WebReserv.

Add the deal or special by creating an announcement in your account.  Follow the simple instructions below.

Log into your WebReserv Account.  Go to Frontdesk – Deals/Specials.

Deals and Specials
Deals/Specials in WebReserv

Click Add Deal/Special to add the information about your special.  In the example below, we will create a special for a bed & breakfast stay that includes a Segway tour. Read the rest of this entry »

New discount code option for free persons

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The WebReserv booking system has been enhanced with a new feature that makes it easier to create discount codes for one or more free persons. The “free persons” option makes it easier to set up discount codes for Groupon, Living Social and similar type of deals as well as regular discount codes given to customers. The “free persons” discount option is great for tour companies and other companies that generally offers discounts or deals for additional persons.

To create a discount code for one or more free persons, go to Setup – Discount Codes and click Add discount code. In the type field, select either single use (for Groupon codes, Living Social codes and similar) or multi-use (for most other discount codes).

Under Discount Type select Free Persons and enter either a total number of persons or enter a number of each type (adults, children etc.).

When customers make a reservation with a discount code for free persons, the system will automatically deduct the number of persons as specified in the discount code.

Day/time restriction for discount codes and groupon deals

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The WebReserv booking system allows you to restrict discount codes, including groupon and living social deals, to only be valid on certain days and times. To add a restriction to a discount code, go to Setup – Discount Codes and click on the discount code you want to modify.

Scroll to the time restriction section shown below and specify the day(s) the discount code is valid for and optionally the time(s) the discount code is valid for.

Time restriction for discount codes and groupon codes

Configuring your booking calendar for Groupon and other discount codes

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The webreserv booking system now allows for both multi-use and single-use discount codes.

Multi-use discount codes can be used multiple times. I.e. you can create a discount code called SUMMER2011 and advertise this discount code on your website to all your customers.

Single-use discount codes can only be used once. When you create the discount code, you can upload a list of valid codes, such as SUMMER0001, SUMMER0002, SUMMER0003 etc. Whenever a discount code is used in a reservation, it is marked as being used and cannot be used again. The single-use discount code works well with Groupon, Living Social and other coupon sites.

Configuring per person and per unit discount codes

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The WebReserv booking system now supports per person and per unit discount codes. This feature can be used to create even more discount code options for your guests/customers.

By default, a discount code is for an entire reservation, regardless of the number of people or units for the reservation. With the new discount code feature, you can create a discount code that gives a $5 per person.

To modify your discount code rules, log on to your account and go to Setup – Discount codes.

New discount code rules

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Four new rules have been added to the discount code setup: Minimum length, maximum length, minimum number of persons and maximum number of persons. The new discount code rules makes it easier set up discount codes for bed & breakfasts bookings, vacation rental bookings and other types of businesses

For example, you can create a discount code that is valid for only for visits that are minimum 2 days and has 5 persons or more on the reservation.

To set up discount codes, log on to your WebReserv account and go to Setup – Discount Codes.

New discount code rules makes it easier to set up bed & breakfast bookings and vacation rental bookings.


Discount Code Time Requirements

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You can now specify minimum time in advance for discount codes. This optional field allows you to create discount codes that are valid only if a reservation is made a certain time in advance (i.e. 30 days). To set up discount codes go to Setup – Discount Codes.

Discount Code Time Requirement

For more information about our discount codes, see our help file.

Reservation charges and discounts

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You’ve probably experienced the situation before: a customer calls to make a reservation and they would like to check in early or bring pets or have the fridge stocked before arrival. There is no way for you to record the extra charge, so instead you have to write it on a piece of paper and hope that you’ll remember to get it added to the guest folio.

With the latest enhancements from WebReserv, you can now add extra charges and/or discounts with a click of a mouse.

To add a charge or discount, simply open the reservation and click Add charge or Add discount. You can add as many as needed.

Extra charges and discounts
Extra charges and discounts

For discounts, you can choose either a fixed amount or a percentage discount.

When you are done adding lines, click Recalculate to get the new total amount. The additional line items will be stored with the reservation (remember to click the save button when you are done) and is also included in printouts.

You can even use the new feature as a simple POS (Point-Of-Sales) system. Simply add additional charges to the reservation as needed and when it’s time to settle the bill, open up the reservation to get the total amount.

If your WebReserv account is set up for credit card transactions, you can easily charge the outstanding balance by clicking the link view/update payment details.