Rural value-adding with guests

Rural businesspeople are increasingly looking towards adding value to their operations. Many regions in Africa are popular tourist destinations and businesspeople can exploit this by offering lodge, bed-and-breakfast, guesthouse or self-catering accommodation. Johnnic Communications of South Africa’s Business Learning Series is offering a step-by-step guide for potential entrepreneurs in this sector. "It’s my … Bed-and-Breakfast" is offered in disc format, consisting of four modules.
The guide covers all the basic considerations that need to be taken into account when planning an accommodation venture. Discussed are:

  • Planning and preparing. How to asses your skills and attitudes towards service, developing a business plan, considerations regarding the structure of the business, its legal aspects (including liquor licensing), and employment issues.
  • Design and marketing. Tips on how to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for guests, which is also unique in personal or cultural taste. Interior design and furnishing are discussed with guidelines to achieve easy maintenance. As the guesthouse sector is regarded as one of the most competitive sectors in the tourism business, emphasis is placed on the need to know as much as possible about the market, and competitor strength and weaknesses.
  • The day-to-day running of the business. An explanation of how the quality of service can make or break an establishment is given, together with advice on how to achieve service excellence on the telephone, at arrival and departure, how to meet expectations as well as menu-planning and dining room service.
  • Housekeeping standards, hygiene and security and safety: Emphasis is placed on the role of cleanliness, hygiene, personal appearance, room and house security in maintaining the reputation of the establishment.

The disc can be ordered from Kirston Hoets at Booktalk.
Hoets, Johnnic Communications: Tel +27-11-325-2266; fax +27-11-341-0149; booktalk@global.co.za