You need more in your armoury than cheap rooms to win business in the hotel game. Merchant Loan Advance have spoken to a family-run hotel in Bournemouth to find out how they keep their hotel one step ahead of the competition.

After years of dreaming and planning, Delia Price and her husband Andrew took the plunge in 2004 and bought a small hotel outside Bournemouth. With their careers well and truly put to bed, the Dorset couple had taken the first step of a long and ultimately rewarding journey.

“It always seems like a dream – working for yourself and building something special together”, Delia explained to Merchant Loan Advance. “But dreams are one thing, reality is something completely different and it was far from easy! We know how to get the basics right; we’ve both worked in hospitality for decades, but keeping ahead of the competition presented lots of challenges”.

Delia and Andrew, who now have 16 staff members and bookings through till summer, explained how getting to grips with their marketing was their greatest challenge.

“We know hospitality inside out, but when it came to promoting our little corner of the world, we had more questions than answers”, explained Andrew, 58. “We needed to find a way of keeping one step ahead of the competition”.

“We decided to delve into the history of the local area, as well as our own building. We discovered some pretty amazing facts about our village and nearby Bournemouth, and we knew we had to show this off to the wider world.”

Over the space of a year, Andrew and Delia began arranging ‘themed nights’ and talks that showed off what the local area had to offer. This tied in wonderfully with national local tour operators, and soon the phone wouldn’t stop ringing.

Delia said: “Within a few weeks we were taking bookings from tours. Andrew and I love to learn, and it turns out we aren’t alone! Tour groups are flocking here now as they get good, warm service and can learn about the local area’s history and why it’s so special”.

Keeping on track with their finances has also played a huge part in the continued success. Andrew and Delia use the benefits of a Merchant Cash Advance, which they say gives them the boost they need to keep the message about their hotel alive.

Delia added: “We take payments from customers using a card machine, which meant we were able to benefit from a merchant cash advance. We provided statements of our card sales over the previous months and within a week we were able to access funds to help us boost our marketing efforts even more.”

“Having access to a merchant cash advance as and when we need it means we can adapt and grow quickly. We’ve not looked back since”.

If you’re looking at ways to fund any ideas you may have for your hotel, or any business that takes card payments, find out how a Merchant Cash Advance can help. Get in touch with us here to access to best quotes available on the market.