Why using spreadsheets to run your B&B just won’t cut it in 2016

Since the computer era began, small accommodation providers have relied on spreadsheets in order to manage their data.

Spreadsheets have proved to be a useful tool for many years, but their time has passed.

There are many reasons why you need to ditch your spreadsheets if you want to increase revenue at your B&B. Here are just a few:

There’s too much risk for human error

Spreadsheets are usually full of formulas – one wrong input into a spreadsheet can ruin all of the data that you have about your guests and reservations.

The fact of the matter is, this happens more often than not, and it can cause significant problems for you. Imagine if you are trying to adjust the price your rooms based on your profits, but an incorrect formula gives you the wrong numbers to begin with? Your calculations – and therefore pricing decisions – will be totally off.

With an automated bed and breakfast booking system, all of your information is always accurate and up to date, because formulas and actual data are stored in the system, and can’t be tampered with.

There’s a significant risk of data loss

If your spreadsheet is stored on the computer located in your main office, all of your data can be compromised in the event of something unforeseen.

Floods or fires are a constant, unexpected risk. Even if you have your data backed up into a hard drive, what happens if you lose the hard drive or the data becomes corrupted?

The best way to store your data is to have it in a cloud-based bed and breakfast reservation system, because it’s not a physical location. Your data can be accessed at all times, without fear of loss. All you need is an internet connection.

There’s no centralised location

Only one person can access the spreadsheet if they can access the system that it is stored on, and you’ll have to be at your desk to do it. If another staff member needs to access it, you’ll have to attach the file to an email.
You will also probably have to toggle between multiple spreadsheets for different types of reports – there’s no one place to look!

Alternatively, a cloud-based system allows you and your staff to access all your data in one place, on the go, so you can free yourself from your desk.

Spreadsheets are not as secure

The wrong parties can access spreadsheets when they are not stored on a secure, cloud-based server.

This puts your business at risk and it also can compromise the security of your guests who have booked with you.

With a secure cloud-based reservation system for your bed and breakfast, you’ll be able to assign different levels of access to your staff, so that they only see the information they need to. It will also be PCI DSS compliant so that it’s safe from hackers.

It can be difficult to compile reports from spreadsheets

It is tedious and time consuming to compile data from spreadsheets and generate a useable report. This wastes your time and energy as a small hotel owner.

A modern bed and breakfast reservation system will have built-in essential reports, like:

• Transactions report (average unoccupied rooms, number of check ins & check outs, etc)
• Statistics report (revenue per available room, average occupancy, etc)
• Channels report (direct, channel, and manually entered bookings analysis)

Ultimately, you should try to step away from the inefficient spreadsheets and move toward an automated booking system.

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