Business plan for the Ruggard Hay Hotel

The farmhouse of Kjær Family is located in the Vejle Aadal, 30 minutes with car from Kolding. When I arrived there, I was totally impressed with the local nature, the hospitable hosts and of course their pets. The farmhouse will have another name in the near future – Ruggard Hay Hotel, a B&B hotel specialized for the Icelandic horse riders.

 

Any business has its own strength, on another hand the weakness also exists. In my opinion, the strengths for a B&B hotel in the countryside could be:

–       The beautiful surrounding that provides easy access to the nature.

–       Equipped horse barn

–       Owners are really passionate about their work.

–       And owners know quit well about the town, surrounding and Icelandic horse, which means a guided horse tour can be provided.

The reason I listed the above 4 points is because the location decides the potential customer should be nature loving, like to participate into the outdoor activities, well educated. Therefore, when we were told that the owner will put their focus on the horse rider, especially Icelandic horse riding, I do agree that it is a really wise idea to make their business in such niche hotel market from their knowledge and passion, because it is not cheap to have a horse and it is always easy to earn the money from rich people. However, the location limits as well the resource of the customer. It is with doubt if the horse rider would like to travel from, for example, Norway, North Germany or Sweden, with their horses. The main focus thus should be put on the Denmark tourists.

 

For a small private business, it is always difficult to start. The weaknesses of the Ruggard Hay Hotel, in my point of view, could be:

–       Limited member of rooms, which means limited amount of sales.

–       Lack of room equipment, such as private bathroom.

–       And the brand visibility.

First of all, the hotel has only 2 rooms for the overnight guests, which means the biggest capacity of the hotel would be around 10 people. For a small B&B hotel, according to the owner, the break-even point is 60,000 DKK. So how to make profit would be really tough in a limited main season.  Second, it is lack of private hygiene facilities in both of the rooms like toilet and bathrooms, so that it would cause the guests inconveniences. At last, it would be better to have a hotel logo to remind the potential of the characters of the hotel. Considering the long-term business development, an eye-catching logo is always necessary, even though the concurrence at the local would not be that strong.

 

Besides the strength and weakness of the hotel, the Ruggard Hay hotel has pretty good opportunities to reach its goal. Firstly, the hotel suited in the near to Kolding, Lalandia and Legoland, which is an attracted character for the segment of families with children, so that the scale of the guest can be expanded. Second, the owner has the membership of the local Icelandic horse association (?) and also works with the university of Southern Denmark. It brings the opportunities to make cooperation with them, to strengthen the specialty and to create new potential activities, such as student outdoor trip (hiking, mountain bike racing) with the cooperation with university, or host for the professional Icelandic horse conference or exhibition. Last but not the least, the owner is capable to build his own website, which means the hotel can develop some new prompting channels with social media (Facebook, twitter, tripadviser or etc.).

 

In conclusion, it is good to specialized in a niche market like horse rider segment, but consider to the business elements, the product scale should be enlarged, such as student one-day outdoor trip or camping, family weekend trip, host of Icelandic horse exhibition and regarding meetings. Moreover, the hotel should be also improved in the facilities, in order to achieve the success. I believe, with the owner’s passion, knowledge about the horse and the town and as well as the specialized positioning of hotel, the future of the hotel would be bright and expectable.

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