Business Model and Innovative Initiatves at the Hay Hotel

When establishing a new business it is important to predict and analyze future features of the company. This is to be done with a business model. Regarding the Hay Hotel at Ruggard it is crucial to establish such business model as well. According to Osterwalder et al (2005), a business model is described as being “[…] a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm.” Therefore, a business model will set the milestone for the future success of Christopher’s and Lisbeth’s Hay Hotel.

To go way deeper, it is important to analyze the main elements of the business model canvas which include the value propositions and the customer segments. Nevertheless, it is also essential to analyze the remaining elements which will narrow down to customer relationships in the case of the Hay Hotel at Ruggard.

Customer Segments

The Kjaer family tends to attract mainly Icelandic horse riders to their Hay Hotel which can be seen as the possibly most important customer segment. With their experience in gandling Icelandic horses and their ongoing passion for horses, this will set the basis for a successful customer segment. This segment will likely be the one to feel “right” at that place and will appreciate the passion for the horses. Moreover, the family wants to generate cyclists and mountainbikers to their hotel. Basically, this customer segment is hard to generate on a long-term basis, meaning that they will only stay one night and might not come back again compared to the horse riders. Furthermore, it is important to think about if there is a certain need for the cyclists and bikers to stay at the Hay Hotel. They could also use another accommodation to stay as Ruggard is not specialized in that kind of segment. Most of the cyclists and bikers will chose the hotel when doing a longer lasting tour through the Aadal area. Actually, I don’t see a need to advertise the Hay Hotel to that customer segment in particular.

Value Proposition

To generate customers and bind them to the hay hotel, the Kjaer family needs to convey some kind of value. In my opinion, there is still a good basis for conveying certain values. First of all, they offer foldings for horses on their ground and offer the possibility for guests to bring their own horses. Guests are able to keep their horses outside in the nature and might feel more comfortable if they are even able to bring their own horses. In marketing the hay hotel, those features might serve as a good pull factors for potential guests to come. Furthermore, they offer guided trips, especially good for guests who do not know the area well and get to see special places. Those guests might feel safer in accompany with someone who knows the area  very well. Moreover, guests get the overall experience of nature at Ruggard Hay Hotel. This feature might not only be interesting to horse riders but also to bikers who want to explore the Vejle Aadal area cycling. Another feature the Kjaer family offers is the riding arena on their own grounds. This is especially interesting for guests who do not have experiences in riding horses but would like to make some. The riding arena is a good way to learn riding horses.

All in all, the basis for a successful business model is given, but emotional factors will play the main role in keeping the business alive. Personal Customer contact will be crucial in dealing with guests. The guests will get a family feeling and will enjoy a unique environment

Innovative Initiatives

The question that comes up now is whether and which innovative initiatives have to be taken to support the business model.  The attractor-based innovation initiative will probably serve best here. The basis of the model is the attractor which is an event, activity or organisation that attracts people. The next step is the attraction which is “a ‘tangible’ and ‘artificially’ created event with the purpose of generating tourism.” Moreover, the scene is also essential in this initiative. It “manifests the ‘place’ and ‘identity’ of the attractor.” The Scene-maker is also important which “creates and conceptualizes the idea”. The last element is the scene-taker which is basically a network that puts the idea into practice.

Transferring the single elements to the Hay hotel, one comes to the following solution. The Kjaer Family should collaborate with the local businesses, like Bindeballe Kobmandsgaard or the nature school to develop some kind of “rally”, especially for children. The game could look like as follow. The children use the horses at the Hay Hotel or take their own and get questions and exercises. The answers to the questions and exercises can be found along the trail of the horses, like at Krystinelyst or at the nature school. The winner would gain a price, which could include free shopping at Bindeballe Kobmandsgaard. For the adults they could offer some kind of race with the horses through the nature where they get to know the landscape and local environment.

To sum up, implementing the business model with the innovative initiatives for the hay hotel will be long process as the Kjaer family has to consider exactly which customer segment they want to attract mainly but the values they offer and the network that exists in that area will possible ensure a successful business. Things like costs and revenue streams or sustainable matters will have to be considered at a later time but first it is important to get the hay hotel to run.

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