Welcome to week 19 of the Rusties newsletter. This issue of the Rusties newsletter is packed with rich information about our advertising services, new features integrated into our business listings and useful tips for those of you who plan on starting an accommodation business.

In this article

The importance of advertising and marketing differs from person to person and business to business. Some often feel that their budget won’t allow them to advertise while the ultimate solution to a better financial status is advertising itself. Ever heard the phrase: “it takes money to make money”? That is a very true statement indeed!

You don’t have to spend thousands on advertising though. Strategically managing the publishers you use to exploit your business to the appropriate target market and weighting cost effective solutions is very important. Cheap advertising isn’t always the least effective and expensive advertising isn’t always the most rewarding. That is a fact. You have to aim at the right crowd at the most appropriate moment in time.

We offer affordable advertising solutions/services which will certainly – without a doubt – show drastic results. Our business listings start from R50 per month (on a 12 month contract) upwards and our banner advertisements start from R400 per month (on a 12 month contract). Now that is affordable! Care to argue? If you do, you might need to re-prioritize some of the aspects of your business to grasp the concept of directly exposing your business to dozens of potential customers/clients on a daily basis at a very, very low price.

Our advertising procedure is rather simple though. There are no application forms needed and no waiting periods. You complete one of our contracts (depending on your preferred advertising approach/method) and email it through to us (signed). Once we receive your contract your advertisement will be immediately published and marketed through the appropriate channels to get you at the top of search engine rankings. You will then receive an invoice via your preferred contact method specified on the contract upon which a payment can be made on either a month to month basis or in advance.

That’s all there is to it! Join our growing Rustenburg community today and reap the benefits early on.

New Business Listings Features

Our business listings give you a dedicated page on Rusties.info where your business’ logo, description, contact details and any other preferred information is shown to potential customers/clients browsing the Rusties.info website. The listings work well for both informative and marketing purposes. Each business listing targets a set of keywords/phrases as well which is crawled by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask, Cuil, etc.

Even though the business listings serve their purpose and gives the users all the information that they need, we decided that direct interaction with the users viewing your business listing(s) will improve collaboration, interest and of course understanding of what you or your business really has to offer. We brewed several new ideas and integrated them into the Rusties.info business listings system. View a complete example on the Tribulant Software business listing. See the new features explained below.

You may upload a maximum of 10 photos/images per gallery. The photo/image gallery can be placed anywhere inside your business listing. The gallery will display a set of small thumbnail images in a grid format upon which the larger, original image will be shown in an overlay when the thumbnails are clicked. Next & Previous links are available in the overlay so that the users can easily browse through all the photos in your gallery.

Google Digital Map

The digital map makes use of the Google Maps API and can be inserted anywhere into the content of a business listing. The map window will display a map of Rustenburg zoomed into a marker of the given address by the client together with the surrounding area. Users can interact with the map by panning with a click and drag, zooming in and out, changing the display from map to hybrid & satellite and much more. Directions from and to the specified address can also be obtained by users inside the map window.

Contact Gateway Form

Flexibility and usability is the purpose of this feature. The contact gateway form is a flexible form application which allows the client to create the desired input form for users to complete and send directly through to the client’s email address inbox. Text fields, text areas, drop down menus, radio buttons, checkboxes and many other field types are included. This gateway can serve any purpose from a simple contact form to more complex application forms.

Starting an Accommodation Business

South Africa is a popular tourist destination. The increased interest in our bit of Africa comes from the diverse natural attractions and favorable exchange rate for many foreigners.

Successful holiday accommodation is dependent on its location. Your location will set the mood and if chosen correctly can be used to leverage your price. When marketing your accommodation remember that you want to reach people in other cities, provinces and other countries. Because of this do not rely on the yellow pages and signboards to get the word out. Make it easy for someone to find you when they are planning their holiday by advertising on websites like Rusties.info.

Post pictures showing the inside and outside of your establishment so that visitors know what to expect. Chances are that that by the time your geast arrive in your town they have been travelling for a few hours. Make the last part of their trip easy by providing signage leading to you and by giving them an easy to read map and directions to your location. Once your guests arive make the checking in process no longer than five minutes, have their keys ready and cut down paperwork. Always be open about how much parking space you have available and never charge for parking. Always consider accomodation from your guests’ perspective.

They come to get away, not to visit you, so do not socialise. Always buy the best beds, linen and pillows you can afford. your guests will appreciate having a comfortable bed, nothing is worse than being tired on holiday because you are not able to sleep comfortably. The amenities provided are key to creating a memorable stay for your geusts. Even if you are not providing self catering rooms provide a small fridge, kettle, glasses, mugs and cutlary. This will allow people to keep cold drinks on hand and prepare snacks.

Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable. Help your guests stay relaxed by including a cleaning service in the price and by having a self-service laundry or laundry facilities. On arrival give your guests a welcome pack full of branded products.

Your pack could include:
  • A beach towel
  • A ball or Frisbee
  • Sun cream
  • After sun burn(something people forget but is great to have for sun burn)
  • Clear Ziploc bags(always handy to have)
  • An umbrella(in the rainy season)
Ways to impress your clients
  1. Provide lockable cupboards for belongings that will not fit into a safe. If you provide cupboards with hanging space, supply some hangers.
  2. Explain to your guests how the infrastructure of the community works. For example where the local supermarket is.
In brief
  • Choose a good location, even if it means paying more for the property, it is worth the investment.
  • Make it easy for tourists to find you.
  • Do not use inferior products when setting up your accommodation business.
  • Focus your marketing on retaining your customers.
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