Richard Secular Interview – BroadRock Bed And Breakfast
Nestled adjacent to the Offa’s Dyke Path and a stone’s throw from the clifftops of the Wye Valley in Wales, beautiful BroadRock provides a relaxed atmosphere coupled with quirky accommodation. Ex golf pro and now host Richard Secular tells us his story so far.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got into the bed & breakfast industry.
Previously a golf professional and recently a sales agent for Adidas golf I decided two years ago to leave my regular job to set up BroadRock. Owning the house for 8 years and completely renovating from start to finish I always thought that the house would make an ideal B&B especially with regards the location and the different levels and reception areas.
In your experience so far what part of running a B&B have you found the most challenging and which parts do you enjoy the most?
The most challenging part is ensuring every guest has a good time and the B&B meets their expectations. The summer months are the biggest challenge with occupancy being 90% plus the change arounds and maintenance of the house is not easy!
How do you decide on your room rates?
The room rate has increased as I’ve added amenities and improved the look and feel of the rooms. The rate is purely dictated by my personal opinion of what I would pay for the room and the experience I offer.
Do you use social media to boost your business?
Yes I have recently employed a friend who owns a new social media business called Social Soda. Chloe has made a significant difference! In 3 months I have gone from 300 followers to 5500, she’s posted 4 times a week and it’s working a treat!
In your opinion what makes a guest room special and stand out from the competition?
All of our rooms are themed and have quirky features, the Tintern room has a small wood burner and exposed beams – we also have pick n mix in each room. Our rooms are modern, comfortable and all have large showers, they’re spotless and have everything a guest could need.
You have some great reviews on Trip Advisor, with most mentioning your delicious breakfasts – can you share with us how you prepare that all important first meal of the day.
Breakfast is served in the main country kitchen and I cook in front of the guests. All of our ingredients are fresh & locally sourced . The menu is revamped at least 3 times a year to meet changing trends and to keep everything current, we are also not afraid to go off menu depending on our clientele. Nothing is too much trouble!
Have you ever had any funny/unusual requests from guests?
I once got asked for Turkish Delight on each pillow as it’s “something they do”- no questions asked.
Finally what advice would you give to somebody who is first starting out in the business?
Complete a full business plan and research competitors – what they charge and how commercially sound their website and e commerce is. Try to do something different to stand out from the crowd, oh and ensure you ask everyone for the first year to leave a review.