Northumberland B&B champions value of social media in promoting business
Steve and Amanda White were hoping 2020 would be their best year yet after winning bronze in the Best B&B in Northumberland awards.
The couple set up the Market Cross Guest House in Belford in 2012 and it had gone from strength to strength over the past eight years – until coronavirus intervened.
However, with plans to evolve their business, they realised it was time to improve their digital skills.
They attended a social media workshop in Berwick organised by Business Northumberland and funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Advance Northumberland.
Steve said: “We have built this over eight years, this is us until we retire, we are always changing and evolving.
"We knew that social media was important in any line of business, we had a lot of gaps in our knowledge and after seeing all the Business Northumberland courses available to us as a Northumberland based business, we knew we had a lot to learn.
"Attending the courses provided by Business Northumberland has allowed us to plan out where what we need to do to build our digital presence going forward.”
Even though they lost out on 50% of business during peak months due to the pandemic, they used the time wisely to attend Business Northumberland’s virtual workshops and continue their social media journey to help them grow and sustain their business as well as prepare for reopening once restrictions were lifted.
“Steve did a few workshops in Berwick, then when lockdown hit, everything went online, we made the most out of the online courses and signed up for as much as possible,” said Amanda.
"We have been impressed by the fact there has been so many courses … there is always something to learn…we can always ask for more support and guidance at any time.”
Not only has Market Cross Guest house utilised Business Northumberland’s fully funded support, but they have also received support through Northumberland Covid Business Response Programme.
Market Cross Guest House have also been successful in receiving the “Kick Starting tourism” grant from Growth Hub/Northumberland Business Support Ltd for the equipment needed to start putting their digital marketing plans in to practice.