How two corporate runaways went for their dream and grew their family and a once dilapidated property into an award-winning destination. The third installment in a 5-part series exploring how the right partnerships create thriving businesses.
Judy Hueber and her husband had been in the corporate grind for years, and although certainly successful, they could never shake the desire of wanting to be their own bosses. They had always loved staying at bed and breakfasts, even in their younger years traveling across Europe. Fast forward a few years and they connected with Bill Oats, an inn buying consultant and founder of Inn Partners. Bill helped them find the Chesterfield Inn, a 9-room inn with lovely bones but was failing as a business and starting to fall into disrepair. With a lot of love, along with some blood, sweat, and tears, they brought the property back to life and expanded it as their own family grew to the beautiful 15-room inn and restaurant destination it is today.
Prior to hiring White Stone Marketing, what was your marketing strategy?
Judy: Nothing! [Laughs] When we started the internet hadn’t even really taken off yet. We did have a website, although I don’t know if it even showed all of our rooms. It was built by someone who didn’t know what he was doing. I don’t think pay-per-click marketing was even a thing back then. I did some print advertising, barely. Eventually, I realized that I needed to set up my game, so I called up David Hiler, a friend and innkeeping consultant. He pointed us to White Stone Marketing and everything changed.
What piece of your marketing program has had the greatest impact on your business?
Judy: The website for sure. We’re now on our third website design in 15 years of working with White Stone Marketing. Business just took off as soon as we launched our first website. And while we’re certainly very busy now with the post-pandemic travel boom, but we were already getting busier and saw immediate increases after launching our most recent website design in February. I think it is hard to understand how powerful a new website can be until you do it. It’s not just a pretty face, it’s all the nuts and bolts behind that allow people to find you in the first place.
“I think it is hard to understand how powerful a new website can be until you do it.”
What attracted you to working with White Stone Marketing?
Judy: I just realized I was never going to be that person that was going to learn all the goes into digital marketing, and that my time was better spent focused on the property, taking care of guests, and fostering my employees. Marketing the property is a full-time job.
How has working with White Stone Marketing changed your business?
Judy: These days, we’re getting as much business as we can handle. White Stone Marketing has fostered us through the years, and I rely on their guidance. We ended up having a fantastic 2020, despite being shut down for two months, because we never let up on our marketing. We kept sending out messages and that’s what kept us top of mind when people could travel again. And this year, we’re busier than we have ever been in our entire history of owning the inn.
What’s your next big goal with your business?
Judy: My goal is to continue to redo and improve my rooms, and knock some things off our property wish list because we’re in a good position to do that. Our goal in hospitality is to create a quiet space where people can simply come and relax. People are so stressed with everything going on in the world, they really need that right now.
Chesterfield Inn is currently on our Campaign Marketing Program, which includes:
PPC Maintenance & Optimization
SEO Maintenance & Optimization
Google Analytics Monitoring
Monthly Strategic Meetings
Social Marketing Monthly
Email Marketing Monthly
Over the last 5 years, they have seen amazing results!
Bottom line, we help our clients make more money.