Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Package Deals


Everyone Loves a Good Deal

Get Good at Packaging your Services

Running a seasonal business can be tricky.  We have to make the most of a short number of weeks in order to keep our business profitable.  At Block Island Family Vacation, the most visited pages are currently about package deals.

Offer Something

Sign up to be a free member and get your island business noticed.  Also, subscribe to this blog (to your right).
join us
Subscribe:Click to be a Member

 Once you are joined up you will receive a free landing page that tells our visitors who you are and what you have to offer.  Retail, restaurant, accommodations, activities, services and artists can participate.

 Here are some  Ideas on Packaging your Products

Start by simply aligning your products and services with your favorites

  • Let's say you own an inn.  You can help sell your mid week nights by partnering with any number of activities on island.  Start with your friend's businesses.  They will promote you and you will promote them.  You can make a simple agreement that includes a protocol for taking reservations and collecting and distributing the payments.  Keep it very simple.
  •  Give your "Package" a fancy name.  'Stay & Play' or 'Mid-Week Getaway' or 'Festival Package' or 'Girls Weekend' and combine services that go together
  • Start Small.  Decide on one offering and get the word out.  Rack Cards, Social Media, Chamber or your destination websites such as Block Island Family Vacation.
  • Be Creative.  Use incentives such as commissions to motivate others to sell your package.  Have a contest for your employees to sell your products.  Talk to bartenders and cab drivers and ask them to refer customers.  Reward them with an off season package for them or their family to enjoy.

Offer your special package on Block-Island-Family-Vacation.Com

Share your deals on the "Specials" page.

Share your deals on the Facebook Page.

Use our dynamic links to add value to your website.

Be Prosperous,

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Block Island Artists

T. Finn Photography

Our Artists color our community with amazing creations.  Inspired by the sea and salt air, many residents have launched small businesses based upon their art. 

Love that.

I've spoken to many fellow community members who sell their art.   Being a creative sometimes makes it a challenge to be a business person. The Farmer's Market provides a great outlet for artists, but opportunities to sell are limited to a few hours twice a week.  Retail store square footage is pricy on BI, it's hard for artists to rent retail space.  Many of our retailers sponsor local artisans by selling their wares for them.

Taking advantage of the opportunities for exposure available online is a great idea.  Visitors plan their vacation online and seek out the things they want to do or see.  Artists can showcase their creations as and promote art shows, stores that carry their stuff, or sell online using a shopping cart.

One of the reasons I started BIFV was so my friends and I could promote our businesses.  With my skills as a web designer I was able to provide a way to promote our beautiful island as a travel destination.  People who visit want to get info on everything, including our artists.

BIFV supports and promotes the love for island inspired art by helping artists create their web presence.  It's one thing to get a website up and running, but how do you get people to see it?  You have to link to an existing website that already has good ratings with the search engines.

If you already have a site, link it.  If you you need a site, let me know, I can help.  Membership is free.  Contact me with any questions or for advice on promoting your business online.  Together we can come up with a simple plan to accomplish your goal.

And please subscribe to this blog and be a part of the Block Island Online Business Alliance.  We share our business ideas.

Be Prosperous,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

sunset over block island

Advertise Your Business

What is the best way to advertise? You probably already know from personal experience that the best way to get the word out about what you do or sell is by word of mouth. Online it is also this way which is why social networks are so popular.
Our Purpose is Two-Fold
  • To provide our visitors with the BEST information. That means relevant and current information. We do it.
  • To connect local businesses with our visitors. Our visitors are all looking to plan their vacation. They are looking for you.

Keep it Simple Our model is simple. You agree to provide your customers with quality products and services at a good value and with great customer service. We agree to boast about you.

No Fees We don't charge you anything. Instead, we ask that you promote us back. We wait for you to get business or referrals from us first, then we humbly ask if you want to kick in for the upkeep of our site.
Let's Get Started What's your plan? Do you want to get noticed? Simply fill out the form below and we will get going with building you a landing page. In the meantime, put one of our links on your website....we will be looking for that and your visitors will not be disappointed.

Contact Us

Be Prosperous,


Monday, January 21, 2013

Attention: Real Estate Agents & Homeowners

Fill in those empty weeks and shoulder season weekends

Using online rental by owner websites are for homeowners AND managers

Plus, Block Island Family Vacation lists houses for FREE.

Some of our Block Island real estate agents are already hip to the online rental by owner websites and how to use them to supplement while waiting for the phone to ring.  We've had really good luck filling in empty weeks and weekends for my family's rental home Lynn's Way.

Even when we first began renting and rented with a realtor, we knew that anything we did to help market the house would increase our chances of getting those prime weeks filled.  With only 10 prime weeks and a lot of weekends on either end, we needed to optimize our chances of having a successful rental season.

Renting just one house takes an enormous amount of time so believe me, those rental agents and house managers are earning their commissions.  Whether you are reading this because you are a Block Island homeowner or a house manager or real estate agent, we have a good tip for you.

Using the online rental by owner websites such as  HomeAway Vacation Rentals or is a great way to increase your rentals.

Block Island Family Vacation will List Your House Too.  For Free.

Any homeowner or manager who lists a house with HomeAway or Vacation Home Rentals automatically gets listed on our Block Island Family Vacation House Rentals for free.  Our house rental page is one of the most visited on our site.

These sites are inexpensive and most definitely work.  Of the 2, Vacation Home Rentals has barely a whole page of BI rentals on it.  That means more exposure for the few houses that are listed.  The site has a 30 day free trial and many guarantees.  Lynn's way has gotten many inquiries from that site, as well as Home Away and VRBO.  VRBO is quite saturated at this point so it costs more to get good exposure.

Please feel free to leave comments that might help our business community.  If you want more info about this subject or others subscribe to this site or email me.

Be Prosperous,

Friday, January 11, 2013

photo by Tracy Finn

 Happy New Year!

Block Island Family Vacation connects visitors with businesses.  For Real.....

Hey it's Kelly from Block Island Family Vacation .Com.  Our referrals have been profitable for all of our Block Island businesses.  This past year the site connected more visitors with businesses than ever!   Based upon info coming from the website's visitors, most people are currently looking for the following:
  • House Rentals

  • We have lots of visitors reading the realtor's pages. We have each realtor's web and physical address and phone number on its own unique page.  There are options to fill out a quick form to make an inquiry to the realtor for a house rental. 
    Even more popular is our actual house rental page. We are affiliated with HomeAway Vacation Rentals so anyone (realtor or individual homeowner) who has a listing on their site automatically gets listed on our site for free.   We are also affiliated with Vacation Home Rentals. Again, anyone listed on this site is automatically on ours for free. If you are a homeowner or realtor and want to get a house showcased on Block-Island-Family-Vacation.Com for free, ...find out how
  • Room Rentals

  • Even more popular on the site are people looking to get a room at one of BI's great inns or hotels.  If you are interested in getting your inn on the site and getting referrals, ...find out how
  • Package Deals

  • Our most popular request forms that are filled out and referred out are asking about package deals. We would love to brag about any of our inns that offer any kind of deal. In fact, we'd love to affiliate with our inns and help make it happen.
  • Dog Friendly Accommodations

  • Again, our dog friendly visitors are very social. That page gets more hits, likes and visitors looking for a dog friendly place to stay, eat and things to do with their dog. Check out our post with tips for becoming dog friendly. If you do allow dogs at your business, we want to know about it.

ALWAYS updating.

     If you haven't been on it lately, you will see that it has a new look.  Many new pages are being  added each week and the older pages are being restyled one by one.

On a mission.

    What started out as a simple informational site has morphed into a mission to connect visitors with businesses on Block Island.  As the ratings have steadily grown in the search engines since 2005,  the importance of keeping things up to date and finding new ways to accomplish the mission is realized.  I get many emails and now phone calls from people asking me where to stay and what to do on the island. 

    My position as webmaster allows me to give personal recommendations.  I try my best to listen to get an idea of what the visitor is really looking for, then match them up with what I believe to be the best fit whether it's a place to stay, eat, shop, an activity or a combo off all.  Kind of like the Chamber meets Angie's List!

    My intention was always to monetize the site but I did not want it to be where you pay for a listing every year and then your info sits on a site's page that may or may not get exposure or may or may not be updated. BlockIslandFamilyVacation.Com is interactive.  That's why it has 2 blogs, an online store and good plugins for social media.  Every page has a place for people to make  Facebook comments that others can respond to.  When any BI business contacts me because they want something about their business page updated, like changing a contact or anything - it gets done immediately.  Anyway, for now everything offered here is still free.  We only ask that if you are making money from referrals that you kick back once in while.  There's a donation section on the site to make it easy to show appreciation. We appreciate it!

Future Plans.

The near future is to keep plugging away at getting the site more complete.  The section on restaurants is mostly done and shopping is the next section to be added.  I am also working on ways to make it easier to plan and possibly book a whole vacation right from the site.  Stores may be added with shopping carts built in so people can shop Block Island all winter.  The sky's the limit.  Everyone prospers.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Are You Pet Friendly?

Block Island's Maise Dae

One of the most visited and commented on pages on Block-Island Family-Vacation.Com is our Pet Friendly Page.  I've noticed that recently more businesses around the island are becoming dog friendly.  Capitalizing on this niche is a good idea.

Pet owners are willing to spend extra for a room or house that allows dogs.  Some of the island inns and rental house owners have recognized this and dedicated rooms or areas that allow pets.  Most places charge either a "pet fee" or an extra security deposit to insure against damages. 

On Block-Island-Family-Vacation.Com, the inns that are on our pet friendly page get many more inquiries than the others.  People with allergies may frown upon staying in a place that allows dogs, so designating rooms for people with pets is a good idea. 

My family's rental home allows "well behaved" dogs by permission.  We send out a notice with our "doggie rules" ahead of time.  We ask that pets stay on the first floor only, that renters clean up the yard after their pup and that they are assured to have been treated with frontline (an anti-flea medicine).  We also ask that they not leave their dogs in the house un-crated and unattended. 

Think of it this way:  Most people who travel with their dogs have well behaved dogs. Otherwise they'd be taking a vacation from them!

If you are a shop or a restaurant you could designate an area outside where someone can "park" their dog while they patronize your business.  Simple things such as a water dish, a bench or a place to tie the dog while they shop or eat goes a long way with dog lovers.

If you have a Block Island Business, dog friendly or not, get noticed on the web.  Visit us and find out how!

Be Well and Prosper,

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Block Island Business Alliance

It's All About Our Visitors, Isn't It?

Since 2005  Block-Island-Family-Vacation.Com has been fulfilling its promise of providing the most comprehensive info to visitors on the web who are researching Block Island.  For the last 8 years we have been showcasing Block Island's best businesses and referring our visitors for free.

For 2013  We've updated our look and added new sections of content.  'Our' visitors are 'your' potential customers.  We are getting better and better at finding ways to connect you to a wider audience.  It helps to keep up with technology and we want to help.

Get A Better Web Presence.

We should Stick Together.

You benefit from your affiliation with us.  Optimize that affiliation even more.  There is a common web term called "link building."  Websites that link to other websites for the purpose of providing good information do better in the search engines.  Google, Yahoo, and Bing, for example, have "spiders" that crawl around looking for great and relevant content.  If your website has it or is linked to a website that has it, you will come up higher in the search categories.

Get This.

Add Valuable Content to Your Website.

Grab any one of these stunning icons to add content your website.  It's free.  Each one clicks to a section on Block-Island-Family-Vacation.Com with great info.  To see the pages they click to to Click on the and it will take you to a page with easy directions for adding these to your website.

Click Here to See Dining Page

Click Here to see Beaches Page

Click to see Getting Here Page
Click to see Activities Page
Click to see Things to Do

Click to see Insider's Guide

Click to see Wedding page

Have Questions?  Email Us anytime

Get Noticed,