Applied Project: Shadowing Business Owner of The Cottage Place on Squam Lake

For my applied project, I decided to study a local business’s social media pages in order to gain better knowledge, understanding, and networking skills. The business I chose to study carefully is The Cottage Place on Squam Lake, located at 1132 U.S Route 3, Holderness NH, 03245. This business has made extremely smart decisions since its selling and rename from The Black Horse Motor Court to The Cottage Place on Squam Lake in 2003. Since the time this business has been open, there has been multiple marketing schemes in order to profit financially as well as promotionally. Throughout my time with Susan Smith (Owner of Cottage Place), I have gained a background in business marketing, the hardship of a business, as well as the networking it takes to run a successful motel. Since March 19th 2019 I have met up with Susan Smith to discuss her social media platforms, as well as the information she is marketing. Each weekly meeting was held at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake located at the address above. Spending an hour every Tuesday with her has made a difference in not only my learning, but in hopes for others to see that hard work pays off. Sue uses Facebook and Instagram to healthily promote The Cottage Place on Squam Lake. She chose these two platforms because they have the highest population of people in the correct age groups for her to be marketing to. Sue hosts multiple events a year in order to get her business out there in the public eye.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

The first event that Sue and I discussed was Tuko Pamoja. This event has been an annual event for three years. Sue uses her lodge (biggest rental that sleeps 16) to set up a non-profit market place for Kenyan women and orphans. All of the profits are sent back to the 180 Kenyan women who make all the crafts that are sold. This is an amazing network for Sue to have because it offers items to be sold here in the United States, which gets the women of Kenya recognition for their work as well as more money to support them. On a business level, this a strong marketing scheme because it gets visitors to see lodging availability, the property as a whole, and also makes shoppers feel good about themselves because of the cause the profits go to. By posting this on Facebook, Sue Smith has allowed the event to be shared, liked, and commented on.

By using Instagram as a marketing platform, The Cottage Place on Squam Lake is able to post multiple pictures at once, as well as post before, during, and after the event in order to promote business for the next year. By using two different platforms, Sue is able to have two different windows that potentially could bring in business.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

This meeting Sue Smith and I discussed one of her biggest upcoming events. The Vintage Market on Squam Lake is year around planned even that takes place every year on the first weekend of May and the last weekend of October. Sue explained that when marketing for annual events, it is really important to keep the dates the same each year. This allows customers to plan in advice and become loyal to the event. Sue uses the property of The Cottage Place on Squam Lake to rent out 10 by 10 square feet for vendors who want to sell unique items or crafts for Saturday and Sunday. The marketing doesn’t stop there; she rents every cottage and motel suite for both weekends of the year with vendors who stay for the weekend and use the cottage as a display for their items being sold. Her idea for this event began with brainstorming how to get business and publicity for these specific weekends in May and October. This time of the year isn’t as busy as Summer and Sue is always working on gaining loyal and happy customers so she decided to team up with Stacey Lucas (owner of Veggie Art Girl in Ashland, New Hampshire) to create this amazing event. Sue has had two full markets (rain or shine) that averaged 2000 visitors.

Sue Smith and Stacey Lucas created their own Facebook for this event because of the success that came from the first two markets (Vintage Markets Facebook page is ran and operated by Stacey Lucas)
Live music, food vendors, and art is all available. Under the community section, 1,075 people have lived the event, while 1,124 people follow this page. This shows me that almost everyone who is following the page has liked the event.
Here is the post card designed by Stacey Lucas for the October market.

Sue explained that considering this is a fairly new event, the marketing and networking has to be present and monitored weekly. By this I mean, she focuses on new posts and reminders weekly in order to gain more followers and publicity. She described how crucial posting is because different people like, share, or comment each time something is posted. This event is one of the most exciting events for Sue because of the hard work that is put in is always worth it when the turn out is great!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

During our meeting on the 2nd, we discussed her event held in November. November is a hard time for business because it is off season for most lodging areas around here. Sue needed a fun, profitable, and manageable event to bring business to the property. She has always loved and owned Newfoundland dogs as well as being apart of the Association for Newfoundlands. This sparked the idea of “November being NEWFember.” By reaching out to the Association through email and Facebook, she was able to create a weekend package for Newfoundland lovers like herself. This upcoming November will be her fourth year with more guests each year. She orchestrates a meet and greet, breakfast, photoshoot, lunch, and a led hike up Rattlesnake hiking trail in Holderness. This has been so successful, Sue has had to create two weekends in November in order to accommodate everyone. She used Facebook and Instagram to market and network her weekend package at The Cottage Place on Squam Lake.

Sue has already begun her marketing for this upcoming November, while planning an event that hasn’t happened yet (Vintage Market). Sue says, “the importance of marketing is to stay ahead of the game and it is never too early to spread the word about an event”
Here is the Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s 2018 flyer for NEWFember.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

This meeting at the Cottage Place revolved around Kayak University. Kayak University is an event created to get customers to enjoy the lake and get familiar with not only the property, but also the water. This event is held May 31st through June 2. Meals, lodging, seminars led by New Hampshires best anglers, and two days of kayak fishing. Sue strategically planned this event around June 1st because of its free fishing day. People do not need a license to fish on June 1st. This is a strong marketing move because there will be more people in the area, guests don’t need a license, and it will draw costumers to return to next years Kayak University.

Sue uses guest and friends having fun to market her events too. The more photos taken during an event, the more marketing can be done.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

During our time together, Sue and I discussed her gift shop in her check-in lobby. She explained to me that owning a gift shop comes with a lot of seasonal changes. For example, she has different open houses for different times of the years. Her two biggest open houses are held in October and December. Both open houses are held in the same place and at the same time, but the gift store changes drastically. Sue changes her inventory depending on the season. At these open houses, Sue hosts by having complementary refreshments and snacks laid out in decorative fashion while answering questions customers have about items in the store. The Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s open houses begin at 4 pm and end around 8 pm. This is a marketing scheme for Sue to invite locals into the gift store to view her new inventory and spread the word to friends and family. She has been doing this since her gift shop has been open. This is one of her smaller events planned, but it gets recognition, publicity, and profit for the business.

The gift store at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake during the holidays.
Flyer for Halloween Open House
The gift store at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake during the fall season (Halloween).
The Cottage Place’s most recent Holiday Open house Flyer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

During our last session of my applied project, Sue and I discussed networking with local businesses. She explained how networking with locals is a great way to market others and oneself. Networking locally allows not only success for other businesses, but the favor is returned. When businesses share, recommend, and like other businesses in the area, the community is happier. Another reason to network locally in the Cottage Place’s position, is because it is a lodging business. This means that communicating with other lodging properties allows businesses to recommend when they have no vacancy or give directions to. Sues uses Facebook and Instagram to network with local businesses in the area. For example, she likes and shares posts made by the others to express the same type of marketing they are doing. Helping local businesses share events, gives Sue the same marketing from their side.

Sue is advertising for local Cindy O’Leary and her private boat excursions. This helps Cindy market, which in return will help The Cottage Place because Cindy can recommend the Cottage Place as a place to stay. Networking is a giant circulation of marketing.
Sue is networking with Squam Lake MarketPlace in order to inform the public they are opening for the year.

Building relationships with local businesses is a great marketing strategy because it allows word to travel, business to thrive, and communication skills that will further anyones knowledge in networking.

Documentation of Meetings

Works Cited

“Cottage Place on Squam Lake | Pet Friendly Hotel Bed & Breakfast NH.” Bed & Breakfast NH | Pet Friendly Hotel New Hampshire, cottageplaceonsquam.com/.

Palmer, Mackenzie, and Susan Smith. “Marketing For The Cottage Place on Squam Lake.”

All photos were taken directly from the Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s website, Facebook page, or Instagram account with full permission from Susan Smith, the owner of Cottage Place.

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