Who are Soft Options

We run a hotel in Cornwall, and got involved with the Internet in the middle of 1997

Having tried sub sites on larger commercial sites, we decided to try with our own site about Cornwall http://www.cornwall-calling.co.uk which supplied information about Cornwall, with the thought to viewers that if they were coming to Cornwall, then they should stay at our hotel

That worked well, so we decided to spin off the hotel site as http://www.corisande.com with links from Cornwall Calling. This enabled us to register the hotel site as well as the information site with the search engines

I found that some browsers wanted a choice of hotels on the one site, so I set up A Cornwall accommodation information site http://www.cornwall-holiday.co.uk with a range of hotels in different categories (gourmet hotels, hotels that take dogs, hotels on the sea, etc), self catering and B&Bs all reachable from clickable maps

I took this idea to a national scale with http://www.country-house-hotels.com which offered a choice of country house hotel by region. We then put a further site with conference hotel information http://www.conference-hotels.com

And to go with this site I put a lot of information onto a great URL that I had acquired http://www.great-britain.co.uk all about Great Britain with various links to my other sites

And the Great Britain site has spawned a whole series of specialist sites for individual tourist areas around the country

Along the way I have acquired not only the site design and programming knowledge, but also the search engine registration knowledge. My experience has shown that search engine registration and monitoring is the weakest part of most web design houses business. They produce you a great site with bangs and whistles, but nobody can find it.

I believe our strength is that not only can we produce you a good site, we can also ensure that people will find it and read it.

We have gone on now to the World hotel market

Here is an article the Microsoft wrote about us in their business newsletter

"The Corisande Manor Hotel Success Story

We bought the small, 19-room Corisande Manor Hotel on
the coast in Cornwall, England about a year and a half ago.
It was very run down, and after renovations, I was faced
with the problem of attracting a new, up-scale clientele
with my limited advertising budget.

Upon realizing that the Internet was about information, not
advertising, I decided to use this information route. I
purchased Microsoft® FrontPage and started my first Web
. This site features information about Cornwall;
everything from castles to culture, golf to tourist drives,
with the thought on each page, "if you are coming to
Cornwall, then stay at our hotel."

After a while I spun off the hotel information to its own site
in order to secure a better position with search engines. By
accident, I found I could get the great URL
www.great-britain.co.uk/. I have used this site to provide
information about British tourist attractions, history, and
photographs. Again, the thought on each page is, "If you
come to Britain, then come to Cornwall."

I have been able to build these Microsoft FrontPage Web
sites with no previous experience and have been able to
reach an international clientele, which, due to high costs, I
never could have reached using conventional advertising
techniques. I also use Microsoft Windows® 98 and Office
97 for general hotel business and Publisher 97 to design all
our hotel brochures.

I have now gone on to starting a Web design company and
have my first Web design commission for another hotel.
Again I am using Microsoft FrontPage. I never could have
achieved these successes without the Internet and

Waking up and knowing that I am not going to complete my
work done in one day inspires me. Tomorrow continues to
be exciting, and there are never enough hours in the day.

Small businesses can make themselves more efficient
through technology and have more time to grow or relax,
depending on their bend. Not every small business wants to
be as big as Microsoft, but if they do become more
efficient, more profitable or find more customers, they
always can find something more to do with the extra time
or money.

The fact that a small hotel like ours can do a better job
marketing than a big hotel is a fascinating role reversal.
Marketing on the Internet is not a question of more
dollars— it is a question of more technical knowledge and
commitment. As I tell everyone, for me the Internet is
about information and not advertising. Small businesses like
mine can supply masses of information. If I can do what I
have done in a year with Microsoft FrontPage then there
must be plenty of other people in a variety of small
businesses who could be equally successful. "

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