4 Stages of Running a Bed and Breakfast, Guest House or Inn
March 24, 2019
Hello, I’m Yvonne Halling and in today’s video I’m going to talk about the four stages of a B&B Business, guest house or inn, so you can determine where you’re at, and I’m also going to give you the truth about each stage, so you can evaluate and move forwards with confidence.
So whether you’re new or been doing this for a while, this video will help you identify the steps you need to take next to protect yourself and your business.
You’ve just opened and everything is new and exciting. Your dream of running your very own B&B, guest house or inn has finally come true. Guests are coming and they’re saying wonderful things about you. You love it and maybe wondering why you didn’t do it years go!
You decided that you wouldn’t get any help with the laundry or cleaning. You’d take care of that yourself, until you made enough money to hire someone, so you’re very busy doing everything, but you’re loving it, and everything’s great.
Here’s the truth about this first stage – it tends not to last very long, and you could find yourself exhausted from all the unrelenting, and endless laundry and cleaning. I can’t tell you how long it will take before you realise you’re worn out, but I can tell you this. It will happen at some stage, so here’s what to do to avoid it.
Whatever you think about hiring help, and the perceived expense of it, if you’re running a business, where you’re depending on the income to support you, as opposed to a hobby where you’re doing it for fun, I recommend you get some help right now. Don’t wait and see how it goes. Start as you mean to go on.
The second stage is the “still loving it, but it’s not so easy any more” stage, where you’ve got a steady stream of guests booking, but you didn’t hire any help, and now you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the daily workload.
You’re not exactly sure when or how the next booking is coming, and you’re looking at the financials and feeling a bit anxious about that.
So you decide to list with online travel agents, because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing, and there’s an uptake in bookings. Phew! You can relax now. The commissions are a bit of a nuisance, but it’s worth it because, the important thing right now is to just get bookings to keep the money coming in. The guests aren’t exactly the ones you’d most enjoy welcoming, and there could be a few more last minute cancellations, but hey, you just have to roll with it, right?
Here’s the truth about the second stage. You may have more bookings, but your profitability is down, because you’re having to pay commissions for them. If you’re overly reliant on online travel agents, meaning more than give or take 30% of your bookings, then make no mistake, they’ve got you and they’ve got all the power. And those guests could become more problematic for you over time, and resentment could creep in. And you’re still doing all the laundry and cleaning yourself.
Here’s how to avoid this very common scenario.
As in stage 1, you have to get some help. You can’t carry on working yourself into the ground. And when you’ve got help, you’ll find you have more time to rest and to start learning about your real job, which is getting what you offer in front of those who would love it, in a way that works for you.
Let’s move to the 3rd stage, and this is typically where you find can’t go on like this. You’re still doing most of the cleaning and laundry, because you’ve convinced yourself that good, reliable help is hard to find, and so it is. You’re relying on online travel agents for more than 50% of your guests, you’re paying commissions left right and centre, you cannot relate to your guests – who are these people who do X?), there’s more cancellations and the thought of a negative review keeps you awake at night.
This is what I call the wilderness. You’re doing everything you know how to do and it’s still not working. You’re at the end of your rope. Your dream business is a distant fantasy and you’ve no idea what happened. You’ve become cynical, resentful and fearful. You hardly recognise yourself in the mirror. Each season is a repeat of the last, with more of the same challenges and you’ve had enough
You decide you’ll sell or give up and put it down to an experience
There is a way out of this, if you’re willing to listen, learn and take action.
I promise you, there is.
You see, there are just 4 key areas that you need to focus on to turn your ship around and have it running like you want it to, welcoming guests you want, and making the money you want.
I’ve created a framework that worked for me and dozens of owners just like you, and I’d love to show it to you, free of charge. If you’re interested in taking a look, then click below to register for my next Masterclass and let me help you break free of the trap you’ve unwittingly fallen into, through no fault of your own. Click below now and I’ll see you there.