any suggestions?

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07/23/2008

 I work outside the B&B along with running the B&B. Occ rates vary according to season. Right now, running about 50%.

My 'paying' job, has gotten more and more dangerous, and crazy (I provide intensive family therapy to families in crisis, and high risk. More and more clients are 'meth' addicted and severe mental illness). Often our boss does not pay us on time. Again today, our check was not deposited into our accounts! It's not worth it. I "depend" on this check to make the mortgage payment.

I have been wanting to quit this job for a long time. If I quit, I can spend more time 'drumming up business' through creative advertising, running events, etc.. .but I'm really scared. "What if it doesn't work?" What if I can't bring in more guests????

I want so badly to do JUST the B&B! (My hubby will still work his full time job).

Any ideas?? How do you all 'survive' the 'dead' times. What kind of creative ways do you bring in guests?

HELP....crying

 

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Sunshine

 

Bommelhoeve's picture
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08/14/2009

Personal safety first, keeping your house next!  Since you are selling, increasing yr occupation helps both ways.

Are there any corporations nearby that have frequently overnight guests (customers, staff meetings, trainings, temporary assignments) ? Visit the businesses in person, find out what they need, invite them to your place and make them an offer they can't refuse. Make sure you get the rooms (minimum number of nights before they get the discount) and you get them in yr low season. Good luck!

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Bommelhoeve Inn

 

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05/30/2008

The others have said it very well:  Your safety is paramount to you, your family, and loved ones.  Do the rest of your soul searching and crunch the numbers on how you can increase your revenue stream to make the leap to throwing yourself into innkeeping super full-time...the answer will be there for you & your family.  Best of luck! 

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People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

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10/18/2008

Sunshine when I had my B&B I always had to keep a 2nd job, and in a similar situation to you, it started getting tougher as the reduced our pay as there were so many people out there willing to work for less. I worked from home for several customers doing customer service ("real" work at home as opposed to "stuffing envelopes" or "processing payments" bogus jobs. Although I now have another job still working from home (and no longer have the B&B), I would be more than happy to give you some info on the "real" work from home companies that are out there, although be forewarned that pay is now around $8-12/hr, and for most companies you are an independent contractor with no benefits. I am sure with your family therapy experience you will be able to find something better  ... but in case you want any info just message me. (FYI these are not multi level schemes, I have nothing to do with any of the companies any more and do not get a referral fee or anything else)

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

the decision, of course, is up to you.  i say ... Leave that other job.  take a leap of faith ... in yourself.

when you are able to market your place, devote yourself to it full time, i am willing to bet you can increase bookings.

can you/will you/do you want to host events ... workshops ... dinners and teas?  

by the way ... raising your rates even a little can make a big difference in the long run.  do the math.  is a $10 per room increase across the board reasonable?  competitive? would it stop people from booking?  i am sorry i don't know how many rooms you have.  but if you multiply that $10 per room by the number of bookings in an average week, where will you be financially?  is $15 a room too much of a jump?

also ...

is there any way you can use your expertise 'on the side' without being tied to that place that puts you in danger?  if you DEPEND on that paycheck and it doesn't get deposited (again you say) then you are not truly benefiting from that job.

best of luck ... keep in touch with us.

 

 

 

 

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Ice
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You can increase income and not increase occ.  Have you check into that?

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07/23/2008

Ice wrote:

You can increase income and not increase occ.  Have you check into that?

yes, Saturday, I just started looking at other nearby lodging rates. They have all raised their rates.  

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Joined:
07/23/2008

I put a post on my fb page asking for ideas, I got a long list... some really good ideas....

here are a few:

Christmas gift certificates that include something for the purchaser (like restaurants do; girls' night out; Victorian Tea Party; birthday party; post a deal ; create a packaged deal with ______ Theater; area festival packages; a deal including a coupon for dinner at a resturant; civil war reenactments are sometimes in the area; link your website to and from the websites of local festivals or like travel pages for _____
a mystery weekend; Food themed-cooking class, wine & cheese pairing, perhaps with an expert, chocolate themed for several weeks leading up to Valentine. Girls' night out/pajama party; a ladies retreat w/motivational/devotional speaker. Focused Groups - photography, charcoals, along with a side trip for photo ops/sketch ops (of course, you gotta know some people who do these things.
Birthday party tea parties. Moms night outs (set up with local moms club groups, mops groups), bible study meeting place, meeting spaces for local clubs to rent, scrapbooking retreats, quilting retreats 
Romance package, wine package, gift certificate for a return stay
purchase of Gift Certificates in December. Also, Girls just wanna have Fun get aways
hosting day or evening events only. Birthdays, Anniversay ect..?
Market the tea party birthday parties to during the week day time hours. Or red hat ladies looking to have tea so that it does not affect overnight guest stays.
host special lunches or tea parties or special occasion lunches. You could host in house or garden. If guests are out by eleven maybe from two to four???
You have great skills and a wonderful venue. Or, host cooking classes or some type of skills class ie: Candy making, ...
Christmas parties for small businesses.
Look at various tourism guides/calendars (either on websites or catalogues). Whatever little festival or event going around can be downsized and made into something special for a B&B (aka-Hershey, PA does mega little events promoting chocolate and cooking. The various fruit harvests for fruit desserts; dairy month for cooking with cheese or pairings. Scrapbooking weekend - find someone who can lead the group to finish a few special pages and provide a big space to lay it all out.
Dinner with a celebrity. Local author, musician, tv

I think these will get me started... Smiling
 

 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Here is something that should cheer you...if I posted that question I would get nothing back. You have engaged people on your FB page! Good going!

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Anon Inn's picture
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09/26/2011

Hi Sunshine. I'm sure you're way ahead of us on all this, but please be sure you have some personal safety plans in place. No need to less us know details, some of us have worked with similar populations in the past.  Just remember the safety of your family and yourself first.

Hugs

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10/07/2008

Sunshine can you survive and make the bills without your income from the outside job? That is the real question. If you can, then get the heckouta there! 

You are a place for winter festivities, I think you can do quite well for functions there. I have seen your place at Christmas in the photos! yes

I don't even like to hear about the danger in your other job, it worries me. We want you to be safe!

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07/23/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Sunshine can you survive and make the bills without your income from the outside job? That is the real question. If you can, then get the heckouta there! 

You are a place for winter festivities, I think you can do quite well for functions there. I have seen your place at Christmas in the photos! yes

I don't even like to hear about the danger in your other job, it worries me. We want you to be safe!

<3, thanks.

we need the extra income from my job, unless we can get the extra occupancy.

I started the Christmas festival here. Its the first weekend in Dec. We need more to keep it going the rest of the month. or I need to think of something. ... like a "Dickens" Christmas, or a "Thomas Kincade" weekend or something.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

You can "what if" yourself into the grave. A VERY real "what if" is what if a client goes off the rails - no one wants to see your name in the paper that way.  PLUS as of now, you cannot count on your paycheck being there anyway. What if it just isn't late?

With your husband still working, you will have your butt covered for the essentials. I call it "keeping the FAITH!  There is nothing on the books until the phone rings - and it usually does when I need it most.

If you are B &B  full-time, you will be available when otherwise you were not. You will be able to work the web site etc to bring in business. You will be able to be "out & about" to spread the word (I got a room night because a couple stopped in at Ko hl's - out and about and leaving biz cards). Today I got a phone call for 1 night and a rezkey for 3 nights - as I said, until the phone rings.

Your real decision is: Do I do B & B full time or do I look for another job? Only you can answer that one. 

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07/23/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

You can "what if" yourself into the grave. A VERY real "what if" is what if a client goes off the rails - no one wants to see your name in the paper that way. 

I never used to be afraid of my clients. And it used to be we could refuse them if we felt they were dangerous. Not anymore.  Have one now that has said, "its ok, it will all be over soon, very soon" and "I have family coming in from ____, at the end of the month. They will be here incase something happens". He will not tell me what he is planning.He said he is not planning suicide.  His wife died from cancer 7 months ago.

He is not normal, and is extremely paranoid. He has also said he doesn't trust anyone, not even me.

So yes, you are right, I do need to quit.

I need to "JUST DO IT".

I do value and appreciate my "cheering" team. Right here.

Thanks everyone.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

When we hit the 'off season, dead, no one even ringing' I panic. I don't think you can avoid the panic mode. The way I get myself thru it is to make sure I bank every spare penny in the high season. If you can go into the slough of despond with a nice bankroll, it makes it easier.

OTOH, your job is dangerous, you don't get paid on time and you seem to hate it. What's a little self-induced panic compared to dealing with a strung-out, tazer won't stop 'em loony?

Sometimes you just have to jump and hope the net is there. Because you've been running the B&B you know what you're up against. Can you take being self-employed knowing it's all up to you? Do you think you CAN make a go of it and bring in more biz if you're home all the time?

Self-assessment time. What's your degree of risk-taking comfort?

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07/23/2008

Madeleine, I do think I have the energy to drum up extra business - usually if I can "think" it, I can do it. If I have an idea about an event or 'package' and I put it together, usually its pretty successful.

I think knowing its all up to me, is better than working an entire month and worrying if I was going to receive a paycheck.

I have two ideas right now that I'm kicking around and am thinking I want to try. One is just a 'day event' but will get our name out there and will bring in some extra $$. The other is a weekend package and requires a weekend stay (2 nights).  BUT they will both take  a bunch of time to plan (which is hard to come by with working outside the B&B).

It is a big risk, and of course we are trying to sell now too, so ... having to factor that in also. It 'could' be a good thing to show that even tho its small, you can make it work to not have both parties  work outside the biz.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Sunshine wrote:

Madeleine, I do think I have the energy to drum up extra business - usually if I can "think" it, I can do it. If I have an idea about an event or 'package' and I put it together, usually its pretty successful.

I think knowing its all up to me, is better than working an entire month and worrying if I was going to receive a paycheck.

I have two ideas right now that I'm kicking around and am thinking I want to try. One is just a 'day event' but will get our name out there and will bring in some extra $$. The other is a weekend package and requires a weekend stay (2 nights).  BUT they will both take  a bunch of time to plan (which is hard to come by with working outside the B&B).

It is a big risk, and of course we are trying to sell now too, so ... having to factor that in also. It 'could' be a good thing to show that even tho its small, you can make it work to not have both parties  work outside the biz.

It will increase your chances of selling if you have a better occupancy rate. You already know how to do it, it is just a matter of doing! It sounds as if you do not have long stretches of slow season (I could almost close my doors the middle of November and resurface in March or April - and then I get surprised with business). Last year I had a call that made my January and February OK with students staying here - came out of the blue! Your cheering section is here. right where you knew it would be.

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07/23/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

 

 Your cheering section is here. right where you knew it would be.

[/quote]

Thanks so much! You all mean so much to me, I really do value this team.

I want to do this so badly. I'm so close to doing it... I'm just really scared also.

I'm going to come up with a plan of ideas to show my hubby, and if he gives me the green light, I'm doing it!

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

You knew your answer - you just came to us for reenforcement. Show me an innkeeper who is not almost wetting their pants scared with their first guest. You are beyond that - now you know you can do it but need to trust yourself that it will be OK. It will be OK, you know that.

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

I hope he decides that your safety is much more important than ANYTHING else!

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

Also are there any other ways you could bring in additional income? ie add on's, packages and so on. Do you have any golf clubs you could build relationships with? or places within 2 hours drive you could send packages to ie package sent to golf club far away who might want to arrange a trip.

This is one of my ideas for this year - ie write to golf clubs to encourage them to come here for golfing holidays as we have 7 golf courses within 10 miles.

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07/23/2008

We have one gulf club. I once had a special with them and we did get a 'couple' extra guests that way.

Sept and Oct are really busy here. but we start to die down in Nov and generally are filled the first weekend in Dec due to the festival I started a couple years ago.  then Jan & Feb its almost dead. (except Valentines). We start to pick up again in March- mid June, in mid june - July its pretty slow because its soooo HOT outside.

I'm totally trying to be creative and looking around to see what I can drum up, or partner with.

We are the only B&B in town  now (the others have closed). We are three doors up from a historic hotel (22 rms I think) and just across the river, about 2 miles, is another historic B&B (different town and county, and in a really bad location).

So there isn't much competition.

Joey Camb's picture
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how much more percentage occupancy would you have to bring in to make up the difference? ie 6% is doeable 50% isn't.

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07/23/2008

overall, we'd need to increase the yearly occ average by an additional 15-20%.

 

Madeleine's picture
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Sunshine wrote:

overall, we'd need to increase the yearly occ average by an additional 15-20%.

 

Personally I think it is very hard to run this kind of biz with both of the innkeepers working outside. It takes your focus away. Generally speaking, if I look around at other properties, those with fulltime innkeepers have more business. I guess the reasons vary- more focus when you know it's only you between ramen noodles or steak, more time to keep up with the maintenance and the guest chatting, money makes money.

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07/23/2008

Personally I think it is very hard to run this kind of biz with both of the innkeepers working outside. It takes your focus away. Generally speaking, if I look around at other properties, those with fulltime innkeepers have more business. I guess the reasons vary- more focus when you know it's only you between ramen noodles or steak, more time to keep up with the maintenance and the guest chatting, money makes money.

[/quote]

It is hard with both of us working outside. And you are right, it does take some focus away. I have often commented to my hubby, that "I wish I wasn't working so I could spend more time doing _____ for the B&B".

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