We were down for 2013

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I ran the reports, down. Not a huge drop off, but thanks to the gvmt shutdown and cancellations we lost revenue during our busiest time of the year, October.

With all the marketing I do for our B&B it looks bad to go down and not up. If we didn't heavily market this place we would have VIRTUALLY NO GUESTS. I am 100% sure of that.

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Silverspoon's picture
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Not unexpectedly, we were down this year.  A month-long vacation and planned, limited availability in November and December had the expected result, a drop in revenue.  Still, we didn't do badly and we are in a "work less" mindset for the next (perhaps last?) 5 years of our B+B, if all goes as planned.  Avg. room rate was up $15 so, although we are working less, we are making more for the hours we do work.  

It is taking me time to readjust my thinking....I have always gone after every $$$ that could be made so cutting back takes some getting used to.  I think I'm going to like it!!!  cool

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Silverspoon wrote:

It is taking me time to readjust my thinking....I have always gone after every $$$ that could be made so cutting back takes some getting used to.  I think I'm going to like it!!!  cool

When we first got here the PO's told us to carry the phone with us at all times, never take a day off, never close for any reason, etc.

After 2 guilt-filled years of not being able to figure out why we couldn't even come close to the earnings they had, I threw up my hands and said, 'Let's close for Jan, no one is coming here.' Then we started closing for random weeks in April to go visit family. As we got to know the other innkeepers we found out some of them closed for 4 months, others closed mid-week and were open on the weekends, others just decided they didn't want guests on particular days. NO ONE else was busting butt like we were with so little to show for it.

Last year and this year, 10 years later, we made more than they did. We still do not know how they did it with rates that were at least $50/night less than what we charge. OK, I do kind of know...we have a 100 room hotel in town they didn't have to compete with.

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Silverspoon wrote:

Not unexpectedly, we were down this year.  A month-long vacation and planned, limited availability in November and December had the expected result, a drop in revenue.  Still, we didn't do badly and we are in a "work less" mindset for the next (perhaps last?) 5 years of our B+B, if all goes as planned.  Avg. room rate was up $15 so, although we are working less, we are making more for the hours we do work.  

It is taking me time to readjust my thinking....I have always gone after every $$$ that could be made so cutting back takes some getting used to.  I think I'm going to like it!!!  cool

And we will like it with you! You deserve a break today, and tomorrow...have fun!

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We went up by about 100 rooms for the year.  In Dec 2012 we had 8 rooms, last month we had 49 rooms!  We are rocking!  2014 is going to be tremendous.

Joey Camb's picture
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weve just picked up another 7 nights for jan as the 7 person team working for 2 of our regulars setting up for an exhibition show are apparently super slow! bonus to me!

The regulars are a really nice couple stay with us to set up and then pack up for 2 shows a year (their employer sells Christmas type decorations) but they are always having health and family problems - ie just before they were mean to come this time she rings we may not be coming tonight as we think the daughters water just broke and she is only at 51/2 months so its panic stations! - she arrived later all smiles - baby had kicked the daughters bladder thank goodness! apparently the daughter has had trouble all through the pregnancy so they were super worried, also between when they came last time and this she had to do a month in hospital and the husband (and may this be a warning to all of us to be careful!) jumped off the back of their waggon and broke his leg in 3 places! has had to have metal splints in and screws and all sorts and has been on a mobility scooter for 3 months!

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K9 wrote:

We went up by about 100 rooms for the year.  In Dec 2012 we had 8 rooms, last month we had 49 rooms!  We are rocking!  2014 is going to be tremendous.

All of it due to your hard work at marketing K9! yes

Kay Nein's picture
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Awe, shucks *kicking the snow*... But,  yeah, you're right cool  

Madeleine's picture
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Yay!

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Down 9 guest in 2013 compared to 2012.  I guess that's about the same but for some reason my August 2013  was double # of guest, than  in 2012.

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So while visiting the great PNW I went to one of their B&B conferences. The speaker said to raise our rates to all end in 9. He said it was a psychological thing and guests don't see the increase. So I thought, what do I have to lose. I did it. And raised my rates just slightly (still lower than competitor down the street). My occ was slightly down, but my income was up considerably. 

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05/22/2008

Good Lord Sunshine...I just now looked at your site I hadn't checked back since the tea room opened. Wanted to see your menu. How can you do all of that????  Are you working yourself to death?  Do you have help with food prep???

Please...RAISE YOUR ROOM RATES Smiling

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EmptyNest wrote:

Good Lord Sunshine...I just now looked at your site I hadn't checked back since the tea room opened. Wanted to see your menu. How can you do all of that????  Are you working yourself to death?  Do you have help with food prep???

Please...RAISE YOUR ROOM RATES Smiling

Still working on the website... just put up the dinner menu yesterday and adding pics today. We had a fun photo shoot yesterday for the tea room.

No, not working myself to death. Still trying to get the word out that we are here. Our 'Groups' and Events for Christmas I had help. During the day, I do it myself. If I start to get really busy, I'll hire help. The B&B is really slow this time of year, so it allows me to focus on the Tea room. I LOVE the Tea Room. Love the people who are coming here. So far, I haven't had 'regular' restaurant patron... kinda like B&B doesn't get hotel crowd. Perhaps the word "tea room" just sets a  different tone. 

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Sunshine wrote:

My occ was slightly down, but my income was up considerably. 

Yes it's well known in business that there is a happy place where the higher rates cause occupancy to go down a little, but the higher rates from the guests who DO come more than offsets the lower occupancy rate. So you work less, buy fewer supplies, have lower utilities, but make more money. Perfect!

Sunshine wrote:

...raised my rates just slightly (still lower than competitor down the street).

But ideally you should not strive to be the cheaper alternative. You should strive to be the better alternative (which from what I have seen, you already are). Let people know why you are the better choice, not the cheaper choice.

In fact, you might want to raise the rate to equal the competition. Otherwise, people who see you as looking better than the competition might question why, then, you have to charge less. They'll suspect a hidden problem.

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[/quote]

But ideally you should not strive to be the cheaper alternative. You should strive to be the better alternative (which from what I have seen, you already are). Let people know why you are the better choice, not the cheaper choice.

In fact, you might want to raise the rate to equal the competition. Otherwise, people who see you as looking better than the competition might question why, then, you have to charge less. They'll suspect a hidden problem.

[/quote]

Good point! I've been thinking about raising my rates. 

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Arks wrote:

But ideally you should not strive to be the cheaper alternative. You should strive to be the better alternative (which from what I have seen, you already are). Let people know why you are the better choice, not the cheaper choice.

In fact, you might want to raise the rate to equal the competition. Otherwise, people who see you as looking better than the competition might question why, then, you have to charge less. They'll suspect a hidden problem.

Totally agree. Whenever someone balks at our prices (mid level) and I send them someplace lower-priced they always ask if it's 'as nice' as our place or why it's so cheap. I think they rarely ask that about why other places are so much higher than us. They ASSUME there is a good reason for the $100 difference!

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Madeleine wrote:

Arks wrote:

But ideally you should not strive to be the cheaper alternative. You should strive to be the better alternative (which from what I have seen, you already are). Let people know why you are the better choice, not the cheaper choice.

In fact, you might want to raise the rate to equal the competition. Otherwise, people who see you as looking better than the competition might question why, then, you have to charge less. They'll suspect a hidden problem.

Totally agree. Whenever someone balks at our prices (mid level) and I send them someplace lower-priced they always ask if it's 'as nice' as our place or why it's so cheap. I think they rarely ask that about why other places are so much higher than us. They ASSUME there is a good reason for the $100 difference!

They discount the rooms so the additional $ can go toward "BB" removal when you get home

                     (not spelling out that DIRTY WORD that makes people come to this forum) 

They discount the rooms as the johns are already paying $50-100 for the other "amenities"

They discount the rooms so ... 

                                  you get the punchlines

Madeleine's picture
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Happy to say this was our best year ever! Seriously. Even with an almost empty Dec. We were quite surprised in running the numbers for the end of the year.

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Madeleine wrote:

Happy to say this was our best year ever! Seriously. Even with an almost empty Dec. We were quite surprised in running the numbers for the end of the year.

after all the belly-aching! O brother...where art thou crying

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Happy to say this was our best year ever! Seriously. Even with an almost empty Dec. We were quite surprised in running the numbers for the end of the year.

after all the belly-aching! O brother...where art thou crying

Apologies! I do get depressed in Sept and it all seems so dismal at that point. Plus, no help this year and the cranky guests who get me down when I'm exhausted.

I can look back now and thank my lucky stars we muddled thru it and now have the reno $$$.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

Happy to say this was our best year ever! Seriously. Even with an almost empty Dec. We were quite surprised in running the numbers for the end of the year.

Congrats! Can you attribute it to anything in particular? Your new website??

Madeleine's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

Happy to say this was our best year ever! Seriously. Even with an almost empty Dec. We were quite surprised in running the numbers for the end of the year.

Congrats! Can you attribute it to anything in particular? Your new website??

I'm sure that helped but of course there is no way to know for sure as many people liked the old one. I still have just as many phone reservations so either I still haven't hit the right layout or my guests just want to call.

My guesses: we take one night reservations where other inns do not. I worked on pricing reducing one room and increasing the others so there was a bigger difference between the lowest room and the next level. The lowest room booked a lot faster and a lot more often than before. Which left the 'better' rooms for the last minute people.

So, the rates were higher and that helped. Occ was down but income was up.

I think the reno work has helped. The rooms look better in the photos. Less busy with the wallpaper gone.

FB? Probably not, no one ever mentions it. The blog? Rarely. All of the directories have fallen off including the one right in town.

I will say I think the state website is working for the pkgs I list. Altho we had our worst year in re our best pkg.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

The long-terms and the elopement put me over for 2013. That is good.

Now I have to hope to better that - Let us pray...............

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We are down, maybe 10% over last year. Well, the good news is that the government will be down their share as well and they deserve it... not going after those who aren't licensed.

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