Training? What's in good training?

17 replies [Last post]
jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

How much training did you receive if there was a prior owner? What did you find invaluable?

What did you wish they had trained you on, or wish you had know from the beginning?

If and when you sell, what will you make sure to "pass on"?

Just sent an email to the owner, hoping he will cover everything we need, but just in case, I want to be able to say "what about..." The "training" will address both the restaurant and the inn side of the business.

MUCH thanks- Anyone else getting snow today? We are in Denver, about an inch so far!

seashanty's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

 have you taken in innkeeping class?  that is the best way to prepare in my opinion

it's all the 'training' i had and then it was trial by fire. just jumped in alone.

the innkeepers here on this forum - who i met on the previous forum - where my trainers!

 

jmj
Offline
Joined:
03/24/2014

Thank you very much! As it turns out, the owner looks to be long gone when we arrive. So I turned your suggestions into an email. I hope that at least half of them get answered.

There will be a person near that has a good idea of the business, so we might just have them. But I do like your advice- just take the place and settle in. 

Again, thanks! Sleep has been elusive with all this stress- knowing it won't go away, but at least it will be our stress and no one else's soon. 

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We just gone through the sales and training process.  The new owners asked for one month after closing for training - we agreed to one week before closing and two weeks after, with the two weeks after limited to 20 hours per week.  That time has just concluded; we innsat for the new owners this past weekend while they attended their daughter's graduation.

It was both too much time and not enough time. Some types of knowledge were not easily transferable because of the way the new owners are set up - different business structure, and they are outsourcing the website and the accounting.  We did both ourselves, so we were not really able to help much other than give them all the passwords and historic information and a cheat sheet for when all the taxes are due. They are also using a different online booking system and credit card processing system so my ability to help there is limited.

We did train on housekeeping, cooking, shopping, laundry; introduced the new owner around town; transferred all the email, social media, and blog accounts and showed how to use each; talked about marketing (online and print) and association membership.  It's a lot of stuff to handle, though, and if the new owner has questions now we are generally available.

When we bought the inn, we took one week of training from the previous owner and that was plenty.  I mostly found out what not to do and I was happy to see the last of her.  We kept things status quo but within six months had made several changes to how the inn functioned.  That was back in the day, though - no social media, no online bookings, and she was hardly involved in any town stuff.  It's different now.

Whatever you can work out, it has to be good for both you and the previous owner. Forcing someone to stick around when they just want to bail won't work, and keeping someone too involved won't be good for you.  For me, anyway, it is hard to leave it, but I already know and feel in my heart that it's not my business any more and I can sleep at night with that.

__________________

Jeanne

There are no rules, just follow your heart. ~ Robin Williams

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Interesting the advice we are giving to someone else here on the forum about to close on an inn is to sit tight and see how things are done before making mistakes changes.

I know your inn, and i know the success it has been, and the innkeepers creating that success and running things top notch. It is strange to me that they would change the entire online process from the get go (including the SEO on a very valuable established website design). I cannot even imagine doing that!

For most of us, yourself included, the p.o.'s had index cards if we were lucky (we weren't). So it is a brand new world!

I also think attitude is everything, me wanting to help vs wanting to bail when a new owner seems to know it all.  

PS Please let me know if you have given THIS GEM, our forum to the new innkeepers. It would be hard not to, but it would also play into what I post. I am a fan of you and your inn. I better shut up posthaste. cool

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

For most of us, yourself included, the p.o.'s had index cards if we were lucky (we weren't). So it is a brand new world!

I will BE the PO - the only one since I was a start-up. I started with index cards and still use them as back-up in case power is off, system crashes, etc. IF I am still functioning when DH bites the dust the new owners will get as much or as little as they want. I will still be in town but have been practicing letting go of thing no one thought I ever would be able to (B & B Assoc - stepped back to let the new ones run it - available for answers IF they ask about what was or why and rails-to-trails State org. - may do Board for a trail). Heck, this week I will be saying goodbye and possibly holding my baby for the last time as he moves to Finland. I think I will be able to "let go" of Gillum House when the time comes.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

gillumhouse wrote:

For most of us, yourself included, the p.o.'s had index cards if we were lucky (we weren't). So it is a brand new world!

I will BE the PO - the only one since I was a start-up. I started with index cards and still use them as back-up in case power is off, system crashes, etc. IF I am still functioning when DH bites the dust the new owners will get as much or as little as they want. I will still be in town but have been practicing letting go of thing no one thought I ever would be able to (B & B Assoc - stepped back to let the new ones run it - available for answers IF they ask about what was or why and rails-to-trails State org. - may do Board for a trail). Heck, this week I will be saying goodbye and possibly holding my baby for the last time as he moves to Finland. I think I will be able to "let go" of Gillum House when the time comes.

Tearing up thinking of you sending your baby to adult life.   Empty nest - it's a good thing, but still.....sad.

__________________

TBH

 

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

I left my baby in Illinois when he was 21. He has since traveled all over the world but lived in the US - has been in San Diego for quite a few years - but him coming in from Cali was a lot easier and less expensive than it will be from Finland. He likes his wife's family and she has none here except a half-sister. I could drive to Cali but cannot drive to Finland. We will talk on Skype and I will get over it. I started giving him up the day he was born - truth. I just have to adjust to the new realization.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

gillumhouse wrote:

For most of us, yourself included, the p.o.'s had index cards if we were lucky (we weren't). So it is a brand new world!

I will BE the PO - the only one since I was a start-up. I started with index cards and still use them as back-up in case power is off, system crashes, etc.

My husband prints out every reservation confirmation for the same reason.  He loves his computer, but he knows he better have it on paper.  

muirford's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Joey Bloggs wrote:

I know your inn, and i know the success it has been, and the innkeepers creating that success and running things top notch. It is strange to me that they would change the entire online process from the get go (including the SEO on a very valuable established website design).

I completely understand why they changed some things - they are outsourcing the things that they are less comfortable handling themselves.  I am a big fan of that and that is why we always had housekeepers and gardeners, visited the Mennonite bakery, and sent the laundry out smiley  They also have a different business structure - corporation vs. sole proprietorship - so the accounting is very different as well.  Our website was old-school and strictly in HTML, which is not easy for someone without those skills to manage.

I helped even with those items where I could, but it is a lot of stuff.  So much more than when we bought the Inn - we didn't get any customer info at all, and the inn was only half as busy as it is now.  I do wish them the best but for me, it is less like a child and more like my other jobs that I have moved on from - I loved many of the people and much of the work while I was there, but it will survive without me and be different, not better or worse.

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

How to pay the taxes.   That was new to us because we'd never had a small business. 

We wrote training and the ownership of the phone number and url into our purchase documentes.  

For a small B&B, a day or two of what a typical day looks like plus a review of the reservation, payment and accounting systems.  

For a restaurant, similar I guess.  Also, lists of vendors and vendor schedules.

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

where everything turns off!

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Just so you know, when I sell this place I aint-a-comin' back...in other words, what if the owner sells and moves away? Are you wanting to put them up for two weeks while you unpack to be trained? They sure as heck won't do it before they get that little check in their hand at the closing. ?

You won't find many innkeepers/owners who stick around.

happykeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2008

I must just be crazy. I have this idea that someone will buy us and hire us to run it for a while! laugh

__________________

Take a leap.... and a net will appear

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

My 2 cents about training... You have a million ideas you want to implement. Spend some time listening to the owner. What are their peeves? What are the strengths of the business? What would they change and why?

I have a list of things the next owners can implement fairly quickly to raise rates and bring in more business.

Ask about these things.

There is also a list of long term improvements they can do.

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

What sort of accounting system is being used? Get a report of all transactions (e.g. a detailed P&L statement) from the last 12 to 18 months or so, and study it to see where the revenue comes from and where the expenses go to. This should tell you who all the regular vendors are, what your regular recurring expenses are, etc...

__________________

"where even time relaxes...."

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Nicely 75 here today! But back in the 50's tomorrow.

Training - obviously I know nothing about restaurants but some of this is cross learning:

Money - how do you collect it? Where does it go? You immediately need a bank account for deposits.

Reservations - how are they made? How are they kept track of? What reservations are on the books right now?

Website - what's the password? Who owns the domain? Who does the updates? What directories or websites is your place listed on? Have they been paid? When are they due? Where are you listed locally?

Email - what is the address? How do you accesss it? Where are the stored emails dealing with problems and incoming reservations?

List of go to people for emergencies.

List of employees and their phone numbers.

There is just so much!

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Snow? Yikes, it is 84 here today. 

No training. Was supposed to get training and got no training. Although I am not a person who wants or needs training, it is just how I roll. Was glad for the prev owners to be gone and far away.

Information? Yes. Give me all you got! Give me who not to use, give me what didn't work, give me anything and everything pertaining to the biz. 

I want anything that needs to be renewed and the dates in advance.

I want anything you are listed on (print, online, etc) so I can see how it is going, and more.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.