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A slow start

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sgirouard

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... is what we're having, and turning out to be quite good.
DH & I have "officially" been innkeepers for almost a month. By official, what I mean is we are accepting reservations, and actually had guests last weekend. Not everything is in place as we would like, but we'll get there. The guests rooms are ready (although not our vision, yet). It takes time (and work, and money), as you all know. The time and energy part is mostly what we find we run out of first.
Our first guest visit was very educational. I'll spare you all the details (since you know most of them and have posted repeatedly about them!), but I'll say it's different when you live it. The main things I learned:
  • No matter how late I wait up for a guest, I, personally, do NOT need three cups of regular (not decaf) coffee. In fact, it just might be counter productive. (<whines> but I wanted to be ready. For anything.)
  • I don't have enough bathroom rugs/mats.
  • If they like breakfast too much, they won't leave. They won't leave the table, much less the inn. LOL Actually, that is a good problem to have, and I just need to work on my people moving skills.
Two important things I noted: One, my children were a non-issue (this time). As much as we travel, being at home is different, and I was concerned they might be inappropriately familiar with guests. In reality, they were in bed before the guests arrived (who would have gotten in late even if they hadn't gotten lost
), and the kids were gone to church in the morning before the guests got up. DH & the kids got back just before the guests left, so there was time for some polite (and mildly bored sounding), "Good mornings," before they all went off to do whatever it is they do all day.
The other thing: The previous owners who ran this property as a BnB did *not* live on site. It seems that, while everyone we meet is happy to hear we're keeping the house a BnB (actually, closed & reopened), they're having a little trouble with the idea we're going to live there. One person commented to us on the "really nice sign" and said she was wondering since she knew we lived there. (??) I actually heard someone say yesterday (in regard to us living at the BnB), "Some people do that." Hmmmmm......Well, their learning curve will give us more time to do the things we want to while we don't have guests.
BTW, I suspect I will be "leaving," only to return inncognito. Haven't quite decided that, but it's the direction I'm leaning.
 

Morticia

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"Some people do that."
Ha, makes it sound like a disease or something!
 

swirt

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Congratulations on your start, and thanks for sharing.
Actually, that is a good problem to have, and I just need to work on my people moving skills.
DW always says "would you like some coffee to take with you to the porch / gazebo / your cabin?" She substitutes in whichever location is appropriate for the weather that day. Usually that gets them going....sometimes the getting up and leaving is awkward for guests at first. They want to be polite and they just don't know what is "normal". Often (not always) they just need an opportunity handed to them.
We also use "Do you need any maps or restaurant recommendations to take with you for your day?" One of those two phrases will usually get someone at the table moving and the rest often follow shortly there after.
 

Morticia

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Congratulations on your start, and thanks for sharing.
Actually, that is a good problem to have, and I just need to work on my people moving skills.
DW always says "would you like some coffee to take with you to the porch / gazebo / your cabin?" She substitutes in whichever location is appropriate for the weather that day. Usually that gets them going....sometimes the getting up and leaving is awkward for guests at first. They want to be polite and they just don't know what is "normal". Often (not always) they just need an opportunity handed to them.
We also use "Do you need any maps or restaurant recommendations to take with you for your day?" One of those two phrases will usually get someone at the table moving and the rest often follow shortly there after..
Those are good ones! Much more gracious than our, 'Look at the time, we've got to get moving!' as we hustle around cleaning up the kitchen.
 

swirt

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Congratulations on your start, and thanks for sharing.
Actually, that is a good problem to have, and I just need to work on my people moving skills.
DW always says "would you like some coffee to take with you to the porch / gazebo / your cabin?" She substitutes in whichever location is appropriate for the weather that day. Usually that gets them going....sometimes the getting up and leaving is awkward for guests at first. They want to be polite and they just don't know what is "normal". Often (not always) they just need an opportunity handed to them.
We also use "Do you need any maps or restaurant recommendations to take with you for your day?" One of those two phrases will usually get someone at the table moving and the rest often follow shortly there after..
Those are good ones! Much more gracious than our, 'Look at the time, we've got to get moving!' as we hustle around cleaning up the kitchen.
.
If none of those work, there is always "The Wineries open the doors at 10:00!" and if those three don't move people then we just hunker down and know we are in for a long morning LOL.
 

gillumhouse

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Congratulations on your first guests. One thing I have used (usually when the conversation has been soooo good and the required size of innkeeper's bladder has gone beyond basketball and is approaching medicine ball) is to say, "As wonderful as this conversation has been, we are keeping you from enjoying your day. You came to see my wonderful are!"
 

Morticia

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Congratulations on your start, and thanks for sharing.
Actually, that is a good problem to have, and I just need to work on my people moving skills.
DW always says "would you like some coffee to take with you to the porch / gazebo / your cabin?" She substitutes in whichever location is appropriate for the weather that day. Usually that gets them going....sometimes the getting up and leaving is awkward for guests at first. They want to be polite and they just don't know what is "normal". Often (not always) they just need an opportunity handed to them.
We also use "Do you need any maps or restaurant recommendations to take with you for your day?" One of those two phrases will usually get someone at the table moving and the rest often follow shortly there after..
Those are good ones! Much more gracious than our, 'Look at the time, we've got to get moving!' as we hustle around cleaning up the kitchen.
.
If none of those work, there is always "The Wineries open the doors at 10:00!" and if those three don't move people then we just hunker down and know we are in for a long morning LOL.
.
We can generally do the same by saying the shops open at 10! But some guests just want to talk and as long as we're not busy, we'll settle in for a good natter. If we're full, tho, we do have to excuse ourselves.
 

Innkeep

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Congratulations!!! I'm very happy for you.
There is a learning curve to innkeeping, but just think how far ahead you are for having the forum to help out.
 

seashanty

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it's really great! congratulations!
a slow start is good, gives you time to learn. and i was always learning.
 

JBloggs

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All the best! We look forward to hearing some colorful guest stories! You can go "underground" if you must, works well for funny guets stories...it's not fair to leave out the good bits! We want to hear it all!
 

bbinnsitters

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I don't know how much more incognito you can get...I certainly can't figure out who you are from your profile! I must've missed a few threads lately.
 

Morticia

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I don't know how much more incognito you can get...I certainly can't figure out who you are from your profile! I must've missed a few threads lately..
suellen222 said:
I don't know how much more incognito you can get...I certainly can't figure out who you are from your profile! I must've missed a few threads lately.
But she's using her real name...a guest could find this forum and realize they're being talked about...thus the inncognito later on down the road!
 

bbinnsitters

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I don't know how much more incognito you can get...I certainly can't figure out who you are from your profile! I must've missed a few threads lately..
suellen222 said:
I don't know how much more incognito you can get...I certainly can't figure out who you are from your profile! I must've missed a few threads lately.
But she's using her real name...a guest could find this forum and realize they're being talked about...thus the inncognito later on down the road!
.
Oh, I had no idea that was her real name! My bad!
 

sgirouard

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Yep, my real name. I wasn't thinking about being on the DL when I signed up - just hearing from those living it. Now, in spite of the unusual spelling of our surname, there are several Jane Does (*not* my real name LOL) if you google my first & last name or even search on FB. In fact, I got a slew of messages in French on FB until I finally explained I wasn't the lady they were seeking. However, I am the ONLY person with my name, in my town, who's an innkeeper.

But maybe, before I go only to return as an online alter ego, I will post a couple pics of the inn/sign. Just remember we've only got started - please keep the comments to constructive criticism!
 

Morticia

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Yep, my real name. I wasn't thinking about being on the DL when I signed up - just hearing from those living it. Now, in spite of the unusual spelling of our surname, there are several Jane Does (*not* my real name LOL) if you google my first & last name or even search on FB. In fact, I got a slew of messages in French on FB until I finally explained I wasn't the lady they were seeking. However, I am the ONLY person with my name, in my town, who's an innkeeper.

But maybe, before I go only to return as an online alter ego, I will post a couple pics of the inn/sign. Just remember we've only got started - please keep the comments to constructive criticism!.
I have an uncommon name and have gotten emails from people who think they know me. Amazing thing is, the other person they were looking for is my age. Neat to think there's someone else with my name who's my age wandering around.
 

wendydk

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Glad to hear of your start...congratulations! Did you keep the name of the B&B the same? Had the Inn been closed for awhile when you bought it, or was it closed specifically to facilitate the sale?
 

sgirouard

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Okay. House (sign is not up yet in this pic):

Guess what. We're in a parade this Saturday. <ulp> Got an email last Saturday - wanna be in the Christmas parade? No float necessary - just decorate your vehicle. Thank goodness Vistaprint does expedited shipping. The magnet signs arrive today, DH is borrowing a voltage converter (???) because he wants to string lights around the truck...jeepers.
 

sgirouard

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Glad to hear of your start...congratulations! Did you keep the name of the B&B the same? Had the Inn been closed for awhile when you bought it, or was it closed specifically to facilitate the sale?.
We changd the name. We had a really cool name we loved...but then we thought, what will people search for when they're trying to find that BnB that changed it's name? Hence, the new name (Inn at Blooming Grove).
I don't know how how long the BnB was closed, or how that worked. The previous owners, for their own reasons, did not want to sell it as a BnB. So, the sold off every bit of lace, china, furniture, etc, piecemeal, and we bought an empty house.
Part of us opening now was we felt pressure from the previous owners and others in town. For our financial purposes (and maybe our mental health!), we didn't expect to open for a couple more months. But this is good. It has forced us to see things that need to be done that we missed, and shown us that things we think we need are actually just very nice to have (at this point).
 
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