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The biggest mistakes in innkeeping I have made...

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JBloggs

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What are some things you recall that were a mistake, that you have learned from and are now wiser?
 

JBloggs

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Here is a simple list from me as I was sorting out the "dog-towels" cupboard and wonder why I have a whole cupboard devoted to old towels that is valuable real estate at our inn.
#1) We bought the B&B and had a 48 hour cancellation period form the PO's. I had graduation weekend booked by a wedding party that cancelled the whole house booking in that 48 hours and we were left with bills to pay and no money to pay them.
#2) Trusting the PO's that they would be above board, after all they are innkeepers.
#3) Not sticking to my policies when I know I should. and...Sticking to my policies when I know I shouldn't (ie some things are not worth the hassle!)
#4) allowing the business to interferre in my life, being too tired to be a wife and mother.
#5) allowing guests to manipulate my time (I am the boss of me, this won't happen again).
 

Joey Camb

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My new years resolution which will apply to us all is-
We are amazing, fabulous, entreperneriourial and innspired! why do we let PITA's tell us otherwise? compared to the hundreds of lovely people we meet every day why is it the gimps that stand out? Well from now on they can get stuffed and move on. So that is my resolution be more willing to tell people to jogg on!
as regards groups we do $20 bucks a head when they book non refundable plus a card and full payment a month in advance. People have been fine with it as the one who books doesn't want to get stiffed with the bill if it is held on their card.
The only new policy I have introduced this year is if you ring for a room and say I am ten mins away do I have to give a card I say no card no room as I was stiffed by a guy who did this and never turned up. I didn't loose any money but I did stay up later than I would have waiting. I decided never again the card is taken and charged straight away.
I like Joe am having a huge chuck out really I should get a skip but at the moment I am doing a tip run a day but it is very cathartic and every day the car park especially looks a ton better as we had a lot of building work done last Jan and the builders went bankrupt just before they finished so they left a ton of stuff behind so I have been procrastinating over getting rid of it all. But now it has just about all gone plus the stuff we have just pulled out of room 8's bathroom.
My plan is also to be much more aware of what is going on in the area so I can adjust my rates accordingly as well as cross promote events.
I have also joined the B&B and Guest house committee to work pushing our needs etc on the wider front. and DH is also joining the Chamber of Commerce to incease our awareness with local companies.
I am also pushing educating people about B&B and the Better way to stay and that online agencies charge so you don't get the best deal. Also on making people understand that running a B&B in this modern time takes a great deal of brains and people should respect us grrr! So anyone who says it must be easy gets a slap on the side of the head!
 

Alibi Ike

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Keeping a cash-based repeat guest policy from the PO's. Should have gone with gifts instead of money. Slowly phasing the policy out. It was easy to keep track of but too expensive to implement in the long run.
 

Breakfast Diva

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One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend! I still feel horrible about it. We've been able to go back and figure out how it happened, but that doesn't make it any better for the couple we had to turn away. The booking happened during the time when our old computer crashed, we had the new one but RezOvation couldn't be loaded due to it's age and we were using both Webervations and transitition over to Reservation Key. Bottom line is this reservation fell through the cracks and it won't happen again.
I found alternate lodging and was prepared to also buy their dinner, but they chose to be on their own. It wasn't until they got home that they decided to tell me in an e-mail what they thought. It wasn't pleasant! Oh well, live and learn, but this one will sting for quite some time and I hope we don't get slammed on TA.
 

Joey Camb

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That is another thing I have done this year is on a monday I get all the paperwork out for the week and check it off against the book and I print a list of the months arrivals off Bk.com and Larooms and double check that as well on the first of the month. I havn't hit any double books yet but it comforts me in my mind to know I have done everything I can to prevent it.
 

egoodell

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One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend! I still feel horrible about it. We've been able to go back and figure out how it happened, but that doesn't make it any better for the couple we had to turn away. The booking happened during the time when our old computer crashed, we had the new one but RezOvation couldn't be loaded due to it's age and we were using both Webervations and transitition over to Reservation Key. Bottom line is this reservation fell through the cracks and it won't happen again.
I found alternate lodging and was prepared to also buy their dinner, but they chose to be on their own. It wasn't until they got home that they decided to tell me in an e-mail what they thought. It wasn't pleasant! Oh well, live and learn, but this one will sting for quite some time and I hope we don't get slammed on TA..
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
 

Breakfast Diva

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One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend! I still feel horrible about it. We've been able to go back and figure out how it happened, but that doesn't make it any better for the couple we had to turn away. The booking happened during the time when our old computer crashed, we had the new one but RezOvation couldn't be loaded due to it's age and we were using both Webervations and transitition over to Reservation Key. Bottom line is this reservation fell through the cracks and it won't happen again.
I found alternate lodging and was prepared to also buy their dinner, but they chose to be on their own. It wasn't until they got home that they decided to tell me in an e-mail what they thought. It wasn't pleasant! Oh well, live and learn, but this one will sting for quite some time and I hope we don't get slammed on TA..
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
.
egoodell said:
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
Interesting how this happens on a daily basis with hotels and they think nothing of it. When it happens to us, we're devastated!
 

JBloggs

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Sorry BD that is rough.
I overbooked a room once simply by putting the room as 2 nights when it was really 3. So day three and they were not checking out, huh? I double checked, yes 3 nights! WHAT THE! I had a travel writer here for that room that afternoon. When I found the error in the AM (at check out time) I called the writer, they were at the stop from the night prior still and were totally understanding. I sent them a GC for their trouble, they were so nice about it I had to do something! I felt sick. I blew a good opportunity. It was a motorcycle magazine. Water under the bridge now...
 

JBloggs

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One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend! I still feel horrible about it. We've been able to go back and figure out how it happened, but that doesn't make it any better for the couple we had to turn away. The booking happened during the time when our old computer crashed, we had the new one but RezOvation couldn't be loaded due to it's age and we were using both Webervations and transitition over to Reservation Key. Bottom line is this reservation fell through the cracks and it won't happen again.
I found alternate lodging and was prepared to also buy their dinner, but they chose to be on their own. It wasn't until they got home that they decided to tell me in an e-mail what they thought. It wasn't pleasant! Oh well, live and learn, but this one will sting for quite some time and I hope we don't get slammed on TA..
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
.
egoodell said:
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
Interesting how this happens on a daily basis with hotels and they think nothing of it. When it happens to us, we're devastated!
.
Breakfast Diva said:
egoodell said:
Breakfast Diva said:
One of the biggest mistakes I've made was just this past Friday night. My very first double booking...and on Valentine's weekend!
We have nightmares about doing this very thing. As a matter of fact we hold off taking bookings until we double check with each other. I am so scared of doing this!!!!!
riki
Interesting how this happens on a daily basis with hotels and they think nothing of it. When it happens to us, we're devastated!
It is the loss of control. It is the same feeling after being in a car crash. It takes a long time to get past it, always wondering, double checking...
 

agoodman

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1. Installing a very fancy jacuzzi tub which as soon as I have some money will become a shower
2. Discounting rooms ..... because of the last 2 horrible years I tend to 'automatically" offer a discount for a repeat guest / multi night / last minute res ... concerned that once that guest hangs up if I don't get the booking they won't call back (which has in fact been proved as true, people call to MAKE A BOOKING, if you don't hook them then there is a good chance they don't call back .. I don't say ALWAYS but MOST TIMES)
3. Over extending myself, this last week I booked too many lunches and dinners and had a full turn both on Sat and Sun, my other job was slow so I took on the extra and am now sick with flu and paying the price. It was actually the best thing that could have happened because it made me realize I have to start making some drastic choices, despite how fearful I am about this economy.
 

Joey Camb

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1. Installing a very fancy jacuzzi tub which as soon as I have some money will become a shower
2. Discounting rooms ..... because of the last 2 horrible years I tend to 'automatically" offer a discount for a repeat guest / multi night / last minute res ... concerned that once that guest hangs up if I don't get the booking they won't call back (which has in fact been proved as true, people call to MAKE A BOOKING, if you don't hook them then there is a good chance they don't call back .. I don't say ALWAYS but MOST TIMES)
3. Over extending myself, this last week I booked too many lunches and dinners and had a full turn both on Sat and Sun, my other job was slow so I took on the extra and am now sick with flu and paying the price. It was actually the best thing that could have happened because it made me realize I have to start making some drastic choices, despite how fearful I am about this economy..
I am like that a bit to I have to steel myself to say a higher price so I can "discount" which i am not really doing if you see what I mean. it is like a silly game in a way it should just be a price and that is it. We wouldn't do it over the price of an apple in the supermarket would we? so why this thing with accommodation? where did it come from?
Also I need to steel myself that just cos there is one customer for that date I have to be strong and say 3 night minimum or whatever don't want to be blocked up by a one nighter in the middle cos I am too soft.
Though I have got rid of Rosie she is a pain in the bum came to us first time about two years ago and my mum took the booking and cocked up so she had to move rooms half way through her stay. (she come for a three day event in July every year) but now I have pushed my marketing and we are just about full for the three days so she can't stay ha ha ha.
She is a pain cos she played poverty with me last year but came out on her last stay she has a second home so can't be that poor! wants a double ensuite room for about $70 during an event when I can charge $190 for the same thing and always comes down at the latest possible time for breakfast and fannies on forever when I am trying to get cleared up whinging all the while! "I could fall in the dark on the way to my toilet etc"
Don't want to be harsh to old people but I think they have an unrealistic expectation of what things cost as it may have been 10 years since they stayed domestically and are battered to death with cheap deals etc think people have to get real.
 

Joey Camb

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I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is hiding our light under a bushel instead of being loud and proud of what we have an are!
 

Alibi Ike

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Here is a simple list from me as I was sorting out the "dog-towels" cupboard and wonder why I have a whole cupboard devoted to old towels that is valuable real estate at our inn.
#1) We bought the B&B and had a 48 hour cancellation period form the PO's. I had graduation weekend booked by a wedding party that cancelled the whole house booking in that 48 hours and we were left with bills to pay and no money to pay them.
#2) Trusting the PO's that they would be above board, after all they are innkeepers.
#3) Not sticking to my policies when I know I should. and...Sticking to my policies when I know I shouldn't (ie some things are not worth the hassle!)
#4) allowing the business to interferre in my life, being too tired to be a wife and mother.
#5) allowing guests to manipulate my time (I am the boss of me, this won't happen again)..
In re your 48-hr cancel period from the PO's, we had a slew of reservations with no info. No cc's, no phone #'s, just a name. So when they didn't show, we were totally out of luck. Couldn't even contact the guests or charge them.
 

Breakfast Diva

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1. Installing a very fancy jacuzzi tub which as soon as I have some money will become a shower
2. Discounting rooms ..... because of the last 2 horrible years I tend to 'automatically" offer a discount for a repeat guest / multi night / last minute res ... concerned that once that guest hangs up if I don't get the booking they won't call back (which has in fact been proved as true, people call to MAKE A BOOKING, if you don't hook them then there is a good chance they don't call back .. I don't say ALWAYS but MOST TIMES)
3. Over extending myself, this last week I booked too many lunches and dinners and had a full turn both on Sat and Sun, my other job was slow so I took on the extra and am now sick with flu and paying the price. It was actually the best thing that could have happened because it made me realize I have to start making some drastic choices, despite how fearful I am about this economy..
agoodman said:
1. Installing a very fancy jacuzzi tub which as soon as I have some money will become a shower
2. Discounting rooms ..... because of the last 2 horrible years I tend to 'automatically" offer a discount for a repeat guest / multi night / last minute res ... concerned that once that guest hangs up if I don't get the booking they won't call back (which has in fact been proved as true, people call to MAKE A BOOKING, if you don't hook them then there is a good chance they don't call back .. I don't say ALWAYS but MOST TIMES)
3. Over extending myself, this last week I booked too many lunches and dinners and had a full turn both on Sat and Sun, my other job was slow so I took on the extra and am now sick with flu and paying the price. It was actually the best thing that could have happened because it made me realize I have to start making some drastic choices, despite how fearful I am about this economy.
How much cushion of money in the bank makes a HUGE different on how you deal with the every day issues of the business. Finding the courage to change your policy when the bank account is empty is difficult at best.
Since we chose to do major improvements to both the inn's kitchen and our innkeeper's house, our working assets took the biggest dip we've ever had. It changed my whole attitude and I was very unsettled by it. That, along with taking a dip in our revenue last year for the first time, I started questioning all my policies (2 night minimum, etc) and pricings. I allowed some reservations that I typically would have stood my ground.
What I learned from this was that I felt even worse when I felt that I had cheapened my rooms and resented the guests when they were here because "they took advantage of me". Well of course they did no such thing! I'm the one that did it to myself. After a couple of weeks I stopped caving in to the discount mentality. Guess what...bookings started coming in more, the money I had invested in the business changes started paying off and my whole attitude is back to normal. Is it just coincidence? I don't know, but I hope not.
 

Alibi Ike

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I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is hiding our light under a bushel instead of being loud and proud of what we have an are!.
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
I think one of the biggest mistakes we make is hiding our light under a bushel instead of being loud and proud of what we have an are!
This was me. But not anymore. I used to tell guests 'how easy' it was to make something. Caught myself doing it today when someone complimented me on the starter. I stopped, and because they were all repeats, I said, 'I am making myself stop telling everyone how 'easy' everything is to make. I SLAVED over this! It took me FOREVER to get it just right. I swear, it took TEN WHOLE MINUTES to put this together.' They all laughed.
But I won't do it with guests I don't know. They will get a 'Thank you' and that's it.
 

Joey Camb

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sorry i am on ultra pep talk mode it may be cos I am highly caffinated! lol
 

Alibi Ike

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sorry i am on ultra pep talk mode it may be cos I am highly caffinated! lol.
camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk said:
sorry i am on ultra pep talk mode it may be cos I am highly caffinated! lol
It's very contagious. Thanks. Even without the caffeine I'm feeling energized! I just went and replaced all the 'sliders' on the bottoms of my dining room chairs.
 

Joey Camb

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I am lucky I come from a family of go getters where you are taught from a young age that anything is possible and no one sits quietly and take it from anyone. We are all nuts. and you know what they say you want something done give it to a busy person. It is what I do with all that time I don't waste second guessing.
Plus whenever I feel sad i read the reviews for the Azealia and it perks me right up!
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