June 8, 2012

Entrepreneurs ‘R’ Us

I once read, “You know you’re an innkeeper when you live in a 6,000 square foot house but only inhabit 500 square feet of it.” You also know you’re an innkeeper when you’re juggling many balls in the air and are constantly busy trying to get everything done. However, as an innkeeper do you ever stop to think about how proud you should be because, for most of you, you own your own business? It’s not limited to the American Dream; owning your own business is a universal dream and it's really cool.

Stone Hill Inn, Stowe, VT
You’re usually so busy with guests and the small details that it’s understandable you don’t give yourself enough credit as an entrepreneur, a business owner and/or a person brave enough to leave the corporate world. Also, the rapid advances in marketing, including social media, and technology not to mention the constant repairs at the inn can be frustrating. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds and not see the big picture. As a business owner, I try and continuously ask myself, “Am I doing the most important thing for my business right now?” To be honest, sometimes the answer is no. There are times I find myself doing the things I like to do rather than focusing on what would take the business to the next level. This is not all bad; we give up a lot for this freedom and in the process we also gain a lot of self-satisfaction. However, whether we have staff or not, we cannot forget we must be doing the little things constantly, while also analyzing where we want to take our businesses and acting upon these plans. In Chapter 15 of Running a Bed and Breakfast For Dummies, there’s a section called “Setting next year’s projections” where I point out four key areas where you can pull actual data to build future projections for your business.

What are your goals? To develop packages? Add an additional room? Upgrade amenities? Form a partnership? The list is endless and unique to each inn, so think about a commitment and make it today. You own the place and can act on it when you’re ready. Here’s to the joy of being a small business and the uniqueness of the B&Bs!

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