May 30, 2014

Looking Back on 15 Years

Rome was not built in a day, and neither was BnBFinder.com. In fact, we are celebrating our 15th anniversary this month! It’s truly amazing how fast time has gone by – it seems like just yesterday we were issuing our New Millennium press release.

Looking back, so much has changed since the launch of BnBFinder. Technology has radically progressed, and over the years we’ve faced issues such as competing for Google placement and ad space with larger sites like Airbnb. Aside from business challenges, we’ve faced unpredictable world events like 9/11, which had a devastating effect not only on the travel industry, but on the BnBFinder offices, which were then located across the street from the towers. More recently, Hurricane Sandy left us without power for weeks and without phones for months. Obstacles are unavoidable in any business, and I’m proud of how much we’ve learned, and how well we continue to adapt.

I’m impressed by all of our firsts: we were the only B&B site (and one of the first travel sites) to be available on the once-ubiquitous Palm Pilot, and the first B&B directory to offer guest reviews, to have a blog and RSS feeds, and to have a mobile site.

I’m also proud of the strong media pickup we’ve received for our inns and the industry as a whole. I remember how nervous I was for the first interview on Martha Stewart Radio and the first quotes for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, O Magazine, and so many more over the years.

Toward the end of the 2000s came the hard, but rewarding, work of writing Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies, and of course the excitement surrounding its publication. I am thrilled to know that the book has helped so many people achieve their dream of opening and operating a bed & breakfast.

Most importantly, I love that as I have built my business, I have also played a role in building the Bed & Breakfast business. After 15 years, I am choosing to reflect on the good, because ultimately I believe mistakes are only bad if you don’t learn from them. Chapter 17 in Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies, titled “Looking into Your Future” provides great insight into future planning and projection.

So with this thought in mind, I look forward to the next 15 years, especially working with you, the innkeepers: the ultimate entrepreneurs. Here’s to our future together!

1 comment:

  1. Mary, having also been in business for 15 years, I'm happy to report that you and B&BFinder have been by far the most honest, straightforward, reliable, helpful, most informative, (I could go on with the superlatives, if you wish) B&B organization that is or has been in business, since I've been an innkeeper and I am eternally grateful. Thank you, Cheryl-Pennsbury Inn

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