As 2018 draws to a close, many B&B owners will be looking forward to some down- time, while others will be wondering from where they are going to draw the strength to continue in their 52-weeks-a-year, seven-days-a-week business. In the first of a series of articles B&B business adviser Tina Boden examines the importance of well-being.
In this day and age of permanent connectivity, endless marketing channels, pressure of on-line travel agents and the need to achieve perfection to keep ratings high, running a hospitality business comes with more added stress than ever before.
Whether you are running the business on your own or with a partner, it is important that you share the load, take time out, and try not to be all things to all people. It is vital that you not only maintain your well-being but that of your business, because both have an impact on each other.
MASTER OF YOUR OWN DESTINY
As the business owner and operator, you are the master of your own destiny, so make sure you are in control of your business and not the other way round.
Look at the things you are good at, and at the work you put off. If you are a partnership, it is important that you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You have to accept that you cannot be good at everything, and establish whether there are gaps that you need to fill to ensure all the aspects of running your B&B business are covered, including sales and marketing, administration and accounting.
If there are areas of running the business you struggle with then look to get support from a professional in that field. We are no longer just a nation of shopkeepers but also a country of freelancers. Thanks to technology, many service providers offer virtual assistance from their office wherever they are in the world and will not charge you a fortune for their time. A professional can get the work you do not want to do in half the time, enabling you to focus on the roles you are good at and spend time working on the business as well as in it. Doing this is likely to generate more income to help pay for that additional support.
MAKE A PLAN
Taking time to plan is important. You may feel as though you do not have the time to do it, but two or three hours now can free up hours in the year ahead. Buy a planner, preferably one where you can not only write what you are doing, but one you can make notes in as well (scribble space is essential), a notebook, a pencil and an eraser.
If you run your business in partnership then you must ensure you plan together, even if you create your own ideas first. Look at four key areas of achievement both in the business and your personal life and set your goals around them for the year ahead:
- What you want to improve – decorating bedrooms, increasing your fitness regime, introducing new things to the breakfast
- What you want to create – a new garden space, more free time, building an
- What you want to learn – how to create videos to promote your bed and breakfast, a new language, more about the local attractions in your
- What you want to do differently to improve your quality of life – plan for retirement, go out for dinner more, find a relief manager so you can take a
Once you have created the targets, put all the commitments you have already made for 2019, indicate high season, mid season and low season and anything else you want to include in the planner. Then you can schedule in time to achieve your goals. Remember small steps towards big goals is key.
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU NEED TO LEARN
This may sound obvious, but everyone’s earning targets are different. No one buys a B&B to be- come a millionaire, and if they do they are delusional, but it is important you know why you are running your business. Whether for lifestyle or business purposes, cashflow predictions and knowledge of what you have to achieve in monthly income and expenditure are essential. As part of looking ahead to the new year, make sure you understand what bookings you need to take and how you can reduce overheads while maintaining standards. This could bring you additional income with little or no extra work.
TAKE TIME OUT
A key area in your planning for 2019 is making sure you take time out. Get some downtime scheduled in now and do not compromise on it. A two-hour walk twice a week can free up space in your mind, allow ideas to flow and will relieve stress. You spend so much time looking after others do not forget to take care of yourself, your partner and your family.
Make sure you focus, find the way and free up time so that your brain is not on permanent overdrive and that fun is something you can be sure of in 2019. If your well-being is as good as it can be, this will reflect through all you do in your business.
The Tiny Troubleshooter The B & B Keeper
Co-founder #MicroBizMatters Day
N +44 7515 288307
F Tina Boden The Tiny Troubleshooter
This opinion piece was first published in the December 2018 issue of Luxury B&B Magazine