It’s an easy trap to fall into to think that running a bed and breakfast is a simple task, not much different from running a home. And with that thought it’s easy to overlook the need for a business approach and attitude about your business. Though there are many advantages of small businesses like B&Bs over large corporations, like Chrysler, there are lessons to be learned from “the big guys” to help make your business stronger. Start with a management plan.
This management profile came out of Chrysler and Lee Iaccoca’s successful efforts to turn the company around in the 1980s.
- Have a plan
- Communicate — effectively, positively
- Visualize and affirm
- Care for your health
- Feed your mind
- Be honest
A frequently overlooked management tool is an office. You need an office for business and privacy. Have everything you will need readily at your fingertips. Your office must be more than a phone and filing cabinets. It should be large enough to comfortably hold at least two people. You need a private phone line, good lighting, office supplies, accessible files, wall space for your timeliness and artwork, and a window.
This is where you will get a moment’s rest from your inn’s pace — this is your place to think, anticipate, and strategize. In other words, this is where your marketing plans will be conceived, born, and nurtured. Employee needs will be identified here. Expansion plans will come to life in your office. Keep records on everything and create a filing system that will let you find the information you need when you need it. Keep off-site duplicates of important information.
The ninth point is a valuable reminder for being assertive. Can you adopt and practice assertive behavior as part of your management plan. Work at getting rid of your passive, indirect aggressive, or aggressive style when it comes to dealing with your employees, vendors and guests. An assertive style will go a long way toward making you a better manager and leader, and a better innkeeper. Gentle and direct are appropriate in business, and especially in this business.
Now is the time to start thinking about your management plan and developing a style that will work for you and those around you. Build this plan into your bed and breakfast concept so you develop a great business. To be successful you have to believe in yourself and have a commitment to your plan. To get this far you have visualized your dream, and in talking to others you have affirmed the wonders of that business and lifestyle. How will you incorporate giving into your business plan? What are you doing, and what will you continue doing to care for yourself? Will you feed your mind with a variety of reading, conferences, classes and food choices? These are all elements of your bed and breakfast success.
What does your management plan look like?