One of the things we at The B&B Team enjoy most in our work is introducing enthusiastic aspiring innkeepers to the myriad aspects of this wonderful lifestyle and business. This past weekend we had a terrific group that came from as far away as Arizona and as close as a couple of miles from Iris Inn in Waynesboro, Virginia where we gathered from Friday to Sunday. With Delaware, South Carolina, New York, and Florida also represented, it was a diverse group, and, I think all agreed, we had a great time.
Key to our seminars is bringing a strong dose of reality to the table. We know future innkeepers have dreams and aspirations, and we love to support those ideals with facts, figures, and experience gained from many years on the ground as innkeepers, consultants, and brokers.
A core focus of our seminars is the process of building a model. It's both so easy and so hard to simply take a stab in the dark trying to find a B&B, but a focused idea of what business model, location, style, and income needs comprise makes the process of searching for an inn much more efficient and enjoyable.
In our last post here we wrote about The Basics of Inn Valuation, and our attendees got a (mind swirling!) dose of information on what the difference is between commercial and residential real estate and financing as it applies to the Innkeeping world and acquiring or starting an inn. They learned about the role of cash flow in valuation and how the marketplace assesses the different components of inn value.
We also talked about current marketing trends, the importance of branding by creating a unique and memorable experience, and the basics of hospitality as well as some tricks of the trade.
It's gratifying for us to read comments like this: "Fantastic! Current, cutting edge, frank and honest, not sugar-coated to give a false or misleading impression of all the nuts and bolts of running a successful B&B," or "It took some of the intimidation edge off, as far as feeling capable of running a B&B."
As the seminar leaders, Rick, Janet and I especially enjoy dinners with our attendees, where we all have a chance to relax with a glass of wine, get to know each other a little better, and delve into some of the questions and concerns we don't or can't cover in a weekend-long seminar.
Our thanks to all who attended this weekend and to Dave and Heidi Lanford for being such great hosts! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope it was a rewarding experience for you! With our next seminars coming up in October at Candlelight Inn in North Wildwood, New Jersey, and November at the English Meadows Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, we'll continue with our practice of refining our program thanks to the thoughful feedback from our graduates.