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Ask Tina December 2020

Tina The Tiny Troubleshooter

A Covid-19 discussion with Tina Boden, The B&B Keeper for the end of an unprecedented year.

As we head to the end of this very strange year, I felt my contribution to this edition of Luxury BnB Magazine should be more about reflection and planning than question and answer.

Who could have known the words Coronavirus, Unprecedented, Lockdown, Stay at Home and Sanitise would have become such a big part of our day-to-day vocabulary. None of them have been very helpful when running a Bed and Breakfast business. Predicting the number of achievable heads in beds, projecting cashflow and development of marketing strategies all went out of the window at the beginning of April just as most B and B owners were preparing to welcome their Easter guests.

As The B & B Keeper my business disappeared in the second quarter of the year. I offer this service to owners that need to take a break or need Relief Management cover in emergency situations – no B & B’s open, no B & B Keeper needed! As a complete opposite The Tiny Troubleshooter services, to support the wellbeing of micro businesses and their owners, is in high demand but many of those in need cannot afford to pay because of economic uncertainty.

Those readers working with small local businesses to provide their products and services will understand the ripple effect that the closure of your business and others in the community have had. Where regions rely on tourism the early part of the year brought grave concern about how people and places would survive. In July there was a complete change with many guests who would normally have been boarding a plane to the Mediterranean heading to areas like Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cornwall.

Happy days we thought and then that potential extended season was pulled like a rug from under us once again.

One thing 2020 has done is introduce me to many new people in our industry, from those running B & B’s to organisations and individuals supporting them. Social media has played a key part in this, especially Twitter.

Yvonne Halling, award winning B & B Coach, consultant and mentor is one person I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside previously but Covid has brought us back together and we’re now making plans to share our knowledge with you in 2021.

Yvonne said she felt the four key points Bed and Breakfast owners should take with them into the year ahead were “Strategy, Structure, Systems and Scale,” adding, “Right now there are many owners who are seriously struggling. But honestly it’s the ones who have taken the trouble to learn and invest in themselves and their business to implement these key elements that will thrive going forward.”

I look forward to working with Yvonne in 2021 to bring you the opportunity to flourish and thrive.

While Yvonne’s advice focuses on business wellbeing, my four key points will help your personal wellbeing. Both are important as one impacts on the other.

Stay Connected – It is important to not only stay connected to former guests and show them the love but also other B and B owners to share thoughts, fears and great ideas.

Join the B & B Association – I will continue to advise this, having seen the great way they campaigned for their members during 2020. They also send regular emails to keep members informed and updated.

Make ‘Me Time’ – This might seem a little ironic when you’ve spent most of 2020 with the doors to your business bolted but it’s important as we head into 2021 to make sure you set time aside, even if it’s only half an hour a day, to do something just for you.

Keep Positive – Running your own business can be a rollercoaster of emotions but it’s really important to present a positive front to your guests even on the toughest days. Let’s face it if we have managed to get through 2020 and still have a business to build on, that’s a very positive outcome.

Whatever 2021 has in store remember we are in this together. I am always here with an ear and can be found on social media for a chat if you need someone to talk to. Here’s to 2021!

This article was first published in Issue 44 of the Luxury BnB Magazine in December 2020:

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