ABOUT STEPHANIE

Read my story to learn about my journey and discover why I teach and coach B&B Owners to grow their businesses.

My early days as a B&B owner were rough ...

 

After spending 25 years creating results and achieving success for other businesses, I decided it was time to create a little success for myself and to personally benefit from all my hard work.  It was time to run my own business!

Together with my husband Neil, I followed my dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast – we were ready to take life a little easier and enjoy more family time with our young daughter.  We naively embraced the idea of a lifestyle change!

This was our time and so we packed in our corporate jobs and we bought a rundown B&B by the sea that hadn't traded for over 4 years.  Blood, sweat, tears, love, rage, total commitment went into turning it into a place we could be really proud of ... as well as ALL of our life savings!


But despite creating a beautiful place to stay in and despite providing a fantastic service to our guests, the early days were a real struggle. We found ourselves lowering prices in an attempt to attract more guests and most of those came through OTAs, often staying for just one night, which meant any money we made went straight back out in commission fees!

 

We found ourselves in a desperate state.

We were hardly making ends meet and we were constantly exhausted.   The worry and stress started to affect our relationship too – so much for spending more time together – there were times when Neil and I weren't even talking to each other!  We weren't living the dream, we were living a nightmare and, to be honest, we started to regret ever having bought a B&B.

 

It wasn't long before I realised that I was making one MAJOR mistake - I was so caught up in the daily life of running the B&B that I wasn't spending enough time working ON the business.  I knew that I had to start acting and thinking differently (and quickly) if I wanted to transform both the business and our lives.

I had to change things so I started to learn. 

 

Unfortunately there wasn't one place to go to learn everything about building a successful B&B, so I had to find the answers for myself. 

 

I maxed out the credit cards and learnt everything I could about business growth and marketing.  I read books, attended webinars and signed up to online courses.  I joined a mastermind group and got myself a business coach.  I committed days, weeks and months to absorbing, understanding and, crucially, implementing everything I learned.

 

Not everything worked at first.  Sometimes I made critical mistakes.  But it didn't stop me.  I learnt from those mistakes, revised what I was doing and eventually everything started to work.

Mindset + Strategy + Implementation = A Strong Business

 

Using the skills and experience I had developed throughout my career and combining them with my new found marketing and business growth knowledge, I created a framework for success. 

 

A framework of processes and systems that turned our B&B around.  A framework that helped us to attract more of our ideal guests, to get them to stay more often and to stay longer each time.   

 

    It was the secret to our success.

    In just a short time, we started to see amazing results.

    • We raised room rates by 60% whilst everyone around us battled a vicious price war.
       
    • We doubled turnover and profits every year for four consecutive years.
       
    • All our bookings came direct - we never used OTAs again.
       
    • Our average occupancy rate was 92% and guest loyalty seriously improved with 65% of our business being repeat.
       
    • The average stay grew to 4 nights and we never took one night stays. EVER.
       
    • We gained accolades and awards in recognition of our outstanding service.
       
    • And all this success meant one other thing – we could take time off!  We eventually only traded for 9 months of the year and we enjoyed frequent holidays in Florida!

      But the best was yet to come ...

       

      We built an award-winning and thriving B&B which gave us the lifestyle that we had always wanted.

       

      Before I knew it, other accommodation providers started to ask me about my business success with questions like, "How do you market your business?  How do you get guests?  How come you're always fully booked?"  They wanted to know the secrets to the growth and success that we were experiencing.  But, at the time, I obviously wasn't prepared to share my secrets because these people were our competitors! 
       

      But it did plant an idea in my mind.  The thought of teaching other accommodation providers how to become savvy business owners and marketers REALLY excited me.  The thought of helping them to fall in love with their business again REALLY inspired me.  But could we give up our extremely successful B&B, one that we had worked so hard to build, just because I had a passion to help others? 
       

      It wasn’t an easy decision, but we decided to let fate step in and we put our B&B on the market with an ‘if it’s meant to be, it will happen’ attitude.   To cut a long story short our B&B sold for the full asking price ONLY 14 days after putting it up for sale!


      It was time to teach all I knew
       

      And since then I've been helping accommodation providers from all corners of the globe to boost their bookings and seriously grow their profits. 

       

      Through The B&B School I share my unique framework.  I teach the systems and processes needed to build a thriving and successful business.

       

       

      So, why am I telling you all this?
       

      I’m not sharing my story with you to boast.  Not at all. 

      I’m sharing it with you to show that I have really walked the walk; I have stood exactly where you are standing today. 

      I'm sharing it with you to show that I made every mistake in the book but learnt exactly what you need to do to build a profitable and successful accommodation business. 

      I'm sharing it with you to show you why I believe I am qualified to help you transform your B&B and achieve your goals.

       

      Contact Stephanie & The B&B School Team


      Get in touch at support@stephaniethomas.com

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