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Friday, July 14, 2017

July Continues to be Gangbusters With $7,528 in Revenue Just 14 Days In!!

July will easily go down as our best month ever so far. It is almost feeling like we have hit an inflection point in the growth of the business. Steph has done an absolutely amazing job with the bed and breakfast, and as a result we are booked up solid almost nightly this month. Getting reviews online from guests is always hard, but the ones that have been left so far are excellent. The guests are particularly raving about the food, with one couple from Paris, France telling us this week that it was just like eating in Paris! Steph has really pushed out of her comfort zone and together we have learned how to make breakfasts that are 5 star restaurant worthy: French omlettes that are so creamy and light that you can't believe they are eggs, and crepes with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries that literally melt in your mouth. Steph takes a great deal of pride in her business and wants to be the best, so she has pushed herself to go beyond the mundane to offer guests something truly special. Having finicky guests has also motivated us to learn how to do basic things very well that we wouldn't have bothered to learn otherwise. For example, one of our guests this morning was allergic to all dairy products, and said he liked sunny side up eggs. I've never been able to make these well. So I learned how to make perfect sunny side up eggs that are not rubbery and overcooked. The secret? Butter or in his case, olive oil, in a very hot pan that is immediately turned down to low after the eggs are added to the pan. Then using a spoon, you baste the egg with the butter or oil which helps cook the top white, and thicken the yolk slightly without making it hard.

I can easily envision us being booked solid next summer several months in advance.

This week we began our marketing effort for the business by including with every order, a copy of the pamphlet and a personalized letter, on parchment, signed by me, thanking the customers for their purchase and outlining all the other services that we provide free of charge. I also began discussions with a marketing firm to design some formal marketing campaigns to try and re-engage former customers who have not done business with us in a long while. Now that we are doing these things, I can see now how our mailings lacked professionalism before, and how this may have hurt us. Initially, when I started this business, I didn't see the point in using nice stationery or printed envelopes and brochures, since I never really paid attention to them myself when I bought stamps. But I now wonder whether or not there was a subliminal impact. My thinking now is that we get so few opportunities to get the attention of the customer, that it behooves us to use those opportunities to their fullest when they present themselves. When someone opens their mail with some stamps inside, this is the perfect opportunity to get their attention with a personalized letter that is specifically directed to them. It it is key that it be about them, and not just some canned letter that they can tell is sent out to everyone. Yes, it is an extra cost and yes preparing these adds a few minutes to each order. But it is my hope that doing this will significantly improve the odds of doing repeat business with the customers. I am very interested and excited to see what the next few months will bring.

Stamp sales as of today, July 14, total $5,541. So even without the Canada #2 for $2,600, we are still averaging over $200 per day of other sales, which is excellent. Revenue for the bed ad breakfast this month so far is $1,987, which brings the total revenue for the business this month to $7,528, and there are still 17 days left to go for the month. Now, we have friends over for most of the remainder of the month, so the B&B will drop off until August. However, I wouldn't be surprised if we do another $2,000 in stamp sales, which would be $9,500 month - almost three times what we did in Toronto.

I'm finally beginning to breathe a little easier...