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...