My Attempt at Retaining a Hundred Year Old Family Business!

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If I asked you who the most crucial person in your life is, who would you pick for the honour of that title?

I am sure it would be someone very close to you, as for me it is my grandfather.

Your answer would most like be one of these;

Your partner or spouse;

Your parents or grandparents;

Or your siblings or friends, who have become as close as your brothers and sisters.

Am I right? I am almost sure I am.

So, what does your answer tell you?

For me, it let me know that there is nothing in the world that can surpass the importance of family.

Your family is for whom you live, you work and earn money.

Your family is why the present seems pleasant and bearable.

And your family is why the future will be even more wholesome than just lonely.

So, when your family is in trouble, do you not help them? Do you not put in all your efforts to save the day? Yes, you do, as did I.

This is a story of a family business, my family business that had seen better days and was on the verge of closing its gates permanently. So, I had to do something to change that scenario.

Here is my attempt at it.

The Bed And Breakfast

Our family business was that of bed and breakfast. What this means is that we provided accommodation to visitors along with breakfast in the morning. That is not to say that there were no meals given throughout the rest of the day, there were if the visitor wanted it.

In simpler terms, bed and breakfast is a hotel. All over the UK, these establishments are family-owned, just like ours.

Our business was established in the year 1909 when my great-great-grandfather inherited a villa from his father. He saw a business opportunity in it. Since the villa was too big for him and his wife, he converted it into bed and breakfast with a wing kept for his residence.

When World War I came around, my great-great-grandfather was deployed in the army. Although we had won that war, my family had suffered a significant loss, as my great-great-grandfather was killed in action in the First Battle of Marne.

After that, my great-great-grandmother and her 5-year-old son had to take the business forward.

Sadly for her, her son was again asked to report as a soldier in the Second World War; however, this time, he did manage to come back alive.

Our family business had successfully endured two of the greatest and deadliest wars in the world, so a few recent setbacks are nothing compared to the atrocities of war.

The Modern Setbacks

The two major problems that our business was facing were;

The new-age state-of-the-art hotels that were scattered all over Dublin;

And their temptation that was taking away all the customers from us.

Our business was doing well, until the business world changed its formatting in the first decade of the current century, the manual for which was not given to my grandparents.

I knew our bed and breakfast had the potential to compete with modern hotels and restaurants; we had those kinds of abilities.

  • The Location

Our location was pristine, the establishment situated just outside the city with an easy 20-minute drive and the solace of the countryside with the lush greenery everywhere you could look.

  • The Building

The building itself had a charm of its own. Anybody who looked at it would say that it had character and it indeed it, having survived two wars. However, the rooms and their furnishings could do better.

  • The Produce

We did not need to go to the farmer’s market to produce; we were self-reliant with a massive vegetable and fruit nursery at the back of the building, which is also open for visitors. We even made our compost. My grandfather makes it himself.

  • The Beer

And the best part, we brew our beer as well. The taste of which is too decadent that you might have to come back for more. We could also sell the beer as a side business.

A business with all of this was still suffering, with barely a few visitors a week. If things did not change, my granddad would have to sell the establishment, because the cost of maintenance was too much for him bear.

The Contemporary Overhaul

I knew that I could not let my granddad sell our business. 

Firstly, I had to get finance for the business that would allow me to make the changes that I want to happen.

I needed a loan that would be fast and would not merely reject my application based on my creditworthiness. I found one in the form of bad credit loans with guaranteed approval and no guarantor from a direct lender. The name is a handful, but the loan is a gem. My application was approved in a matter of hours, and I had the loan amount in my bank the next day.

And then the changes began.

  • I started with the rooms. I kept half of them with the traditional setting and half were converted on the modern-day monochromatic and chic looking versions found in our competitors. I did this so that the consumer could have the best of both worlds.

  • Next, I started working on marketing. I hired a web developer to make our website, so that consumers could book directly from us.

  • I also made a social media profile for our business and started posting about the renovations and grand opening. I have also linked the website on the account description for bookings.

  • I have asked a local band to come and play in our restaurant on weekends and the opening night.

  • I had personally delivered brochures to restaurants, cafes and anyone who would take it to come to the opening and enjoy a free meal and live music.

As of now, all the renovations are done, and we are open for business.

I had not expected it, but on the opening night, we had about 85 people in our restaurant. I was more than overwhelmed. I knew we would not make an income out of them, but their attendance meant that I had done something right.

Almost half of the attendees had stayed the night after too many glasses of beer. It was a massive hit by the way and eaten breakfast in the morning, which was not free, of course.

 I can see that the future of our business is not as bleak as it looked just a few months ago.

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