Read my story and discover why I teach and coach accommodation providers to grow their businesses.
Hi, I'm Stephanie Thomas, founder of The B&B School.
If you've landed on my website, it's probably because your business is currently not what you want it to be. Maybe you're tired, frustrated or stressed out from the constant struggle of trying to take things to the next level. You might be finding it hard to believe that you can have a thriving B&B that gives you the life you originally dreamed of.
First of all, you are not alone. I have worked with hundreds of accommodation providers across the world who have found themselves in the exact same position as you.
And what surprises a lot of people is that I have been there too!
But through hard work, dedication and stubbornness, my husband Neil and I turned a run-down B&B into an award winning establishment with a 92% occupancy rate that was achieved without the need for OTAs within just 2 years.
So, I thought I would share my story with you and how it led me to do what I do today - educating, motivating, inspiring and supporting accommodation providers to achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Here's how it happened ...
My early days as a B&B owner were rough ...
In 2005, my husband Neil and I decided to follow our 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 complete lifestyle change! This was our time and so we packed in our corporate jobs and bought a (VERY) rundown B&B by the sea that hadn't traded for over 4 years.
Blood, sweat, tears, love, rage and 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 and providing a fantastic service, the early days were a real struggle. We found ourselves lowering prices in an attempt to 'beat the competition' and attract more guests. But the few bookings we were able to secure came through OTAs - and were often only one-night-stays - meaning any money we made went straight back out in the form of commission fees!
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 in the first place.
I was making a fundamental mistake ...
I was too caught up working IN the business, in the daily life of running the B&B.
I soon realised I wasn't spending anywhere near enough time working ON the business and it was clear that things had to change if we were to survive and not lose everything. So I set out to find a way to make it happen.
The biggest problem? There wasn't one place to go to learn everything about building a successful B&B!
Instead, I had to find the answers for myself so I maxed out the credit cards and started to learn everything I could about business and marketing. And, believe me, not everything worked - I made mistakes and I learnt some hard and very expensive lessons along the way.
I had to commit days, weeks and months to absorbing, understanding and implementing everything I learned. It was a pretty painful process and I had no idea whether it would pay off or not.
(Spoiler alert - it did!)
However, I discovered a formula for success ...
I learnt how to build an award-winning, thriving B&B that gave us the life we wanted.
Through sheer determination and perseverance (and the fact that we truly had no other option but to make it work) we started to see results:
And soon people wanted to know my secret ...
Before I knew it, other accommodation providers started to ask me about our success.
People wanted to know how we’d achieved all that we did in such a short time, and if I could help them to do the same.
To cut a long story short, we sold our B&B only 14 days after putting it up for sale, and that marked the beginning of my new life.
I started by hosting workshops in which I taught everything I knew about growing a successful and profitable accommodation business. I shared all the knowledge I had accumulated over the previous years AND the mistakes to avoid! Word spread and pretty soon I was getting way more requests for coaching, consulting and training than I could handle!
So, I decided to turn everything I knew into a step-by-step program that anyone could follow - and that's how The B&B School came to be.
Today, I help accommodation providers from all corners of the globe to boost their bookings and seriously grow their profits. I share my unique B&B Success Formula with them and teach them how to build a thriving business.
And I'm passionate about doing it in the most simple and effective way possible: no fluff, no jargon, just results.
It IS possible to create a business that gives you a life you love - you just need to know how!
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