Bed and Breakfast - Caribbean - Business Plan

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Strategy and Implementation Summary

The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast will be using advertising and membership in associations to drive prospective customers.  They will also use their website as a complete source of information about the B & B.  Kayman will then turn these leads into customers through unsurpassed attentiveness in one-on-one phone inquiries/conversations.

5.1 SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis provides us with an opportunity to examine the internal strengths and weaknesses the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast must address.  It also allows us to examine the opportunities presented to us as well as potential threats.

The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast has a valuable inventory of strengths that will help it succeed.  These strengths include: a knowledgeable and friendly staff, state-of-the-art computer hardware, software, website, full 100% in house graphics production (avoiding massive costs outside) for weekly events and flyers and a clear vision of the market need.  We also will go GREEN with most of our energy and wastes, have a victory garden, Buccaneer Culinary Centre, provide tours and unique interaction with the innkeeper.  Our offerings of food for breakfast (such as a Portobello Mushroom and Sun-dried Fritatta (Egg Beaters)), home-made jellies, jams and preserves on croissants with all-you can eat down-home flapjacks and Vermont Maple syrup, hand-squeezed Orange Juice (or choice of six juices) as well as other items will be impossible to match. 

Strengths are valuable, but it is also important to realize the weaknesses the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast must address.  These weaknesses include: lower priced rooms locally in regular hotels, loyalty card programs with multi-million enrollments and superior signage and networking.

5.2 Competitive Edge

The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast two competitive advantages are:

Attention to personalized service

  • While anyone at a B & B should reasonably expect good service, there are ways of setting yourself apart.
  • This will be done through the unrelenting pursuit of personal attention.  In the area there are no B & Bs that offer outstanding service.  
  • The feeling of personal attention, or more accurately defined as a sense of person concern, really adds a positive dimension to the B & B experience.  Not only will Kayman be offering personal concern, but he will be providing the concern, not some employee.  This will be an enchanted place of customer service standards few if ever experienced.  No request will ever be too small, such as breakfast in bed or in your room!

Uniqueness and beauty of the facility.  

  • The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast will be housed in the St. Lucia home.
  • One unique aspect of the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast is the setting within the town of Grover which was renamed after the President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, when he visited.  The setting is a beautiful lawn and yard in back.  A lovely porch with white rocking chairs spans the massive front of the home.
  • To compliment this setting, the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast will have a large outside patio allowing guests to spend relaxing time outside with a nice view of the harbour and mountains.

5.3 Sales Strategy

The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast sales strategy will be multi-pronged:

Sales strategy regarding breakfasts and dinners.

I was supposed to have become an actor but soon found the living theater of the inn and restaurant world more compelling than the stage.  Running an inn and restaurant allows me to be the producer, director, set designer, and lead player in a wonderfully fractured daily performance (with dinners weekend nights for staying guests) in which the world of complete illusion in the dining room is brilliantly juxtaposed with the blood-and-guts reality of the kitchen.  Sometimes it seems like a Broadway show that won’t quit – calamities happen, but somehow the show still opens every night.

Ever since I opened my first resort in 1987, I’ve never really thought of myself as "hosting" an inn, hotel or resort – just a hideaway with a manager who likes to entertain, clean and decorate - a lot!  For over 26 years it has felt as if I’ve been hosting one continuous party whether at Country Clubs or resorts or restaurants.  A successful party, like a great film or work of art, elevates the spirit, makes people feel life is worth living and enhances a guest’s self esteem.

We will try to convey a sense of place at the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast by making use of the abundance of wonderful products from our region, which the French call a “cuisine de terroir.”  We will try to elevate these fine, earthy ingredients and use them in unique and interesting new ways while still preserving the soulful flavors and memories we associate with them.  Most of my favorite dishes are the simplest and depend on a few ingredients of the finest quality.  I like food to appear effortless in its presentation – as though it dropped on the plate from the sky or was blown on it by a gentle breeze – never touched by human hands – or stacked and tortured as was the trend for a while.

It has taken me a long time to realize that what I’ve been doing over the last quarter century is evolving and refining many of the dishes I grew up with and making them relevant to a new century while keeping their soul intact — building a sort of culinary bridge between the past and future.

Personal attention in regard to calls of inquiry

It is Kayman's strategy to be willing to spend a fair amount of time on the phone with prospective clients.  While most B & Bs will be pleasant on the phone and willing to answer any question, the sooner they are off the phone, the sooner they can get back to the work they were previously doing.

Kayman has the attitude that the more time he can spend on the phone with inquiries, the more likely he will be able to turn them into customers.

Very detailed website

Kayman recognizes that over 95% of his clients have Web access and 80% used the Web to research their vacations.  This usage is compelling enough to have a comprehensive website that offers enough information to allow the visitor to make a decision to stay at the Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast.

The website will have 3D walk-through tours allowing people to see the different bedrooms as well as common areas.  Online pricing and reservations are also available as well as a resource page that details the different activities in the area.

While Kayman would like to encourage people to call with questions, if they do not they will be able to answer almost all questions with the website.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The home has seven different rooms.  December will be used for furnishing rooms and adding safety features.  By January 2008 the B & B will be ready to go.  Kayman will have already been advertising, become a member of several B & B Associations with online bookings as well as have formed a strategic relationship with the Chambers of Commerce so business will ramp up fairly quickly. 

In accordance with the 98-page "Developing a Bed & Breakfast Business Plan" (as was published by Purdue University and the University of Illinois) calling for first year occupancy rates of between 10% and 25% we agree that the median of this study would be 18.5%.  We do not seek to argue that we would have lower than predicted occupancy (at the low end of 10%) or higher (at the high end of 25%).  We would agree that the median is 18.5%.  In our studies of the area we did not feel we could predict average or median first year occupancies - we felt that we could exceed that and be near the higher end.

However, for financing sake, we thought it best to present first-year occupancy at lower than even the median.  Accordingly, our prediction starting in month one, January 2008 shows a 15% occupancy.  From there a sliding upward scale of 10% increase continues month-by-month and 10% year-by-year.

We used the following formulas for the sales forecast of rooms and suites.

Room night @ 110.00 per night (5) (23 p/month)  365/15%=54.75 x 5 rooms=273.75 nights per yr/12 =

Suite night @ 175.00 per night (2) (9 p/month)  365/15%=54.75 x 2 rooms=109.5 nights per yr/12 =

Robert D.  Espeseth
Coordinator, Illinois-Indiana Sea
Grant Program Recreation Specialist
University of Illinois Cooperative
Extension Service

Robert D.  Buchanan
Extension Specialist, Restaurant,
Hotel and Institutional Management
Purdue University

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Sales
Room night @ 110.00 per night $53,653 $59,018 $64,920
Suite night @ 175.00 per night $34,151 $37,566 $41,323
Museum & Tour of Mansion @ 3.00 pp $6,415 $6,600 $6,800
Total Sales $94,219 $103,184 $113,043
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Room night @ 20.00 cost $5,520 $5,796 $6,085
Suite night @ 30.00 cost $3,240 $3,402 $3,572
Museum and Tour of Mansion $480 $500 $520
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $9,240 $9,698 $10,177

5.4 Milestones

The Vette Kat Harbour Bed & Breakfast will have several milestones early on:

  1. Business plan completion.  This will be done as a road map for the organization.  While we do not need a business plan to raise extended capital, it will be an indispensable tool for the ongoing performance and improvement of the company.
  2. Joining the different associations.  This is, in effect, the coming out party for announcing to the world that you are a real B & B, ready for business.
  3. Completion of the facility renovations.
  4. Our 100th client.
Milestones
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business Plan Completion 10/1/2007 11/6/2008 $2,800 Jenné Sequa Business
Join Different Associations 12/10/2008 12/16/2008 $2,400 Kayman St. Lucia Marketing
Completion of furnishings & decor 12/20/2008 1/25/2008 $32,000 Kayman St. Lucia Design
100th Client 2/1/2008 3/1/2008 $400 Dominica Martlet Marketing
Totals $37,600