Ch  1 Hospitality
Ch  2 Basics
Ch  3 Theme
Ch  4 Better Old
Ch  5 Legal
Ch  6 Front Desk
Ch  7 Remodeling
Ch  8 Finance
Ch  9 Schedule
Ch 10 Labor
Ch 11 Marketing
Ch 12 Accounting
Ch 13 Now What
Ch 14 Forms

Managing the Books

    The first year and especially the first few months will be very lean so develop a strategy to make ends meet. Use your kitchen and dining room as a local breakfast or coffee shop. Sell flower arrangements, nick knack, or anything else you can. I know some Inns that will sell you the dishes, vases, chairs, table, desk, paintings, or anything else that is not nailed down.

    You could use your cleaning cart and elbow grease to clean homes in the neighborhood or even contract out your services to the competition.

    You could have luncheons for local businesses, retirements, anniversaries, sales records. A Who Done It dress up party or ladies craft party, any excuse to get folks together and have fun or do business. Tell the neighborhood that they can get deep discounts if they let their relatives say at your place while they are visiting.

    Offer wedding specials, birthday parties, graduation parties, and reunions where guests will want to spend the night after dancing until 2am.

    Also look for tax write offs, and ways to cut unnecessary costs. When you first start you business you will not need a large staff. Keep unused rooms locked with heat and air conditioners turned off. Do the laundry yourself and keep the jacuzzi covered. A bunch of little saving can add up to a big difference.

    Make sure you keep the IRS money in the bank and pay your taxes quarterly no matter how small the payments. Never get behind in your collection or payments. The US government will have no hesitation to take your property from you and sell it for a fraction of it's worth to get their money. Keep good books in case of an audit. Ignorance and bad record keeping will not help you in any way, even if you are in the right and Uncle Sam thinks you may be cheating you could have some real trouble convincing them without good records.

    You really do not need to have an accountant now days because of all the computer accounting software offerings you can buy in any computer store. Maybe when you get real busy but not at first.

    Another real good reason good accounting data is to collect information about your progress toward becoming successful. You can see if you are achieving you goals and make adjustments to help insure your success. If you need to borrow additional moneys, this data can help support the notion that you are on track and with a little extra help you will be able to succeed.

    Not to keep good books is like the Ostrich that hides his head in the sand hoping that it will keep him safe. You really need to take charge of your business and own it and there is no better way than understanding your costs and profits.

    One last thing, since we are on the topic of finances. Do not do this if you cannot survive or at least two years and make no profits! Virtually everyone loses money at first, success is not made over night but if you are really paying attention to detail, and working hard you have a good chance at success.

    Most financial institutions will want to see that you have enough money or have borrowed enough money to operate for at least two years without profit. It should be right there in your business plan.