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

Front Desk Considerations

    If computers are not your thing and you are worried you will not be able to confidently buy and operate them read this article titled:
"How to Overcome Your Fear of Computers".  After reading this article you should be confortable reading the rest of this page.

    Managing your Inn efficiently and you will succeed other wise you will most certainly fail.

    You will be handling, accounting, reservations, marketing, taxes, services, maintenance, and invoices to name a few. Fortunately, there are hundreds of office software tools available at your local computer store or to help you.

    You will definitely need a late model computer connected to the internet, a printer, fax, and phone. A printer, fax, and scanner can be all in one machine and will save you a lot of space.

    Your office should be in your private quarters or behind a lockable door to keep customers from being able to see sensitive information.  Because of this your desk and file cabinets do not need to be fine furniture.

    It would help to have a window and enough space to move around because you will be spending a lot of time in your office. Be sure your phone line can be forwarded to your cell phone so that you will not need to use an answering machine unless you are talking to another customer.

    You can use the cell phone at the grocery store, on hikes, or in the garden without inconveniencing your clients with an annoying phone systems.

    A lot of people will just call the next Inn on their list rather that wait for a call back. They want to book right now, not later, so make sure that if you do get a message that you get back ASP.

    In the link section of this book we have an excellent consumer guide to many different software manage tools. They are all relatively inexpensive and can help you manage your reservations, accounting, and marketing needs.

    This type of software is not usually available in computer stores or online book stores.

    Credit card acceptance is also a must now days. Almost all Inns, motels, hotels, and resorts take credit cards and your customers will most likely demand it.

    Marketing will be the key factor in your success or failure so it should be taken very seriously. You can keep track of customer’s birthdays and anniversaries to offer discounts. Announcements of coming attractions both locally and at your Inn can be mailed out as reasons to visit.

    Newspaper and magazine advertisements have to be generated. A really good means of advertising today is the internet.

    You should consider have a web page that your clients can find you with. There are literally thousands of companies that make web pages but look for companies that specialize in motel and hotel web sites. Do not pay more than $1000 for a 5 page site.

    This site should include the home or landing page, a description of property and rooms, prices and rules such as check in and check out time, specials and attractions, and contact information with a map or driving directions.

    Larger Inns will want to hire an ad agency or travel agency to help them with marketing. These agencies can even book and collect deposit fee but charge you a commission for each room rented.

    As you can see there is a lot of things here that cost money and must be considered in your start up costs. You need to make a list of all the things you will need and price each of them so that you will know just how much money you will need to get started.

    Do not forget the printer paper, ink, pens, envelopes, stamps, business cards, stationary, internet fees, shredding machine, waste basket, desk, chair, lamp, stapler, labels, folders, stickups, notepads, ledgers, bulletin board, scissors, tape, plants, pictures etc. Better to have too much that not enough.