The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Moving your business from "S" to "B"

Russ H

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jul 25, 2007
6,556
1,289
381
58
Napa Valley, CA
We run a B&B, which has historically been an "S" business. The owner(s) work their butts off for sweat equity, and wind up selling after 7 years due to the appreciation that the property has undergone.

We have a different approach. ;)

We want to turn this into a business where we don't have to be there all the time. After 4 years, we're already part way there-- we have a staff of 4 housekeepers and 4 innkeepers to take care of only 12 rooms (24 guests)! We are a very high service property (part of our turnaround plan for the Inn), so the high staff costs are part of the bargain. We've increased revenues by 80% since we took over, so this substantial increase more than covers the added staff expenses.

I actually spend very little time working at the B&B these days. All my time is spent developing new properties (well, OK, some of it is spent here, on these forums. ;)

Sharon (my wife) works in the business office of the inn about 10-16 hours a week, handling paperwork. But our bookeeper and innkeepers do the lion's share of the day to day paperwork and financial stuff-- Sharon does the taxes, signs the checks, and does oversight of everything.

We want to take this to the next level, so we've been working on an Operations Manual for the past year. It just keeps getting longer and longer, since every time someone asks a question, I email them our procedure, and we add this to the manual.

We'll be organizing the manual soon, b/c now it's just a long looooong read. :p

My question:

Who out there has taken their business from S to B?

From something that is based on the # of hours *you* put in, to something handled by a well-trained staff?

How did you do it? What steps did you take?

What was the hardest part?

What would you do differently, knowing what you know now?

NomadJanet-- we know you've done this, so we're very interested in the path you took, who you worked with, and what you learned.

Thanks to all! :thankyousign:

-Russ H.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
54
26
TX
We worked in the slow lane in our S business for 15 years before we finally made the moves to change our business.
1. Joined a best practice group through a professional organization to get more information on benchmarking our business and systems specific for our industry.
2. Implemented the steps they presented to us that made sense for our business
3. Took the ready made policy manuals and changed them to fit our business.
4. Wrote an organizational chart with job titles, descriptions & procedures for each aspect of our business.
5. Wrote another one for what we wanted our organizational chart to look like in 5 years.
6. Wrote our sales plan of what we needed to do to implement the existing goals.
7. Wrote an incremental sales plan for the next 5 years, what we need to achieve those goal.
8. Develop a marketing plan and calendar to allow us to achieve those sales goals
9. Delegate the day to day tasks required to implement the goals
10. Empower our team and give them the guidelines they will need to follow to meet their goals.
11. Hold our team responsible for meeting the goals & help them with any planning or changes needed to make sure it happens.

The hardest thing is #10 empowering your people and not hand holding or second-guessing or micro managing every little detail. Even after you get your systems in place if you go back into the office for any length of time you can find yourself wanting to micro manage if you have that tendency as my DH does.

Now my job is to meet with my team one hour twice a week to see if the goals are being met and make adjustments if needed.

If I am not there because I am traveling, my next level manager holds the meeting & emails me the result/concerns that need decisions beyond her scope.

There are times when I am in town that I go to the office 20 hours a week, but not because I have to. I go because I have a T1 line there and it is not available at the ranch. I spend my time there researching on the Internet or working on our real estate stuff.

Last month we spent 10 days in DC doing the tourist stuff & meeting with political types. We also spent 10 days in Reno at Hot August night’s car show. We spent 4 days at our Beach house. While we enjoy our life, our little service company made 24% net profit on sales and sold 10% more than last August.

Janet
 

andviv

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2007
5,419
2,185
625
Washington DC
nomadjanet, great post. Of course, easier said than done, but this is a great way to describe your process. Rep++
 

S928

Contributor
Aug 7, 2007
162
23
27
Ditto, great post Janet.
 

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,075
5,898
1,316
Northern VA
We worked in the slow lane in our S business for 15 years before we finally made the moves to change our business.
1. Joined a best practice group through a professional organization to get more information on benchmarking our business and systems specific for our industry.
2. Implemented the steps they presented to us that made sense for our business
3. Took the ready made policy manuals and changed them to fit our business.
4. Wrote an organizational chart with job titles, descriptions & procedures for each aspect of our business.
5. Wrote another one for what we wanted our organizational chart to look like in 5 years.
6. Wrote our sales plan of what we needed to do to implement the existing goals.
7. Wrote an incremental sales plan for the next 5 years, what we need to achieve those goal.
8. Develop a marketing plan and calendar to allow us to achieve those sales goals
9. Delegate the day to day tasks required to implement the goals
10. Empower our team and give them the guidelines they will need to follow to meet their goals.
11. Hold our team responsible for meeting the goals & help them with any planning or changes needed to make sure it happens.

The hardest thing is #10 empowering your people and not hand holding or second-guessing or micro managing every little detail. Even after you get your systems in place if you go back into the office for any length of time you can find yourself wanting to micro manage if you have that tendency as my DH does.

Now my job is to meet with my team one hour twice a week to see if the goals are being met and make adjustments if needed.

If I am not there because I am traveling, my next level manager holds the meeting & emails me the result/concerns that need decisions beyond her scope.

There are times when I am in town that I go to the office 20 hours a week, but not because I have to. I go because I have a T1 line there and it is not available at the ranch. I spend my time there researching on the Internet or working on our real estate stuff.

Last month we spent 10 days in DC doing the tourist stuff & meeting with political types. We also spent 10 days in Reno at Hot August night’s car show. We spent 4 days at our Beach house. While we enjoy our life, our little service company made 24% net profit on sales and sold 10% more than last August.

Janet
Good information, How long ago was this implemented?

Next time you are in DC let us know!
 

Starsky

New Contributor
Aug 29, 2007
106
4
15
Although not on the level as Janet's organization,
I went from a S to a B by subcontracting out all of the work. As mentioned in a cpl of my other posts I maintain a E income stream, which prevented me from becoming a full fledged S & forced me to develop a system(s) to grow further. By networking & partnering with other companies, it has created a win win sitiuation for both them & I.. By subcontracting out all of the work, I enjoy pieces of many pies & have more time for other ventures, verses doing it myself and hogging the whole pie & having no time at all.
 

M-M

New Contributor
Aug 27, 2007
107
10
15
NC
Noob question: What does S and B mean?
 

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
54
26
TX
Good information, How long ago was this implemented?

Next time you are in DC let us know!

We joined the best practices group in 2000, it took us about 2 years to complete the changes recommended & implement the majority of the plan. So we have had about 5 years of freedom. During that time we had one year without substantial growth, that being the year I had so many surgeries and did not monitor our crew or hold them accountable. My DH, a true S man at heart took off & spent the year hauling me from specialist to hospital to specialist. That being said, even without supervision our business still made 15% net profitability on sales and produced a comfortable income for us without either of us.

Don't know if we will be back in DC anytime soon. But if we do, it would be nice to get pointers from someone who knows where to go & what to do.
 

andviv

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 27, 2007
5,419
2,185
625
Washington DC
Could you explain more about the best practices group? Starting from how you found them and joined, it would be nice to know what they did for you... did they "walk the path" with you or just provided the information? Were they 'hired' as consultants or just were used as reference material for your transformation? Were they a local, regional, national or even international group?
 

Allthingznew

Contributor
Aug 26, 2007
416
56
25
10. Empower our team and give them the guidelines they will need to follow to meet their goals.
11. Hold our team responsible for meeting the goals & help them with any planning or changes needed to make sure it happens.

The hardest thing is #10 empowering your people and not hand holding or second-guessing or micro managing every little detail. Even after you get your systems in place if you go back into the office for any length of time you can find yourself wanting to micro manage if you have that tendency as my DH does.
I don't have experience moving a business from S to B, but I do know how to manage and she hit a hot button right here. It is so true.

An exellent book to help navigate employee empowerment and how to lead them at their different development levels is this one http://www.blanchardlearning.com/templates/group.asp?group=5 it is an easy read and I highly recommend it.

You goal is to use an S4 management style which means you need to work hard and invest in making your key people perform at a D4 level and then they make your life easy.

You want to be able to have your team perform well and all you have to do is check in on them periodically? Get the book. And no, it's not an affiliate link. :eusa_naughty: :smxB:
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom