That question is what I was thinking of titling this blog post.
I've hit a wall...after 3-ish years, we're still NOT making money at Deborah's Guesthouses.
Many will wonder, How is that possible?
There are so many expenses, the biggest of which is labor.
But then add in electric, oil, propane, water, trash, cable/wifi, lawn care/snow removal, repairs, appliance replacement, supplies, VRBO fee, Creation Museum ad, payroll fees and government taxes, workman's comp, liability and house insurance, accountants' fees...not to mention new installations -- we opened three new units in the past year. (Think of furnishing an entire house in a month -- so many expenses!)
On top of this, I spend many hours every week on the business with zero monetary compensation.
I do receive the satisfaction of serving my customers (I love my guests ;-)), and this is a fun and meaningful business -- it brings me joy to read happy reviews and journal entries.
But unfortunately, the business can't afford to pay the mortgages on the 3 houses I own (Victorian, Cottage, and Bank).
That means I'm working extra shifts at my “real” job to make all the payments and to ensure payroll is covered.
I'm tired! And I want my life back :)
So I considered selling the whole thing…
But then I thought, "The person I sell it to will probably raise the rates and make it work."
I've always tried to provide affordable housing for my guests, because so many of them are home-schooled families on a budget.
But if I'm not making it, something has to change.
So I'm writing this to explain why my rates will be going up. (Sorry!) I'm going to charge more in summer, because the demand is so high. (This will also reward off-season travelers, who often want a discount.)
Please know that I don't do this lightly -- I'm so frugal myself, I love giving a bargain as well as getting one!
I'm going to try this for a year. If we don't start making enough to at least pay for the mortgages, I may start taking bids on the business next fall ;-)
Till then, please bear with me. Many of you who are reading this have "liked" Deborah's Guesthouses on Facebook, and I appreciate your support.
Thank you for your understanding, and most of all, thank you for your business!
P.S. Click here to watch a cute 1-minute video of the Cottage, which I accidentally posted on my personal FB page instead of my business page. Someday I may figure out how to use Facebook! :))