Vacation Rental Entrepreneur Series: Part 1
I’ve decided to start this series because:
1.) It’s never been done before…
2.) I want vacation rental owners to do better and make more bookings and…
3.) I want to help property management companies go farther than their current business structure is allowing them!
So, subscribe to our blog to get the latest vacation rental business tips!
A Vacation Rental Is A Small Business
With that said, I firmly believe that in order for owners to do better with their vacation rental bookings, they have to first fully accept that they’re operating a business. This is a tough pill for some owners to swallow. To them, it’s still just their second home. They’re essentially in denial. Trust me, if you ignore this nugget of advice, you do so at your own risk!
Whenever there is money continuously being exchanged for a product or service, there’s a business. The sooner you embrace that your rental is no longer your “second home,” but that it’s a business, the sooner you can treat it like a vacation rental business and reach new levels of success. The problem I hear from owners is that they haven’t had any formal business training. I’m hoping to provide you with a crash course on business basics to keep you focused and profitable!
Did You Know?
Out of every 1,000 new businesses, 40% fail within the first year.
80% would fail within 5 years.
Don’t throw a party just yet if you’ve been lucky enough to have made it to 5 years.
80% of those businesses fail before they make it to 10 years.
By being dedicated to following a number of key business rules, this year we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We’re still going strong! I want to help you reach the 10 year mark and beyond, too.
I’ve seen too many owners lose their investments and managers close their doors. That is exactly why we’re doing this series… it’s that important!
Vacation Rental Owners & Managers ARE Entrepreneurs
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, you should also become cozy with the idea that you’re an entrepreneur. You see, you became one when you chose to open your small business. Don’t think that being an owner of a cottage makes you an entrepreneur?
“a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
I think when you took out that mortgage or purchased your vacation home, you did exactly that. Am I wrong?
Vacation Rental Business Rule #1
Do you ever feel like you’re running around like a chicken with his head cut off? Many small business owners seem to be.
I know. I used to be one of them.
That is, until I read the book E-Myth, by Michael Gerber. It’s truly a classic and a must-read for anyone considering getting into business of any sort.
I was in the trenches of business digging my way through when, luckily enough, I stumbled across this book. Since then, I’ve read the E-Myth several times. It was a process for me to incorporate much of Michael’s ideas and principles into my business. I was a little stubborn at first. After all, I had “my own way” of doing things and I thought they worked for me.
Eventually, I saw quite a few areas I could make improvements in, so I began to re-train myself. In retrospect, I can clearly see that my business mistakes cost me an exuberant amount of money over time, and I wish I would have made the changes sooner.
Are you costing your business money? Don’t be like me, doing things “my way” because that’s “what works.” Learn from professionals like Michael – professionals who can improve your day-to-day business operations and earn you more time and profit.
What’s the biggest lesson I learned from him?
You can’t work ON your business if you’re too busy working IN your business.
Working “on” your business means that the business is moving ahead; you are constantly working on and improving the business. Working “in” your business means you handle a lot of the day-to-day tasks.
If you’re caught up in all the details of your vacation rental business operations, you can’t get your head out of the work long enough to see the opportunities to improve your business.
Your vacation rental is a business and it has the demands of a business. If you’re a smaller agency or single property owner, it’s often just you… sort of like a one man band. Ever felt that way?
It’s easy to try to take on everything yourself to save money or to avoid the feeling of loss of control because you feel like “no one can do it like me” or because “I can’t afford it.”
With that said, there is a lot an owner can try to do themselves, like property management, marketing, maintenance, website maintenance, guest check in/check outs, bookings, cleaning, taxes, pool cleaning and the list goes on.
What jobs do you handle in your business?
Maybe – just maybe – some of those tasks you’re doing are actually holding your business back, causing you to make less profits while increasing the stress in your life.
For example, let’s say that while you can balance a checkbook, you are new to accounting, yet you have opted to keep the books for your business. It takes you hours to get through the invoices and bills, and the whole idea of taxes just freaks you out! Is it wise for you to continue serving as the bookkeeper/accountant? What would you be able to do if you delegated this task to someone else? Someone more experienced?
As a vacation rental business owner, you should be trying to make everything easier, faster and better. Doing so will increase quality, profits and productivity.
Whenever our company has grown, I had to make a decision, and that decision usually included increased costs – whether the decision was to get our first office (since I was starting out of my home) or to hire my first employee.
The thought process was something like, “Can we afford the cost?” And in many of those cases, the bank account said no, we couldn’t afford the expense. Looking back, it’s more like we couldn’t afford NOT to do it.
Our calculated decisions have always led to an increase in business and income.
In my upcoming newsletter, I’m going to show you several ways that will help you work less “in” your business and more “on” it. This is the perfect way to get your New Year started right!
Sometimes you can do more by doing less. I’ll show you how!
In this series I will diagnose you with a multiple personality disorder and you won’t disagree with me, stay tuned.
Have a tip or example of your own? Post it in the comments section below.