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  1. #101
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    BoganInParasite's Avatar
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    Yes Neverna, we refer to it as a light breakfast. Fruit, yogurt, toast, tea/coffee, a cereal if you smile real nice at us. We're quite flexible on breakfasts. Tomorrow morning we'll be up at 4:00am doing a packed brekky for three folks leaving at 5:00am for the sunrise at the 1715 Viewpoint in the Doi Phu Kha National Park. Then later we're doing an Englsih style breakfast for a party of two. (Bit pissed atm, decided to open a bottle of Bundy because I'm annoyed at something.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Just out of interest, BiP, do you offer a 'conitnental breakfast' option?

  2. #102
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    C'mon BiP you can't leave us hanging by not telling us what has pissed you off.
    You usually come across as a person who goes with the flow so I am surprised you have to head into the bottle for an answer.

    You can tell us we won't say anything to anyone, honest.

  3. #103
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    Multiple reasons building up various frustrations over time ootai but trigger this afternoon was wife's yet again attempt to plant an inappropriate plant in the wrong location around the house. (Other reasons are more substantive.) Anyway, she came inside after an hour of so to apologize only to find me a bit worse for wear, a first in our eleven years together. That large bottle of Bundy had been sitting around unopened since late February and I must say I hope the remaining two thirds are as good as the first third. (Room is still spinning, might be another aftershock from the Earthquakes last week.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    C'mon BiP you can't leave us hanging by not telling us what has pissed you off.
    You usually come across as a person who goes with the flow so I am surprised you have to head into the bottle for an answer.

    You can tell us we won't say anything to anyone, honest.

  4. #104
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    BiP
    Please enlightrn me some more. What exactly constitutes an inappropriate plant? The worng place well that's just a matter of opinion.
    I thought the climbing rose being allowed to grow up to and then all over your balcony rails was "the wrong plant in the wrong place" but I think you allowed that to happen without too much resistance..

    I am constantly amazed about what my MiL does in regard to panting shit all over the place with seemingly no plan or forethought attached. I think it goes like this, there's an empty space and here I have a plant so I will put it here in this space. Doesn't seem to matter that the plant is a sapling that will grow into a huge tree and the space is large enough for an egg plant bush. Also being an Engineer I like nice straight lines and symmetry but the MiL seems to like haphazard chaos. I have learned to not care anymore but I do get into trouble when I pull out a "plant she put in" thinking its a weed.

    Save the rest of the rum as I am sure there will be many more occasions when you will want to turn to it for solace.

  5. #105
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    Having seen how a climbing rose around the back of the house has climbed five meters and spread four, the wife was planting one at the front on a location where it had nothing to either climb or spread on to. It would have sprawled about impeding access to one corner of the carport and generally making an ar*e of itself. Anyway, it's not happening, and I've dug up and burned the bougainvilleas this morning for good measure.

    On to more relevant and better news...after the disappointment earlier in the week of the Thai big bike group drinking their own whiskey, the wife just took a call from the gent who booked a group of ten for tonight. (These are the folks that would only book if we did an English style breakfast.) He asked that we have the refrigerator fully stocked with Chang. We've already got twenty large bottles cold so hoping those plus another twenty of Leo and Singha quench their thirsts.

    We've got one room still open for a sale tomorrow night but to be honest it would be good not to sell it. The other two rooms are already blocked. Might be able to take the wife and dogs swimming on the first, but it is getting a little cooler. We are forecast to have mornings 8-11 degrees here late next week. Would make it close or even below freezing at the 1715 Viewpoint in the mountains and National Park.
    Quote Originally Posted by ootai View Post
    BiP
    Please enlightrn me some more. What exactly constitutes an inappropriate plant? The worng place well that's just a matter of opinion.
    I thought the climbing rose being allowed to grow up to and then all over your balcony rails was "the wrong plant in the wrong place" but I think you allowed that to happen without too much resistance..

    I am constantly amazed about what my MiL does in regard to panting shit all over the place with seemingly no plan or forethought attached. I think it goes like this, there's an empty space and here I have a plant so I will put it here in this space. Doesn't seem to matter that the plant is a sapling that will grow into a huge tree and the space is large enough for an egg plant bush. Also being an Engineer I like nice straight lines and symmetry but the MiL seems to like haphazard chaos. I have learned to not care anymore but I do get into trouble when I pull out a "plant she put in" thinking its a weed.

    Save the rest of the rum as I am sure there will be many more occasions when you will want to turn to it for solace.

  6. #106
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    Well overdue for an update. December has exploded on us...more on that later.

    We are one booking away from 100 bookings. Current count of completed, other revenue and future bookings is 141 revenue nights and 123,500 baht. Remember the original targets till end January 2020, 60 revenue nights and 60,000 revenue, no, us neither. We've been crunching the numbers and believe our net profit margin is 65%. We expect next year this will go above 70% on higher revenues.

    We've completed 55 bookings, 95 revenue nights, 188 pax and 86,000 baht.

    We've got 21 future bookings, 40 revenue nights, 66 pax and 35,500 baht. January and February bookings are slim but we expect they will double before the season ends. Nothing March-September 2020 yet which is not unexpected and 1 in October 2020. For some reason we cannot determine we have no Agoda bookings in 2020 yet. Majority are Booking.com or direct.

    Highlights during December have been a three night stay by a Teakdoor member and his Thai wife (see post #1 offer), a farang centric big bike group, and several lucrative same day bookings/arrivals. Direct booking and Booking.com are our most successful channels at the moment. The TD member came all the way from Europe where he lives and at the moment is in danger of being the only forum member to take advantage of our member offer. I've now met four TD members and their wives, all fine people. We are well overdue to meet some less than nice members, so if that sounds like you, give the wife a call and book to stay before the end of February.

    We are increasingly promoting our breakfasts and arrival afternoon teas through our direct channels and with success. On arrival we offer our guests brownies with ice cream/cream with a decent coffee or tea. Some guests elect to defer the brownies/cookies/ice cream/cream until after dinner as a dessert. We offer the same thing to guests staying multiple days when they return in the afternoon/evening. We've had to introduce cookies because Big C has an unreliable supply of brownie mixes. Makro is either currently unstocked or has dropped our preferred Greek yogurt and our local Tesco Lotus has not had any vanilla ice cream for two weeks. The same supermarket frequently doesn't have stock of the bread we serve for toast and has even at time run out of mushrooms. On the plus side the current good supply of ripe firm smallish tomatoes has seen us add fried tomatoes to our English style breakfasts and we are increasingly using the local markets to purchase fruit we serve ahead of the hot breakfast dishes, whether English style or Asian. We've just switched to Nan province honey and honeycomb after receiving really good feedback from our guests on the Nan coffee we use. Our supply of own organically grown passionfruits has stopped for now and they were really well accepted by guests either as passionfruit jam (made for us by Crossroads Nan) or as part of the breakfast fruit platter.

    Now to December. A few weeks back it was only half full and we were wanting to fill in some of the gaps. Well, that happened. Probably half were from our efforts performing revenue management on Booking.com and Agoda, but the rest were direct bookings, they rang our number. December will be huge for us, 25 completed stay, 52 revenue nights, 87 pax and 47,500 baht revenue. Would have been more but my daughter and her family are staying the last three nights of the month. We could have sold those nights multiple times and at premium rates...family or friends staying end of year will not be happening again.

    Below is the control sheet we use for the three rooms through December. We use colour to denote booking groups. The same colour on a single day or consecutive days means it is one group. There is still room for some extra December sales. We are holding the Sunrise room of the 19th for the 18th group who have indicated they may want to stay an extra day. And there are two rooms left on Saturday the 21st. Likely we'll sell one of those for sure. Might crack 50,000 baht.

    For explanation...Rain is a small level 1 room with a double bed. We try to use that as an overflow room for a group upstairs rather than sell it on it's own. Sunrise is a large upstairs room with a king and single bed. We can add a futon bed as well. Sunset has a king bed and we can add two futon beds as well.

    Starting a Business in Nan Province-ptvhs-december-2019-png
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Starting a Business in Nan Province-ptvhs-december-2019-png  
    Last edited by BoganInParasite; 18-12-2019 at 11:21 AM.

  7. #107
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    Well that's it for our homestay in 2019 and the first five months of operation. Have my daughter and her family coming in for four nights tonight from HCMC (sadly at a pax per night rate of zero). As I said in the last post we could have sold those nights many times over and at premium rates; won't be happening again.

    After a very quiet first two months where we do admit to considerable self doubt as to where the business would come from, we had an outstanding October, November and December. We completed 65 booked stays involving 113 revenue room nights, 227 guests and together with 3,000 baht from no shows, grossed 109,000 baht revenue. We are rated 9.7 on both Booking and Agoda, marketing leading in the Pua area. We got two more 10 ratings on Booking in the last week and a bit.

    We are now making some handy pocket money with our net profit being above 65% of gross revenue.

    We've had 105 bookings and about nine days ago had a mini celebration when our 100th came in. Sadly they cancelled a week later.

    January and February are still skinny but we expect they will flesh out a bit to around 15-20,000 gross baht revenue for each. While we'll remain open throughout 2020 we have no expectation other than the odd surprise booking in the March-July period.

    The only real excitement we had was two nights ago. We were asleep when just before 10:00pm the wife gets a call from someone saying they are outside the house, have a booking and want to check-in. We were already full upstairs and were not expecting anyone else. After a few minutes of chaos we established they thought they had booked us for 27 December earlier in the day through Expedia, but they had actually booked 27 January. It was a young couple and one of their mothers. We managed to get a futon bed into the small room downstairs, they cancelled the Expedia booking and we did an alternate direct arrangement. It was too late to order additional Asian breakfasts so they agreed English style breakfast. They needed it on the table at 6:00am because they had a wedding to go to. We had over-catered the English breakfast that night in case we had to do them for the large Agoda group last night so we easily were able to put it together. They were so thankful and full of praise it was almost embarrassing. And they were one of a rare breed...a Thai group that ate the entire English breakfast, nothing came back.

    Anyway folks, hope this thread hasn't been too boring, will try to make it a bit more interesting next year. Have a happy and safe New Year.

  8. #108
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    ^thanks for the updates, BIP. Very interesting to hear about your startup homestay/inn. Happy new year to you & yours!

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