Are You Shackled By Your Business?
Are You Trapped By Your Business?
Are You Working Too Many Hours?
Do You Have A Poor Work To Life Ratio?
If you can answer "Yes" to any of these question, you should really read this article.
Several weekends ago, my son arranged for us to join a group on a brewery tour of a successful family brewery in Wiltshire.
I am an ex brewer and in one of my former lives, I ran a very successful microbrewery before selling in 2001. He knew I would enjoy it and I did; it was a great day touring the brewery and seeing how this particular company brewed their beer.
The reason for this article is not to tell you about the family brewery – although I might well do that at a later stage – but to tell you about the small hotel, I stayed in for the weekend whist visiting the brewery.
The brewery was located in a lovely small market town and I booked two nights in one of the several hotels in the town. It was the sort of place that I like to stay – several hundred years old, with many of the original historic features. It not only offered accommodation but also had a full bar where you could enjoy a meal and a drink.
The room was very clean and comfortable, and a good hearty breakfast was served each morning of my stay.
But I felt not all was well with this business.
On talking to the lady of the house, she told me the entire place was run by just her and her husband with both working 100 hours per week each and she said they had both done this for the past 20 years.
She said they employed one person, one day per week to clean the hotel rooms; this was their only employment. She qualified this by saying that if she employed more staff, they would have to increase their prices.
Observing her, I also noticed that she obviously had health issues with a poor hip and leg, probably aggravated by the long hours and the physical toll on her body.
The couple knew I was an ex Publican and an ex Brewer but did not know I was also a Business Coach. They did not seek any advice from me nor did I offer any. I sensed that they were conditioned to this way of working and my advice would probably have fallen on deaf ears.
I know from my pub days that running such a business does involve long hours but after 20 years in this business, they should be working much fewer hours, say, 40 but no more.
During my weekend, I observed that many of the other pubs and cafes in the town were much busier than my host couple, obviously serving more drinks and food. Also when I booked my stay, all the quality hotels were full, except for the hotel of my hosts.
While generally being happy with my stay, I would not recommend it to others and I would not choose to return again. The interior while being historic was tired-looking in places, in urgent need of decoration and of general freshening up.
But one major thing that disappointed me was that my room was not cleaned or refreshed in readiness for my second night’s stay – I had never experienced this before and this seriously spoilt the experience, as far as I was concerned. But importantly, I am sure others staying for more than one night would have felt the same; their policy of not employing more staff was certainly a poor policy in this respect and was contributing to the low occupancy rate for their hotel rooms.
This Couple Are Trapped In Their Business
This couple are trapped within their business, unable to reduce their hours, risking their health and giving them a poor life to work balance.
They are living to work.
The lady of the house said that employing more staff would mean them increasing their prices.
She was very wrong saying this.
They were probably both working to their full capacity, but I could see from the other similar business in the town, they could probably easily double their bar and hotel trade.
This extra trade and gross profit would allow them to afford to employ more staff without increasing their prices. And, the extra staff would allow them to reduce their hours and to give them a better life/work balance.