21 Day Practice of Capitalism – Day 10 – Anticipate Delays

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP

The view from the Executive Business Suite at the Inspired Eagle Eco Bed and Breakfast in Haines, Alaska

The view from the Executive Business Suite at the Inspired Eagle Eco Bed and Breakfast in Haines, Alaska

Setting up a B and B in rural Alaska takes a special form of patience. When we need something we can’t find in town, we have to figure out how to get it up here from the lower 48 or do without.    I’ve learned in the ten years owning property up here, it’s far better to source as much as you can from the merchants in town.  That way there are also people in town who can help you fix it.   Lets take a look at what this means:

Internet service – yes we used to have a high speed satellite dish for the internet.   Sometimes the guy who could work on it was in town, sometimes he wasn’t.   The house that is now becoming the Inspired Eagle B and B has been on the market for two years.   So for two years it sat empty – staged for showing.   And for two years, we have not had any internet service here – for who?   The random realtor showing one of the three people who looked at the home around?   As we are readying the house for it’s new mission – becoming the Inspired Eagle Eco Bed and Breakfast – we opted to go with the local telephone company’s high speed internet.    Great service – signed up on Friday and by this afternoon had a 1 Mps service operational.   The service guys (my neighbors) – had an idea of how they can increase it to 4 Mps and are coming back tomorrow to test out their theory.   The home is very far from the next closest transfer station so it’s amazing we even are getting 1 Mps service.   Hmmmm – now I’m remembering why we went with the satellite dish…….  For our needs right now, we are choosing reliability and service over performance.  When we used this house for corporate retreat meetings for Cheetah Learning – we needed the highest speed internet we could get.   But we weren’t here that often so the advance team could make sure it was all working.   Now, the house has a different mission.   The local telephone company is a better solution.   The Internet service is not the fastest or the best – but it works.   And when it gets really slow, we’re in paradise – time to get out and enjoy the splendid beauty of this place.   Hopefully our guests will get the pristine setting far exceeds the lower performance of the Internet they may find down south.

Washing Machine – we have an issue with the front loader washer.   But since we purchased it at the furniture store in town five years ago, there is also a repairman in town who knows how to trouble shoot the problem. We had purchased a really fancy dishwasher around the same time from an appliance store in Washington State. The dishwasher is long gone as no one could fix it when we had a problem.   We replaced it with a very basic dishwasher – haven’t had one problem since.

The Soap – Our B&B host arrived today to help with developing the sales, marketing and management systems for the Inspired Eagle Eco B and B.   He just finished a five month work for trade arrangement as the manager of a B&B on the Big Island in Hawaii.   I met him there on my visit in January – this was where the light bulb went off a B and B could convert this property from a liability to an asset.   Our host is a critical success factor for the Inspired Eagle Eco B n B – as I do not have the time to do all the necessary work with the start up and operations.   I am good at business start up and we make a good pair as I have seasoned business systems we can use to launch the B n B (plus the house) and he has the know how, spirit and enthusiasm to start and mange a successful B n B.   I am usually a much better host but today was a very busy day tending to urgent issues with making sure we had adequate heating oil (the place has been empty for almost two years and we were keeping it at 50 degrees with very low reserves of oil in case it sold).   So acquiring soap or shampoo was a low priority.  Making due,  I found these tiny half empty generic travel containers of shampoo and conditioner scrounge up from a stray travel kit. I did though order soap, shampoo, and hair conditioner dispensers for every bathroom and several gallons each of high end shampoo, conditioner and soap.   Yesterday.   So they won’t be here for another week.   We can manage to find adequate soap, shampoo and conditioner for both of our bathrooms in town tomorrow.   Thank god we are in Alaska and hat head as a hairstyle is the in thang so having plump voluptuous hair follicles stimulated from the high end volumizing hair products is just not required.   Guests to a luxury bed and breakfast may not be so understanding of our local habits or preferences – so I ventured outside of Haines via the Internet to procure bathroom products fitting for the premium luxury B n B experience.

Comments are closed.