Have you been your own Boss in the Hospitality trade?
My joint venture of owning a business in the Hospitality trade was with a country Public House (Pub) in a small village in Derbyshire, United Kingdom that I, along with three others became partners in, or so we thought, until we discovered the previous owner of the property had “cooked the books” shall we say. This wasn’t apparent to any of the four of us until after we had got well into debt with the bank for a rather hefty business loan to purchase the business.
One of the other partners and I had spent a fair amount of our time out on the road “learning the trade” so to speak. She had become quite a good basic (I don’t think she’ll mind me saying that) cook; I can’t, sadly, call her a chef as she wasn’t trained as one but it didn’t stop her having to work as one in some of the places we had worked. I, on the other hand was rather good, even though I say it myself, at looking after the traditional ales (commonly known in this country as the flat, warm English Beer). I had also been taught about much of the required book-work during our “travels”.
The actual Pub itself was a rather nice country pub right on the main road between two towns, so we had quite a good passing trade. No, we weren’t the only Pub on that road but we believed we offered a fairly good product(s).
- A large beer garden
- More than ample parking
- A good range of traditional ales, lagers & a cider on tap
- Good basic food
- A wine list
- Friendly staff
- Reasonable prices
- Weekly/daily specials
We kept an eye on our cost of goods and bought products we thought we could offer at an acceptable selling price. Some ales, for example, weren’t known in the area but locals would try them because of the selling price we offered them at.
As I’ve already said, sadly, it wasn’t apparent from the start that the previous owner had painted a brighter picture than it actually was via the accounts. However things started to appear quite quickly. One example was the first time I went to read the gas meter I found another one next to it that had been disconnected from somewhere else.
Anyway, I could go on, but let’s finish this subject by saying that things came to a head, causing myself and one of the other partners to leave. The remaining partners then employed managers to run it for them and my name was taken off the license.
This took place over twenty years ago. I am no longer with that “partner” & no longer live in the UK.
I have left the hospitality trade behind and have been working on an online business since late March of this year (2017). No, I am no internet wiz which basically means I’m learning as I go. I have been mentored and shown a new way of looking at things by the likes of Stuart Ross and his team on how to start a “Home Business”.
I am not saying I have all the answers, but I am trying now to make a new start in my early fifties, so what I guess I am saying to you, the reader, is that its never too late. Don’t give up, take that next step into your unknown. If you do then at least when you look back you can’t say what if….