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Olde Square Inn Bed and Breakfast

Submitted by: Nancy Skee
Business Website:
State: Pennsylvania
City: Mount Joy

Business Description

Olde Square Inn is a seven-room B&B in the quaint town of Mount Joy in Lancaster County, PA. People come here to relax, unwind, site-see or explore and to enjoy our scrumptious breakfast!

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

Since becoming owner of the B&B two years ago I’ve taken the Inn to a 5-star rating on a top social media travel site, showing a 200% increase in positive reviews, with a 6.8% rise in occupancy, above the 2.8% industry average. Our excellent reviews and use of social media help draw a new demographic. Weekly blogs and Facebook posts are linked to area businesses’ events and specials, adding value for our guests while attracting local spending. I’m partnering with small businesses to give guests experiences that keep dollars in the community with two new packages for adventure and dining. I’m in business because I love to serve. Joining with community businesses is one way to do that and create a positive impact where all of us thrive.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

Last year I replaced most of our appliances and our gas stove is next! A $1000 Sam’s Club gift card would go a long way toward its retirement. After all, at a B&B half of what we do is breakfast, and with breakfast guaranteed, I’d love training and help from SCORE to become a top intimate-wedding venue. Although the average price of a wedding is now $35,329 states that 80% of couples prefer intimate, affordable events. Based on our Inn’s 2016 events, I’ve developed new wedding and elopement packages. With proper mentors and marketing, I can help those who seek their affordable Dream Day. For under $6K we do it all from cake and flowers to lodging and breakfast. Just add an officiant, intended spouses and say “I DO!”

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

From the day I walked into the SCORE office with a handful of B&B listings, Ed England was there. All I wanted was to be an Innkeeper, but Ed knew what it took to achieve and sustain the dream. We sifted through possible inns, trudged through banking, set up a business plan, talked marketing, created financial projections and got a license. I truly had no idea of the scope of the first-step legalities and plans. Alone I would have given up frustrated, but Ed worked with me every step of the way. I owe the start of my business to his knowledge and direction. Two years into the dream, Ed still checks in. We meet periodically to assess the Inn’s viability and needs - and to toast a successful venture. I SCOREd!

Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?

Last year I learned more about heating, cooling, and other house systems than I ever wanted to know. The financial and safety responsibility of replacing most of the Inn’s systems was only one of the obstacles met. My other challenge was to improve the B&B’s reputation. I had work to do! First I brought our standing up to five stars through social media. By year two I had a 200% increase in excellent reviews. That, along with superior customer service, resulted in increased occupancy of 6.8%, more than twice the industry average. I took a further step to change our rates and our net income rose by 19.7%. Despite the cash outlay for systems, I’m happy to say that we broke even ending year two. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?

What makes me so excited about earning this award is that not only will the recognition draw more people to our business and support our fledgling wedding service, but will ultimately help our town grow! My ambition is to see Mount Joy become a quaint, getaway destination where people can shop, dine and stay and relax. We are on our way with some great restaurants already in place, and I want to do my part to add to our downtown destinations. (My next dream is to open a popcorn shop just down the street from the inn - stay tuned!) It's true what they say: When one of us wins, we all win!
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