I have spent much of today fiddling with online booking stuff. We are finally up and running on Laterooms although I will need to check our entry to make sure that all is correct. Some, but not all, of the information about our availability goes over from another online booking website we are using at present, and this is the difficulty. I do not know what has been included and what has been excluded from Laterooms. They are two very different systems and I have to be quite sure that all is correct.
Meanwhile we have had a rather significant setback with respect to some YouTube videos that Pui was doing up for us. Aside from her having been ill over the past little while, her Apple Mac has developed a problem that means it will no longer read all the material, and particularly the photographs I sent her. I now have to re-send everything in another format. It is all very time consuming indeed.
Our VAT returns are due this month, and I have to get them sorted out as soon as possible, says my accountant. I have not even started on them yet, but I shall be good and do them next week. I hate number crunching as I am lousy with anything numerical. Numbers make me tense up and often render me unable to think clearly. It was one of my worst subjects in school, and I had to study twice as hard as my fellow pupils in order to get decent math marks at all.
The new booking platform we are changing to on our website for online booking comes from a firm called freetobook. I am rather excited about this although we will not be able to continue using the current booking engine we have as well as freetobook, since our current supplier does not allow us to use anyone else’s product if we use theirs. As our current booking platform costs us 6% plus 20% VAT (tax) every time someone books through our own website, the advent of freetobook would seem rather fortuitous. However, I have to admit that I am feeling a little apprehensive because the current booking platform, Eviivo, also offers us opportunities for taking bookings through some of their own websites to which we will no longer have any access once we leave them. That is not to say, however, that we do not pay Eviivo for the privilege. We do; to the tune of up to 17% plus VAT on all other bookings through their own channels. Everything adds up, of course, because aside from the commissions we have to pay, we have 20% VAT to pay to the government for all our bookings, plus annual corporation tax as well, again on the value of the bookings.
Anyhow, back to pleasanter things. Freetobook gave us widgets to use on Facebook and WordPress and I have now put both up. It was rather difficult navigating the WordPress dashboard in order to put the widget up. All in all, it must have taken me about an hour to figure it out. That is how technically savvy I am! NOT! (By the way, I am not good on Facebook at all, seldom use it, and do not even know how to ‘like’ a company on their page. I have tried to find a way to do it but have failed miserably. Thus, as you can see, our Facebook business page needs some work. It particularly needs more ‘likes’, so if you have some time, Hubby and I would be grateful for your ‘likes’ and ‘friends’.)
So here I am finally at the end of the day still with jobs to complete on the computer. There are so many things I still need to do for the guest house in terms of registering it with various sites and making it more visible on the worldwide web. Hubby and I are not keen on registering with too many internet booking sites as we like being able to converse with someone either on the telephone or by email because we can bring a more personal touch to the booking process. Personal contact enables both sides to see whether we are the right place for them or not. After all, whilst we may suit people who want a quiet break, we are unlikely to suit a group staying in the Lakes for a rowdy party.
Thus it is onwards and upwards! Hopefully I will have completed everything needful by the end of play tomorrow night. However, I very much doubt I will have completed the YouTube stuff by tomorrow. All I can say is that I can only hope and pray that all my efforts will be worth it in the end. After all, we have rooms to fill and need to sell them on for late availability and forward bookings since what they bring in is our livelihood. To that end, we have put up special offers for last minute rooms, Easter long weekend, and forward bookings.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 015394 43440