Who? Mary Ann Mayer, Mt. Washington Bed & Breakfast
Mary Ann Mayer was a typically low paid – but helping her community – social worker on Long Island when she took a short vacation to local Bed and Breakfasts. Her B&B experience was so positive she says, “I started out thinking I’d never stay in a motel again. Then I thought – you know this might not be a bad way to supplement my pithy social work pension.”
After just a few years in social work she decided not to wait and now runs the Mt. Washington Bed & Breakfast with her father who is also her financial backer. Mary Ann says, “My business is my passion and also my bliss. I love being an innkeeper and after 11 years couldn’t think of anything else I would want to do.”
SingleWoman.TV (SWTV): If you could have done anything differently beginning your business, what would that be?
Mary Ann (MA): If I could have done anything different it might have been a bigger nest egg to be more secure during difficult financial times like over the past two years. I also would have had started with slightly higher rates – more competitive with other bed & breakfasts in the area, rather than underbidding them.
SWTV: What has worked the best in the life of your business so far?
MA: What has worked best is the customer service I provide. My guests often come in my door tired and stressed out from their jobs. I enjoy spoiling them and watching the tension drain from them as they relax here. I do everything myself – no employees. It’s tiring but less overhead.
SWTV: What do you think are the top things that make you and your business successful in your field/competitive market?
MA: Customer service! I make people feel like they have known me for years from the first phone call. One of my strengths as a social worker was my engagement skills. I utilize those skills working with other innkeepers too – we all refer to one another, rather than viewing each other as competition. I also work with local attractions with marketing, packages, etc.
SWTV: What marketing avenues really have helped the Inn the most?
SWTV: If you could improve your business three ways without financial limits–?
MA: More guest rooms – pet friendly guest room especially. A reliable handy man and affordable healthcare for me. And maybe some hunky guy to cook for me and think of new marketing ideas for the Inn!