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HOW Profile: Marilyn Gordon, Innkeeper
Candlelite Inn Bed & Breakfast
Year started home business: 1993
Hours per week you work: 78 -- give or take
Happy at home index: 1 - miserable, 10 - nirvana. 8
Success index : 1-pauper, 10-fabulously rich 7
What kind of business do you have at home?
A bed & breakfast.
What did you do before you started a home business?
I was in banking.
What was your biggest challenge in starting your home business?
We bought the inn through bank auction and the Inn had been closed for about 6
months prior. So I would say, building a customer base.
What has been your biggest challenge staying in business?
The weather plays a big part in guest travel.
What do you love about working from home?
You are your own boss.
What do you hate about it?
People think that you are home all day and
the only time you are busy is when you have
How do you inspire or motivate yourself everyday?
By looking back and seeing the progress we have made at the inn. I also have a
friend who is a very motivated person and I am able to bounce ideas, or if I feel
down in the dumps, she picks me up.
How do you separate home life from your work life?
I work from the time I get up and quit at dinner. They only thing I do after dinner is
answer the phone to take reservations or to answer any questions that potential
guests might have. Or if we have guests, any questions that might have for dinner
or any needs that they might have.
Where is your office in your home?
It is off the kitchen. Separate from our living quarters.
What is your daily routine?
Take a cup of tea to the office, look at the e-mails; work on a project to about 8am;
get dressed and go for my walk; have my breakfast; work until lunch and back in
the office in the afternoon; work until dinner. There are errands that need to be run,
doctors appointments, washing & ironing for the Inn, breakfast menus, grocery
shopping, maintenance of the inn; all that is threaded throughout the day/week.
What is your biggest (or proudest) achievement so far?
We were Inn of the Year; we are in the Congressional Record; Editor's Choice for
Yankee Magazine's Travel Guide; Best Breakfast in New England by Inn Traveler
Magazine. I've been profiled by MicroCredit NH for their Spring issue 2007.
What are you working on right now to grow your business?
Some of the projects that I am working on are: holding small, intimate weddings
here at the inn; business meetings; amenities for the guest rooms; enticing travel
writers to the Inn and trying to make the inn a quiet, relaxing haven for my guests.
What advice can you give about starting a home business?
One thing you have to learn is to separate your personal life from the business.
Especially if you are just starting a home business, you are going to feel that all
your time is devoted to the business and it's going to have to for it to be a success.
Everyday you should do some form of marketing. People have to know that you
are out there. You have to get your name out. Networking with other businesses,
organizations, etc. is a big plus. Having an office space is very important. That's the
command center. That's where all the important decisions are made.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do (or not do)?
I would definitely do it in a heartbeat. I love inn keeping and all that goes with it.
What do you do for fun when you're not working?
I like going out to antiques shops & flea markets, reading, cross stitch. Going out to
dinner with friends is great since we are unable to do so if we have guests and most
of all -- relaxing on our deck.
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