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Babbles

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Everything posted by Babbles

  1. I've stopped shopping with any on line shop that has verified by visa , i've run out of memorable passwords, I was wondering if I was the only one as it can't do the business any good. And don't even get started on my BNP Paribas card where 9 times out of 10 I can't order anything online. Its driving me nuts :-)
  2. Coops, good point on describing the access, then people can make up their own minds, we'll do it when we re do the website over winter.

    Thanks for the link
  3. Cooperola, I'm not quite sure what your disagreeing with me about?

    We have a suite suitable for limited mobility, but with 3 steps up from the street level ( to narrow to put a ramp and its the village street not on our property ) I'm not sure what else we can do apart from provide a ground floor suite with no internal steps in public areas, wide doors walk in showers ( I do note with interest that you can get grab rails with suction pads, do you have more details?)

    With old building its incredibly difficult to comply with all modern standards and its why we opted for a Chambre D'hote status not hotel so people realise that they're staying in our home not a hotel with all the facilities that are on offer.
  4. Cooperlola, that's certainly a nice looking site and aimed at the right type of customer, one to put on the list to enquire about listing on, ones like that I'm happy to pay commission to rather than to list on their site as it could be hit or miss wether you'd get bookings, and interesting the sites in Spanish to.

    Our showers are all walk in ones, but we do have steps up from the street into the house even though we do have a ground floor suite its not really wheelchair friendly but with limited mobility we're ok.:-)
  5. Bad luck Q, a reminder to us all . Its so time consuming sorting out these little glitches and doesn't put one in the most positive frame of mind.
  6. You don't pay social contributions, just the 20% non resident tax, when you make your UK declaration the french tax paid is taken into consideration of your earnings in the UK. so you're not taxed twice.
  7. I've looked at both sites , please correct me but in essence availcheck.com take paypal deposits but don't sync calenders on other sites but beds24.com do.

    Syncing accounts is important to me ( I think it will be!) so I'm going to try beds24 at first and am going to see Bank Pop on thursday but a great fall back position is avialcheck.

    I'll let you all know how I get on, Thanks
  8. At the moment the majority of my income is from the UK business so its best to use my tax allowance there and makes for very simple accounts in France and yes you can be a non resident auto entrepreneur, I didn't think you could but my account assures me you can.

    If I want to up the drinks license to be able to charge for wine separately I then can't be an auto entrepreneur but when I'm full time here in France that's the time to make the switch , also when there is a divorce settlement. but right now we're being as tax efficient as we can be

    And forgot to say it makes for big savings on accountancy fees
  9. I'm still non resident for tax purposes and I run the B&B as a non resident auto entrepreneur , then send my french tax bill invoice to my English Tax accountant who does the necessary adjustments because of the dual tax treaty, pretty simple stuff as I pay a French accountant to make my declaration then forward the info on to the UK, one less think for me to worry about and 120€ well spent!!
  10. Thanks for the vast array of comments, its been incredibly useful.

    Some may or not know that me and my husband split up last year and winter when all this should have been done it didn't happen and now I'm reaping the consequences of it. But this winter we're having a complete revamp, I've met a Swedish guy who's moving in in October so I won't be running it on my own anymore so hopefully there will be more time on managing and driving the business forward, not just the day to day essentials.

    So everyones input is really welcomed but it will included the following

    Update the website with more photo's and details what to do in the area.

    Translate it to French and Swedish possibly German ( not sure about translating to languages we don't speak even at a basic level, but Spanish could be useful.)

    Re assessing all of the sites we're lised on Including Sawdays, Chic Retreats, Furtherafield or other book/website listings where you can't book online in favour of sites with online booking.

    Has anybody any experience of the french Chambre D'Hote sites/books such as Chambre D'Hotes de Charme, Chambre D'hotes Secretes or any other suggestion?Specifically things aimed at the luxury/charme part of the market.

    Still unsure of sites which only deliver overnighters, we stopped listing with the tourist information office because of the quality of the guests that were delivered.

    And am contemplating the use of a small scale PR company ( I know a suitable one in the UK) but would like to find one that could help with Northern Europeans and Scandinavians.

    Now this will probably sound stupid but I'm going to ask it anyway, is there an online booking/management system that the client can pay online with instantly and the comapny transfers the money to your bank account without the need for a credit card terminal?

    Please keep you thoughts and ideas coming as its helping me formulate a plan for the future!
  11. And thats the fundamental problem, people who come think we're great value but for round here we're the top end of the market with what we do so its not comparing like for like, we only have suites etc etc funnily enough with long distance travelers we're often the cheapest place they stay when they're touring but think we're one of the best, and I've had people say they thought there must be something wrong for it to be so cheap so in terms of value I'm not worried its just getting to the customers with marketing , thats the difficult bit!!!
  12. I think I'm trying to ( hate this phrase ) future proof the business a bit as it has to be commercially viable as I've a fairly hefty mortgage. Paypal charges have gone up so much this year the other rates from banks now seem a bit more competitive. I want to think the whole process of online booking and paying before I change banks rather than just deal with each individual problem . I've just listed with laterooms but nothing so far not sure if its aimed at the luxury end of the market but as its commission based I'll wait and see.
  13. Q, as always very useful info! Interesting where to get business clients from, we are getting more and more Antique dealers as Pezenas and the big markets in Bezier etc are close, I think the weakening Euro has helped them with their buying. But we pick up very little else business wise, odd nights with people in the wine industry and thats about it. We too have had more Italians this year but fewer Dutch as well as Brits

    Thanks for the info on the banks I bank with BNP Paribas who don't have a branch in Pezenas and my accounts still in the Gers so I need to open an account a bit nearer so I'll look into Bank Populaire.

    I've done more one nighters than before, we just allocate 1 suite per night for over nighters as I'm running it on my own the work load would just be too much to do more.

    Thanks for all the useful info
  14. Thanks Norman, they're very kind words, its lovely when people like what we do. I think your right there just aren't so many Brits around.

    Does anyone know good listings that appeal to Northern Europeans and Scandinavians? The equivalent of Sawdays or Chic retreats? , my knowledge is shockingly bad!
  15. unfortunately I don't know of any Leclerc down here in the Herault....... from what I remember they were very good!
  16. Yes they do but that is pretty much industry standard if you don't pay to list with them. Talking to guests people are just not using the books like Sawdays or chic retreats as they might have done 5 years ago just the website. I'm just having a total rethink of how we advertise, we've always paid to list on sites I just want to get the best bang for my buck. We're up on last year so far but Brits are down a lot, I was wondering if its because they've changed the way they book breaks ( we've always done longer breaks as holidays not just overnights) or they've no confidence in booking in advance There also seem information overload on the web if you're looking for a holiday, and seems harder to find specialist travel websites that appeal to independent travelers and deliver holiday makers.
  17. I've an unlocked Iphone which at the moment I'm on o2 sim only contract which worked well for me until they changed the terms of use in Europe, you now have to pay to receive calls which is my main grip as other wise I mainly use it for iMessage , FaceTime and txting. Are there any sim only contracts in France that are cheap and reliable/

    Thanks
  18. firstly I must apologise for radio silence, been busy getting my life in order!

    I've been looking at our advertising this year and how effective our promotions have been. One of the things we don't have the ability to do is online booking/paying. To list on the likes of booking.com you have to be able to process credit cards ( at the moment we use Paypal) Has anybody done any research on this or has tips recommendations for getting a credit card terminal and costs?

    It seems to me that more people are using sites like booking.com laterooms.com hoyels.com , do people have concerns about this or is your usual advertising working?
  19. Well I've had my ups and downs but on the whole baring up OK, some friends have been absolutely there for me while others see to want to point out all the problems I'm going to have which does seem a strange way to be supportive, but thats some peoples nature I suppose. I've got back in touch with people who I've met over the time I've been here who I hadn't seen much of and as its quite November people have the time for me which is great. Even when I'm having a wobble I do think I'm gonna be alright but sometimes the days do seem very long, but I thought that when I was with MOH and I have to everything round the house so no change there either! Always helps when the skies are blue and I can take Jake the Jack Russell for a long walk
  20. @mogs, This was how we started doing things and I know it does work for some people but only when you get to enjoy your life when you husband/partner isn't there. I actually do have some great friends here in the same situation and we're very supportive for each other when our OH weren't around you just need to go out and find them!
  21. @ LaFanglaise funny you should say about Jelly, as I'd follow them on Facebook but never made it the last one near by as I was back in the UK but I think there might be one this week I should go to.

    Its weird talking in a pubic forum about life changing events, but Its really helping me find some clarity and hope so big thanks all round, I'm sure I'll be up and down over the coming weeks and months so I just hope you all keep in there for me!

  22. Thank all for your quick responses. Things that I like to do when I get time, hiking, photography and design, as well as my business and while I do already have friends down here who in fact are more on my wavelength than ones in the UK I think it would be a good idea to join a group. I do do conversational french class but some one one would really improve things. @nectarine never a truer work is that no-ones going to knock on the door so I've got to get out there. The reality of my separation is that we each run a business in different countries and were already living separate lives but with the hope we would eventually be together. Days are long when you live and work on your own in the same place and I just don't want to end up stir crazy, this weather doesn't help as 2 of my interests are thwarted in bad weather!!! A long term underlying problem is that if you work in the tourist industry your too busy in summer to even sit down and winters too quiet, I do have the list of jobs rounds the house, promoting both the existing B&B and the new guided tours business and can always find things to do but that doesn't make up for human interaction even though Jake my little Jack Russell does his bit. :-)
  23. I'm interested to know any tips on how to survive France when you find yourself on your own in your mid forties as a female in France. There is no option of going back to the UK to start over there as I have my business here which even if I did want to sell, in the current climate would be near impossible, and I do actually love that part of my life and being in France.

    My initial worries are about being on my own, having a seasonal business the winter days are long. With the language I get by I am not fluent, chit chat with locals is almost impossible. And I'm not of an age where the expat life style of aperros, golf and Bridge appeals.

    I'm sure I'm not the first person to find myself in this situation so all advice welcome
  24. Well Done and Good for you, times are hard and we're all looking to expand our offering to entice people in, and great media coverage is key.

    It does make me laugh that people seem to think the ultimate is going to the Caribbean or a Cruise, my idea of hell and would much rather have an authentic experience in France, what ever floats your boat I suppose.
  25. well having asked around and seen what you guys say we've decided against, the researcher was all sweetness and light trying to make out it would all just be lovely....... she just came over as trying to be manipulative so probably best avoided. At the end of the day we've 5 suites and once your full your full we're quite selective where we advertise so I don't think it would be a good idea opening up to a free for all.
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