Dr. Violet Cuffy
Dr. Violet Cuffy

Guest houses all over the world conjure the image of home away from home; cosy, comfortable little places where pets mingle with guests and senior-citizen proprietors and youthful guests drink coffee together on verandas as the sun sets.

But guest houses may not be as profitable as their more expansive and expensive cousins, especially in Dominica where the tourism season is often short and quiet and hotel and guest houses endure 20 percent occupancy. Yet they survive.

Hence, whatever advice you may throw at owners of guest houses who are often on the brink of bankruptcy, they will soak up as hungrily as parched earth absorbs rain; especially the advice from an expert in hospitality and tourism management; someone such as Dr. Violet Cuffy, a Dominican who is a graduate of The Coaching Academy in the United Kingdom. Dr. Cuffy has written a relatively simple 100-page book that she has entitled: "The book on Guest Houses- 7 ways to create growth &double your bottom line in any economy."

Note that Dr. Cuffy asserts that her book is "The Book on Guest Houses" – a definitive claim which implies that this is a unique book, a publication that is separate and apart from all the other books on the subject, the many publications those authors may title: "A Book on Guest Houses." In other words, there are dozens of "A book…" but only one "The book…" We are not sure but we get the point.

"This is not a typical text or business book," said Dr Cuffy in the chapter she calls "How to get the most out of this book."

And she's right. The book contains seven ways-actually they are steps- to achieve your objective of making a success out of a guest house business. Dr. Cuffy's 7 steps are: Turn your Vision into your Passion; Be Niche Focussed; Brand Your Business; Focus on the Numbers; Get e-Smart; Develop a Positive Mind-set; and Become a Lifelong Learner.

The Book on Guest Houses is a simple book written in Basic English language for the average guest house owner who may live in extremely rural Laroche, Delices on Dominica's Eastern coast or somewhere else much more affluent such as in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Wherever your guest house is located Dr. Cuffy promises to double your bottom-line "in any economy."

The ideas contained in the book are like Dr. Cuffy's philosophies of success: simple.

But her promises of the results of applying the seven steps are rather grandiose, we think; the author says, for instance, her technique "offers a gateway to accomplishments, a pathway to turning your lifelong dreams to reality and the doorway for living the life some can only dream of".

In our view, The Book on Guest Houses is more about how you manage you, rather than how you manage your guest house. And it is strongly based on the philosophy that whatever the mind sees and believes and the body works at it can achieve.

"The book on Guest Houses- 7 ways to create growth &double your bottom line in any economy" is available online and may be on sale at Dominica's bookstores soon.