BizX Members, Jon Farrell (L) and Eddie Redman (R) get on their flex all on BizX.
Topic: Small Business
The luxurious style of San Francisco’s Queen Anne Hotel eternally captures the timeless romance of the 19th Century gold rush. Nestled among the “Painted Ladies” mansions in the Bay Area’s Pacific Heights, the historic building has been a symbol of elaborate architecture and Victorian glamour since 1890.
The interior of the Victorian mansion is as charming and elegant as its pink exterior. Grand entrances, antique furnishings, chandeliers and roaring fireplaces greet you as you step into history at this boutique hotel.
At peak times, the Queen Anne Hotel can accommodate upwards of 100 guests at a time. While travel has been limited this past year due to COVID-19, CEO and owner Anand Gokel has utilized the hotel’s relationship with bartering networks to keep rooms filled and the hotel running.
“We’ve always turned to exchange companies to help preserve the bottom line,” says Gokel. A member of various exchanges companies in the past, Gokel was referred to BizX a few years ago by a friend and fellow member. After making the switch to BizX, Gokel says, “We would never go back to another exchange. BizX absolutely has the most to offer.”
From services to improve the hotel (painting, repairs) to perks that boost employee morale (welcome baskets, restaurant gift cards), Gokel has found ways to use BizX services, both before and during the pandemic. The most common service used is to help fill empty rooms. Especially due to the pandemic, Queen Anne Hotel has seen fewer visitors, which means empty rooms that impact cashflow. Through BizX, the hotel is referred to other members who can provide BizX dollars in exchange for a stay.
The silver lining to limited travel is that Queen Anne Hotel has been able to make significant hotel enhancements with its BizX credit that puts the hotel in optimal shape once busy season rolls back around. The antique carpets, that boast Victorian patterns in saturated hues, are “no ordinary shampoo job,” says Gokel. Using the BizX network, they were able to have the carpets professionally cleaned and all the walls painted, which saved tens of thousands of dollars in cashflow. “If we couldn’t do it through BizX, we likely weren’t going to be able to do it at all,” Gokel remarks.
Gokel recommends BizX to everyone and anyone . “Sometimes I think people have the wrong idea about a barter exchange,” he says. “They may assume you’re getting a lesser product for a lesser price, but that couldn’t be further off. Every service we’ve had through BizX has blown away our expectations. The companies are researched beforehand, they’re reputable and professional, and we’ve always been happy with the results!”
Digital barter community continues to champion small businesses by providing lines of credit, creating connections with others in network
As the vaccinations continue to roll out across the world, we are starting to see glimpses of normalcy. Some things like seeing family and friends will fall right back into place and others that “don’t fit neatly into the proverbial box” such as going to concerts or movie theatres will need some finessing. One thing that will take a while to unpack is if the value of the barter trade system in purchasing and procurement of certain goods and services is here to regularly compete against traditional monetary systems.
When the gravity of the pandemic started to ensconce our day to day in every which way, BizX did not back down to the challenge of rethinking how and what we could to do to keep our business community on stable ground. Change can be hard and we needed to rely on our strong core values to stay the course.