It was November 2012. It was raining sleet from the early winter sky. I put the address of Naruportintie in my navigator. I'm going to get to know Hotel Siikaranta and my task is to find out how a loss-making company’s operations can be made profitable.
From the Siikajärvi exit, I turn onto a charming little road, covered with a couple of centimeters of wet slush. I'm driving up this winding and hilly road. I arrive at the lake highlands and gasp with excitement because you rarely see such an idyllic landscape and a hotel in a truly refined environment.
When I get there, I familiarize myself with the destination, tour the outdoor areas, see the atmospheric beach sauna and see the old log villas. The courtyard is great. I am dumbfounded. The place is absolutely fascinating.
At the end of my visit, I interview the hotel manager and we review the information on sales processes, target groups and goals. The hotel management’s next investment plan is to transform a traditional restaurant into an à la carte restaurant for one million euros... It won't take long before I am convinced that the needs of a hiker arriving through the national park are something completely different.
I made a report on the introductory visit, key figures and findings, where there are 2 opportunities to improve the business. Option A) The existing business will be purposefully carried forward and option B) A change of business model will be made. When presenting my findings to the owner, I also mention option C) ...This is such a great place that I could buy it….
A couple of years later, I get a call from the finance manager: "We are still making a loss, we don't know how to do this. We want to sell it to you.” In a thousandth of a second, all key figures, opportunities, threats - everything you need to know when you make big moves flash through my mind. I replied briefly: send all the information and key figures for 3 years. The inner daredevil is out!
It has been 2 weeks since the financial manager's phone call. I have worked very intensively on all the details, the deed is ready and the date is mid-October 2015. The weather is like a dream.
I walk from the bank to my car and snap out of my thoughts. Okay, so I bought the hotel and the land around it because I think there's a lot of potential here. I come across another thought, which is part of my original sin: When I focus on something, I close myself off to my own thoughts so completely that concentrating and thinking about the matter takes all my attention so that I forgot about one detail. I make a phone call to my wife:
“Honey, I bought a hotel….”