The Diamond Mine Episode 4

David Fuller with Michelle Davidson

This week on The Diamond Mine, David is joined by Michelle Davidson.

Michelle Davidson is the owner of Forrest Guesthouse, a peaceful retreat in the Otway Ranges, South West of Melbourne, Australia. A perfect base for hiking, biking and all things delicious.

Key Takeaways:

  • Been in business for less than a year
  • After 14 years in a law firm
  • Attracted to the area because of the mountain bike trails
  • Made a decision to buy in 24 hours
  • Not normally a fast decision maker, but it felt right
  • Forrest is in the Otway Ranges
  • Temperate Rainforest
  • Just near Great Ocean Road
  • No experience in running a agues house
  • Practised on friends and family for 4 weeks
  • First time trying to make a bed took 40 minutes
  • Beds use the 3 sheet system - who knew?!
  • Down to 6 minutes now - practise makes perfect
  • Had to develop a website form scratch, rebranded
  • Started using social media a lot
  • Blessed for images
  • Strategy for social: does stuff she enjoys and photographs and shares it
  • Loves the area, loves to share it
  • Local Platypus colony - tours via kayak
  • Waterfall galore - over 50 within 2 hours
  • Forest of California Redwoods
  • Hire mountain bikes
  • High ropes courses
  • 1/2 hour from the beach
  • Foodie trails
  • Great coffee and hot chocolate
  • Micro brewery - loves to experiment
  • Challenge 1: fires - kept lines of communication open, used a fair refund policy
  • Challenge 2: COVID-19 - lost all forward bookings
  • Opening again on June 4th.
  • 4 Suites including 2 family suites
  • Lucky husbands business was busy, her business had no income - lesson in having diversity in income
  • Community is really important!
  • Community bands together in times of crisis
  • It’s about presenting the local town as a community offering - not competition.
  • Fun place to stay
  • Focused on experiences
  • Take the social media followers on the journey with you
  • Yet to live stream the mountain bike experience - literally take people o the ride!
  • Crisis has given rise to an understanding that longevity requires less booking, but will allow her to enjoy the business more and do it longer
  • Looking to become mountain bike instructor (international)
  • Take people on that journey
  • Drop bears… just sayin'
  • The Otways Black Panther (Google it!)

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