So, You Want To Be An Innkeeper?

If you live in a Victorian house with at least three bedrooms, I’m sure it has already crossed your mind to be your own boss. You can give the property a makeover, and you can have yourself your very own bed and breakfast. Being an innkeeper sounds like a great job. You don’t follow the regular office hours, and you don’t even have to beat the traffic. Your home is your office, and you get to manage your own business. So what does it take to be a great innkeeper? Does it just involve cooking breakfast and entertaining guests?

Questions for aspiring innkeepers

You need to know yourself – your strengths and weaknesses – before you start to dive into this hospitality business.

  • Are you ready to commit yourself fully to this? Weekends and holidays are the high volume days for bed and breakfasts. Are you willing to sacrifice these days to work?
  • Are you a people person? Do you like to entertain strangers and show them around the locale?
  • Do you accept the fact that there will be strangers living in your home?
  • Will you have the finances ready for this undertaking? Daily upkeep and maintenance will be involved as well as emergency situations.
  • What do you intend to achieve out of this investment? Profit? The idea of having your own business? It’s not easy to earn a lot of money running a bed and breakfast, but you get to have wonderful experiences with the guests. It should be a balance of both to be able to maintain this business.

How to get your bed and breakfast ready

  • Prepare your detailed business plan. Estimate your expenses and add 20 percent more to cover hidden expenses.
  • Look for a great location. Historic or downtown area, near to the beach or state park, it’s all about location when you market your bed and breakfast. Most importantly, check with your city or municipality if the property is in the business zone.
  • Offer unique amenities. If there is a lot of competition around, set yourself apart from them. You can focus on a specific brand, such as a romantic inn or a family-friendly one. Winery, spa, foodie destination, outdoor activities—there’s a broad spectrum of interests that your bed and breakfast can capture.

Where to get more information

Visit the following sites to know more about starting up your own bed and breakfast. It never hurts to learn from the experts.

  • PAII – They offer innkeeping courses and seminars on how to start and run a bed and breakfast.
  • BedandBreakfast.com — A resource for marketing your bed and breakfast. The website also offers innkeeper resources including webinars and membership benefits.
  • Agustin Inn – An appropriate example of a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, Florida.

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