Many people dream of owning a bed and breakfast. The idea that you can run a wonderful guest house welcoming paying customers into your home is very appealing. However, is this the real picture of what running a bed and breakfast is like? One of your first steps should be to check out the Professional Association of Innkeepers International to get qualified, serious inn-running information.
It can be a great lifestyle for some people, but for others the dream does not turn out the way they expected. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself to see if you are cut out to be a bed and breakfast owner. You should be as honest as possible so that you get an idea if this is a good business decision for you.
What is Your Motivation?
What is it that makes you think that owning a bed and breakfast is a great idea? Many people have different ideas of what they think running a bed and breakfast will be about. Some people do it because they enjoy meeting new people and look forward to hosting them in a beautiful setting. Others love cooking and want to share their expertise and make that the focus of the experience for the guests.
If you can’t think of great reasons why you want to run a bed and breakfast you should be questioning your motives. If you just see it as a way you can live in a great house and live off the proceeds of taking in paying guests, you probably need to think again. The work of an inn keeper is very difficult and can be spectacularly time consuming. It is not an easy way to make money.
Do You Have the Commitment?
Most people underestimate the time and commitment that it takes to run a bed and breakfast. Have you considered how many hours you may need to work to make it a successful business venture?
You may be going into this venture because you love cooking. The idea of preparing a tasty breakfast for your guests appeals to you. However, have you thought about how you will feel when you must get up early every single morning to prepare pretty much the same meal repeatedly? Or how you will deal with the picky customers who complain that their eggs aren’t perfect? You must make sure that you think that you will be happy to still perform your inn keeper duties far into the future.
If your business is profitable you will be able to hire extra help. However, it might be that you must take on a lot of the tasks yourself, particularly when you are just starting out.
You may not mind certain tasks, but do you want to clean multiple toilets every single day? You may not like doing laundry for your family, but imagine washing and changing linen on multiple beds each week. Of course, you may be able to take on employees to help you with all of this, but just be realistic in what you must do for yourself.
Photo by Iain Farrell