Why People Start B&Bs
For many people, starting a bed and breakfast is a life-long dream.
For some, it starts with a daydream after long hours in a 9-5 job. For others, it’s the desire to do something on their own.
In this article, we look at why people start B&Bs and give you some tips on how to decide if you should start one of your won. Here’s why some people start bed and breakfasts.
To Entertain Full Time
Owning a bed and breakfast involves entertaining full time, and many B&B owners say that’s why they bought their inn.
Additionally, many B&B owners like to socialize and meet new, interesting people. They find it enriches their own lives.
B&B ownership is certainly never dull, and whether it’s making breakfast, talking to guests over a cup of tea or showcasing a high-dollar wine cellar, B&B owners like to entertain.
To Live in a Beautiful House
Another reason people open a bed and breakfast is because they want to live in a beautiful, spacious, historic home, but they need to find a way to afford it. (tweet this)
Buying a bed and breakfast is the perfect way to make your dreams of living in a magnificent spot a reality because it makes large home ownership more affordable.
To Showcase Their Food
Usually bed and breakfast owners like to cook, and that’s another reason people start B&Bs.
Instead of hiring a chef to cook breakfast (and dinner if they offer it), they love to cook or are chefs themselves.
Owning a B&B is a great way to share your love of food with others.
To Be Their Own Boss
Finally, many bed and breakfast owners leave professional or service type jobs so they can manage their own income and be their own boss.
Owning a business is hard work, but it’s quite satisfying to see something you’ve worked so hard for come to fruition.
It’s doubly satisfying if you are your own boss, which is why many people start B&Bs.
To Retire with an Income
Most people over 50 look forward to retirement, but many want to find a way to live comfortably and on their own terms.
They’re tired of the corporate rat race and owning a bed and breakfast is a great way to meet people in town and continue working while living in a lovely setting.
Bed and breakfast ownership allows retirees to fulfill a life-long dream outside of their previous career.
Now that you know why people start B&Bs, you can ask yourself if this is why you want to start one. Then, read on as we look at some questions to ask yourself before starting your own B&B.
Are You a People Person?
This really is the top question to ask yourself before leaving your day job, buying a historic home and setting up a bed and breakfast.
If you don’t like people and caring for their needs, then a B&B isn’t the best idea for you.
But, if meeting new people every day, cooking and cleaning for them, being a caretaker of a large home and providing for the needs of others sounds great, then a B&B is right up your alley.
As a B&B owner, you want to find joy in interacting with your guests.
A B&B isn’t like a regular hotel. You are sharing your home and your space with others. It’s an intimate setting, and one that you should enjoy if you become a B&B owner.
Do You Mind Working Nights, Weekends and Holidays?
Hopefully, if you want to own a B&B, your answer is, “Of course I don’t mind!”
Owning a bed and breakfast is more than a full-time job. It means late nights, long weekends and holidays missed with family and friends.
You’ll have to relegate your vacation time to your off-season.
If this all sounds great to you, then a B&B is a good plan for you.
Are You Looking for Immediate Cash Flow?
If you want to work hard and consistently over a number of months or years, and you are content to grow your business slowly, starting a B&B is a good idea.
But, if you’re looking for a get-rich quick scheme, you might want to look elsewhere for a new career.
While owning a bed and breakfast can be profitable and sustainable for the long-term, it’s going to take a little while to establish yourself as the best place to stay in town.
Remember that your occupancy will rise and fall throughout the year, so you want to plan ahead for your down-times.
Are You Business Savvy?
So, you like to entertain, you’re social, you are a great cook, and you don’t mind cleaning up after strangers. But, can you manage your books and handle your accounting?
Owning a bed and breakfast isn’t all about the fun of decorating a charming home, baking and meeting new people. It’s serious business.
If you don’t know how to manage your money, hire and manage staff, advertise and strategize ways to grow your business, you want to consult with an advisor beforehand.
Or, perhaps your strengths are on the people side of things, and your spouse is adept at handling the business matters. If this is the case, be sure and use each partner in ways that highlight their individual strengths.
Are You Prepared to Work Hard?
So much goes into running a successful bed and breakfast, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you’re ready to work that hard.
Take a look at these things to give you a broad idea of the work load that goes along with B&B ownership:
- You wake up before the rest of the house, usually before the sun comes up to get a gourmet breakfast on the table.
- Count on breakfast taking at least three hours from start to finish. This is the cooking, eating, socializing and clean-up.
- Visit each bedroom and bathroom for clean-up each day. This can take up to two hours depending on the number of rooms.
- You will do laundry, every day.
- Answer the phone and check your email for new reservations and follow-up. Count on another hour at least. This can also interrupt your day causing you to get behind.
- Take care of the gardening tasks – several hours per week if you want it to look good.
- Purchasing food for any number of people – if you’re using fresh produce, this is another daily task.
- Preparing afternoon tea or wine and a snack – another several hours from start to finish.
- Dinner prep, serving and clean-up if you offer it. This will take you another few hours.
- Attending to the daily management of staff (if you have them) – another hour or so.
So, you can see that owning a B&B is a lot of work, and if you’re up for it, that’s great.
We’ve looked at why people start B&Bs and given you some questions to ask yourself if starting a bed and breakfast is your dream.
If you do decide to begin a B&B, be sure and do your research and make a business plan.
Be prepared for as much as you can, and you’ll be well on your way to bed and breakfast success.
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