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A bed-and-breakfast is more than just an inn or hotel. B&Bs also provide breakfast for guests and are known for their warm and friendly atmospheres. Some bed-and-breakfast owners do all of the work necessary at the inn, but you can also hire employees to help you with certain aspects of the business.
When working in your bed-and-breakfast, you perform all of the duties of an innkeeper. This includes setting up reservations, checking guests in and out, answering questions and complaints from guests, cooking and serving breakfast and providing housekeeping services. You must also share and enforce the rules and policies of your inn. Other tasks include shopping for food and supplies, making repairs and maintaining the grounds.
Managing the Business
You must also manage the financial and administrative tasks necessary to keep the bed-and-breakfast running. This includes maintaining client files, paying bills and taxes, setting pricing for your services and creating a financial plan. In addition, you must create and follow a marketing plan to bring guests into your inn. Finally, you must comply with laws and regulations. This includes maintaining a business and food service license, as well as liability and property insurance and complying with fire regulations. If you have employees, you will also have to create schedules and manage payroll.
Work Conditions and Hours
You will work and live in a room or apartment at your bed-and-breakfast. As the owner of the business, you will set your own working hours. You will have to work in the morning to cook and serve breakfast and schedule time at the front desk to assist guests with check-in and checkout. Expect to work weekends and holidays as these will likely be busy times for your business. You also have to work some nights to assist guests and handle emergency repairs.
You don't need any specific education or experience to own a bed-and-breakfast, but you should be able to handle basic bookkeeping and financial statements. Organization is critical to manage your business. You should be patient, a good communicator and have excellent customer service skills. Most importantly, you must have the startup capital needed to buy a bed-and-breakfast. You will need enough to purchase or lease the property and to cover overhead expenses including utilities and food until your B&B is profitable.
As the owner of a bed-and-breakfast, you will only make money if your business is profitable. Your income is based on the number of rooms you fill, as well as your rates, expenses and overhead. However, Entrepreneur warns you not to expect to make a good deal of money unless you sell a successful bed and breakfast.
- University of Alaska Center for Economic Development: Starting a Bed and Breakfast
- GoNomad: So You Think You Want to Open a B&B?
- NuWire Investor: Opening a Bed and Breakfast
- Fox Business: Inn Business - More Baby Boomers Turn to Bed and Breakfast Ownership
- Entrepreneur: How to Start a Bed and Breakfast
Maureen Malone started writing in 2008. She writes articles for business promotion and informational articles on various websites. Malone has a Bachelor of Science in technical management with an emphasis in biology from DeVry University.