If you like to cook and enjoy welcoming guests into your home, you might
find that running a bed and breakfast is a perfect fit.
A bed and breakfast (B and B) operator is someone who runs a mini-hotel
from their home. Sometimes, their home is an historic building. The home can
be large and spacious, or small and cozy. The home has one or more extra rooms
that the operator, also called an innkeeper, rents out to guests.
There are many duties that a B and B operator must perform. The house has
to be kept exceptionally clean because guests are always coming and going.
Breakfast, snacks and occasionally dinners are the responsibility of the innkeeper.
Plus, records need to be kept.
Additionally, since B and B operators usually live in the home from which
they rent rooms, there might be little time away from work, especially during
peak seasons, such as during holidays and over the summer.
Because most B and B operators work from home, the environment should be
one they enjoy spending time in. Many choose to operate a B and B because
they have extra space and enjoy the company of others.
It's a good idea to for a B and B operator to join a B and B association,
says Harriet Gould. She's a board member of the Nebraska Association of Bed
and Breakfast and has her own B and B.
"There are a lot of advantages," says Gould. "First of all, we're all
inspected (this gives guests extra peace of mind). Secondly, there's the opportunity
to showcase ourselves on the association's website." Gould says the association
also publishes travel brochures to help attract clients.
And one of the best advantages of joining an association? "The networking
opportunity with other B and B owners, to talk about issues and problems,"
The Internet has proven to be a wonderful tool for B and B operators to
promote their businesses to potential guests worldwide. Therefore, if you
have technological skills, that's a big asset. However, at the end of the
day what's most important is making people feel welcome in your home.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a lot of members who are tech-savvy, they are â€˜One with the
Internet,â€™â€ says Ingrid Thorson with the Professional Association of Innkeepers
International. â€œBut we also have those that don't live and die by search engine
optimization, and they still do well. The common thread is they provide outstanding
For many B and B operators, it's a part-time business. They continue working
another job until retirement. At that point they devote all their time to
their B and B.
"Location is the main factor in being able to make it a full-time business,"
Gould says that additional amenities, such as spa and fitness facilities,
make it more likely that you can earn a full-time living from your B and B.
Of course, this requires a much larger investment in your home. But if you
can do it, then you can attract high-end clientele and increase your revenue.
If you're located in a popular tourist destination, are near a large city,
or you're in a warmer climate, then it's generally easier to attract guests
throughout the year.