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Open a Bed & Breakfast Inn
Although many folks love being Bed and Breakfast guests, some think that because they love going to B&Bs, they would love to run one.. Running a B&B is a very different proposition than being a guest, however. The "never let them see you sweat" concept has never been truer. It requires experience and maturity and taking the risk of investing a great deal of money, often relocating to a different part of the country and suddenly having to wear many more hats than ever before. Prospective innkeepers need to be able to select a property, decide between an existing enterprise and starting from scratch. They plan whatever construction is necessary to make the place big enough for both private quarters and guest rooms, decorate, create the image for their new inn, do a business plan, create a marketing strategy, secure financing, hire a staff. Once open they must manage the staff, and oversee operations so that things run smoothly. Today the internet is a critical part of marketing and the creation and management of your website, interacting with guests both by phone and email, and positioning your business so that it is easy for potential guests to find out about you is key to success.
Having a fantasy about being an innkeeper is not enough. Those who will be successful in this business read books, attend seminars and complete an internship before setting out with a realtor. Getting a chance to live "the life" and see how tied you will be to your business is a must. They join organizations as aspiring innkeepers, attend conferences, and subscribe to aspiring innkeeper newsletters like The Yellow Brick Road. The more they know, the better equipped they will be to become part of a lifestyle that has many rewards. Most long time innkeepers will tell you that they probably could have made much more money doing something else, but the business has enabled them to do the things that they love most, live in a beautiful home in an interesting area and meet many people who have enriched their lives beyond measure.
Barbara Notarius has run the Alexander Hamilton House in Croton-on-Hudson, NY for more than 20 years. She is the author of "Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast", now in it's forth edition. She offers seminars and internships as well as serves as speaker, consultant and expert witness to the industry.