Dream Career: Bed & Breakfast Owner
If you enjoy socializing with people throughout your work day, but you dream of working from home, consider a career as a bed and breakfast owner.
Bed and breakfast owners are proprietors of their own inns. But you don't leave the house to go to work every day -- you live and work in your home.
What They Do
As a bed and breakfast owner you will use your natural hospitality, your friendly personality, and your homemaking skills to make your home into a pleasant inn for paying guests. You will offer a cozy alternative to impersonal chain hotels.
Although your bed and breakfast can be whatever you want to make it, they are commonly found in historical or rural homes, or places that are otherwise unique. Each guest room in your inn should be special in some way. You will greet and host out-of-town guests, providing meals, conversation, and sometimes planned activities.
Bed and breakfasts with fewer than five rooms can generally be expected to provide income for one owner, or supplement retirement income for a couple. Those with more than five rooms can provide a full-time income for two, but may require hiring additional staff. Or the bed and breakfast can be a family affair, with everyone even the kids contributing to the running of the business.
As a bed and breakfast owner you will do some or all of the following:
Who is Likely to Succeed
With your natural sense of hospitality you will enjoy helping your guests, and enjoy having them in your home. You are friendly and like meeting people from all walks of life. You know your region well and what the interesting and fun things to do are, and have an idea of how best to market specialized services like a bed and breakfast.
You don't mind clearing the table, vacuuming or making beds, since you'll be doing these tasks daily. It helps if you are a good cook, a good home manager, and are at least somewhat handy around the house.
How to Learn It
Most bed and breakfasts have a web presence these days, so you can start learning about running a bed and breakfast by looking at these websites. Take a look at how they are run, what they look like, their services, accommodations and rates. As part of your research, spend the night at several bed and breakfasts that you have determined are most like what you envision for yours. Think about how your inn will be similar, and what you will do to stand out.
Seminars are offered on a frequent basis across North America about how to be an innkeeper or start your own bed and breakfast. Some even offer hands-on apprenticeships. You can search for courses and consultants at Bed and Breakfast Inns Online, or read a good guidebook like the FabJob Guide to Become a Bed and Breakfast Owner by Angela Hynes.
To get some hands-on experience, look for or create opportunities to be an "inn-sitter" for bed and breakfast owners who need some time off but would prefer not to shut their doors. Contact bed and breakfast owners and let them know you are available, or look for opportunities in B&B-related publications and websites.
The Professional Association of Innkeepers International and the National Bed and Breakfast Association are organizations devoted to serving owners of bed and breakfasts and country inns. PAII hosts an annual convention and trade show with educational opportunities, and the chance to connect with others in your industry. There are also regional B&B associations across North America.
by Tag and Catherine Goulet:
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