So you’re thinking about opening up your own bed and breakfast establishment? Congratulations!! You are among a growing number of entrepreneurs who have accepted this calling. So much so that the innkeeper industry, which only had approximately 1,000 properties and hosted a million guests in 1980 has grown to 28,000 properties hosting 50.5 million guests annually by the turn of the millennium, according to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII).
Certainly your imagination is filled with images of a perfectly restored historic home, romantic rooms that are tastefully appointed, lovingly rejuvenated and re-purposed antiques, the smell of fresh coffee and warm cinnamon buns made from your grandmother’s secret recipe wafting through the kitchen and up the stairs, gently waking your smiling guests…
But wait! The Lavender Room has a clogged toilet and the gentleman from the Queen Ann Cottage just spilled Pinot Noir on your homemade chintz pillow case!
The life of a bed and breakfast owner is undoubtedly a mixed bag of developing and nurturing positive visitor relationships and, well… dealing with flawed and often demanding human beings, known in the industry as “guests”.
Here are just a few of the many important considerations you must be clear on BEFORE you commit to making inn keeping your life’s work:
- Look at your home objectively, as if you were a guest in your own home. Sleep in each room and be sensitive to annoyances such as street noise, barking dogs, squeaky bed frames, glare from outside security lights and signage, ticking clocks and other potential irritants. Is there adequate closet space, climate control, space to move around?
- There is a growing demand among those who frequent B&B’s for private baths. Although this may not be a deal breaker for all potential guest/customers, adequate sharing arrangements must be made and the rules made clear to guests. Ultimately you may lose free bathroom access in your own home.
- How will security be handled? Will you supply keys for the front door and individual rooms, or set times by which the front door will be locked. What if a guest loses a key? Will you require an upfront deposit or charge a lost key fee after the fact? There is not right or wrong answer; you must however have established policies regarding security.
- Are there enough year-round activities available to your guests to keep the vacancy rate low and the profit flowing 365 days a year.
- And speaking of 365 days a year… are your ready to forfeit your own privacy as many days?
Once you have made the decision to enter the hospitality industry, let the knowledgeable staff at InnStyle be your source for everything you will need for establishing your B&B or inn. Call us at 800-877-4667 and ask for our B&B or Inn start-up guide. Inquire about our wide variety of wholesale bed and breakfast and inn supplies and services. Let us assist you in selecting the perfect bedding and linens to suit your unique needs, saving you time and money. We will guide you about the items and quantities to make your opening day run smoothly. Of course we will send you samples to see, test and touch.
We are certain you will not find another company as accommodating as InnStyle in providing you with the personal service you need to provide the accommodations your guests expect.