Have you ever imagined what it would be like to become a bed and breakfast owner and run a bed and breakfast business? With the rising popularity of travel sites like Airbnb, an increasing number of travelers are looking for alternatives to traditional hotel stays. Many tourists are seeking unique accommodations with personal touches and tips from local residents.
Bed and breakfast inns offer a sought-after lodging experience, and as the owner of a bed and breakfast, you can live and work in the home of your dreams. Here are strategies to breaking into this dream career, based on the FabJob Guide to Become a Bed and Breakfast Owner, the textbook for IAP Career College’s Bed and Breakfast Owner Certificate Course.
According to industry sources, bed and breakfast inns are the fastest growing segment of the lodging business. There are an estimated 200,000 in the United States alone. Is there room for more? Absolutely.
In a fast-track, high-speed world, both vacationers and business travelers appreciate the home-away-from-home comfort of a bed and breakfast over impersonal chain hotels. In the past, bed and breakfasts have been largely thought of as rural establishments, but city inns – catering to both tourists and business people – are one of the top emergent sectors of the industry.
As your own boss, you can run your bed and breakfast alone if you are the independent type. Or the bed and breakfast can be a family affair, with the whole family contributing to the running of the business. Plus many of the expenses of running your home will be tax deductible.
To become a bed and breakfast owner, all you need is to find your niche and do the work. Many people with no prior experience in the hospitality business have made successes of being innkeepers. By opening a bed and breakfast or “B&B”, you can make money using your culinary and decorating skills to host interesting visitors from around the world. Your bed and breakfast can bring tremendous enjoyment to a wide range of travelers and a great deal of satisfaction to you.
Depending on how many rooms you want to rent out, you could enjoy a part-time or a full-time income. If your business is seasonal, catering to a ski crowd or summer vacationers, you can close during the off-season for more personal time.
Conventional wisdom is that an inn with less than five guest rooms is a part-time business for an owner. For a couple, perhaps one could maintain his or her day job while the other runs the bed and breakfast. Inns over five rooms can provide a full-time income, but also likely will require hiring staff to help with the work.
No specific education is necessary to become an innkeeper. You can get hands-on experience by becoming an “inn sitter” before you take the plunge with your own bed and breakfast.
You do need to have some business savvy including basic bookkeeping skills. Marketing expertise is also important, and there are many resources available for acquiring that knowledge. Having the skill set of a handy-person is a nice bonus, so you can make minor repairs to maintain your home in perfect condition.
Perhaps the most important thing is to really love company and to be excited about the prospect of having people – make that strangers – in your home. The ambience that you create for your guests will make a world of difference both in your own enjoyment of the job, and in whether or not they have a great stay that will prompt good word-of-mouth and repeat business.
Apart from being a “people person,” another important factor to consider about being an innkeeper is that it puts you in the service industry. Guests will be paying you considerable amounts of their hard-earned money to spend special occasions such as honeymoons or vacations at your bed and breakfast. They will expect, and deserve, to be treated well.
To learn how you can get started in a dream career as a bed and breakfast owner, check out the Bed and Breakfast Certificate Course offered by the International Association of Professions Career College (IAP Career College). For more information, visit https://www.iapcollege.com/program/bed-and-breakfast-owner-course.