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Donajhi 
Posted: 28-Aug-2007, 04:16 PM
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My daughter and I have been discussing the purchasing of a B&B.
Don't know where yet.
Anyone have any knowledge or advise on the subject?
We are clueless but, love to have guests and care for them.
So doing what we like and making money sounds good to us. huh.gif biggrin.gif


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 28-Aug-2007, 06:35 PM
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To most of the places that I've been travelling I always stayed at B&B's
because to me that's the better way to really get to know the true culture in any countries.By meeting with the local folks.

I asked the question many times about the "how to do" in this business and the answer was pretty much the same all the time.

Most of the different cities or countries have a "Tourist Board Association" that any good B&B owner is enlisted and they give you advice on how to operate your business.Because there is some standard to respect.It is like operating a hotel.
That what most folks told us when ask why you have to be enlisted in the tourist board.And I know as well that in some places the council insist that you be a member or you just can't open at all.

The Tourist Board has people doing rounds to investigate if things are operating properly and respecting standards.

Maybe you can look up in your area if they have one.


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TandVh 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 08:22 AM
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Doing what you like to do for an ocupation is a wonderful thing, but, you need a good business plan before jumping into any endeavor. We have been wanting to open a old world style shop selling celtic related items- herbs and plants, oils and aromatics, soy candles, celtic artwork, books, music, etc., so my wife, son, and daughter enrolled in a small business class at the local college to learn how to follow the dream in a realistic manner.
You probably already know all of this, but, I thought I'd just throw it in as I seem to be experiencing a moment of lucidity right now- hopefully it won't last long!


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Donajhi 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 11:09 AM
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Lady of Avalon, thank you for such sound advise. As soon as we set our sites
on the perfect state, I shall investigate the board governing the B&B industry.

Of course if dreams could come true, I would have a lovely castle in the highlands.
Huge great royal rooms and a chef to prepare the local fare.

Oh well, maybe in my next life........HA!HA!
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Donajhi 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 11:13 AM
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TandVh, what a wonderful idea. Have the classes been helpful? I took
Business classes for credit only in collage. What a fool, I did not take it
serious and now I need it. That was so long ago we were writing on stone
tablets. A lot has changed and I do need to take some lessons.
Excellent idea, thanks loads.
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oldraven 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 01:24 PM
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My advice? Spell it with a 'c'. wink.gif


I'm sorry, I can't help in any other way. sad.gif


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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 05:39 PM
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QUOTE (Donajhi @ 28-Aug-2007, 04:16 PM)
My daughter and I have been discussing the purchasing of a B&B.
Don't know where yet.
Anyone have any knowledge or advise on the subject?
We are clueless but, love to have guests and care for them.
So doing what we like and making money sounds good to us. huh.gif biggrin.gif

Do you want to purchase an existing B&B or start your own from scratch?

Buying a turn key operation usually means a higher price that you will pay but it all depends on how busy the place is. Buying a house and turning it into a B&B usually requires major renovation. One way or the other, it's a big time investment, moneterially and physically.

Either way you decide to go, location, location, location, is the most important. Owning a B&B in the desert and no thru traffic will be a total failure. Being near National Parks or places of tourist attractions will be your biggest asset. Having some corporate offices in the local area is always a major plus. Employees of the company from out of town, will need a place to stay during seminars or training. Why not your B&B. Offer them a corporate rate and let the company know you exist.

Find the right property that has some character or something historical happened there. You need some kind of catch that will draw people to your door. People who stay at B&B's aren't looking for boring. They want to pull up in the driveway and feel excited about staying there. Once inside, they want to continue that feeling. Nice furnishings, rugs, wide hardwood floors, fireplaces. A cozy place that isn't antiseptic.

A MAJOR NO NO, do not let people share bathrooms. Make sure that every bedroom you have, it has it's own bathroom. You will lose more guests if they know that they have to share a bathroom with other guests. They simply will go elsewhere.

There are a number of books available at the bookstore and most basically say the same thing. Find 2 or 3 that look interesting to you and read every word. They all give very helpful hints on how to make your guests happy, without killing yourself. One of the better ones is, The Complete Idiots Guide to Opening A B&B. In most of the books, they give you lists of B&B web pages, travel magazines and such that you can become listed on, so people can find you easier. Choose your advertising wisely. It can burn a hole in your pocket quickly and never bring you a dime. When guests come to stay or call you on the phone, ask them where they found out about your B&B. Keep records of that and put your advertising budget into those areas that are bringing you customers.

As for purchasing an existing B&B, there are plenty for sale all around this country. Here's one page just for that purpose: http://www.bbonline.com/innkeeper/innsale.html

If I think of more things, I'll post them. And there are plenty of other things for you to learn. laugh.gif
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TandVh 
Posted: 29-Aug-2007, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE (Donajhi @ 29-Aug-2007, 11:13 AM)
TandVh, what a wonderful idea. Have the classes been helpful?

The semester just started so I can't say yet- although I am confident they'll be quite helpful especially since I'm just a romantic and spend all my offtime just dreaming about these things. My wife and kids are going to do the practical things in getting this thing off the ground.

It's certainly nice to know you're trying to do a business with your daughter. Families should work together.

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Donajhi 
Posted: 30-Aug-2007, 01:26 PM
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A Shrule Egan, thank you for the information, suggestions, and website.
Everything is up in the air. Type of B&B, state to locate, also, right now
we want to purchase a B&B already in operation.
You do bring up several points we had not thought of.
I have diary I am recording all the advice and information in. We call it
"Dream's Can Come True"

A BIG "THANKS" TO ALL POSTING SUCH WONDERFUL ADVICE.....
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AShruleEgan 
Posted: 30-Aug-2007, 06:44 PM
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Donajhi, have you stayed at many B&B's? If you haven't, you need to hit the road and start getting ideas of how other B&B's survive. Pick the owners brains but not for to long. They have a daily routine that they need to keep, cleaning the rooms, laundry, shopping, etc. Most B&B owners love to sit at the breakfast table with their guests, AFTER, they have caught up on the morning dishes and cleaning the kitchen.

Have you thought about the breakfast menu you will serve? To control your food budget, set a Monday thru Friday menu, serving the same menu week after week. On the weekends, vary your breakfast. You will have more repeat guests on weekends and they wouldn't want to have the same thing every time they stay. Your weekday menu can be fairly simple, since you probably won't always be busy. Most weekday guests will be people passing through the area and need a one night stay or someone corporate who needs to stay a few days in the area.

Now, this is my own feelings on this subject. Do not have tv's in the bedrooms. Maybe a tv in the living room or some other designated room. But hide the tv in a cabinet. Let your guests know that you do have a tv, in case someone wishes to check the weather or news. You don't want to encourage your guests to hang out at the house. They will get in your way, when you want to clean and make noise. This is one of the reasons that you need to have a brochure display, holding brochures of all the local attractions. While serving them breakfast, let them know about some of the things in the local area that they need to explore. Put the display rack in an easy to find place.

Make it a point to stop by all the local attractions and introduce yourself and find out who the contact person will be, when you need more brochures. This is probably best done during the off season when you won't be so busy.

Go around to all the local restaurants and get a copy of their menu and directions to the place from your B&B. Put them in a binder and leave it out in the open for your guests to browse, unless, you plan on serving dinner too. NOT!!!!!

Use more expensive bed linens and use white, not colors. They will last longer and will match everything and will be easier to clean.

I'm sure I will think of a few more things. Give me some time. I'll be back. biggrin.gif
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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 30-Aug-2007, 10:41 PM
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Also try to find a way that guest who are in some sort of emergency can get a hold of you. My car alternator died on the way back from Minneapolis once and we got towed to a small town that had a B & B. It was only about 10:30 at night but Unfortunatly there was no way to contact anybody for a room and we ended up having to sleep in the car that night till help arrived from our home town.


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coastman 
Posted: 31-Aug-2007, 10:56 AM
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Get a business plan. If there is a college near by there is usually a free small business bureau which is affliated with the U.S. Small Business Administration to help you get started. Look under U.S Government for USDA Rural Development Business Program. This will help you if you live in a rural area. If there is not one in your county then there is a regional office that serves the county where you live. Then there is location location location. Do your homework before you start spending your money. When I started my charter boat business I developed a business plan to see if I could afford such a business. Hope this helps. cool.gif
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Donajhi 
Posted: 31-Aug-2007, 02:15 PM
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A Shrule Egan, yes I have been to several B&B's. Loved the feel of a cozy
cottage. Your other points are very important and have copied into my
diary. Never thought of the food concept, thanks. I am one of those people
that only eat once a day.

Robert Phoenix, you are a jewel to think of people stranded and in need of
assistance. Yes, an emergency number and van pick up might be just the
ticket. Of course there would be a travel limit for pick up, you know gas
and all.

Coastman, I live about a mile and half from the Cardinal's Stadium (UPS). The
big domed thing with real grass...whoopee. Always something going on there.
We have ASU that has a good business class. A business plan is what we are
trying to put together now. Our long term goal is 1-2 years to complete and
our budget is $800,000.00. That is right now, of course all of that will be altered
as we learn more.

THANKS SO VERY MUCH TO ALL, YOU REALLY ARE HELPING AND I APPRECIATE
IT. OF COURSE YOU REALIZE I AM GETTING THE POOP SCARED OUT OF ME.
STIFF UPPER LIP AND ALL THAT ROT........ eek.gif
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makleasunshine 
Posted: 01-Sep-2007, 12:49 AM
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Sorry if this was said already...if you do buy or take over a bed and breakfast please allow my 2 cents, that is if many agree as majority rules!

I have been looking for a Bed and breakfast for my husband and I to stay. Here are a few things I stay away from!!

Please use earth tone colors and resist the urge to flower the rooms to death. I know women are the major ones to be looking for a place but if the husbands gotta be there lets not kill them with girly ness galore! Pink and flowers, sigh!

And make sure it isnt on a street with other houses. I still couldnt get why some b&b owners have these right next to other homes. It takes away from the being there as it is just no different than visiting a friend, not a relaxing get away ya know!

If you can afford it, try to have something that sets you apart from the others in your area. Little extras are what I personally look for. The Inn keepers with extras make the stay even better.

Hope this helps smile.gif Oh and dont go in it to be rich, people who think that way dont always do a good job!
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Leyland 
Posted: 02-Sep-2007, 09:36 AM
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If you and your daughter are new to the hospitality industry as you seem to be, then perhaps one or both you might consider enrolling in Hotel Motel and Restaurant Management courses, either before during or after you get started up. Two friends earned associate degrees in Myrtle Beach which included cooking and accounting courses among the requirements. I worked as an accounting manager at a Marriott once, but I would love to be a professional small innkeeper! Best wishes for your dreams to come true.


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