3 years?!!

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AjMed's picture
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As an inspiring B&B owner in the UK, my wife and I spoke to a consultant about her services and what she could offer us.

During the conversation she said that people usually own their B&B for three years (year 2 is just as hard as year 1 so they sell in year 3) or they own it for life (until retirement).

Is this true because this feels pretty bleak? In all honesty, I'm not looking to own a B&B for the rest of my life (I'm in my thirties) but I also don't want to be miserable for the next 3 years!

 

egoodell's picture
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We are in year 6 and are just fine.

Riki

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Hillbilly's picture
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Someone a long time ago told me something. We can make you love it or hate being an innkeeper. What direction would you like to go. There is a lot of truth to this. To be truthful about it, you will experience both. Everyone is different. You won't really know if you can handle it until you become an innkeeper. All the books and classes can't prepare you for becoming an innkeeper.

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Madeleine's picture
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If you don't do research then it can be just 3 years. We had a 10 year plan but the economy tanked and we can't get what we paid for the biz so we changed to a 15 year plan. Will we hate it year 15? Maybe. I hate it enough in August now.

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OnTheShore's picture
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We have just completed our second season, and are already booking up for our third, with no end in sight. Our problem isn't an exit plan from this business, but an exit plan from our "other" life (we're still juggling careers/lives in different jobs in different states -- now that is a recipe for burnout....).

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Bigbid's picture
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Starting our 15th year.  When we opened, i read several places that 7 years was the average.

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If you are not prepared for what you are getting into, you may not last a year. There are many who don't...but you probably won't be able to sell due to market.  TAKE AN INNKEEPER COURSE yourself. Don't just let a "so called" consultant talk you into anything. Stay in places and see what you like and don't like. 

Of course, you said you were doing more a small hotel than B & B. You never said if you had financing or not. IF not, then you may not have a thing to worry about because you won't be running one any time soon.

gillumhouse's picture
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I am in year #18. The reason I will sell is to guarantee - at least for a little while - that my City keeps a B & B. It needs a B & B.

Joey Camb's picture
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if it helps DH (dear husband) have been  in the trade a combined 37 years in Jan and while we are looking forward to being shut for a week for Christmas we certainly aren't looking to get out any time soon, and are actually looking at expanding! Trouble is people see B&B as you do breakfast and the day is yours - and then after a year when they realise it isn't, have a big mortgage to pay and are tired because they didn't factor holidays or staff into the equation ie these are the reasons properties in my area are up for sale.

(1) neighbour 1 is getting out as they have bought a stately home type property they are making into top end B&B plus wedding venue and need the capital to finish renovating it.

(2) couple number 2 I know is trying to get out as they and this is a quote "forgot we had 2 kids when buying the B&B" this meant that all 4 of them were living in one room in the B&B for 2 years! they then had to buy another house to live in and spend all the time running back and forth and trying to pay 2 mortgages - this means no paid help in the B&B so the wife has to do all the rooms by herself (8 of them) every day while the husband works to make ends meet

(3) 2 sisters who own a place been there 10 years are now at retirement age and knew they would have a hard time selling as they are 22 bedrooms and have now been on the market 3 years

I personally run on the principle of I don't want to iron sheets all day every day and scrub toilets - ill do it when the chamber maid is on holiday but its not for me! therefore I wanted a property big enough to have staff - but then staff come with their own problems!

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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in the U.S., it's generally thought that the average burn out rate is approximate 8 years.

Arks's picture
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AjMed wrote:

During the conversation she said that people usually own their B&B for three years...

Many these days own it a long longer three years just because there aren't many buyers in the current market.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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AjMed, why don't you make a poll question here as see how long we've all been doing it!

AjMed's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

AjMed, why don't you make a poll question here as see how long we've all been doing it!

Great idea! Thanks

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

They say that the burn-out rate is about 1 year. That's because a lot of people don't realize that they actually have to WORK. They just think it runs on it's own. You need to have realistic expectations. I get up at 7AM to make breakfast and the end of my day is 6PM when I set the guests for self-check-in. I get time off during the day. And sometimes guests have questions later too. You don't have as much privacy either.

Here are the questions to ask... who's going to make breakfast? Who's going to clean the rooms? Who's going to scrub the toilets? Who's going to change lightbulbs, sweep stairs, repaint scuff marks? Who's going to greet guests? Who's going to answer email, phones? It's all work that has to be done. This isn't magic.

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Sugar Bear wrote:

Here are the questions to ask... who's going to make breakfast? Who's going to clean the rooms? Who's going to scrub the toilets? Who's going to change lightbulbs, sweep stairs, repaint scuff marks? Who's going to greet guests? Who's going to answer email, phones? It's all work that has to be done. This isn't magic.

Who's going to pay the bills? whos going to do the marketing? whos going to make/keep up the website? who's going to ensure the $$ is coming in? whos going to clean your private space? whos going to do the yard work and tend to the gardens? Whos going to  ???

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Joey Camb's picture
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I would also say as advice for anyone - you have to be very sure you can get on together working in the same place all day everyday - plus you have to have very clear discussions about who is doing what as well as ie say the chamber maid rings in sick - there can be none of this "oh no that's not my job" guests expect their room to be ready they don't give a monkeys about your staffing problem! blocked toilet, splitting headache, that you've just had a huge row etc

Generic's picture
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Don't even ASK how many times I have fired MoH. And yet, shows up the next day and works as if nothing happened.

gillumhouse's picture
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Sounds like the story DH told of having a fight with his late wife all the way to a friends house for a party. As they arrived she was shouting "You SO" and turned smiling to a friend at the car door with a sweet, "Hi!" That is how it is to be an innkeeper - snarl to smile in a nanosecond!

gillumhouse's picture
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Sunshine wrote:

Sugar Bear wrote:

Here are the questions to ask... who's going to make breakfast? Who's going to clean the rooms? Who's going to scrub the toilets? Who's going to change lightbulbs, sweep stairs, repaint scuff marks? Who's going to greet guests? Who's going to answer email, phones? It's all work that has to be done. This isn't magic.

Who's going to pay the bills? whos going to do the marketing? whos going to make/keep up the website? who's going to ensure the $$ is coming in? whos going to clean your private space? whos going to do the yard work and tend to the gardens? Whos going to  ???

Someone cleans private space??????

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