Purchasing/starting a B&B with a group vs alone?

10 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined:
03/27/2014

Hello! My dream has always been to own/operate a B&B. I am in my 20s and work successfully in the hotel industry. I have run across two other coworkers throughout my career with the same dream, and they are interested in pooling our resources to purchase and run a B&B together. There will be 6 of us including spouses. As we've looked into this plan, reality is setting in on the huge financial commitment this is and the wisdom in getting involved with other families. I've noticed that more often, B&Bs are run by independents or married couples, typically older or as more a retirement plan, so I thought it'd be wise to do more research on why this is and the reason behind it before I get too vested financially into this plan.

I am posting this in hopes of gaining some insight from those of you that have been successful in this venture and get your advice on if/how to move forward with this as a group. We are looking at this as more of a side "business" so to speak for the short term. Any insight or advice you have would be extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!!

Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

We owned a rental house with 2 other couples many years ago.  I would never go into business with a group.  It was bad enough being in business with my husband!  Hahaha!  No, seriously...

__________________

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

I hate to inform you but everyone that has put their 2 cents forward so far has been right on target.  It is hard enough to get DH and I to agree let alone if we had 4 others to contend with!

What would happen if 6 mths down the road one couple wanted out?  This is a LONG term venture!!  Unless you are purchasing an existing, very profitable B&B, there will be more times you will be adding money to the B&B to keep it afloat than you will being in the black. 

Reality sucks! 

And about the toilet cleaning?  It sucks too!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We are looking at this as more of a side "business" so to speak for the short term. Any insight or advice you have would be extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!!

This answers your own question. This is not a "short term" side business thing. You have to be all in and for the long term.

As for the group question: Who gets to clean the toilets?            Who gets to do the laundry?    The ironing?      Scrub floors?                  Shop, lug, store the groceries?             Clean the refrigerator?                  Plunge the toilets at 3 AM?            Most will want to greet the guests and perhaps do the office stuff but the other chores need done also. Did not mention the cooking because there may be someone volunteering for that, but who will be the "Galley Wench"?

I could have done a lot better sooner if I did not have to have cooperation from DH - he owns half the house so unless he agrees (not easy) I cannot do anything financial as I need his signature on the dotted line. Six to agree? I have this bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale.......

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Agree with everyone else. Unless you have a huge property 1/3 of your group will need outside employment.

Think about doing anything with a group. How long does it take to decide what movie, what restaurant? Now extrapolate that to every stinkin' decision you have to make!

Of course there are all those extra people to help out when you're sick!

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

white pine's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/02/2010

Nothing will sour a friendship faster than being a business partner.   The more partners, the harder to make decisions. Life happens and they will want to take their share of the money out... ask any lawyer or accountant.  If you choose to do a bed and breakfast, save your money and plan to do it on you own. 

__________________

"Only philosophers and fools try to know the unknowable" Nero Wolfe

 

Joey Camb's picture
Offline
Joined:
04/02/2010

I agree - you cannot run a B&B by committee - there just isn't enough  money in it to be blunt

Plus I am a benevolent dictator - I'm the boss and do as I like - wouldn't work if I had to go through a committee every time I want to make a decision. (6 weeks later DH will come and say "what did we do about X?" and I say don't worry about it darling its all sorted and he goes back to the football happy - is fabulous at lots of things but in a crisis he just shouts rubbish - so I just don't tell him!

__________________

Don't mess with me today or I will kill you!!!!

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I agree - you cannot run a B&B by committee - there just isn't enough  money in it to be blunt

Plus I am a benevolent dictator - I'm the boss and do as I like - wouldn't work if I had to go through a committee every time I want to make a decision. (6 weeks later DH will come and say "what did we do about X?" and I say don't worry about it darling its all sorted and he goes back to the football happy - is fabulous at lots of things but in a crisis he just shouts rubbish - so I just don't tell him!

And that is why we love you Cambs. Shoot first and ask questions later!

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

No facts here, but observation - I think the reason B&B ownership seems a gig for the older set is because it takes money.   I wanted a B&B in my 20s and 30s but didn't have the money.   I needed to own a home for 15+ years to save up the equity to transfer to this house/business.

Most B&B homes will not have the space to house three couples (and children!!)   Most places I've looked at have a small two or three room apartment for the owner.

I could see a silent partner that can vacation there as part of the contract. 

Last point, in my business, it is just me, my husband and our son (who has no actual ownership).  We often run into disagreements about priorities and procedures.   Three couples running one house sounds like too many cooks spoiling the broth.

__________________

TBH

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Welcome to the forum Rachel!

Just from my own experience, I have ONE partner in this biz, my husband and he and I do not agree on much of what and how we do things.

It would not be easy to have more than one partner, and with everyone having skin in the game, it could be an issue financially.

As I say to our family, do what you want, you can't be fired! You will still have to do it. 

A business costs $, not the onset, but ongoing. If you ever watch Restaurant Impossible you will see business owners throwing money at their businesses continually to keep them afloat, not making a penny themselves and losing their shirts over it! Bringing someone else in to lose their shirt is the last thing I personally would consider. I want to make all the decisions myself, that is why I began in this business...

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

Here's my opinion on owning as a group. DON'T DO IT! First, they won't be your friends for very long once you have to work with them. Second, you would have to buy a hotel or motel with lots of room for all 6 of you to live off the income. It's just not financially viable for 6 people unless you spend millions to a big property.

Please, please, please, take an aspiring innkeeper workshop or seminar first. Find out what life is really like as an innkeeper and what kind of financial nest egg you'll need. On the surface, it all sounds so quaint and lovely....oh, wouldn't it be so much fun to have a b&b. That's not reality.

Go through this website and do searches (upper right on the screen, under "Featured Inn" box. Read, read, read everything you can. Then come back here and ask us more questions.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I chose this profession, but as a member on this forum says "Innkeeping is not for wimps"!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.