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petitdejeuner

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Hi everyone! I've been lurking for a bit and wanted to INNtro myself before jumping in anywhere.

My husband and I have been talking for years about having a B&B someday as sort of a far-off pipe dream, but for some reason over the last few weeks we've turned a corner and are now talking about it as a serious plan for a future. I think we're still several years off from that reality for various reasons, but both of us are having fun daydreaming, sharing ideas, and learning as much as we can about this world in the meantime.

Looking forward to hearing words of wisdom, inspiration, commiseration, frustration, all of it! If anyone here has experience with combining your B&B business with agriculture, whether that's a small garden, a modest homestead, livestock, etc. I'd be especially happy to pick their brains as that's something we have a particular interest in.
 

Angie

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Hello
Glad you decided to join and see what the members can help you with and guide you how to do an INN or BnB the best way. Or what to avoid.
 

JimBoone

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Hi everyone! I've been lurking for a bit and wanted to INNtro myself before jumping in anywhere.

My husband and I have been talking for years about having a B&B someday as sort of a far-off pipe dream, but for some reason over the last few weeks we've turned a corner and are now talking about it as a serious plan for a future. I think we're still several years off from that reality for various reasons, but both of us are having fun daydreaming, sharing ideas, and learning as much as we can about this world in the meantime.

Looking forward to hearing words of wisdom, inspiration, commiseration, frustration, all of it! If anyone here has experience with combining your B&B business with agriculture, whether that's a small garden, a modest homestead, livestock, etc. I'd be especially happy to pick their brains as that's something we have a particular interest in.
Welcome, I‘m the odd kid here in that we operate an 8 room motel.

Ask yourself what you want, need, or expect from your business as that will determine your direction. For most of us there is a mix of enjoyment and financial expectations.

I wanted a job change, wanted to live in our vacation area, thought we would enjoy guests and the lodging business, always expected I would need an outside job and hoped the business would help provide a place to live. Needed to work for health insurance reasons.

Today nearly 30 years in and long past retirement age I get to enjoy being innkeeper full time, I recommend the life
 

TheBeachHouse

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We did that. Talked about an inn as a gateway to retirement. Bought ours seven years ago. I retired three years ago. Love it. (Except when I don’t.).

There are two for sale in Rockport, MA right now. One for under a mil.
 

GoodScout

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My suggestion to all guests who think they want to try "the life" is to inn-sit for a current inn owner for a week while they're on vacation. In one week you'll know whether innkeeping is for you.
 

gillumhouse

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Many States are now promoting agri-tourism. Wet Virginia has Small Farms Conference and a very active Agriculture Department that is promoting Agri-Tourism aggressively. We have several B & Bs with working farms. Check with the Agriculture Department/Commission of your State for what they are doing.

Welcome and best to you. (I was a start-up in 1996 and am considered agri-tourism because I use local products and grow my own berries.)
 

petitdejeuner

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Wow, thank you everyone for the warm welcome! Not that I didn't expect it from you lot.

Welcome, I‘m the odd kid here in that we operate an 8 room motel.

Ask yourself what you want, need, or expect from your business as that will determine your direction. For most of us there is a mix of enjoyment and financial expectations.

I wanted a job change, wanted to live in our vacation area, thought we would enjoy guests and the lodging business, always expected I would need an outside job and hoped the business would help provide a place to live. Needed to work for health insurance reasons.

Today nearly 30 years in and long past retirement age I get to enjoy being innkeeper full time, I recommend the life
That's encouraging to hear. We have a favorite vacation spot a couple hours from us that would be our ideal area but think we could also be flexible about location. I could see myself continuing to do some outside work; I'm in school right now for interior design (making a career change and already sort of planning my next I admit) and the idea of maintaining some form of that besides working on my own B&B appeals to me a lot.

We did that. Talked about an inn as a gateway to retirement. Bought ours seven years ago. I retired three years ago. Love it. (Except when I don’t.).

There are two for sale in Rockport, MA right now. One for under a mil.
How long were you in the dreaming/planning stage before you bought? I think ten years or a little less is a good estimate for our plans. We'll still be a ways off from retirement age then but I really don't see us continuing to live in a big city past that point and I think we figure if we're going to move out to someplace more rural, this is what we'd really like to focus our time and energy on.

P.S. Our new hobby on shared evenings off from work is to look at inns for sale. We've gone through all the sites I've seen mentioned here and the other day I think I lost about two hours scouring our whole state on realtor.com!

My suggestion to all guests who think they want to try "the life" is to inn-sit for a current inn owner for a week while they're on vacation. In one week you'll know whether innkeeping is for you.
We've talked about trying to learn the ropes as assistant innkeepers or some such but it seems unlikely we'd find a post that would accept all of our pets along with us. The inn-sitting idea is a great short-term alternative, we'll be tucking that away!

Many States are now promoting agri-tourism. Wet Virginia has Small Farms Conference and a very active Agriculture Department that is promoting Agri-Tourism aggressively. We have several B & Bs with working farms. Check with the Agriculture Department/Commission of your State for what they are doing.

Welcome and best to you. (I was a start-up in 1996 and am considered agri-tourism because I use local products and grow my own berries.)
Yes it's a field we're really interested in! We live in California and there seems to be pretty robust support for it here -- there's a good chance we'll try to stay in CA but I'm also getting the sense my husband would like to try living in another state, which I've done but he hasn't. I'm hoping to have the chance to take some horticulture classes when I'm done with my current program and would just love to grow my own berries again (we had raspberry bushes when I was a kid that turned out the most delicious fruit).
 

KenW

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Lots to consider, my wife and Have been in the people business for many years.We are in the process of transition from our business of 26 years to our Alaska BnB within 2 years. For me, being a handyman is crucial.Youtube has been a lifesaver. Our Lodge is only open May through August so where it's located may have its challenges. We winter in Texas. We had had 0 experience in Hospitality Lodging so for us its been a learn as we go but being part of online groups have been essential. Every year we learn from our experience, learning what we like to do and what we dont.You can't be everything to everybody so find your niche and make it great. Resurrectionlodge.com
 

petitdejeuner

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"You lot" sounds British. Petitdejeuner sounds French. So, Canadian? The curiosity is killing me ;-)
W*E*L*C*O*M*E*!!!
Haha, nope, I'm as American as they come: TX to IL to PA to CA. I just talk like a weirdo sometimes (and suspect I may have been influenced by having spent the last three afternoons listening to an audiobook of 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' at work). Petit dejeuner means breakfast, I've been trying to regain at least my high school level of French ability!

Lots to consider, my wife and Have been in the people business for many years.We are in the process of transition from our business of 26 years to our Alaska BnB within 2 years. For me, being a handyman is crucial.Youtube has been a lifesaver. Our Lodge is only open May through August so where it's located may have its challenges. We winter in Texas. We had had 0 experience in Hospitality Lodging so for us its been a learn as we go but being part of online groups have been essential. Every year we learn from our experience, learning what we like to do and what we dont.You can't be everything to everybody so find your niche and make it great. Resurrectionlodge.com
That view is incredible. And I love "find your niche and make it great."
 

gillumhouse

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Haha, nope, I'm as American as they come: TX to IL to PA to CA. I just talk like a weirdo sometimes (and suspect I may have been influenced by having spent the last three afternoons listening to an audiobook of 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' at work). Petit dejeuner means breakfast, I've been trying to regain at least my high school level of French ability!



That view is incredible. And I love "find your niche and make it great."
But locate where you WANT to live because that is where you will be all the time. Will YOU fit in, do you like the people, do you want to be involved there..... I know people who fell in love with the building but did nothing to "fit in" and do not like (and are not liked) by the people and wish they could get out but financially cannot.

I am an "alien" in my city but we worked at fitting in - me growing up in WV albeit over 100 miles from here helped even though Himself was from Illinois. Today, I am part of this City because I made this my HOME. Consider where your guests will come from, what will bring them, etc. but make sure that it also feels like HOME.
 

JimBoone

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That view is incredible. And I love "find your niche and make it great."
THIS, I think KenW sums up the key to happiness in his statement. It may be a slower start, but when we attract guests who like us as we are it makes for an easy life. We don't face the "burn out" that comes from the pressure of trying to be something that we are not.
 

YellowSocks

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I agree with all the great advice here. Live where you love and where you fit in. I love where I live and it helps for longevity. Find the niche that is yours. The cool thing about bed and breakfasts is how unique each one is.

My B&B is small and I have two other jobs, but I am glad I started before I got too old. The first innkeeper I asked about innkeeping replied, "Brawn! Long days and hard work!" It's true. Even if you have the money to have a larger place with staff to do the work, it can still be really long days. But if you feel called to innkeeping, then sooner rather than later is good, if you can swing it.

I got a ton of advice online, much of it from people in this forum. Good luck!!
Kk.
 

Samster

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Petitdejeuner - As a *retired* innkeeper, my best advice is to work at a place for experience if you can before you commit your personal resources. I had done this and it was helpful to learn what NOT to do. Even then it won't be the same as being the owner/innkeeper. Secondly, nail down the division of business responsibility with any partner in this venture, especially if either or both of you will continue with jobs outside of the business. It's a demanding profession in terms of time and money. But it can also be very rewarding if you enjoy meeting all kinds of folks. Full disclosure: I closed my business when I was seeing the best return on my investment because of how I wasn't available for my family. We had been rated #1 on Trip Advisor in our city. It's all about choices. Best of luck as you continue your search!!
 

petitdejeuner

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Petitdejeuner - As a *retired* innkeeper, my best advice is to work at a place for experience if you can before you commit your personal resources. I had done this and it was helpful to learn what NOT to do. Even then it won't be the same as being the owner/innkeeper. Secondly, nail down the division of business responsibility with any partner in this venture, especially if either or both of you will continue with jobs outside of the business. It's a demanding profession in terms of time and money. But it can also be very rewarding if you enjoy meeting all kinds of folks. Full disclosure: I closed my business when I was seeing the best return on my investment because of how I wasn't available for my family. We had been rated #1 on Trip Advisor in our city. It's all about choices. Best of luck as you continue your search!!
Honestly I think we’d love to do that but the right situation for us might not exist mostly because of our animals. At present we have three dogs (two of whom are disabled), five chickens, and we’re working towards getting a rescue tortoise. By the time we’re ready to move and make the big career change those specific animals may not be with us, but I don’t ever see us not having multiple dogs at the very least and it seems absurd to imagine we’d find a workplace that would be able to accommodate our little menagerie.
 

JimBoone

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I’m thinking maybe Samster was suggesting a local experience to gain some insight into the business side of the operation rather than a position, but just a guess, the need may depend on your background experience.

Check our this site Best Farmstay In NSW With Luxury Accommodation / Ba Mack Farmstay I follow these folk on Facebook. We stayed at a spot in Pennsylvania some years back complete with csts, dogs, cows and chickens, kids got to gather their breakfast eggs from the hens. Long ago before my time, mom spent time at a place called Moody’s Farm. I expect there are ways you could combine your interests to the advantage of all.
 
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