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If I could tell an aspiring innkeeper one thing it would be...

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Breakfast Diva

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What ONE thing do you wish you had been told before you became an innkeeper?
 

gillumhouse

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It is easier to make a full breakfast than to do a Continental Plus.
I started out making several vaieties of muffins and breads - what we had been served at our first B & B - and I thought that was great. Guests did not! They were disappointed. I learned and switched.
(I had been told a lot of the other needed things so it was not a case of not being told)
 

wendydk

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To start out taking credit cards from day one.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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Expect the unexpected and find some product like Rogaine that works on thickening skin.
 

sandynn

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On line booking!!!!!! I would not be without it.
I know you did not ask for two but can I say one other thing. Make your name easy to remember and spell.
 

swirt

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Don't try to be all things to all people....make policies you can live with, then stick to them.
 

gillumhouse

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Keep your domain name short & sweet and then write it down and READ IT! Does it say something you do not want it to say?
 

Breakfast Diva

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Know who you are and what you are. You can't be all things to all people.
 

Don Draper

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Know your niche...understand your market...advertise as if you were trying to woo yourself to stay at your place. All the other details will fall into place.
 

JBloggs

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Do your homework. It costs way way way more than you realize to own and operate a BnB, so do your homework!
 

EmptyNest

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Plan, Plan and SAVE $$$!!! Stay at alot of B & B's to get a feel for the variety then plan to do your own thing with focus. Forget the "Build it and they will come" philosphy.
 

birdwatcher

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Sice there where more than one
You have to be a "morning person" to seem happy at 6AM when you went to bed at 2AM...:)
Same as before: Have enough $$$$$$$ to run it and don't expect the "if I build it they will come" attitude unless it had been a very successfull BnB in the past...
Ok enough..too many to count
 

JBloggs

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Wait! The title and question are two different questions...
The question in the first thread:
"What ONE thing do you wish you had been told before you became an innkeeper?"
My answer to that would be:
"THE TRUTH"
 

Proud Texan

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Keep good guests records!! Even record what you feed them for breakfast, life details etc. It's important for return guests.
Also keep track of every little statistic concerning your business. It may seem trivial, but this is the only way you can analyze how you're doing in the long run.
We started our B&B with no business training, so I know we've stepped in it a few times. One year later, it's remarkable how much we've learned.
 

wendydk

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Funny that so many mention having lots of money in the bank. We didn't, we barely had enough for a down payment and to buy some furniture.
If we had waited until we had lots of money in the bank, we would have never gotten around to it. Of course, ours was a small start-up and so did not have the overhead of a larger place. Because of our limited funds, we were forced into this niche....and it has worked perfectly for us. I never regretted not being able to buy an established Inn. I was worried anyway that if we did buy an expensive established Inn, and hated it, that we would be stuck doing it forever or end up losing the house if things didn't work out and we couldn't sell it.
I think it's very important for aspirings to talk to innkeepers at all different sizes and types of Inns before they decide what they want to do. After talking to several different 'keepers, you may decide that the type of Inn you thought you wanted is not going to work for you. The "romantic stay" gingerbread dripping victorian with demanding guests and period furnishings might be more than you care to deal with! The viewpoints are vastly different....length of tenure, size and style of Inn and location makes for some very different opinions and advice.
I wish this forum had been around back when we were researching and when we first started out!
 

Proud Texan

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Funny that so many mention having lots of money in the bank. We didn't, we barely had enough for a down payment and to buy some furniture.
If we had waited until we had lots of money in the bank, we would have never gotten around to it. Of course, ours was a small start-up and so did not have the overhead of a larger place. Because of our limited funds, we were forced into this niche....and it has worked perfectly for us. I never regretted not being able to buy an established Inn. I was worried anyway that if we did buy an expensive established Inn, and hated it, that we would be stuck doing it forever or end up losing the house if things didn't work out and we couldn't sell it.
I think it's very important for aspirings to talk to innkeepers at all different sizes and types of Inns before they decide what they want to do. After talking to several different 'keepers, you may decide that the type of Inn you thought you wanted is not going to work for you. The "romantic stay" gingerbread dripping victorian with demanding guests and period furnishings might be more than you care to deal with! The viewpoints are vastly different....length of tenure, size and style of Inn and location makes for some very different opinions and advice.
I wish this forum had been around back when we were researching and when we first started out!.
Little Blue said:
Funny that so many mention having lots of money in the bank. We didn't, we barely had enough for a down payment and to buy some furniture.
If we had waited until we had lots of money in the bank, we would have never gotten around to it. Of course, ours was a small start-up and so did not have the overhead of a larger place. Because of our limited funds, we were forced into this niche....and it has worked perfectly for us. I never regretted not being able to buy an established Inn. I was worried anyway that if we did buy an expensive established Inn, and hated it, that we would be stuck doing it forever or end up losing the house if things didn't work out and we couldn't sell it.
I think it's very important for aspirings to talk to innkeepers at all different sizes and types of Inns before they decide what they want to do. After talking to several different 'keepers, you may decide that the type of Inn you thought you wanted is not going to work for you. The "romantic stay" gingerbread dripping victorian with demanding guests and period furnishings might be more than you care to deal with! The viewpoints are vastly different....length of tenure, size and style of Inn and location makes for some very different opinions and advice.
I wish this forum had been around back when we were researching and when we first started out!
This is true! Decide upfront what size and configuration is right for you.
We only have two rooms and have talked of expansion. After deliberation we decided that the added benefits, for us, did not outweigh the added expense and effort. This is a retirement supplement for us and so we're only going to be doing this as long as we are physically able.
 

four at four forty four

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Great ideas from everyone and in some ways all true. I think the most important thing though is PASSION! If you are doing something you love your guests can see it and you can feel it! Your B&B adventure must, must bring you happiness. I purchased my b&b with passion, hope, very little money and lots of ideas! It hasn't been 'easy', there were times I ask myself 'what in the heck were you thinking' and I'm only a year in, but I think I'll be okay!
 

JeannineIrish

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Have innkeepers quarters including office, laundry room, extra storage, freezer and extra refrig all on the 1st floor
 
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