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What I enjoy about running a Bed and Breakfast

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promise

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This website is a weath of information and great support for those in the Bed and Breakfast industry. As a teacher planning to retire next year, I also want to join your ranks and have learned so much useful info from your posts. My problem is my husband. He is a little reluctant to start a Bed and Breakfast. Would you please list a few reasons why you enjoy your careers in the Bed and Breakfast industry.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Welcome!
Can you share what he is reluctant about, maybe we can share how it really is, so he can understand better. Has he been to many B&B's?
 

Don Draper

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I can tell you our absolute favorite thing is where we are. I could never operate a B&B that wasn't in an area I adore, and that has lots to explore. You are very tied to your business when you run a B&B, so when you do have precious moments of free time you want to be able to get out and enjoy it immediately...if you have to drive far to do things you enjoy you won't have as much time to do them as you are used to having.
For us, we could never afford such a beautiful home in a historic/cultural location if it wasn't a B&B, that is definitely our biggest "perk". Plus of course the opportunity to work together and to meet many new people and share our passions with them.
 

sandynn

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1. Guests
2. Friends we network with.
3. Getting to work from where I live.
4. Living my passion.
5. Everything about it I love. Well maybe not cleaning toilets.
6. Knowing that at the end of the day when I am looking so tired and waiting on late guests, that in the morning I will feel refreshed and ready to go again.
7. Knowing I am making a difference for other innkeepers by helping mentor.
I know there are many many more things but duty calls and I am off to make breakfast refreshed and upbeat.
 

Don Draper

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I agree, we live in a very small portion of the big house, but for our situation that is just temporary, and I share our situation here because I know it is different from many others and perhaps one that the OP hasn't heard before.
We bought our B&B with every intention of gradually making it smaller as we go, and eventually it will be our own house and no longer a business. This is a 20 year plan, as opposed to the more typical 5-10 year plan with which many people enter the B&B business.
It sounds like trying to do an "inn apprenticeship" would be a great idea for you and your husband, to really get a sense of what the day in/day out routine of running an inn is like before making the committment yourselves.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I disagree (personally) with the comments on the big beautiful home. We are the caretakers and do not get to enjoy the big beautiful home, and in fact most of our own belongings are still boxed up in the basement. We are not the guests, so we get to clean, maintain, work work work on this big beautiful historic home.
We will be pleased to hand it over to the next set of innkeepers to love and adore this place. That is the last thing on my own list of why I like to own a B&B.
The GUESTS are the best thing about running a B&B!! Meeting famous and interesting people - you would never meet these people without this B&B.
#2 opportunities - Being involved in so much that you would not if not owning a B&B.
#3 fun - it is a fun job. It is what YOU make it. That gives you plenty of room to be creative and make people happy. (On that comment I wanted to say if you open up your place and run it like a hotel you will miss all of the fun, all of the interaction with guests, sharing in their special moments in their life. I feel you miss the whole enchilada. These are not hotels. These are much more personal lodging estab's).
#4 pride of ownership and being your own boss. Again, you make the rules, you also have to enforce the rules.
#5 I have learned so much re marketing for our B&B and tourism in general and love all of that. The many hats we wear does not strain me, personally, it enhances who I am. I think most innkeepers are go getters and multitaskers so we take it in our stride. We are also perfectionist, and adventurers. So we are many things that can compliment what we do.
 

YellowSocks

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Well, I agree about the beautiful home. If we didn't have a B&B, we'd never live in as nice a house. Actually, I know exactly where we'd live... in a converted Amish farm. It has it's own charm and beauty, but wouldn't be anything like what we have now.
One reason I chose innkeeping (among many) is that small business owners of any type live at their business. I had a guest last week whose parents own a Chinese restaurant. Her father is there from 8 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year. His life is the restaurant. Other shop keepers "live" at their shops... are only home when the shop is closed, which around here might be Sunday and Monday. If I was going to spend that much time at my business, then I wanted it to be a place I wanted to be... home with my kids.
So I enjoy being at home with my kids.
I enjoy meeting all types of people from all over.
I like helping weary travelers to have a pleasant, restful stay.
I like the relief I hear on the phone when a traveling mom finds us and makes a reservation.
I like playing Speed Scrabble (now and then).
I like having motivation to keep my house clean.
I like having a house full of people... there's just something right to me about a big ole house being full of people talking and visiting and eating and sleeping.
I like having brought a house that was starting to get decrepit to a state of beauty.
I like having a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
I like the ability to go do things during weekdays (at least sometimes). When I worked full time in an office I could never take off on a weekday to go to the zoo with my kids. Of course, now on Saturdays I can only do afternoon things...
I like having a reason to own 14 pitchers, multiple glass sets, and nice silverware... which actually get used.
And (with apologies to any nonreligious here), I like having a lifestyle which is good for my Christian walk... which allows me to practice hospitality and forces me to serve.
ETA: And everything else JBJ said.
=)
Kk.
 

promise

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Well, I agree about the beautiful home. If we didn't have a B&B, we'd never live in as nice a house. Actually, I know exactly where we'd live... in a converted Amish farm. It has it's own charm and beauty, but wouldn't be anything like what we have now.
One reason I chose innkeeping (among many) is that small business owners of any type live at their business. I had a guest last week whose parents own a Chinese restaurant. Her father is there from 8 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year. His life is the restaurant. Other shop keepers "live" at their shops... are only home when the shop is closed, which around here might be Sunday and Monday. If I was going to spend that much time at my business, then I wanted it to be a place I wanted to be... home with my kids.
So I enjoy being at home with my kids.
I enjoy meeting all types of people from all over.
I like helping weary travelers to have a pleasant, restful stay.
I like the relief I hear on the phone when a traveling mom finds us and makes a reservation.
I like playing Speed Scrabble (now and then).
I like having motivation to keep my house clean.
I like having a house full of people... there's just something right to me about a big ole house being full of people talking and visiting and eating and sleeping.
I like having brought a house that was starting to get decrepit to a state of beauty.
I like having a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
I like the ability to go do things during weekdays (at least sometimes). When I worked full time in an office I could never take off on a weekday to go to the zoo with my kids. Of course, now on Saturdays I can only do afternoon things...
I like having a reason to own 14 pitchers, multiple glass sets, and nice silverware... which actually get used.
And (with apologies to any nonreligious here), I like having a lifestyle which is good for my Christian walk... which allows me to practice hospitality and forces me to serve.
ETA: And everything else JBJ said.
=)
Kk..
JBJ - I'm not really sure what his reluctance is. We live on a working farm and a 7 acre lake. We use the lake for many activities. He is retiring from teaching this year. I think he might feel it is too much work and the liability of the lake. But, he loves meeting new people and he loves to cook. I don't want a large B&B--just a couple rooms. We won't have a large draw because of where we live. I thought we might let the local college know and also use that aspect in an on-line website. I teach web design and was a home economics teacher for many years. I know it is a lot of work but running a B&B has been a dream of mine since we built our home 14 years ago. We have gone to many B&B's. He enjoys them a lot. I'm rambling and need to get back to grading papers. It's my conference period and it goes quickly.
 

gillumhouse

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You have something very special and it would be a draw in itself. You are a working farm. We have in our association a working farm on PA (our last WV working farm retired a couple years ago due to ill health). They accept children and give a Junior Farmer certificate atthe end of the stay.
What your husband might like about doing a B & B is he can still teach people - but now about farming, an almost lost art today. The lake should be discussed with your insurance agent, but it is has fish in it........ You can offe fishing weekends. He will also have a steady stream of people to tell his stories to - without getting that bored, yeah, Dad, I have heard it all before a jillion times. It will be to new people all the time so will be fresh! My husband has told me on several occaisions that he will miss the guests if I close the B & B. (and HE does the dishes - by hand!)
I love contributing to the economy of my town nd my area - because I give my guests routings to take them around the area, they stop in shops and the winery and the restaurants and spend money that helps keep these businesses open. I shop locally so add to their revenue.
Because it is my business, I can just be full if I need to go someplace, therefore can be involved in organizations areound the State - and this ultimately helps my business because people know me and talk about my B & B. Tourism sends me writers because they know me.
As for drawing guests to your area - no one knew my town was a tourist destination until I told them. My town is now doing things to market the town to tourists. At my urging, they got a web site when few cities had web sites. I say this to show how things CAN change.
I love being able to actually use my Granny's dishes and have a reason to buy dishes made in the town I was born in and buy beautiful silverware. I am having a WV potter make me a set of dishes to go with the cups he made for me this year. I am able to justify the expense because of the B & B as I help his economy.
I love mentoring a new inn. I love teaching Aspiring Innkeeper classes. All of this would never have been possible if it were not for the B & B. I have been given many honors, some due to my legislative activities on behalf of B & Bs. In short, running the B & B has made life an absolute blast - for both of us. I will shut up now. Once I get rolling about B & B it is hard to shut up.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Dh works outside the B&B and when he comes home (after all the added work here) he doesn't even want to interact with guests. So moi is stuck being the all to all. That is something to consider, it weighs heavily when one half of the couple are unevenly burdened with the B&B. Resentment forms, aggravation and plain old tiredness. You get worn out just chatting to guests, and many of them expect it.
There are days when I say "I can't do the song and dance today" I still have 3 more loads of laundry, and we haven't even eaten nor showered! How I would love a hot shower but have rooms checking in still! I can't be OUT THERE chatting when I have so much to do that I can't get anything accomplished.
Each guest is unique. Each guest feels they are the only guest we have ever had. This is a good thing. We want them to feel this way. But it is difficult at times. The more I PUSH Dh to say hello to the guests the less he does.
 

Penelope

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I think there is a thread titled "Who's Idea was this anyway?" or something similar. There are a lot of good pieces of info in it...check it out if you get the chance
 

Morticia

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Dh works outside the B&B and when he comes home (after all the added work here) he doesn't even want to interact with guests. So moi is stuck being the all to all. That is something to consider, it weighs heavily when one half of the couple are unevenly burdened with the B&B. Resentment forms, aggravation and plain old tiredness. You get worn out just chatting to guests, and many of them expect it.
There are days when I say "I can't do the song and dance today" I still have 3 more loads of laundry, and we haven't even eaten nor showered! How I would love a hot shower but have rooms checking in still! I can't be OUT THERE chatting when I have so much to do that I can't get anything accomplished.
Each guest is unique. Each guest feels they are the only guest we have ever had. This is a good thing. We want them to feel this way. But it is difficult at times. The more I PUSH Dh to say hello to the guests the less he does..
I just came in here from talking with guests. 2 guys from Germany. They have one of those portable translation devices. So far we've only needed it for the names of trees. I left because they're all talking cars...and doing the math to translate hp and speeds on the Autobahn and the price of cars.
 

promise

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Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm going to have my husband read your postings. I hope it works and he decides it might be a good idea to start a Bed and Breakfast so we will have something useful, creative and interesting to do instead of retiring from teaching with no real purpose in mind.
 

Penelope

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Check out the thread from rrh. I can't remember what it's called. Something about Home Sweet Inn. He referred to what they are doing as "not a mid-life crisis, but a mid-life reinvention".
I love that description.
 

Samster

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Thanks to all of you who posted. I'm going to have my husband read your postings. I hope it works and he decides it might be a good idea to start a Bed and Breakfast so we will have something useful, creative and interesting to do instead of retiring from teaching with no real purpose in mind..
Your husband/partner in crime/significant other or whomever needs to be on board. If his objections are large, it will never fly.
The #1 thing that is great about this business for me is the guests! We keep meeting fascinating and wonderful people - some just everyday folks become the most special to us.
If we had not opened as a B&B, we would still live in this house. BUT, we certainly wouldn't have bought a second old house! HA!
 

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