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INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

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Hello innkeepers forum! I am looking (begging?) for help! I am considering innkeeping as my second career. I have been in the corporate world for 20 years and my creative side is just begging to be heard. I am looking at buying an 11 room b&b in a touristy town of 9,000. The town's occupancy rate is 45%. I do want to hire out some tasks (housekeeping mainly). How do I figure out if I can hire others? Is there a formula I use? Thank you all in advance! And thank you for letting me join the community
 

Morticia

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Do the people who own the property now hire out the tasks? Ask them what they pay and how much work the employees do and if they'll stay on.
It's a big step but the present owners have a lot of info you can use.
 

seashanty

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11 rooms? Absolutely you need housekeeping help. I could handle four rooms on my own, beyond that and it was too much. Is it just you flying solo?
Welcome!
 

Lee2014

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Welcome! You have taken a good step to consider buying an already working b & b since the owners can train you and give you advise. I am helping to run my grandparents inn. My uncle is always ready to help us out when we ask, but don't expect him to do the work! Make sure you get contact information for prior owners if anything comes up.
Eleven rooms is too much for you alone so yes, I would look into keeping the housekeepers they already have, if they do. If not you can advertise on indeed.com. For wages ask the owners or check out ads for housekeepers. I would say they must have housekeeping experience since this is all new to you.
I would check out their web present. Is the website modern? What is their reviews like? The complaints, are they about breakfasts, hosts, etc? If its about the rooms, beds, baths, etc., know that you will have to do remodeling and that cost money! What are their add ons? Are you comfortable with continuing them?
Is it up to code or are they selling so they don't have to do the new code stuff? What will come with the business? house and property? furniture and how much? website? OTAs listings? etc...
What do you mean by second career? Will you be working another job? Guests are usually Thursday-Sunday. If you have another job will this interfere with it? If this is your only job does last year records show that it will make enough to support you, taxes, and the bills?
 

gillumhouse

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And since some here were surprised to find bills from the State - check to see if they are current on workman's comp, unemployment taxes, sale taxes, etc
 

Morticia

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You'll need to draw up a spreadsheet with all of your expenses. Your expenses will be different from the present owners so calculate everything you know you are going to spend, then add another 25% for everything you forgot.
You can check here for an example.
You might also want to look in the resources section (link at top of page) for books and websites with indexed info.
Take a class in the same state where you are looking so the instructors know the state regulations.
 

TheBeachHouse

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Welcome. Creative, yes, but also day to day chores. Count on spending more time doing housework and book work than being creative. But the creative parts are still fun!
Are you in the north east? Sounds like a place in my town.
 

seashanty

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I considered adding more details and personal observations here but instead I will say ...
Get thee to an aspiring innkeepers seminar. You will stay at a b&b a few nights, see what goes on, learn the basics and so much more you haven't thought of yet.
ps Do some innkeepers on forum still offer them?
 

Breakfast Diva

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I agree with all the information others have given. My concern is that you stated that the town's occupancy rates is 45%. Sounds pretty low for a tourist town. Typically, b&bs have a lower occupancy rate than hotels/motels. What is the occupancy rate of the b&b currently? Also, occupancy rate is not necessarily an indication of revenue. Does the b&b offer packages/add ons. Are they selling other things besides just rooms? Gross revenue is the figure you need to find out.
 

Morticia

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I agree with all the information others have given. My concern is that you stated that the town's occupancy rates is 45%. Sounds pretty low for a tourist town. Typically, b&bs have a lower occupancy rate than hotels/motels. What is the occupancy rate of the b&b currently? Also, occupancy rate is not necessarily an indication of revenue. Does the b&b offer packages/add ons. Are they selling other things besides just rooms? Gross revenue is the figure you need to find out..
Could be that rate is a yearly average, too. 100% for 5 months and a lot lower the other 7 months.
 

gillumhouse

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I considered adding more details and personal observations here but instead I will say ...
Get thee to an aspiring innkeepers seminar. You will stay at a b&b a few nights, see what goes on, learn the basics and so much more you haven't thought of yet.
ps Do some innkeepers on forum still offer them?.
yes, but I only know WV rules
 
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Dragonflydreamer said:
Hello innkeepers forum! I am looking (begging?) for help! I am considering innkeeping as my second career. I have been in the corporate world for 20 years and my creative side is just begging to be heard. I am looking at buying an 11 room b&b in a touristy town of 9,000. The town's occupancy rate is 45%. I do want to hire out some tasks (housekeeping mainly). How do I figure out if I can hire others? Is there a formula I use? Thank you all in advance! And thank you for letting me join the community
thank you for all of your quick replies!!! I am so glad I found this forum. I'm dissecting the info one by one but I wanted to let all of you how much appreciate you taking time to reply
 

ChrisandShelley

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Hello, Dragonflydreamer, and welcome. My wife and I are new innkeepers, just since June.
There is another B&B in our town that has ten rooms and the couple that own it run it solely by themselves, no hired help. But they are closed on Monday through Wednesday. I think they miss some business, but that is how they function. They are great people and they work the way is best for them.
If you are looking at hiring people, you really need to do some research on all the regulations and requirements for having employees. It is not as easy as it seems. I second all the recommendations below, especially an innkeepers seminar, like the PAII conference (Shelley and I went to the one last year) or your state's B&B association conference. But I would also recommend getting with your state's small business association. They are there to help small businesses.
Unless you are a bookkeeping genius, I would suggest getting with a bookkeeper to get you set up as well. I'll know of one that also runs a bed and breakfast and ask if she minds if I throw her name out there to you.
Good luck, and stay tuned to this site. I can't begin to tell you all the help I've gotten just from the great folks here. Just some of the small details I would have over looked that could have turned into potential big problems.
 

Morticia

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Hello, Dragonflydreamer, and welcome. My wife and I are new innkeepers, just since June.
There is another B&B in our town that has ten rooms and the couple that own it run it solely by themselves, no hired help. But they are closed on Monday through Wednesday. I think they miss some business, but that is how they function. They are great people and they work the way is best for them.
If you are looking at hiring people, you really need to do some research on all the regulations and requirements for having employees. It is not as easy as it seems. I second all the recommendations below, especially an innkeepers seminar, like the PAII conference (Shelley and I went to the one last year) or your state's B&B association conference. But I would also recommend getting with your state's small business association. They are there to help small businesses.
Unless you are a bookkeeping genius, I would suggest getting with a bookkeeper to get you set up as well. I'll know of one that also runs a bed and breakfast and ask if she minds if I throw her name out there to you.
Good luck, and stay tuned to this site. I can't begin to tell you all the help I've gotten just from the great folks here. Just some of the small details I would have over looked that could have turned into potential big problems..
I am amazed that anyone can clean 10 rooms in one day, much less do the same thing 4 days in a row.
Not to discount full time housekeepers who do this but there are so many other jobs for the innkeeper to do in a day these people must never sleep!
We gave up even trying to clean 7 rooms this year. We've gone to only taking 6 rooms on any given day. We'll try again next season to get paid housekeeping or, at least, send the laundry out.
It's not just the workload, I'd like to stay married! That won't happen if the only time we have together is when we're sleeping.
 

muirford

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I just have to ask if you took your screen name from the Gilmore Girls.
 
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Welcome. Creative, yes, but also day to day chores. Count on spending more time doing housework and book work than being creative. But the creative parts are still fun!
Are you in the north east? Sounds like a place in my town..
I'm in the Midwest-Wisconsin
 
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