Advice and tips for aspiring Bed and Breakfast owners and innkeepers

What You Need To Know To Become a Bed and Breakfast Owner

Akwaaba - Noble Inn (Image: Akwaaba)
Morehead Manor Durham, North Carolina (Image: Fortuitous Capture)

Edwards: In this business, often times your business is your home. So if you have employees you have to remember you are maintaining the business and running a home.

Greenwood: Understand what it takes to run a business. Because this one is based in your home, you should have operational procedures that make sense. If you’re not good with numbers get an accountant or bookkeeper. Understand the health requirements necessary. Find out if you need a food handler license in order to serve breakfast. Also, whether your insurance policy will cover the exposure. If it’s a homeowners policy it probably will not because you’re opening your doors to a lot more transient traffic.

Edwards: Education and exposure. And the new power of social media. Stay current on the ways to market your property on the  Internet. We now have a lot of increased awareness through our association and through articles. And also, as our people explore they go back and tell their friends or family about their experiences.

Greenwood: Yes. the Internet has created a level playing field so now you can play with the big boys like the hotels. You can have the same kind of presence. Social media is incredibly important to your online reputation. Folks are sharing information on sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor, be mindful that if a guest doesn’t have a good experience they don’t tell 10 people like they used to do, they tell the world with a post online on various sharing sites.

Edwards: There’s lots of moving parts to running an inn and if people are under the illusion that it’s all about sipping lemonade with wonderful people on the front porch, they really need to stay at a few more B&B’s and and talk to a few more owners to see the behind the scenes of what it takes to create what appears to be a seamless stress free experience for your guests.