Many people are interested in opening their own bed and breakfast. However, often those who dream of being an innkeeper are unprepared for the challenging experience, become frustrated and end up going out of business sooner rather than later.
Although good innkeepers make the job seem easy, opening a bed and breakfast is like starting any other business -- plenty of prep work must be done before you welcome your first guest.
Before you act hastily, you owe it to yourself to read all you can, study options, and take some courses. The information presented here is designed to be a starting point and should assist you as you plan for your own bed and breakfast. It is a result of years of study on the subject by Eleanor Ames in preparation for opening her own bed and breakfast, the Bluemont Bed and Breakfast in Luray, Virginia.
If you dream of running a bed and breakfast, you can also sign up for our free email course for aspiring innkeepers. The weekly courses will be sent to your email inbox, and include links to all of the features here -- along with additional articles and discussions featuring current innkeepers.
BED AND BREAKFAST WORKSHEETS TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Being a Good Host
- Decisions Before Opening Day
- Do You Have the Right Skills?
- Family Considerations
- Food Service
- Making a Good Impression
- Marketing Issues
- Rules and Regulations
- Startup Costs
- What Is a Bed and Breakfast?
- Whose Job Is It?
- Will You Make Money?
- Writing a Business Plan
- Zoning Issues
This series of worksheets and information was originally written by Eleanor Ames, a Certified Family Consumer Sciences professional and a faculty member at Ohio State University for 28 years. With her husband, she runs the Bluemont Bed and Breakfast in Luray, Virginia. Many thanks to Eleanor for her gracious permission to reprint them here. Some content has been edited, and links to related features on this site have been added to Eleanor's original text.
About the Author: Eleanor Ames, CFCS
Eleanor Ames is a Certified Family Consumer Sciences professional. She was a faculty member of The Ohio State University for 28 years. She served as a County Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences for 22 years, the rest of her tenure was with the Section of Communications and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. She also provided computer support and training to college and Extension personnel around the state of Ohio and was involoved in the marketing aspects of the Ohioline CD-ROM and web site.
She has taught numerous foods and nutrition, money management, resource management, and travel and tourism classes over the years. Her favorite classes were those on starting and hosting a bed and breakfast. This series of informational sheets was used with clientele during these training sessions. They have been used by several other Extension professionals as well.
Eleanor was chair of the Education and Technology section of the Ohio Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. In addition, she was a member of Agriculutrual Communicators in Education.
Upon her retirement, she and her husband opened the Bluemont Bed and Breakfast in Luray, Virgina. (They have since closed the Bluemont B&B.)
Eleanor Ames would like to express her appreciation to Mr. Ed Smith for being the person who first introduced her to the world of bed and breakfasts through his seminars and in her Extension work with him. She has adapted his rules and zoning factsheets for use with this series.