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Do Innkeepers Make a Profit?

How much money can you make running a bed and breakfast?

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"Can a good profit be made by running a bed and breakfast?"

That's one of the most common questions asked by aspiring B&B innkeepers. So how hard is it to make money running a bed and breakfast? Here are some of the answers given by professional innkeepers:

Plan on a Second Income

"Most of us have another income source (ie., one partner or spouse working outside the B&B). You work a lot of hours, have very little time to yourself -- the phone rings, guests arrive and depart, you cook, clean, launder, shop, work the books, pay the bills, market, etc. You need to be well-rounded to handle all of it. And then there's personality and hospitality. Some innkeepers can get worn down and cranky. Not good! But it is a fact of life."

Do Your Homework

"Check out the aspiring innkeepers worksheets on this site. Read some of the books out there for aspiring innkeepers. ... If you will be a small B&B, it's unlikely that you'll be able to make a living at it unless you have no mortgage and have health benefits through retirement. Sorry, but that's the reality. But if all you want to do is pay for your living expenses and have a small amount of money to live on, you could manage."

Five-Room Minimum to Make a Living

"In general, not taking into consideration the amount of funds you have and what you will be paying to put this together, you'll never make enough off of a three-room inn to have it support you. Generally, a five-room (or more) inn is needed -- and in the right location. Once you get that large, you'll also need to hire help."

The Intangibles

"There are many intangibles to owning and operating a B&B. If you don't have a larger one, you will definitely never get rich. For us, we wanted to get away from having two corporate jobs and have a 'simpler' (ha ha!) lifestyle. This house is actually slightly smaller than our last house but when we're finished with all the renovation, we'll be so proud of owning an historic house that we improved."

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