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How to Run a Bed and Breakfast

How-to resources for aspiring and current innkeepers, including tips on buying an inn, aspiring innkeeper worksheets, links to consultants, seminars, relevant articles, reservation software, and more.
  1. Articles - Running a B&B (60)
  2. Aspiring Innkeepers (81)
  3. Buying and Selling an Inn (17)
  4. Consultants for Innkeepers (14)
  5. Guest Management Software (24)
  6. Inn Marketing (2)
  7. Miscellaneous Inn Resources (35)
  8. Products and Services (11)
  9. Seminars (5)
  10. Strange But True Stories (9)

Smart, Fast Ways to use Facebook to Increase Occupancy (Part I)
You surely agree that Facebook is a great tool to keep in touch with friends, past guests and guests-to-be. Here are a few not-to-be-missed tips on how to use Facebook cleverly -- and without spending a penny -- to increase your guest contact and occupancy.

Best Bed and Breakfast Amenities
A look at some of the fabulous amenities offered at bed and breakfasts.

Top 10 Pet Peeves at Bed and Breakfasts
A list of my top 10 pet peeves at bed and breakfasts, compiled by a traveler who loves B&Bs and always prefers them to motels.

Bed and Breakfast Associations - To Join or Not to Join
Innkeepers share their thoughts regarding the value of joining bed and breakfast associations.

States with the Most Bed and Breakfasts
A look at which U.S. states are home to the most bed and breakfasts.

Meet The Innkeepers: Lynnette Scofield
Innkeeper Lynette Scofield discusses the fantasies and realities of being an innkeeper, and notes what makes her inn so special.

Simple Ways To Impress Your Guests
Five small gestures that can make a difference.

The Seven Steps Of Writing A Business Plan
Before you can become an innkeeper, you have to buy an inn. As with any business, you’ll need a business plan to make sure that your dreams can become a reality.

Meet the Innkeepers: Debbie Mosimann
Innkeeper Debbie Mosimann discusses the fantasies and realities of being an innkeeper, and notes what makes her inn so special.

In The Zone: Is Your Dream Home Allowed To Be A B&B?
For all hopeful innkeepers who think it’ll be a snap to convert a residential home into an inn: Do your homework.

Q&A with Jay: Part 3
Jay Karen is the president and CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the largest bed and breakfast organization in the world with approximately 2,200 bed and breakfasts and 400 associate members.

Quick Tips For Weaving A Practical B&B Website
In a few short years, printed brochures have given way to websites that have given even the smallest bed and breakfast worldwide exposure. But how do you get started on a design that separates a good website from a great one?

So You'd Like To Own A B&B?
Want to know what you'll be getting into when you own a B&B? Learn the main obstacles you'll encounter and the attitude you'll need as you begin your quest.

Stand Out: Bring Attention To Your B&B
Create A Degree Of Difference

Five Questions with Roxanne Kolbe of InnMatchmakers.com
The economy may not have hurt the B&B industry as severely as some sectors, but according to Roxanne Kolbe of Innmatchmakers.com it has change the way buyers buy and innkeepers sell.

Dealing with Problem Guests
Not every guest is as concerned about your inn as you are. How do you handle it when guests treat your B&B like their private resort?

Innkeepers: Take Time For You
Any innkeeper will tell you that running a bed and breakfast is a 24/7 operation. With constant demands, how do you save your sanity – and your relationships? Innkeepers have some secrets.

Are Chambers of Commerce Still A Benefit for B&Bs?
Given a choice, is your money better spent on membership in your local chamber of commerce or investing those funds into an Internet presence? It all depends on your intentions.

Meet The Innkeepers: Donald Jones
Innkeeper Donald James and partner Andrew Kohn fulfilled a dream by purchasing an inn in March 2011. Like veteran innkeepers, they’ve already learned the realities of running an inn. From the unique perspective of a fledgling innkeeper, James discusses the surprises and successes of the Orchard House Inn.

Meet The Innkeepers: Donald Jones
Innkeeper Donald Jones and partner Andrew Kohn fulfilled a dream by purchasing an inn in March 2011. Like veteran innkeepers, they’ve already learned the realities of running an inn. From the unique perspective of a fledgling innkeeper, Jones discusses the surprises and successes of the Orchard House Inn.

Meet The Innkeepers: Daniel and JoAnna Jimenez
Innkeepers Daniel and JoAnna Jimenez approached their search for a bed and breakfast a little differently than most. They didn’t know they were looking for a bed and breakfast. But when they found a home with the right zoning in a residential neighborhood, JoAnna realized it was time to work from home and start a family. A year later, everything...

Q&A with Jay, Fourth Edition
Jay Karen is the president and CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the largest bed and breakfast organization in the world with approximately 2,200 bed and breakfasts and 400 associate members.

Adding Streams of Income
How can you make more money while keeping your room rates at a price that won’t drive away guests? As innkeepers across America have found, there are multiple ways to pair your talents with the resources of your bed and breakfast to generate additional income.

Clean Sweep
One skill that all good innkeepers have is the ability to multi-task. In addition to being gracious hosts and accomplished cooks they must also be skilled housekeepers. Everyone has a different definition of ‘clean’ – but when you’re dealing with the public you can never be too focused.

Mary White Writes A Book
Mary White, founder of BnBFinder.com used her knowledge of the industry to write an invaluable guidebook for finding and operating a bed and breakfast. “Running A Bed & Breakfast For Dummies” was first published in 2009 and has been continually updated to reflect new technologies that can help a traditional business.

Meet The Innkeepers: Linda Kesler
Following the loss of her husband, Linda Kesler examined her life and decided that her love of hospitality would satisfy many needs. A bed and breakfast would be the most direct path to that goal.

Why Do Guests Cancel?
For innkeepers, a deposit is insurance that a guest will arrive. But sometimes you have to make a judgment call on whether a guest’s excuse for cancelling is worth a refund. Based on an open question that asked ‘Why do guests cancel?’, innkeepers offered their takes on the art and science of cancellations.

Accounting For Expenses
The passion and desire to own a B&B can drive some people to jump right in when an opportunity arises. But what if that golden opportunity is covering up a laundry list of financial traps? Every innkeeper will tell you that a fledgling B&B requires much more of an investment than they originally anticipated. Here’s a short lesson in anticipating...

PAII’s Annual Convention In Little Rock = Big Impact
The Professional Association of Innkeepers International’s annual conference is the largest and, perhaps, the most essential learning opportunity for experienced and aspiring innkeepers. PAII president and CEO Jay Karen describes why you should attend.

How Quality Service
When two inns are side by side, how does one stand apart? It all gets down to service.

It’s About Time
Basil Fawltey, John Cleese’s fictional innkeeper would’ve enjoyed his profession if he didn’t have to deal with guests. But guests are the reasons many innkeepers get into the business. But there’s a fine line between spending time with your own guests and knowing when you should give them some space – and give yourself a breather.

Inspiring Guest Loyalty
It’s far easier to retain an existing customer than it is to gain a new one, so when a guest checks into your bed and breakfast, what can you do to ensure that they’ll return? In addition to being your usual charming self, consider some additional approaches that may catch their interest and keep you on their itinerary.

Ten Tips For Quicker Cleaning
A bed and breakfast is one of the few professions where the owner is usually the custodian. Keeping a clean house is a must, but cleaning must be done quickly to prepare for the next arrivals. Here are a few suggestions for keeping things tidy – and timely.

Should Innkeepers Give Away Free Rooms?
Innkeepers take a lot of calls for rooms. Free rooms. Because a bed and breakfast is a popular item at charity auctions and there’s always a good cause that needs funds, innkeepers are often asked to donate gift certificates. So I asked innkeepers, who receives the benefit of your B&B largesse?

Words of 100: An e-Book Offers Advice for Aspiring, New, and Veteran Innkeepers
In your quest to own a bed and breakfast, you can take a lot of classes and ask a lot of questions – or you could have someone else do the work for you. ‘Words of 100’ is an e-book that offers the advice from 100 innkeepers across the nation – advice that can offer a shortcut to fulfilling your dream of owning an inn. And if you already do,...

Innsitting - Becoming a Substitute Innkeeper
A look at the life of a professional innsitter -- what they do and how they do it.

Secrets of the Innkeepers - Cleaning Supplies
A collection of tips on the best cleaning supplies, all from professional innkeepers.

Designing a Dream B&B (Part II)

Designing A Dream B&B (Part III)

Is it time to spruce up your small talk? (Part I)
We all know that guests want nothing more than for us to talk about our innkeeper experiences, talk about our area, and talk about themselves.That’s the normal drill, here’s a way to enliven those subjects just a bit and not get tired of hearing yourself, or your spouse/partner, recite the same three stories over and over again.

Is it time to spruce up your small talk? (Part II)
Innkeepers the world over often have to answer the same questions, over and over, from guests the world over. And they have to do it with style, grace and patience while trying hard not to reveal the chronic fatigue (and sometimes frustration), that comes with a never-ending daily dose of making small talk!

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