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Bryant & Stratton College Blog Staff

How to Run a Bed and Breakfast like a Pro Hotel Manager

Is running a bed and breakfast your personal idea of the perfect job? After all, what's not to like? You'll get to meet new people from far-flung places, get paid for cooking, cleaning and laundry and earn income without having to hold down one of those 9 to 5 jobs. If this is something you're thinking about for your future, there are lots of things you'll want to know about how to make your dream job a reality. Here are some tips on starting out in the hospitality business and specifically, how to run a bed and breakfast.

Take a Reality Check: Is Running a Bed and Breakfast for you?

The first thing to know about running a bed and breakfast is that there is much more to it than decorating a home, buying sheets and towels and entertaining interesting people. Of course, if you've begun looking into things, you'll already know that there's a lot more work to it than that – but are you truly clear on just how much?

A bed and breakfast owner is often on-duty for 12 to 18 hours a day as they deal with guest needs and must complete tasks like:

  • Book reservations
  • Check-in and check-out guests
  • Provide concierge services
  • Prepare the morning meal.

Rooms must be cleaned daily, the home kept sparkling clean and well-maintained, and sheets, towels and other laundry done.

Then there are all the other  financial and legal aspects of running a business to attend to:

Amid all these – and other tasks – bed and breakfast owners must maintain a friendly, helpful and hospitable demeanor and make time to be sociable with their guests – even the difficult ones.

That said, many people who own a bed and breakfast are very happy with their choice. Running a small hospitality business has proven to be a very rewarding experience for many – despite all the hard work. And, as they say, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.

Learn how to become a hotel manager

While you might not have pictured it this way, starting a bed and breakfast means becoming a hotel manager, albeit on a smaller scale than most. In fact, in many locations, these small businesses are subject to a lot of the same regulations as formal hotels. For these reasons, you can increase your odds of success by getting some formal education in hospitality management. For example, a hotel management course can be completed in as little as 24 months, and can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need on hospitality services, planning, accounting, marketing, and hotel operations you need to run your business like a pro. You can even do it online.

Location, Location, Location

If you will be purchasing an existing bed and breakfast or a home to convert into one, be sure to choose your location with an eye to occupancy rates. That means a location that is close to tourist attractions if your business will be targeting vacationers, or near business centers you're targeting business travelers.

If you'll be using your current home, you will have to consider whether there is a market for lodgings in your neighborhood – are you close to tourist attractions, parks, or other in-demand amenities? Wherever your chosen location, it is essential to check local zoning to be sure your business is permissible – before you're financially committed to that location.

Once all that is done, your final steps are to renovate, decorate, and advertise your business. Innkeeping and bed and breakfast associations are a great resource for the information you need to make your home a traveler's haven.

For more information on educational opportunities in the hospitality industry, contact the Admissions office at Bryant and Stratton College or Apply Online now.

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