A number of people have asked me “Can you run a B&B with small children at home?”.
In my personal situation, I wanted to find the right location which would have required another move for my family. Since my children were in their late teens and almost finished their schooling, I decided to wait a couple of years before proceeding. (Our family joke is that not only did I sell the house and move town, but I rented out the beds so my kids couldn't keep returning home!)
Even if I did have personal experience with this, as The B&B Coach, I don’t feel I can answer that type of questions for you…a good coach will help you to figure out the answer that is right for you, in your particular situation. So, here are 10 questions to help you figure out if you can run a b&B with small children at home.
1. What will draw people to your area that will require them to book accommodation?
2. Are those people going to want to stay in a B&B that has small children living there?
3. How will you balance the demands of your children with those of guests? (Think schedules, illness, transportation to/from school, after-school activities and check-in times, etc.)
4. How does your child react to strangers? And if they are a little older, how will they feel about sharing their home with strangers?
5. What happens if guests are late checking in and you made a prior commitment regarding your child?
6. How will you handle disagreements/discipline in front of strangers?
7. Will you accept other families as guests? If so, what impact will that have on your children ? What will the expectations be that they share their toys, furniture, etc.?
8. How will you screen guests to ensure your children are kept safe?
9. Is your house set up so that you can have separate spaces for family apart from guests?
10. How does your partner feel about this? What role will/can they play?
Having a paying guest in your home is very different from having family and friends staying over. So, can you run a bed and breakfast with small children at home?
There are successful families that run bed and breakfasts and if this is a route you are considering taking, I would strongly recommend you speak to a few of them to understand how they balance the demands of family and business. To find people with real life experiences, I recommend you get onto one of the major directories (e.g. BBCanada.com or Bed and Breakfast.com) and search through the listings until you find a B&B owner who has small children.
For more help in determining whether owning a b and b is right for you, check out The B&B Coach’s Pros and Cons of Owning and Bed and Breakfast to get guidance on determining the impact owning and operating a b&b will have on your personal life, how much work it will be and whether you really want to run your own business.