I have found the biggest roadblock people encounter when planning on starting a bed and breakfast is the lack of communication.
In most organizations, a Vision Statement (what we want our successful organization to look like) and a Mission Statement (who we are, what we do and how we do it) is created to ensure everyone is on the same page. The process is as important as the outcomes, as it makes everyone share the pictures in their head about what the organization does and how it operates, and to come to agreement about it.
Most of the people I have worked with as The B&B Coach are couples who have been together quite a while. They assume that they are sharing the same idea about what their bed and breakfast will look like; but quite often haven’t talked about the nitty, gritty, day-to-day “stuff” of running a bed and breakfast. I also encourage single people who are thinking of starting a bed and breakfast to involve a very good (truthful) friend in the process to help them articulate what they want to achieve.
Here are my suggestions for 3 key topics you need to thoroughly discuss:
1. It is important that everyone involved in the B&B has the same picture in their head about how it is going to impact on everyone’s life. Some examples might be:
- If you have adult children who live in a different city, do they come to visit? Where will they stay when they come? Or, if they are local, do you do babysitting for them? Will you still be able to do that?
- Do you have elderly parents that require assistance? Will you be able to schedule that around the requirements of running the B&B?
- If only one spouse or partner is going to run the B&B, will the other person be expected to pitch in? When and to what degree?
- If you have small children living in the house, how will you balance their needs and schedule with that of your guests?
2. Based on your specific situation, you need to give careful consideration to how you are planning to use the space in your home for the B&B portion.
- Will you be sharing family living space with the guests?
- What parts of the house will be off-limits to guests?
- What about outside areas – can they sit in the garden?
- Where will guests park?
3. Most people decide to open a bed and breakfast because they like the idea of the lifestyle.
- How is the work going to get accomplished?
- How will the expenses be covered as you are starting up your bed and breakfast?
- What things did you think owning a B&B would give you the freedom to do that you don’t have now?
- Will there be money left over to do the things you want to be able to do?
As you can see, there are so many issues to be thought about, discussed and dissected when thinking about owning a bed and breakfast. That is the reason I created the Design Your Dream B&B Minicourse – to help get that discussion going.