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Have you ever thought of opening a bed & breakfast?

Do you know what is required to operate a bed & breakfast?

In this edition, I am going to look what you should do to start your own bed and breakfast.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Does this sound like you?

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“I have a nice house, live in a lovely location and I am interested in making extra money. I should open the Bed & Breakfast.”

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If so, you’re not alone. It is possible to find bed and breakfasts in almost every corner of the world.

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But where do you start?

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Before you start you should ask yourself a few questions.

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Is my home really in a suitable location?

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What makes my home unique or captivating?

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Is my family ready to have strangers stay in our house?

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To do this, you have to be objective and look at it from the travellers or tourist’s perspective. Ask friends and family for their opinions.

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Do I have the money needed?

Will there be renovations required in your home to make sure the operation works well for you, your family and your guests?

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Are the rooms going to be theme designed or with a certain furniture style?

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You might need new or more furnishings?

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Do I have the time and skills needed?

A good idea to talk with other bed and breakfast owners or experts in the hospitality industry to get a feel of what is undertaking might entail.

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Do I like being with people?

Are you a good host, enjoy conversing and have strong listening skills?

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Do I take pleasure in keeping a tasteful and clean home?

You know what it’s like when you go into to somebody else’s home and you see dirt the corners or clothes piled up. It’s not very appealing and a good way to lose return clientele.

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Am I organized?

And what I mean by this are you able to:

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  • keep up reservations

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  • design and keep schedules

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  • managing, accounting and bookkeeping

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  • understand and do marketing

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  • research the demand and competition

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Do I have realistic expectations?

You have to know, this is not get-rich-quick operations and the hours can be long.

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These are the first basic questions you should ask and answer before moving forward.

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Please do not look at these questions as a deterrent but instead a way to set reasonable expectations into what can be a really fun and rewarding career.

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If your responses so far have been positive, you might think you are ready to put a bed and breakfast sign in front of your property.

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Not so fast!

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You next have to find out what forms and permits are required to open a bed and breakfast.

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Wouldn’t it be great if all you have to do to operate a bed and breakfast was to open the doors to weary travellers and invite them to enjoy your hospitality?

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Unfortunately, it is not that simple. There’s the business that has to be taken care of before you can even consider inviting in your first guest.

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A bed and breakfast is a business so make sure all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed is essential. You don’t want government officials knocking at your door while you’re serving oatmeal.

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To ensure everything is done correctly, talk with and use your professionals, your accountant, lawyer, consultant, and/or broker as well as other bed and breakfast owners.

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Make sure you have the accounts and paperwork you need before opening day and it is a good idea to mark any necessary renewal dates on your calendar.

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Here is a checklist you can use as a guideline, but remember, it’s just a guideline. Your location may require different or additional forms or permits.

  • Business license

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  • Registered Business name

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  • Certificate of occupancy

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  • Conditional use and sign permits (if required)

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  • Account for transient/lodging taxes

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  • Sales tax account (seller’s permit)

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  • Federal and State / Provincial Tax ID

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  • Business checking credit accounts

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  • Merchant account (to process debit and credit cards)

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  • Health Department inspection

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  • Fire Department inspection

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  • Foodservice certification (if required)

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  • Insurance (business, liability, property, and liquor liability if applicable)

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  • Property management/reservation and accounting

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  • Liquor license, if applicable

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Now as I said, these are just guidelines and you will have to consult with your local professionals to make sure you do have all the proper forms and permits.

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Does this make sense? Let me know by leaving a short comment.

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Once you have all the proper forms and permits in place, you should compile another list.

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Download your own copy of the permit & forms checklist and the service numbers suggestions.

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It does not matter how organized we are, there are times when something could happen that will catch us off guard and we are not sure who to call.

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Record telephone numbers for the following services and keep the list on hand for quick fixes to ensure your guests’ comfort, enjoyment, safety and your peace of mind.

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  • Animal Control

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  • Appliance repair

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  • Cable provider

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  • Carpenter/Contractor

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  • Electrician

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  • Heat/AC equipment person

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  • Hot tub repair

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  • Internet provider

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  • Landscapers/tree removal service

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  • Plumbing & drain cleaning service

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  • Power Company

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  • Propane gas supplier

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  • Phone service provider

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  • Roofer

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  • Septic tank info

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  • Snow removal service

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Some of these contacts may not apply or you have others I have not included but this is a good list to start with and if you do have any others we would sure like to hear them.

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In conclusion

Asking the right questions, doing the research and getting proper permits and forms in place needs to happen before you open your doors to the world. Take the time, as it could save you massive headaches down the road.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC130

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And don’t forget to join the “6 Day Challenge” here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/6-day-challenge-log-in-here/

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RESOURCES & LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Download your own copy of the bed and breakfast permit & forms checklist and the service numbers suggestions.

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/bed-and-breakfast-permits-and-form

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The Keystone HDC Training Tutorials

How to Open a Bed & Breakfasts

https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/courses/how-to-open-a-bed-breakfasts/

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How To Open A Bed & Breakfast Ebook

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Join our community in “The Hospitality Property School Group” –Check it Out for One Full Week for Only $1

http://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/membership-site

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TWEET THIS VIDEO:

How to Start a Bed and Breakfast  @KeystoneHDC

https://youtu.be/FHlWBeW_h9Y 

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Say hi on social:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeystoneHDC

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KeystoneHDC

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/keystone-hospitality-development

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Listen to The Hospitality Property School PODCAST here:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/FHlWBeW_h9Y 

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A Division of Keystone Hospitality School