The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed & Breakfast [NOOK Book]


You're no idiot, of course. You've had the pleasure of staying at a few bed and breakfasts, and you'd love to open a charming inn of your own. But when you think about what it takes to get a business up and running, you want to hang the Do Not Disturb sighn.

This is your wake-up call! 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast' will show you it can be easy and fun - and a great way to meet ...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed & Breakfast

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You're no idiot, of course. You've had the pleasure of staying at a few bed and breakfasts, and you'd love to open a charming inn of your own. But when you think about what it takes to get a business up and running, you want to hang the Do Not Disturb sighn.

This is your wake-up call! 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast' will show you it can be easy and fun - and a great way to meet new people and make money. In this 'Complete Idiot's Guide', you get:

-Useful insights into the booming B&B industry.

-A simple test to help you decide if you have what it takes to succeed in the B&B business.

-Idiot-proof guidelines for converting a house into a B&B.

-Expert advice on accounting and business issues.

-An insider's look at the new trends in guest services.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440650697
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2001
  • Sold by: DK
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,261,886
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

PARK DAVIS is the owner of four successful bed and breakfasts in Cape Cod (Provincetown), Massachusetts, including The Benchmark Inn and The Benchmark Central, which have won the Five Palms Editor's Choice Award. Check out his Website at for a virtual visit.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Home Sweet Home 1
1 Open, Sez Me! 3
The Tradition of Welcoming Strangers 4
Do You Have What It Takes? 4
This Is a Test; This Is Only a Test 5
Hosting 101: Improve Your Score 9
Common Misconceptions 11
More Than Making Beds and Breakfast 12
Finding Out the Real Deal Firsthand 12
The Best Decision You Ever Make 13
2 Big Things in Small(er) Packages 15
B&B vs. Inn: What's in a Name? 15
Insights into a Booming Industry 18
B&B Owners: A Growing Breed 18
Best Areas to Raise the Roof 20
Growing Pains 21
The B&B Appeal 21
You've Got... Personality 21
All the Rage 22
The B&B Guest 23
3 What It's Really Like 25
Staying Positive at the Get-Go 26
Dealing with the Work-at-Home Way 26
Say Good-Bye to Saturday Night 27
Considering Family Members 27
What You'll Gain Besides Income 28
A Day in the Life 29
Totally Devoted to You 31
Finding Time and How Much You'll Need 32
Balancing Your Life 32
4 The B&B of Your Dreams 35
Working Up to Perfect 35
Your B&B-to-Be 36
A Sound Structure 36
What Services Will You Offer? 38
The Absentee B&B Owner 38
Best Spots for B&Bs 39
When Traffic Is a Good Thing 39
Trapping Tourists 40
Off the Main Road 40
Near an Event Center or College 41
Startup Overview 41
Part 2 Taking the Plunge 45
5 Knocking Down Those Walls 47
Turning Your Home into a B&B 47
Potential Profit-Maker or Money Pit? 48
Don't Live in the Basement 48
Checking in with Officials 49
Buying a House 49
Make Sure Your Turnkey Isn't a Turkey 49
Converting a House 51
Fine-Tune Your Layout 53
Getting to Work 53
Sturdy as She Goes 54
Do-It-Yourself Renovations 54
Letting Professionals Take Over 55
Saving Your Sanity During Renovation 56
Ease on into Business 56
Not That Wall! 57
Using Your Time Wisely 57
Keeping the Neighbors Happy 57
Work on Your Hammer-and-Nail Skills 58
6 Legalities and Liabilities 61
Rules of the Locals 62
Local Regulations 63
Getting Legal 63
Get in the Zone 64
In-House Safety Check 66
Local Bylaws 67
Local Taxes 68
Americans with Disabilities Act 68
State Policies 68
Getting Good Insurance 69
Becoming a Good Risk 69
Protection from Loss 70
Must-Have Coverage and Then Some 71
7 All About Room Rates 75
Pricing Your Product 75
Take a Clue from the Competition 76
Location, Location, Location 76
Rooms Have a Lot to Offer 77
One Lump or Two? 81
Service Please 82
'Tis the Season 82
Charging for Extras 84
Other Income 84
Raising Prices 85
Changing Your Mind 86
8 The Business Plan 89
Yes, You Really Need One! 89
Who Sees Your Business Plan? 90
Buying an Established Business 90
Basic Components 91
Opening Lines 91
Main Objective 91
Detailed Description 92
Business Management 92
Market Research 92
Marketing Plan 92
Financial Projections 93
Business Timeline 93
Financial Projections: Uncut 93
Determining Start-Up Costs 94
The Income Operating Statement 96
Estimating Income 100
9 Setting Up Your Business and Financial Structure 105
How Much Cash Will You Need? 105
Determining Your B2B (Business to Be) 106
Sole Proprietorship 106
Saddling Up a Partner 107
Going Corporate 108
Getting Start-Up Capital 108
Setting Up Money Accounts 110
Keeping Solid Records 111
Shoe Boxes Are for Shoes 111
Charting Accounts 112
Detailing Expenses 113
Recording Income 114
Money Payments 115
Taxes and More Taxes 117
When Buying an Established B&B 119
Part 3 Getting the Word Out 121
10 Marketing 101 123
Before You Write That Brochure 123
Research: Not Just for Grad Students 124
Word of Mouth: Promotion You Can't Buy 124
The Marketing Plan 125
Put It on Paper 125
Working with the Locals 132
Seasonal Marketing 132
B&B Basics 133
Don't Go Without a Logo 133
Stationery and Biz Cards 133
An Eye-Catching Sign 134
The Brochure 134
The Next Level 135
Your Own Web Site 135
Hometown Advertising 137
Advertising Nationally 139
11 Networking Works 141
You're Not Alone! 141
Finding Networking Opportunities 142
Talking with Other B&B Owners 142
Local Business Organizations 143
Chamber of Commerce 143
Local and State Tourism Offices 143
Connecting with Other Small Businesses 143
Joining a B&B Organization 143
National Associations 144
Regional Clubs 144
Start Your Own Amalgamation! 145
Attending Seminars and Classes 146
Getting Listed in Guidebooks 147
12 Special Circumstances 151
Events at Your Place 151
Events to Fit Your Style 153
Getting People to Show Up 154
Promising Promotions Elsewhere 155
Promotional Paper Chase 155
Niche Marketing 157
Cheap Marketing Tricks 158
Part 4 Making It Your Own 161
13 Getting the Most from Your B&B 163
Just Say No to Decorative Ducks 163
Decorating Flair 164
Sensing Atmosphere 165
Creating Theme Rooms 167
Small Touches Make a Big Difference 168
Working with What You Have 168
The Small Room 168
Creating Little Havens in a Big Space 169
Odd Common Areas 169
Amenities for Every Room 170
Basic Expectations 170
Making Each Room a Stand-Out 172
Working Up to Jacuzzi 173
Building on Your Talents 175
14 Stocking Up on Supplies 177
Stocking Up on Goods 177
Writing Out the "A" Lists 178
Pesky Perishables 180
Provisions You Can't Eat 182
What to Buy in Bulk 183
Online and Catalogue Shopping 183
Big Equipment Must-Haves 184
Laundry Facilities 184
In the Kitchen 185
Cleaning Essentials 186
The Great Outdoors (a.k.a. Your Lawn) 186
Using Your Own Resources 187
15 Setting Guest Policies 189
Making Policy a Priority 189
Check-In and Check-Out 190
Office Hours 191
Breakfast Rules 191
Methods of Payment 192
Cancellation Policy 192
Late Arrival 193
Tipping the Staff 194
When Guests Phone a Few Friends 194
House Rules 194
The "No" Rules (Pets, Smoking, and Others) 195
Fire Safety First 196
Uninvited Guests 196
No Curfew, or Wicked Stepmother Syndrome 197
Posting House Rules 197
What to Do with Rule Breakers 199
Changing a Policy or Rule 199
Part 5 Getting Down to Business 201
16 Start with a Good Breakfast 203
Breakfast Types 203
Continental Divine 204
The Full Menu 204
Breakfast in Bed 206
The Back-Up Breakfast 206
Guests with Dietary Concerns 207
Bare Breakfast Essentials 207
How Much to Make 208
Hiring a Chef 208
Breakfast Is Served 209
It's All in the Presentation 209
Sit-Down or Buffet 209
When Do We Eat? 210
Creating Breakfast Areas 211
Serving Other Treats 212
17 One Day at a Time 213
Schedule a Daily Routine 213
Reservation Paperwork 215
Reservation Form 215
Booking Calendar 216
Using a Computer 218
Filing Reservations 219
Taking Reservations 220
Over the Phone 220
Via E-Mail 224
Handling Cancellations 225
Reservation Services 225
Working with Travel Agents 226
18 Guest Services with a Smile 227
Trends in Guest Services 227
Services Guests Can't Live Without 228
Catering to Clientele 230
Turndown Service 231
Creating a Guest Portfolio 232
Concierge-at-Large 233
The Concierge Personality 234
Making Reservations for Guests 235
Providing Local Info 236
At Beck and Call 236
Offering Business Services 237
19 Housekeeping Basics 239
Keeping House Every Day 239
Staying on Top of It 240
Whipping Staff Into Shape 240
Getting Rooms Ready 241
The Stages of Clean 241
Where Do I Start? 242
Common Areas 244
The Big Clean 245
Laundry Again? 246
Kitchen Duty 246
Outdoor Upkeep 247
20 Help Wanted 249
Knowing When You Need Help 249
Hiring Reliable Employees 250
Placing an Ad 251
The Interview 252
You're Hired! 254
Staff Policies 254
Defining Roles and Duties 256
What to Pay 257
Learn Your Staff Right 257
Team Spirit 258
Hiring Seasonal Staff 259
Inheriting Employees 260
Hiring an Inn-Sitter 261
Providing Perks 261
Handing Out Pink Slips 263
Part 6 The Next Level 265
21 The Business in Review 267
Charting Your Success 267
Success Comes in Small Packages 268
Getting Information Before You Need It 268
When It Looks Good on Pa
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 4 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2006

    Highly recommend it

    If you're going into the business, this is a must read. This and 'I'm Living Your Dream Life' by Michele Cozzens

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 22, 2010

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