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Running a Bed and Breakfast For Dummies

Running a Bed and Breakfast For Dummies

4.6 8
by Mary White

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Learn to:

  • Choose a location and make it your own
  • Create a profitable business plan
  • Decorate and renovate your property
  • Market your property for maximum occupancy

All the tools you need to start and run a profitable B&B

Do you dream of owning a B&B? This friendly, practical guide shows you how


Learn to:

  • Choose a location and make it your own
  • Create a profitable business plan
  • Decorate and renovate your property
  • Market your property for maximum occupancy

All the tools you need to start and run a profitable B&B

Do you dream of owning a B&B? This friendly, practical guide shows you how to make your dream a reality, with expert advice on everything from writing a business plan and finding the right location to handling situations you will encounter as an innkeeper. You'll make your guests feel at home, keep your inn in tip-top shape, and ensure your long-term success!

  • Understand B&B basics — get an overview of the business and see if you have the skills (and the desire!) to succeed
  • Find a place to call home — choose the location, style, and size of your ideal B&B
  • Transition from visitor to owner — create your business plan, secure financing, make an offer, and protect your investment
  • Get ready for your guests — organize your recordkeeping, set room rates and policies, furnish your inn, and market your services
  • Set the breakfast scene — decide the style of breakfast to offer, accommodate guests' needs and restrictions, create signature dishes, and serve refreshments and snacks
  • Handle day-to-day operations — take reservations, make your guests feel welcome, hire employees, and maintain your inn
  • Take your business to the next level — assess your success, expand your market, increase profit, and prevent burnout

Open the book and find:

  • How to transition an existing B&B or start from scratch
  • The biggest problems new B&Bs encounter — and how to avoid them
  • The best ways to furnish your inn
  • Tips for saving time cleaning and preparing breakfast
  • What you must know to design and update your Web site
  • Tried-and-tested sample menus and recipes
  • Ways to guarantee a return guest
  • How to get extra help when you need it

Product Details

Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Mary White is the go-to source in the bed&breakfast industry for opinions and advice. A noted expert on B&B travel, she has been involved in promoting and marketing B&Bs on the Web for more than a decade and has appeared in dozens of media outlets. Her site, BnBFinder.com, is hailed by professionals and consumers alike as the most informative B&B site on the Web.

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Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
About-the-Inn More than 1 year ago
We bought our B&B about four years ago. In preparation for that step we read several books on owning and operating, purchasing, or converting a home to, a bed and breakfast. Most of these books were minimally adequate, but not really outstanding, with not enough detail on the financial and marketing aspects of the business. One was very good, but somewhat out of date. Mary White's book is a welcome addition to this field, providing a thorough description of everything from considering whether owning a b&b is appropriate for you, to growing the successful business. In the familiar "Dummies" manner, the book uses cartoons (some very cute!) to introduce the parts of the book, and uses icons to flag tips, important information and warnings of danger. The book is organized into six parts: 1. Inn the Beginning: an outline of what a bed and breakfast is (and is not), potential marketing challenges, necessary social skills, and commitment, and a bit about the lifestyle change that a b&b brings. 2. Transitioning from Inn Goer to Inn Owner: a discussion of professionals who can help, from inn consultants to accountants, and lawyers, creating a business plan and financial forecasts, along with a discussion of buying an existing inn versus starting a new inn from scratch. 3. Getting Ready for Guests: setting up your record-keeping systems, choosing a property management system, setting rates and establishing policies, getting basic marketing in place, furnishing and decorating the inn, and even a few recipes to get things started. 4. Up and Running: Day-to-Day Operations: this section covers guest communications and taking reservations, basic hospitality (taking care of guests), handling problem guests, chores and maintenance, and getting help you need when you need it. 5. Taking It Beyond Breakfast and the Basics: how to analyze your results and make future projections, concrete marketing steps to help you move forward, and keeping yourself fine-tuned. 6. The Part of Tens: collections of tips for cleaning economies of time and money, and ideas for getting guests to return. From even this brief outline of Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies you can see that Mary's book is a "soup to nuts" presentation. Not everyone (whether considering becoming an owner of a b&b, or already running a b&b) will find a need for every chapter, but nearly everyone will find value within its pages. When considering a new venture, such as the purchase of a bed & breakfast, most will do some research, looking for books on the topic, and seeking help from knowledgeable sources. Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies should be one of those sources. The treatment is thorough and professional. Mary White provides the benefit of her years of experience working with the bed & breakfast industry to provide information that can be put to work immediately. Where she lacks personal experience, Mary has obtained advice from multiple sources in the industry and presents the best practices which she has gathered from them. For the experienced innkeeper Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies provides a way of validating operational decisions, and the opportunity to re-evaluate choices, to see if changes can be made to improve the level of service, grow the business, and prepare for the future.
Timmermannhouse More than 1 year ago
What a great resource for the Bed & Breakfast industry! I have been an Innkeeper for 14 years and have had the position of Administrator for the past nine years for our State Association. All the information in Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies is right on target for aspiring Innkeepers as well as seasoned Innkeepers. Mary has spelled everything out in plain language that everyone can understand. I will definatly recommend Mary's book to people inquiring about starting a Bed & Breakfast. Sandy Timmermann/Timmermann House Bed & Breakfast Illinois Bed & Breakfast Association Administrator
PeteLH More than 1 year ago
Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies As a former innkeeper of 12 years and a professional Inn Broker since 1992, I was impressed with Mary White's insight into our industry. Her writing style is wonderful and inspiring and will certainly intrigue the aspiring innkeeper. I purposefully did not pay attention to the Table of Contents, as I did not want to skip ahead to the sections that held the most interest to me. The section on Verifying zoning, permits, and codes and the section Evaluating the added value of goodwill were particularly relevant. After completing the read I realized what an important reference book this will be for ALL innkeepers. Pete Holladay TMG, Inc. ~ Real Estate Consultants B&B and Country Inn Consultants
LiseD More than 1 year ago
Running A Bed and Breakfast for Dummies was a very thorough book that touched on more aspects about setting up and running an inn than I had ever imagined! The book had a great flow and provided many valuable resources. You can tell the author has dedicated a lot of time to make sure the reader is well aware of what is required and where to seek help if necessary. Very resourceful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a FABULOUS resource for aspiring innkeepers. Although, I am not an innkeeper, I do work in the industry and have a good relationship with thousands of innkeepers. I have looked at many how-to books and this is one of the best! It really covers all that "you need to know". from finding a property, funding, running the inn and so much more. It is also a terrific book for experienced innkeepers who want a refresher course on innkeeping. Mary does not hold back when enlightening an aspiring innkeeper in what is ahead on purchasing and running an inn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am generally a big fan of the Dummies' series and I can say that, 'Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies,' is no exception. The author doesn't just touch on breakfast and guest etiquette, but creates a whole business plan and model that first time business owners can follow. No matter how many other books you've read on opening a bed & breakfast, I recommend that you add this one to your list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago