A Few Tips for Future Innkeepers
- Define and Know your niche.
- Create a customized checklist for your staff which includes their hours and room assignments. If an issue comes up, you’ll know who might need additional training to prevent a lapse in quality in the future.
- A housekeeping manual is a must! Go over each category with your help to ensure they understand expectations.
- Clearly communicate policies and guidelines, before and after check-in. When guests are aware of how things work it’s easier for them to flow in your inn and easier for you to manage expectations.
- Schedule your down-time. Enjoy your own home!
These 5 tips are courtesy of Innkeeper KarenMarie Peltier. If you’d like to receive copies of some of her daily management tips write DSakach@iloveinns.com.
Bed and Breakfast For Sale in Vermont
Innkeeper Had 3 B&Bs Over the past twenty years Karenmarie Peltier had three bed and breakfasts. Each one was different from the other. The first, a major renovation and reconstruction project, provided me with the flexibility, job satisfaction, and confidence I needed as a single mom. I was able to live in my own home just a couple of minutes away and yet provide a first-class experience for my guests.
The second B&B I ran was my foray into Airbnb. My youngest was off to college and I worked at a traditional career while hosting interesting people in my Vermont country home. It’s where I got back into writing, painting, nurtured a relationship with a hummingbird, and ultimately met and fell in love with my late husband.
Innkeeper’s 3rd B&B – Back Inn Time – Now, more than a decade later, I enjoy a larger inn with event space. This private oasis in the small, historic city of Saint Albans, Vermont is a refuge. The lush perennial gardens, multiple covered porches, and luxuriously large deck of a grand old Victorian make living and working here a pleasure and delight. As I prepare to pass the torch to whomever might decide to purchase it, I reflect on the many wonderful benefits of being an innkeeper.
In economics or manufacturing the term value-added simply means that the raw product has been improved upon in such a way as to make it more valuable, either through the “extras” that are provided or the refinement of the original. I can’t help but realize that my life has had so much value-added by being an innkeeper over the course of the past twenty (give or take) years.
Buy a Bed and Breakfast That Will Reflect Your Desired Life Style – A bed and breakfast is a reflection of its owner. Innkeepers who are unaware of their individual needs and choices may feel overwhelmed and just focus on service. Perhaps this is why many burn out after five-to-seven years. Truly succeeding at innkeeping entails serving your own life as well as providing a value-added experience for your guests.
Value Added Benefits of Innkeeping – My first inn made it possible for me to be there when my children got off the school bus every day and attend most of their sporting events. It helped me to build a solid reputation and meet many people from all parts of the world without having to travel extensively like I had in my previous career. I arranged my help and my life in such a way that I could have the quality of life I needed at a time when being a single mother was new to me.
Finding My Life Partner & Prioritizing – I’ve already told you about my second bed and breakfast. What’s better than getting acquainted with someone who turns out to be a life partner? Over the past nine or so years at Back Inn Time I followed the same advice I give to those I consult with: prioritize what matters to you, create your unique inn around those priorities, communicate clearly, and follow through. In my case that means closing for a couple of months or so in the winter and getting away for some R&R, painting, writing, travel, research, and development. I also hire help to do the things that can bog me down and keep me from seeing the big picture.
Those priorities can also be considered the extras. I have made countless friends from numerous countries that I am still in touch with and enjoy, so when it’s time to close it’s just a question of whom to connect with and where in the world to go.
My Renaissance Life – Being an innkeeper has afforded me the type of renaissance life I always dreamed of as an accused “artsy yahoo”. I’ve written two books, spent time on city boards, mentored young interns, developed my green thumb, experimented with design, and developed into an experienced chef. We’ve hosted fine dining events with live music in our carriage barn, hosted the recording of albums for musical groups, countless weddings and family gatherings, (including our own family’s)….and had the most romantic date nights in our own garden by the fire pit. We’ve enjoyed the ambiance of our surroundings and the luxurious details at every turn.
Living in this environment has helped to refine my life—to draw out the best and most enjoyable aspects.
My Boundaries – On those rare occasions when a grouch comes to stay, I’ve even learned to diplomatically offer to call the hotel down the road and see if there’s room for him there. Life is too short to share your home with ornery people, after all. Developing healthy boundaries and other life skills has proven exceptionally helpful.
Adding Value to Your Inn – Financially, whenever you take a raw product and improve upon it there’s a worthwhile increase in revenue or asset appreciation. The same is true of a well-maintained historic home and well-developed business. The benefits of being an innkeeper are tangible and intangible.
As I prepare to move on to my next adventure, I am extremely grateful for the experiences and people who have enriched my life and appreciated what we created at Back Inn Time. I plan to continue coaching would be and existing innkeepers, writing books, painting, and meeting wonderful people.
As for whomever purchases my B&B inn, they will definitely be getting a value-added product!
You Can Buy This Beautiful Vermont Inn For a Family Home or As a Thriving B&B