Is Running a Bed and Breakfast the Right Career Choice for You?

breakfast on a table

When many people picture the daily operation of a bed and breakfast, they conjure up a romantic image of a gracious host or hostess serving coffee and chatting with the guests about the local nature trails. Bed and breakfast owners definitely do these things, along with dozens of other, more labor-intensive tasks during the course of a typical day. Running a B & B is a lot of hard work and long hours, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

Personality Traits That Are Helpful for the Hospitality Industry

Successful entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry are hardworking individuals who genuinely love to work with people. In the bed and breakfast niche, having a commitment to exceptional customer service is particularly important because the B & B owner is typically seen as an extension of the establishment itself. Running a B & B is more of a lifestyle than an occupation. Effective B & B managers who are in the business for the long haul take great pride in introducing guests to the beauty of their region. They might introduce city dwellers to nature one day and help young guests to communicate with overseas visitors the next day. In short, some of the most essential personality traits and skills for B & B entrepreneurs are:

  • Communication
  • Outgoing nature
  • Multi-tasker
  • Creativity

Day in the Life of a B&B Innkeeper

The bed and breakfast niche is an ideal career choice for individuals who love variety in their day-to-day lives. You’ll wear many different hats, and no two days will look alike. Here’s a look at just a few of the activities you might do during a typical day at a B&B:

  • Meet and greet new guests
  • Say goodbye to departing guests
  • Check that rooms are cleaned and prepared
  • Develop the staff schedule
  • Plan a new menu
  • Handle customer complaints
  • Answer customer questions
  • Update social media platforms
  • Manage the budget
  • Coordinate maintenance services with contractors
  • Order supplies
  • Do payroll
  • Manage employee benefits

Bed and breakfast managers are very busy folks, and not all inns have full staffs. Some owners find themselves doing much of the heavy lifting regarding cleaning, laundering sheets, and preparing meals, along with answering the phones and booking rooms. If you’re serious about owning your own B & B, consider looking for an internship at an established inn to get a clear picture of what it’s really like behind the scenes.

Can You Make Money on a Bed and Breakfast?

It is very possible to make money while owning a bed and breakfast, however there are some things to take into consideration. The more nights and more rooms that are booked, the more money you will make, but the chances of having every room booked every night of the year is very slim. Depending on where you live, you may have peak seasons and slow seasons. You have to think about things such as weather, location and convenience to other local tourist attractions.

Financial Considerations for B&B Owners

All entrepreneurs need to have a keen eye for numbers. Aspiring bed and breakfast owners should plan their startup and operating budgets very carefully. Every successful B & B needs a generous rainy day fund in case the boiler unexpectedly needs to be replaced, the roof leaks, or a season is slower than expected.

If running a bed and breakfast sounds like the perfect career choice for you, Grand Canyon University invites you to apply to our Colangelo College of Business. We’re pleased to offer a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management program with a modern curriculum and a Christian worldview. Look for the Request More Information button at the top of your screen.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.