Bed and Breakfast - The Easiest Home Business
There's an exciting new "down-home"
kind of business springing up among homeowners all across
the country. It's called Bed and Breakfast.
Basically, this is a transplant of European Hospitality,
adapted and refined to the American way of doing things. To
foreign visitors, it's the comfort and hospitality of home
- staying overnight "with people of the land" and
enjoying a hearty breakfast - without the traditional gaudiness
and plastic feelings visitors get from most big cities in
the United States. To U.S. citizens, it is a welcome alternative
to the same old hotel/motel circuit,
Now, all it takes is a spare bedroom, a good cook and an
outgoing personality. Prices per night range from a low of
$25 to $100 or more.
If you have an extra bedroom, a large home, or extra space
in your farm house, you have the necessary beginnings to start
making extra income as a Bed and Break fast Inn. One of the
beautiful aspects of this idea is that so long as you're hosting
"over night visitors" on a small scale, no licenses
will be required. It's always best, however, to check with
your local authorities just to be sure.
Naturally, your "visitors" will expect a clean,
neat and comfortable home. So assuming that your home meets
these prerequisites, and you have a spare bedroom, simply
"doll it up" a bit. Make sure it's painted brightly,
there's an outside window, lots of room, closet space and
bureau, and perhaps a small writing desk, and a large comfortable
bed, or twin beds.
Most foreign visitors will expect and appreciate a "quick
tour" of the interesting sights in your area. However,
as your particular popularity as a B & B Host grows, you'll
find that a lot of American tourists and business people on
the road will begin availing themselves of your hospitality.
Certainly with these people, it won't always be necessary
to give the "Red Carpet" visitors' treatment.
Which brings us to the basic appeal of a Bed and Breakfast
Inn. Travelers seem to be looking for, and appreciate a quiet
"home-style" place to stay. Generally, they enjoy
visiting with the people off the superhighway and want to
get away from the sterilized atmosphere and sameness of hotels
Most people will either write to you ahead of time, inquiring
about the possibilities of staying at your home while in your
town or city. This means a bit of advertising on your part,
or listing your availability with a B & B broker. Some
people will check the local telephone listings, and the newspaper
advertisements when they arrive in a strange town. And some
people will just be driving across the country, come to a
town or city they think is interesting, and start driving
through the residential areas looking for Bed and Breakfast
Thus, you should have a small sign posted either in your
front yard or on the front of your house. This sign needn't
be much more than about two feet wide by about ten inches
deep. It need only state:
BED AND BREAKFAST - Inquire Within or Call
For newspaper advertising, a similar listing in the personal
column of your local paper, particularly on Thursdays, Fridays
and Saturdays, will be all you'll need. But when it comes
to the yellow pages of your telephone and business directories,
go with a small display ad that describes in greater detail
the comforts and pleasures of your services.
Be sure to list your services with all the travel agencies
in your area. A brochure or a short synopsis of what you offer
will most assuredly give the travel agents an idea for steering
visitors your way. At the same time, listing your services
in a number of national travel magazines - particularly those
that cater to women - will bring customers in for you.
Listing your services with a broker usually won't cost you
anything up front, but they will expect a certain percentage
- usually about 25% of the total bill. This same arrangement
applies with travel agents.
Now, suppose you're organized and ready to receive your
first customers. You greet them as host or hostess and offer
to assist them in getting situated in the room or rooms you
have for them. If they'd like to take a drive around your
area and see the points of interest, you do that. And then
in the morning, serve them a big, delicious breakfast.
You'll probably find that foreign visitors will want to
stay several days. With most people of this country who are
just travelling through your area, it'll be a one-night stopover.
Whatever, if they want to sleep comfortably through the night,
eat breakfast and be on their way, so be it. If they want
to sit around after breakfast and plan an itinerary for a
complete visit of your area, your assistance and help will
be greatly appreciated. (Remember those recommendations)!
That's it! The complete how and why of this tremendously
profitable business that's becoming more and more popular.
It's called Bed & Breakfast, and it's very definitely
a low investment idea. And you can parlay it into a very interesting
able income producing business - all from the comforts of
your own home!