Ch  1 Hospitality
Ch  2 Basics
Ch  3 Theme
Ch  4 Better Old
Ch  5 Legal
Ch  6 Front Desk
Ch  7 Remodeling
Ch  8 Finance
Ch  9 Schedule
Ch 10 Labor
Ch 11 Marketing
Ch 12 Accounting
Ch 13 Now What
Ch 14 Forms

Old Homes are Better

    Once they are remodeled that is. An Inn or Bed & Breakfast is not the same thing as a home.  Each room will need its own bathroom and lock on the door.

    The walls will need insulation to prevent noise from traveling from room to room.  Each room will also need its own telephone, TV, radio, and heating/cooling unit.

    If you plan to live in the building or home, then you will need enough space to live and not just a small back room. There will have to be a living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom at a minimum because this will be a long time arrangement which a manager will have to live with.

    The reason old is better, is because with the proper restoration, old is unique and charming. The typical motel or hotel in town is often build for efficiency and profit and while clean, it probably lacks charm and is very similar to thousands of other motels you can find anywhere.

    Your Inn needs to be unique, friendly, and comfortable. It should seem like home or period living. If you have a historic building or house you can give them the feeling they are living the high life during the glory years of your Inn.

    Keep in mind that there is going to be a lot of traffic and spills, so priceless antiques should not be used unless you are planning on charging a couple grand per night. All the furniture should be strong and easily replaceable.

    I diverse, the point I am making here is, that you probably do not own a home large enough to convert to an Inn so you will have to find a place and buy or lease it. It will either be an existing Inn that you want to put under new management or a structure big enough to be converted to an Inn.

    It is very important that you know the zoning, licensing, and plumbing of any structure, as these are all show stoppers. Generally with a reputable appraiser, who can tell you if there is any major flaws, and a good real-estate agent, you can find a place that will work. But look around the neighborhood and make sure it is a place you want to have an Inn.

    You are looking for plenty of parking, open space, and friendly neighbors. You are a new comer and sometimes that can be a problem in a small community so talk to some people you see around the neighborhood and find out what they thing of your idea.

    If your visitors are coming by train or air then you will want to know if there is good public transportation. Your customer may want to hike or ride bikes but it must be safe enough for that option to be practical.

    Try to imagine what it would be like to arrive at your location and if you would be impressed or sorry you made the reservation. You are offering an experience, a mini vacation from the city and modern life.

    Unlike motels that do most of their business during the week, you will get more visitors during the weekends. Do nearby businesses close early and stay closed on Sunday?

    Unless you are a retired construction worker you will have to hire a local contractor to do all the renovation work. Be sure that he has the expertise and some good recommendations before considering buying or leasing a structure. Your costs can really get out of control fast if the required materials and workers are not available locally.

    If you are buying an existing Inn then make sure you understand the real reason that the previous owner is selling. And do not assume that any of the things we talked about in this chapter have been checked out for you. You still need to investigate all the same things as you would if the Inn was not already in business.