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
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Choose a Theme

    Another name for this chapter could have been, do your research.

    There is just two ways to go, if you already have purchased or own the property that you will be making into an Inn, then you must decide who is most likely to visit and why.

    If you have not purchased property then it is much easier to decide on a theme but much more difficult to find the best location for it.

    If you already live somewhere then check with the Chamber of Commerce, local real-estate offices, yellow pages, newspaper, etc, until you get a good feel for what type of customers you are most likely to attract.

    Do they fish, or ride bikes, do they want a healthy retreat, or just peace and quite, anything that people come to your neck of the woods to do.

    One easy way is to look at your competition, especially if they are full all the time. What do they do and how could you do it better?

    If you live in a historic building then you really need to collect as much historic information on your property as possible. If you are not sure where to start your Inn then you must first decide what your interests and abilities are.

    It is always easier to live your dream than take care of someone else’s. Then after you know what type of Inn you want to run, you will have to find the ideal location for it. In both cases the key is fitting in and going with the flow.

    Be open minded and look for the obvious. So many times a potential Innkeeper has a dream but no grasp on reality, no one wants to share your dreams they all have their own, and that is what you want to provide to them. 

    They want a place where they will enjoy staying, a place that they can tell their friends about and want to return to.

    So how do we do that again?

    Research, collecting as much data as you can find from the internet, your state B&B association, libraries, phone books, and newspapers to mention a few.

    You will need to stay in a few Inns yourself for the best ideas. Make sure that the theme of those Inns is similar to the theme you would like to us.

    Just like a picture is worth a 1000 words, one stay will tell you if your theme is good or bad and why. Do not re-invent the wheel. It is always easier to build on the success that others have made.

    Find out what they do and how they do it, and then improve it.

    The reason this book is called Innkeeping Made Easy is because of this sort of thinking. Improving what others have done is sort of like a team effort where you did not have to pay the part of the team that proved the theme worked.

    I may sound like a broken record here, but just because a theme works does not mean you can do it, or that you want to do it. There are a lot of ideas and ways to succeed so if the first theme is not for you and does not use your skills then keep looking.  You need to find a theme that you really can get enthusiastic about.

    Your happiness is a large part of your success or failure and should be your number one priority. If you are a great chef then start a cooking school that makes meals for your guests. If you like exercise and good health have a spa theme. Work your interests into the business and you will have additional income beyond the rents.

    A carpenter would have a great place to display and sell his works, as would an artist.  When you first start you will need as many ways to make money as you can.  A cook could offer catering or host luncheons in the parlor.

    Please do not even think about starting an Inn unless you have a good idea based on strong research.