Balancing Your Life With Goals

Innkeeping is fraught with the potential of getting out of balance in life. One clue to not letting that happen is to block your time off away from the inn and not let anything interfere with that break. You owe it to yourself and your guests to be dedicated to refreshing yourself and refueling your soul. Another way is to set goals, in all areas of your life.

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The Hospitality Promise

Sitting in my Nanjing hotel on a rainy day, during my third visit to China, I’m struck again by the realization that hospitality is not just the purview of “the hospitality industry” — bed and breakfasts, hotels, resorts, amusement parks, or restaurants. It’s also not culturally dependent, though culture plays a role in making others feel welcome, comfortable and at home. This is the third hotel in which I’ve stayed in as many months, and I have had a wide range of hospitality experiences.

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Mortgages For Greening Your B&B

As a B&B innkeeper, what do you do to help protect the environment? What green actions do you take? Recycling, reducing consumption, composting, energy and water conservation, CFLs and natural daylighting, and avoiding pesticides are among the things innkeepers undertake. However, steps like home renovations or utility upgrades to be more environmentally conscious may seem financially out of reach to the average bed and breakfast. Ah, that’s where green mortgages come into your life.

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Your Reservation Process

Your reservation procedure is vital to your business success. It’s part of your marketing plan too. We’ve all had reservation experiences; some have been great, and some are outstandingly bad. You can learn more from a bad experience than a good one (though I prefer good ones). Let the personal touch that’s the hallmark of B&Bs lead the way to your business success, starting with your reservation tactics.

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Green Certification: Focus Area 7 — Locally Grown, Organic Healthy Food

Food is half of what your bed and breakfast promises. It seems to me it should be an excellent offering, with you providing the best food you can. That means fresh, local, organic ingredients cooked into delicious, nutritious recipes. Your food, simple or elaborate, should make people yearn for more.

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Green Certification: Focus Area 6 — Buying Practices for Waste Reduction

Consumption Patterns
To simplify the question of how one greens their life and business, maybe it can be reduced to the simple concept of how you buy — your buying patterns. The less you buy the fewer resources you consume, or throw away. But what does that really mean, and how can you do that throughout the B&B?

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Green Certification: Focus Area 4 — The Building

The building(s) you house your bed and breakfast operations in is the foundation of your environmental program. Though making an existing building more environmentally friendly can be expensive and feel like a daunting task, if it’s done bit at a time it’s doable. And the payoffs are generally commensurate with the effort and expense.

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How Do You Green-Certify Your B&B?

The first steps you take toward green operations and green certification go together.

  1. start with expanding our attitude and knowledge
  2. baseline your existing usage of energy, water, waste and chemicals
  3. get staff, vendors and guests involved
  4. write your green/sustainability plan and policy
  5. track usage in action areas
  6. plan your marketing program, including not raising your rates just because you are “green”
  7. develop education programs for staff, vendor, guests and public

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The Value of Innkeeper Quarters For A B&B

A tent slipped into the trees along the lake, curled up in front of the stove, tucked into a large closet, or stuffed into an unfinished basement. Sounds like some interesting travel experiences, doesn’t it. But it really describes various living conditions innkeepers have subjected themselves in the aim of creating a viable bed and breakfast business.

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B&B Consulting Job Reviews: Going Green in the Laundry Room

Each consulting job I’ve had has taught me how differently everyone approaches their lodging business. You can be sure their approach to greening their properties is unique too. Let me share highlights of various consulting jobs I’ve had. This article covers greening the laundry room.

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B&B Consulting Job Reviews: Today’s Real Estate Market

Contrary to popular opinion there is lending money available. Its availability is for prime buyers and properties, even more so now than ever before. It’s your challenge to make sure you are in one of those categories if you want to make the change that has you reading this article.

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B&B Consulting Job Reviews: Benchmarking and Market Niche

Consulting jobs always teach me something. And I love that. I guess that’s part of the reason I still consult; each job builds on the last and each subsequent client benefits from the previous ones. My last several consulting jobs have followed the same pattern, but with the economy as it is the situations have been more poignant than usual.

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Interview Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent, Part 4

This is the last installation of the four-part series and covers the issue of the buying process itself. The process varies depending on location, agent and parties involved. My intention here is to give you an idea of what can happen and what to expect. Your agent will help fine tune the process from here.

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Interview Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent, Part 2

This is the second in a series of questions to ask your B&B Broker. Getting good help as you buy, or sell, your B&B inn is just good business. It’s smart to let a professional help guide you through the maze of questions and issues that you’ll face in buying a bed and breakfast.

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Interview Questions To Ask Your Real Estate Agent, Part 1

Hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your B&B is important and challenging. The ideal situation is to find an agent who know and understands both the real estate and B&B industries. If you can’t find such a person for the area you are considering for your B&B, then the next best thing is to find a person who is hard working and industrious, one who understands the challenges in buying a residence with business attached, and who you communicate with well.

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Pricing a Bed and Breakfast Inn

Think about how you will sell your inn as you buy or build. As you want to make a wise business decision when you buy, you can be assured when you are ready to sell your buyer will also strive to make a wise business decision. Approaching your purchase this way will have you contemplating how you will conduct your renovations (total cost and specific item costs), what price you pay, options you build in to your situation, and how you plan to build your business.

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The Telephone as Your B&B Cash Register

The pause of the potential guest after receiving requested information can be filled by the innkeeper responding to, or inquiring about, their needs. You should answer more than just the asked question — also answer the implied question. This is your first chance to illustrate your inn’s hospitality and style. Don’t blow this chance — you have spent so much money to create your inn’s atmosphere, to advertise your business; you have spent a lot of money getting the phone to ring so don’t waste or throw away that investment!

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Is There a Restaurant in Your Future?

Are you considering operating a restaurant in conjunction with your B&B Inn? If you are operating an isolated inn, it may be necessary to feed your guests, in the country inn style, more than just breakfast. If you are in an urban setting, extra food service not only isn’t necessary, but may be a financial burden because you would be competing with established local restaurants.

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Personality Types You’ll Encounter at Your B&B

There are numerous personality type approaches. Myers-Briggs and DISC are two of the more well-known schools of thought. There are other ones too, like Color, Pattern, Power, VALS, Kingdomality, and of course the Zodiac, some of which innkeepers use exclusively in their hiring practices. Whatever it takes to get a grip on the different types of people who you will interact is good.

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Your Bed and Breakfast Management Plan

It’s an easy trap to fall into to think that running a bed and breakfast is a simple task, not much different from running a home. And with that thought it’s easy to overlook the need for a business approach and attitude about your business. Though there are many advantages of small businesses like B&Bs over large corporations, like Chrysler, there are lessons to be learned from “the big guys” to help make your business stronger. Start with a management plan.

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Food and Your Bed and Breakfast

I really believe in the KISS principle — Keep It Simply Simple. Not necessarily the food itself, but the presentation and choices. Simple doesn’t mean plain or inadequate. Elegance can be synonymous with simplicity. You should make the decisions about breakfast and not ask your guests, who want to relax, and not to make any more decisions than necessary. Don’t bombard them with choices.

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Innkeepers Need To Take A Closer Look At The Internet

[This is an old, and out of date, article from the forum. It’s left in here for reference and good information:]

So you say, “I already have a great web page and I advertise it, so what are you talking about.”

What I am talking about is conversion. Does not matter if you have 500 visitors a day when very few of them call or email you to make a reservation.

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