This questionnaire I developed for an aspiring innkeeper workshop is designed to help you think through the burning question of whether innkeeping is the right career and lifestyle for you. The questionnaire came about because telling people about innkeeping’s intensity didn’t adequately convey the message of how much work is involved in running an inn.
I have learned that by asking lots of questions to aspiring innkeepers they started understanding the message of how much work is involved in innkeeping. Read the following questions, excerpted from the Foundation ebook. Really consider your answer to each one so you’ll have a better idea about whether innkeeping is for you.
- Do you like getting up in the morning?
- Do you “do” toilets?
- Have you run your own business before?
- Are you a flexible person?
- Do you have a sense of humor; can you go with the flow?
- How many hats can you wear at one time?
- What are your hobbies and interests?
- What will your market focus be?
- What personal needs should you tend to in a community you choose?
- Why do you want to be an innkeeper?
- Is this a business, hobby, lifestyle — what combination thereof?
- How clean is clean enough?
- How do you feel about having strangers in your home or “entertaining” every day of the year?
- Are rules meant to be broken or adhered to?
- What rules will you have at your inn? Is this too many? Not enough?
- Do you like making people happy — really, really like doing that?
These are only about half of the questions found in the ebook, but you get the idea of the kinds of soul searching you need to before getting into this business. Everyone involved in your bed and breakfast plans needs to go through this exercise to make sure it works for them.
Once you have processed this information, prioritize the results to you can decide if the problem is a deal killer or can be managed somehow. If it can be managed, is the help within the team looking at the B&B industry or will you have to hire from outside the team?
As long as you can afford the outside help there’s no problem in planning to fill the gaps of what you can’t do or don’t want to do with employees. Do be aware though that there are times that even with staff you will have to do all of the tasks, whether you like them or not. Factor that into you thinking and follow your wisdom.
Have you asked enough questions and searched your soul enough to determine if B&B innkeeping is for you?