Monday, January 11, 2010

Should you buy a Bed and Breakfast and become an Innkeeper?

Here are some things to consider when you are thinking of buying an existing bed and breakfast or starting one from scratch:

1. Do you have a business plan and start up money to carry you through the first few months?   Even if you are buying an existing B&B you need a war chest to begin with so that you can make any desired changes or additions. 

2. Do you have good planning, organizational, and management skills?  All of these are needed even for a small inn owner.  Whether you have 3 rooms or 20 rooms, the skills you need are still the same.

3. Are you a work-a-holic or, at least, have good stamina?  You will be up early and going all day.   Sometimes, your day ends late in the evening when the last guest arrives, or you finish getting the dining room set for the following day.  Of course, there is always that late evening reservation that comes in and needs to be processed. 

4. Are you disciplined and have a slight competitive streak?  When you own a B&B you own a small business.  You have to check what your competition is doing and figure out what you need to do to stay competitive or come up with a niche market. 

5. Can you multitask, focus and manage your time well?  You will wear multiple hats at the same time.   Many things will need to be done during the course of the day.  You have to be a good time manager to make sure they all get done.

6. Can you entertain a variety of people, even those you don't like?  You never know who will be staying with you.    You have to be able to deal with those that are over demanding as well as those that are extra needy.   Your own personal views on race, religion, and politics should be left back in your own quarters. 

7. Do you have passion? Will you do whatever it takes to make your business work?    This is not only your business, but your life.  You will live and breath the bed and breakfast business.  It is not something that you can do half way.  You always have to be "ON" and willing to do what is necessary to have satisfied guests. 

So, if you are considering making a career change to innkeeping, then our Inn Caring hands on Aspiring Innkeeper seminar is just for you.  Making a decision to become an innkeeper is an important one. The insightful information, hands on experience and interaction with innkeepers all provide you with the information you need to come to a conclusion about the right course of action to take.   Owning a bed and breakfast is not for everyone.  However, education can provide you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. 

We would love to have you as students and help you wade through the ins and outs of bed and breakfast ownership. 

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hint about Clothes Dryers Can Save You Money

I read somewhere that "Dryer Sheets" can cause us to loose some of the effectiveness of our clothes dryers. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. However, the article suggested that if you take the filter over to the sink and run hot water over it after you have removed the lint you will be surprised. I know I was.

Most dryer filters are a fine mesh. I went to the sink and ran water through the mesh screen of my filter. Some of the hot water just laid on top of my mesh filter!!! The water didn't go through it at all!!

It seems that the dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating units more often than not. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. The best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. It will make the life of the dryer last much longer!

So, I got my brush and hot soapy water and gave the filter a good wash. The flow of water increased dramatically. No more puddles of water on top of the mesh.

Sources ranging from manufacturers to consumer agencies agree with the recommendation to wash clothes dryer lint filters occasionally with warm, soapy water and a soft brush to remove chemical residues left by fabric softener sheets. A clogged lint filter not only hampers dryer efficiency, experts say, but can cause overheating, which increases wear and tear on the appliance as well as the risk of fire.

Learn something new everyday that can save you money!
Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring

Monday, January 4, 2010

Honey - Did you know?

As Innkeepers we often come across interesting information.  Here is what I have found about about honey:

Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot.  It will do what some would call turning to sugar.

In reality honey is always honey.  However, when it is left in a cool dark place for a long time it will "crystalize". 

When this happens loosen the lid, boil some water, and sit the honey container in the hot water, turn off the heat and let it liquefy. It is then as good as it ever was.

Never boil honey or put it in a microwave To do so will kill the enzymes in the honey.

Honey is reported to be very healthy for you, especially when combined with Cinnamon.  I knew there was a reason I liked both of those items.

Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Lynda & Howard Lerner
Inn Caring