If Problems Arise…

I think at this point you should have the basics down on how to properly prepare your home to be ran as a professional bed and breakfast. Although the little things are very important and can help make your guests experience that much more memorable, it is inevitable that major issues can, and will, come up at some point.

Don’t Cut Corners

There are a few things that can happen in which you absolutely must hire professional help before you can open your doors back up. The leaking roof that I mentioned earlier would be an example of this. There could be liability issues with a problem like this and not having a professional do a proper restoration could leave you responsible if anything were to happen.

clean1Another issue that could lead to major problems for your business is the matter of bugs and/or anything else that might be hiding in your home. Unfortunately, bed bugs and other critters have been making a comeback in recent years so ensuring your house is completely clear is imperative.

Preserve Your Reputation!

There are a number of companies out there to help inspect and make your home pest proof. Luckily for me, I don’t live in a town or climate where this is a huge issue and this can make a huge difference. For example the more south you go the higher your chances are of falling victim. My brother in law lives very south and regularly hires pest control Chandler for routine inspections.

Now hopefully you won’t find anything making a new home in your house but if you happen to, a fumigation for any bug problems really is the only way to make sure your house is 100% clean and clear. Not only can this be enough to ruin your guests experience entirely, but you better believe that they will spread the word which can completely destroy any potential business in the future.

Even if you are confident that you keep your home clean and tidy, checking for any animals never hurts and unfortunately many of them can be hiding in places that you never even thought of! Just remember, don’t try to cut any corners when you are doing your final inspections because it could end up costing you a fortune down the road.

 

It’s The Little Things

So far I have pretty much covered the biggest and most important aspects of running a bed and breakfast, with cleanliness being very high on the list. Once you have made sure everything checks out and you are ready to make your guests experience as amazing as it can be, you can start thinking of little things to make your bed and breakfast stand out from others.

Make Them Feel Special

Sometimes all it takes is to leave a little card with your guests names on their bed to make them feel special. I can’t stress enough how much your guests will feel welcome if you do little things like this throughout their visit.

One of my wife’s favorite things to do for couples is to line their room up with rose petals leading to our jacuzzi tub, which you know makes all of the ladies immediately fall in love which in turn makes for a happy husband. Taking care of some romantic things like this also takes a load off of the guy’s shoulders which we all know makes a mans life much easier.

Having candles out for dinner is another great little thing you can do that takes no time at all and adds a huge romantic factor to any meal.

There are a million different things that you can do and don’t be afraid to get creative!

Go Above Cleaning!

So obviously, your first priority should always be making sure that your home is spotless before your guests arrive and that there is no noticeable damage or neglect to the exterior of your house. This is rule #1 and should always be the first thing that you take care of when planning for your guests visit. Once this is done, you can start working on things to make your house stand out from others and make it look even more inviting.

Same Goes For Your Lawn

Needless to say, you don’t have to go through every blade of grass in your lawn and make sure they are all as clean as can be. But it doesn’t hurt to hire professionals, if you can afford to do so, to come out and do some work on your yard.

treeDepending on where you live, there are tons of landscaping or tree service companies that have years of experience in working with making trees or landscapes look natural and beautiful. Again, if you can afford to spend money on a professional it always helps to find a legitimate tree doctor in your area. These guys know their trees and you won’t believe how far some of the things they can do can go in regards to impressing your guests.

If you have a lot of greenery in your yard, it is important to shape your shrubs and brush naturally and so that they aren’t bulky and distracting. You should always use pruners or similar trimming tools that were designed and built to use on trees so that you don’t do any irreversible damage to them. Although this shouldn’t necessarily be your top priority, it really can show your guests that you are willing to go above and beyond to make sure that everything is kept up to the best of your abilities.

If your house doesn’t have any trees or shrubs at all, which is not uncommon, then keeping your lawn cut and clean is enough to show that you are taking some time and going out of your way for your guests.

 

Cleanliness

For the most part, I consider myself a very clean person but not quite into the category of being a “neat freak” like my wife is (this describes her perfectly). When you are in the bed and breakfast business however, you have to take on this mentality and make sure every aspect of your home is spotless.

Your guests have a huge variety of places to stay and could be spending their hard earned money anywhere else but they chose you so it is important that you make sure they don’t feel like they are wasting their money.

Outside and In

cleanNow that you heard a little bit about a friend of mine who had his business suffer because of the neglected exterior of the house, I can talk a little bit more about the importance of keeping the inside in as just as good of, if not better, condition as the outside.

If you aren’t a cleaning freak like my wife is, then you can’t double check everything enough to make sure everything is spotless and free of clutter, dirt, and especially any kind of bugs. Hopefully you aren’t trying to run a bed and breakfast business if you have any sort of issues with bugs or things of that nature but if you do find yourself in such a situation, there are a number of different resources that you can use to get professional help which we can go into more detail on later.

More First Impression

In addition to making sure that your yard is presentable and maybe having some landscaping work done (more on this later), you want to make sure that the outside of your home is in just as good of shape.

Don’t Scare Your Guests Away!

As obvious as this may sound to most of you, it would surprise you how often I have seen people neglect the outside of their homes and focus too much on the inside. Although you generally do want to focus a little bit more on the inside and making sure everything is clean and comfortable, you never want to ignore any obvious signs of wear and tear on the exterior of your home.

rooffffHaving been in the bed and breakfast business for years now, my wife and I have made connections with others in the same field from many different states. I remember years ago a very good friend of mine wanted to try and enter the industry but did exactly what I am trying to warn you not to do.

Almost 100% of his attention went to the inside of his home and didn’t feel the need to keep up with the outside as much as he should have been. The roof and siding on his home wasn’t a disaster, but it was very noticeably neglected the moment you saw it and it greatly impacted his business. I finally convinced him to have a roofing Owasso contractor come out and do a complete tune up on his house and he saw the differences in attitudes from his guests almost immediately.

If the outside of your house is damaged or dirty, you better bet that your guests will automatically assume the inside is as well. Repairing the outside of your house will only benefit your business and make your guests experience that much more memorable. This applies to improving office or building exteriors for any business as well. The more presentable your business or homes exterior is, the better your first impressions will be.

Landscaping

So I think most of you reading this understand the importance of keeping up with your house and making sure that it is presentable and cozy to your guests. There is a lot that goes into it and there could be an entire book written on how you can make your home stand out, but there are other things to focus on as well.

Make The First Impressions Count

landNeedless to say, your guests are going to be looking at the outside of your house and your yard before they step foot inside so it is really important to make sure that your yard is completely kept up and if you want to go above and beyond you can have some professional landscaping done to “wow” your guests.

You never want your guests to feel unsure about their decision to stay with you before they even see the inside of your house. A messy yard or uncut grass can be enough to really put off some guests and you want to make sure that you are taking their stay very seriously and are doing everything that you can to make sure you are making their weekend one that they will never forget.

One of my wife’s favorite TV channels is HGTV and they actually have a ton of ideas that are great for any bed and breakfast home. Click here to get some of those ideas and don’t be afraid to go even further!

Choose Your Hours!

One of the greatest things about running a bed and breakfast is that for the most part, you get to choose your own hours and how much you want to make is completely up to you and your significant other!

This works out perfect for me and my wife because I am currently retired and have all the time in the world. So whenever my wife have a free weekend or if we have been getting bored living our retired lives (which does not happen very often) we can list our home up and ready to take on guests whenever we want to really.

Great Extra Money

sRunning your own bed and breakfast can be a great source of extra money even if you aren’t quite living the retired life like I am yet. The busiest times are during the weekend so the hours can accommodate the majority of people’s work schedules. It doesn’t have to be a full time thing which is awesome because you really can choose when you would like to house people. If you are busy one week and not in the mood to blow your guests away, then don’t advertise your home!

But if you know you have a bunch of free time coming up and you are going to be around to make sure your guests have an amazing experience then list your house right back up and collect that extra money that you have been needing from work.

Ensuring Your House is Ready

There is a lot that goes into ensuring your guests have a great experience if you are trying to run your own bed and breakfast. If you are unsure if anything isn’t completely up to code and practical standards, it never hurts to have a home inspector come out and give your home an evaluation.

Finding Licensed & Insured Contractors

repairThere are a lot of options out there when it comes to finding the right contractor for whatever you may need. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure that whoever you hire is licensed and insured to ensure that the work that is done will be up to all rules and regulations.

Remember that roof situation my wife and I ran into a few posts ago? Well the internet is a great resource for everything and anything and you want to make sure that you are getting what you are looking for.

After some research, we finally decided on the right one for us and it was definitely not the cheapest or the first one we could find. We got to know the owner, made sure all of their paperwork was up to date and in line, and made sure that they were a company that we could trust.

Remember that this is your business and your home so you don’t have to be best friends with whoever you hire, but you do want to be able to trust them.

The Breakfast

So now that we have talked about the bed in bed in breakfast a little bit, we can go into the breakfast aspect of the experience. I don’t find this part to be as important as making sure your home is in presentable condition, but it is still an essential asset to the experience as a whole and can be a “make or break” for a number of guests.

Classic, but Unique

breakkkkWhen I think about the perfect breakfast for a bed and breakfast, I think it is really important to keep things relatively simple and classic but still incorporate your own unique twist somehow. Some of my favorite dishes that I would cook with my wife for our guests would be a wide variety of omelettes.

Ask Your Guests!

Don’t be afraid to ask your guests ahead of time what they would like to eat if you aren’t sure. This is a great way to make them feel special and that you are going out of your way to make sure their experience is one to be remembered. Sometimes it is fun to keep things a surprise and just let your guests know that everything is taken care of and that all they have to bring are some clothes and themselves! Never be afraid to ask your guests about any of their preferences or how you can make their experience the best it can be.

More On The Bed

Just like the last article, I am referring to mre than just the place you sleep whenever I say “the bed” in bed and breakfast. So now that you have everything on the inside of your house feeling homey and cozy, we can talk about the outside of the house as well.

The Exterior

You don’t want to send your guests running in the other direction as soon as they get out of their cars now do you?

bbOf course not and that is why keeping the exterior of your home in just as good of condition as the inside is imperative. Whenever my wife and I have spotted any sort of problem that might be getting worse over time, we try and nip it right in the butt.

For example I remember many years back the roof on our home looked like there may have been a very small portion starting to give way a little bit and if left alone for too long, might develop into a leak or even worse. So the next day we were on the phone with the first local roofing company we could find and had them come patch it right up and prevent the need for a roof replacement or any other serious renovations down the road.

This sort of mentality should be held for any sort of issue that you might run into while taking care of your home and should be handled the same way.