Before you open a bed and breakfast, 8 must-read tips from innkeepers

If you know people whose dream is to open a bed and breakfast, help them make their big decision and avoid failure. Show them the following tips from savvy Michigan B&B innkeepers.

Composite graphic illustrates what's at stake before you open a bed and breakfast
To avoid crashing as a B&B innkeeper, start by attending an informative one-day workshop Nov. 13 in Grand Rapids. Click photo for info.

An operations tip from innkeeper Steve Gibson, who acquired the 10-room Kalamazoo House B&B two years ago: “There are so many moving parts to running an inn that good organization and well-defined tasks and checklists are essential. It may not be an airliner coming in for a landing with lives at stake, but it’s your reputation at stake with every room flip.”

What follows is a small sample of what aspiring innkeepers will learn at an informative one-day workshop in Grand Rapids. Click for details. Mark your calendar for Sunday, Nov. 13.

While you’re clicking, read more about each inn whose innkeeper is quoted. You’re sure to find a great #MichBnB for your next getaway.

Before you open a bed and breakfast…

... here are seven more considerations offered by Michigan B&B Association innkeepers.

Temperament: Innkeepers “must have a friendly personality and be able to communicate with all types of people.” Lourdes Offenbacher, Waterloo Gardens B&B, Chelsea.

Marci Palajac, innkeeper, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth
Marci Palajac, innkeeper, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Motive: “Be sure you are getting into the bed and breakfast business for just that reason: a business. It is a mistake to open a B&B for the sake of people paying your mortgage. You really have to have a passion to want to open a bed and breakfast, or else you will burn out from the idea real quick.” Marci Palajac, House on the Hill B&B, Ellsworth

Starting up: “Look at other B&B websites for ideas on packages, ideas for the website. Use a good photographer for your photos.” Marcia Neigebauer, Delano Mansion Inn B&B, Allegan.

Search is king: “Don’t fall in love with a name for your B&B before securing the internet domain name and searching for the name on Google to see what other search results come up.” Nicholas DeGrazia, Adventure Inn B&B, near Port Huron.

Renovating: “A second-floor laundry will help you to love your work longer. Also, reliable zoned air conditioning is more important than you might think.” Mike Venturini, Munro House B&B and Spa, Jonesville

Income: “Sometimes innkeepers will need supplemental income to help make ends meet.” Bob Alderink, Ludington House B&B, Ludington.

The life: “Expect a new adventure everyday and to experience meeting lots of new people and making new friends. Jan Leksich, Victoria Resort B&B, South Haven.

Experience the B&B difference during your next Michigan getaway. To find a great Michigan B&B, click here.

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