There’s an exciting new “down-home” kind of business springing up
among homeowners all across the country. It’s called Bed and
Basically, this is a transplant of European Hospitality, adapted
and refined to the American way of doing things. To foreign
visitors, it’s the comfort and hospitality of home—staying
overnight “with people of the land” and enjoying a hearty
breakfast—without the traditional gaudiness and plastic
feelings visitors get from most big cities in the United States.
To U.S. citizens, it is a welcome alternative to the same old
Now, all it takes is a spare bedroom, a good cook ad an outgoing
personality. Prices per night range from a low $25 to $100 or
If you have an extra bedroom, a large home, or extra space in
your farm house, you have the necessary beginnings to start
making extra income as a Bed and Breakfast Inn. One of the
beautiful aspects of this idea is that so long as you’re hosting
“overnight visitors” on a small scale no licenses will be
required. It’s always best, however to check with your local
authorities just to be sure.
Naturally, your “visitors” will expect a clean, neat and
comfortable home. So assuming that your home meets these
prerequisites, and you have a spare bedroom, simply ‘doll it up”
a bit. Make sure it’s painted brightly, there’s an outside
window, lots of room, closet space and bureau, and perhaps a
small writing desk, and a large comfortable bed, or twin beds.
Most foreign visitors will expect and appreciate a “quick tour”
of the interesting sights in your area. However, as your
particular popularity as a B&B Host grows, you’ll find that a
lot of American tourists and business people on the road will
begin availing themselves of your hospitality. Certainly with
these people, it won’t always be necessary to give the “Red
Carpet” visitors treatment.
Which brings us to the basic appeal of a Bed and Breakfast Inn.
Travelers seem to be looking for, and appreciate a quiet
“home-style” place to stay. Generally, they enjoy visiting with
the people off the superhighway and want to get away from the
sterilized atmosphere and sameness of hotels and motels.
Most people will either write to you ahead of time, inquiring
about the possibilities of staying at your home while in your
town or city. This means a bit of advertising on your part, or
listing your availability with a B&B broker. Some people will
check the local telephone listings, and the newspaper
advertisements when they arrive in a strange town. And some
people will just be driving across the country, come to a town or
city they think is interesting, and start driving through the
residential areas looking for Bed and Breakfast Inns.
Thus, you should have a small sign posed either in your front
yard or on the front of your house. This sign needn’t be much
more than about two feet wide and about ten inches deep. It need
only state: BED AND BREAKFAST–Inquire Within or Call 123-4567.
For newspaper advertising, a similar listing in the personal
column of your local paper, particularly on Thursdays, Fridays
and Saturdays, will be all you’ll need. But when it comes to the
yellow pages of your telephone and business directories, go with
a small display ad that describes in greater detail the comforts
and pleasures of your service.
Be sure to list your services with all the travel agencies in
your area. A brochure or a short synopsis of what you offer will
most assuredly give the travel agents an idea for steering
visitors your way. At the same time, listing your services in a
number of national travel magazines –particularly those that
cater to women— will bring customers in for you.
Listing your services with a broker usually won’t cost you
anything up front, but they will expect a certain
percentage–usually about 25% of the total bill. This same
arrangement applies with travel agents.
Now, suppose you’re organized and ready to receive your first
customers. You greet them as host or hostess and offer to assist
them in getting situated in the room or rooms you have for them.
If they’d like to take a drive around your area and see the
points of interest, you do that. And then in the morning, serve
them a big, delicious breakfast.
You’ll probably find that foreign visitors will want to stay
several days. With most people of this country who are just
travelling through your area, it’ll be a one-night stopover.
Whatever, if they want to sleep comfortably through the night,
eat breakfast and be on their way, so be it. If they want to stay
around after breakfast and plan an itinerary for a compete visit
in your area, your assistance and help will be greatly
appreciated. (Remember those recommendations)!
That’s it! The complete how and why of this tremendously
profitable business that’s becoming more and more popular. It’s
called Bed & Breakfast, and it’s very definitely a low investment
idea. And you can parlay it into a very interesting and
comfortable income producing business–all from the comfort of
your own home!