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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
If you're planning to open a bed and breakfast as a hobby or with the notion that "you're not really running a business, you're just making profits in your free time," this is not the book for you. This book covers almost all potential areas that you'll need to know to run a professional B&B, and the level of detail will quickly dissuade anyone who isn't serious. That having been said, anyone who does want to run a professional bed and breakfast will find the information invaluable. The forms included on the enclosed CD pay for the book themselves--everything from employment applications to inventory forms, invoices, standard recipe cards, and kitchen safety inspection forms. The book covers all stages of the planning and setup process, including business plans, marketing and promotion, safety, and employees. Particularly useful is the section on marketing, something that most B&Bs that I've known tend to ignore. With a little creativity (and there are lots of suggestions contained in this chapter), your B&B can become part of the very identity of the neighborhood or city you live in, as in, "If you want to capture the flavor of X, go to this B&B!" The only change I would make to the book would be to make the section on writing business plans a more user friendly for those B&B owners who have never opened a business before. Nevertheless, the book contains lots of hardheaded business sense, presented plainly and clearly, with many good examples of existing B&Bs to illustrate the point. While you may not need all the information included when you first open your business, this book will provide you with lots of options for a time when you're able to expand. I recommend this book to anyone seriously considering going into the B&B business as a business, rather than just a way of pouring money down the drain!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely great. It offers a realistic look into what it would be like to own a bed and breakfast. I assumed correctly that it would be a labor intensive gig, but the book pointed out so many things that I had never thought about - such as serving breakfast may require special licensing in my state/city.

This book is perfect for anyone thinking about owning and operating their own B&B. From room decorating to recipes from other B&B's, "How to Open a Financially Successful Bed and Breakfast or Small Hotel" seems to address everything a new owner would need to know, as well as offers tips on how to renovate and update existing bed and breakfasts. It offers a number of resources to make sure you are in compliance with you state and local codes, as well as tips on how to get financing for buying such a place.

There is a comprehensive guide that will tell anyone not current on the etiquette of meal service the appropriate way to set a table, serve the meal, and how the meal should transition. Tips are abundant on how to save time on cooking, cleaning, and basically running the bed and breakfast. There is also a helpful section on hiring and firing help.

The authors of this book have thought of everything. They even address how having pets or children would affect the business. In addition, the book comes with a very helpful cd-rom that offers a business plan in Microsoft Word that anyone can edit to fit their needs, several forms and a checklist of everything you will need to open your own B&B.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
"HOW TO OPEN A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL BED & BREAKFAST: OR SMALL HOTEL" by Lora Arduser and Douglas R. Brown

This book was a fascinating exploration of the intricacies involved with opening a Bed and Breakfast. The authors were able to provide a step-by-step process for the beginning B&B entrepreneur. The book guides you in the decision to own a Bed and Breakfast, helps you decide on a location or to buy and existing B&B.

The authors make a fantastic effort to include real life business information such as how to make your own business plan and laws that will relate to your Bed and Breakfast business. They give you several checklists to help you format your mode of attack when starting your own business.

With a whole chapter devoted to computers this book is cutting edge in the Bed and Breakfast industry. Today everyone needs to have a web presence in order to market his or her company.

Guest are not going to be interested in a business plan. So the authors have developed several chapters on the operation of the Bed and Breakfast. They skillfully guide the reader from decorating, setting policies, what food you should serve, housekeeping, and your day-to-day staffing requirements.

A bonus CD is offered with the book and provides valuable samples of over 30 forms that are needed when starting and opening your own B&B. The CD is simple to use and will save any entrepreneur tons of time.

This book is a great introduction to the world of Bed and Breakfast owning and operation.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lora Arduser & Douglas Brown have clearly struck upon the key components one must consider when opening a Bed & Breakfast. The initial chapters cover some of the more complicated financial considerations prospective operators should address when getting started: site research, local/federal laws and regulations, bank financing and real estate options - such as buying an existing B & B or starting from "scratch". Practical ideas are not forgotten and are also presented; such as visiting neighboring B & B's for comparison research, considerations regarding appropriate d?cor, recommendations on preparing a guest services policy, hints on picking a memorable name and ways to establish a presence on the Internet. This handbook also comes with a CD-ROM that is extremely helpful for those more comfortable using generic templates and check-lists designed by professionals; surely a consideration when there are so many demands on ones time during the start-up process. These include personnel forms, purchase orders, food facility compliance checklists and guest ledgers. Other worthwhile chapters touch on topics often left out of similar resources - researching phone systems, attending to landscape details, establishing house rules and kitchen safety. This handy guide proves itself time and time again as a gem of a resource.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is not what it seems, and anyone looking for an authentic guide, written by experts in the industry, should look elsewhere.

I was drawn to the book, in part, because of the companion CD-ROM. I also thought the first review posted here on amazon made the book sound exactly like what I was looking for. I am convinced that the first review was planted by someone within or friendly with the publishing group. It is largely baseless. The book provides only superficial guidance with little to no authority cited, and is essentially general basic knowledge which concerns starting any small business. Indeed, it appears that much of the book could have been written by substituting "small business" with "B&B" throughout a text written for small businesses generally.

You will note that there is no information regarding the background of the authors in the listing. After I received the book, I was shocked to see that there is absolutely no information about the authors in the book. This troubled me immediately. I assumed the book would have been written by experts in the industry, with years of experience running successful B&Bs- I was wrong.

Lora Arduser appears to be a professor of professional writing at the University of Cincinnati. Her bio (as of September 25, 2014) indicates that her scholarly interests "are in health communication and publishing and new media." Nothing in her bio suggests she is an expert in the hospitality industry- and being a professor would likely not be amenable to running a "financially successful B&B." Her CV (downloaded September 25, 2014) does not list this book by name, and the only connection to it appears to be a bulleted point under "Professional Writing/Editing Experience" (pages 5-6) which provides: "-Wrote foodservice trade books for Atlantic Publishing." Professor Arduser appears to be a contract writer. She researched and wrote this book (with with Douglas Brown- see below) for Atlantic Publishing Group, apparently with no expertise whatsoever. The lack of firsthand knowledge is evident throughout the book.

Similarly, Douglas R. Brown appears to have no background in the hospitality/B&B industries. He too is a contract writer for Atlantic. His bio on goodreads.com indicates that he is a "fantasy and horror writer."

I feel like I was completely mislead by the description and marketing of this book and its early reviews on amazon.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book is packed with valuable information for anyone who has ever dreamed of opening a bed and breakfast. The layout of the book is easy to use and simple to understand. The authors go into great detail on many aspects of the business. It begins with giving the reader a realistic look at the time and effort, as well as, the financial aspect of what goes into starting such a business so that the reader can decide whether or not it will work for them. It has details on everything from how to select a location to writing a business plan. Also has everything you need to know about hiring, laws, and even how much to charge.

The book comes complete with an easy to use CD-ROM which has many samples of business plans and forms needed to run the business. Complete and comprehensive, this book is likely to be a asset to anyone who wants to open a bed and breakfast, whether or not they have experience in it or not. Even those who already own one may want to read this book for new ideas and refresh on some subjects. Chocked full of plenty of information that is likely to be overlooked when first starting a business; this book will help any entrepreneur get their business off on the right foot.

Having worked in a bed and breakfast for several years, this book is sure to clearly help those who are thinking about starting their own bed and breakfast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I am going into business with a friend to open up bed and breakfast. This book, out of all of them, focuses squarely on the nuts and bolts on how to open a bed and breakfast. It comes with a CD containing forms that would be needed for operating your bed and breakfast.

This book is loaded with pithy details aimed squarely at operations. It exposes many issues that you might not think of when planning your business, which I believe is a tremendous advantage in developing your plan. Everything in this book goes right to the point, starting with the worksheet to assess whether you are actually a good candidate for opening this type of business, and continuing on to topics of interest such as marketing, guest services, kitchen operation, integrating computers, and so forth.

I bought this book as a gift for my partner since he will be doing most of the legwork in opening the business, but I was so impressed with the book that I purchased the Kindle version for myself so that we can be on the same page as we work through the details of opening this business.

This book is aimed at opening a bed and breakfast in the United States. Our B&B will be abroad, so some sections of the book do not pertain. Nevertheless, this book is an invaluable tool for anyone contemplating this type of business.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book looks quite interesting, and I was looking forward to reading it, but I have never in my life seen any book with type so tiny. The font size appears to be half that of other books on my shelf... I mean it's small. I am not sure I'll really be able to read this book due to the small font size, though I plan to try reading it in small doses. I can't imagine why they would have done this. Honestly, I would have been happy to have paid a little more for the additional paper that would have been needed to use a readable font size. I can't really rate this as it is so hard to read (so I have not read it), and content doesn't do much good if it is a struggle to see it. So the star rating has nothing to do with content.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The information in the book was exactly what I was looking for, as someone with no experience in hospitality industry. Very clearly written and understandable. The only negative side to the book was that it was a little old and outdated as to the technological advancements of recent years, but the basic information you need is in this book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
As an owner of a Boutique Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, Casa El Carretero [...] I can say that this book was a great guide. However, the passion for the business is fundamental. Pay attention to the staff and level of service you plan to have in the hotel. That can make or break the business.
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