High School: Because you’ll essentially be maintaining a home as a bed and breakfast owner, you should take home economics courses. These courses can prepare you for the requirements of shopping and cooking for a group of people, as well as budgeting household finances. But a bed and breakfast is also a business, so you need to further develop those budgeting skills in a business fundamentals class, accounting, and math. A shop class, or some other hands-on workshop, can be very valuable to you; take a class that will teach you about electrical wiring, woodworking, and other elements of home repair.
Post secondary training: As a bed and breakfast owner, you’re in business for yourself, so there are no educational requirements for success. Also, no specific degree program will better prepare you than any other. A degree in history or art may be as valuable as a degree in business management. Before taking over a bed and breakfast, though, you may consider enrolling in a hotel management or small business program at your local community college. Such programs can educate you in the practical aspects of running a bed and breakfast, from finances and loans to health and licensing regulations.
Opportunities for part-time jobs with a bed and breakfast are few and far between. Bed and breakfast owners can usually use extra help during busy seasons, but they can’t always afford to hire a staff. Some, however, do enough business that they can hire a housekeeper or a secretary, or they may have an extra room to provide for an apprentice willing to help with the business. Most owners do the tasks themselves or hire out a few of the less pleasant tasks. Of the B & B owners we are familiar with, any hired staff is usually long-term, which presents few openings or opportunities for aspiring B & B workers. To become B & B owners, though, the opportunities are endless.
Certification or licensing : Though bed and breakfast owners aren’t generally certified or licensed as individuals, they do license their businesses and seek accreditation for their inns from professional organizations such as the PAII. With accreditation, the business can receive referrals from the associations and can be included in their directories. A house with only a room or two for rent may not be subject to any licensing requirements, but most bed and breakfasts are state regulated. A bed and breakfast owner must follow zoning regulations, maintain a small business license, pass health inspections, and carry sufficient liability insurance.
Internships and volunteerships: If you enroll in a formal hospitality management program, you will likely be required to participate in an internship at a hotel or bed and breakfast. You might work as a desk clerk, restaurant manager assistant, or in another department. Participating in an internship is an excellent way to learn more about the field. You can also volunteer at a hotel or bed and breakfast to get an idea of the jobs that are available.