Do you think a rural life b&b would work?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BettyJo, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. BettyJo

    BettyJo New Member

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    I am looking into starting my own bed and breakfast that is centered around a farm setting. Guests would be welcomed to help with chores like gathering eggs and milking the animals... easy stuff. we would also do horse riding and make your own soap and candles. There would also be a spa/salon on the grounds.

    I want to know other people's opinions on this. I realize it will only work if there are people out there that would come. Are there actually people that would pay to do my chores? Am I losing my mind? They say build it they will come... not always true. What cha think?
     
  2. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There was one of these outside a city we used to live in. IT was very popular with boy scout and girl scout troops because those kids never got to be up close with animals. Plan for some cute and cuddly ones too like bunnies. Plan your chicks to hatch before your busy season (girl scouts have cookie money to spend usually apr through June)
     

  3. labrat

    labrat Well-Known Member

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    People spend big money to live the "other life." Just like the movie City Slickers and folks go to "dude ranches" all the time. Go for it!!
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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  5. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    I've thought of doing that, also, but have always been afraid of the liability of itl I suppose if you had adequate insurance it would work great.
     
  6. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    We thought about doing the very same thing, if we got the new farm we bid on. The house is way too big for us and it seemed silly to have it just sit there, so we thought a B&B would be a good idea. DH said we should call it a "Bed, Breakfast, & Chores" inn.

    I know people who used to take the entire family on vacation to a working farm- they spent a week every summer there. Back then it was called a "farm stay".

    Might work for you, I'd say it is worth pursuing.
     
  7. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    1. Talk to your insurance agent about insurance.

    2. Talk to your local area Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Office.

    3. Read all you can about not only the successful B&Bs, but the ones which closed.

    4. Go to places like amazon.com, half.com and ebay.com (books category) and do a search on B&B and/or bed and breakfast and see what turns up in the way of books on the subject.

    5. Decide if you REALLY want a continuing stream of strangers staying in your house.
     
  8. wehes5

    wehes5 Some dream; Others DO

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    COOL idea, wish I would of thought of that! Good lluck
     
  9. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    Wind in Her Hair is so correct. It is anothe reason we have never gone that route. We are such recluses that we always build in secluded, rural areas and there is nothing else to attract people. I've read several books on Inn keeping and B&Bs and they all say that location is everything.
     
  10. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Betty Jo,

    Very few people are going to pay to do your chores.....the way you want them done. Quite a few people might pay to pretend to do your chores. For example, they might collect eggs once but you will likely have to be there so you are spending your time anyways (probably more than if you didn't have any "Help". You may have to redo what your helpers helpfully did. If they did it really enthusiastically you may have a lot of work undoing it. You will also need to consider liability issues.

    As others have said, you will need something else. We are looking at building two rentals on a parcel we recently acquired (adjacent to our farm). We are still wavering between long term rentals or vacation/short term rentals. We have several miles of trails through our farm (hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing) several small lakes with excellent fishing and we are close to larger lakes, antiquing, wineries, etc. We'll probably put a hot tub at each cabin if we do vacation rentals..

    If you are doing it as a business then do it as a business. I get the feeling you are looking at the romantic side of B&B. It's a tough business and a lot of people fail at it. I would recommend going to a few B&Bs doing what you propose to do. Get a feel (by seeing for yourself) of what works and what doesn't. Look at the other guests. What are their expectations? How do they treat the owners and help?

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  11. Canucklehead

    Canucklehead Active Member

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    Depending on how much space you have, another way to market this is as a business retreat. A good place for business groups to get together and build on thier team work skills. I've been on lots of these with various companies, some of them in remote areas. HR people love this kind of stuff.

    There is more money in this, in a shorter amount of time but of course you have to work harder to lead the groups. Show them how things work, give them hard chores which require a high level of team work. Modern companies are all about teams and they like to pay through the nose to prove it. Think of it as pre-school for business people.

    The other thing is, you really have to market this sort of thing. Send letters to HR departments of medium to large size companies etc..

    Lots of $$$ here.

    Anyway, just an idea.
     
  12. glwalker

    glwalker Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I was reading a newspaper article about a family that has been running a farm where people take vacations, and they've been doing it for a hundred years. Some of their guests comeback annually. I think the main disadvatage to doing that is that it would mean having a lot less privacy. There was something in the article that was really annoying. The farm family serves their guests organically raised eggs and homemade cheese. Some of the guests actually throw the eggs and cheese in the trash.
     
  13. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    In the past I've stayed at a couple of B & B or Dude ranch type of settings while vacationiong.
    One was in the city and was amazingly good food and accomodations. No chores. We looked after our own room and such, but other than that, the guest expect to be served and take in the scenenry.
    The other 'dude ranch' setting was a cabin on a private farm surrounded by mountains and small lake. You could go fishing or simply walk around the trails. We only stayed overnight, but the idea was you took care of your own needs basically.

    Most vacationers/travellers who stay in these places expect rest and relaxation with something else that is offered like the peace and quiet, scenery, or wildlife, trails and such. You are still the basic 'accomodator', if you will. Like many lodges around here who accomodate guests who come around mainly for fishing adventures, it's a business run that to cater to their customers. That means such things as maintenance for everything they use at the place like boats, tack, lawn and weed cutting, laundry, have food available, fuel possibly, etc. The operator takes care of a lot, and will be busy. IMHO
     
  14. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    but once we got here to our property and started building our farm and putting in fences and adding animals, and put in more fences and added more critters..... Then fenced in the garden, and did some more thinking about the loss of privacy, and the added work of keeping the house clean, in addition to keeping all the animals fed and securely fenced. And enjoying the farm as we planned to do when we retired... Well, we decided we just didn't want to work that hard. We love the peace and quiet of being able to hang out on the deck and watch the hummingbirds and the poultry scratch away.

    Ask yourself how much you want to work??? Cleaning a *big* house with guests all the time..... Imagine your worst family member coming to visit for a month.... Could you find that enjoyable? You're not going to be able to hire someone to get up early and do the breakfast baking and cooking. You're going to have animals to feed too first thing.....

    I have been in the resort management business on Sanibel Island, FL and decided a country B & B wasn't in the cards for us. We decided to plant blueberries for added income and think that's a better fit for us!

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do! We enjoy visiting B & B's much more than owning one! LOL
     
  15. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had one in our area. It was busy enough, but the folks said they had no life other than waiting on people and running around trying to keep things above water (excuse the pun). They sold out and opened a restaurant in town. There's another guy building one right now, so he says, but he is mainly using it as a tax write-off. He says it will be done and ready for business in five years. I suppose it depends on how much work and money you want to put into it. I"ve seen it and wonder if there isn't a better way to make a little money.
     
  16. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Plan on lots of food regulations (storage, preparation, service, etc.), well and septic testing (sometimes monthly and at your expense), handicap access/bathrooms, emergency lighting, elevators, exit signs and egress requirements, etc., some of which will negatively affect the aesthetics of your property. Your state should have an inn or B&B association that can consult with you on the licensing/testing issues.
     
  17. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Somewhere I have the outline of a business plan i started writing on that idea. If you need a bit of help let me know.


    Kenneth in NC

    After thought have I mentioned that my wife is a Grant Writer?
     
  18. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    A Dude Farm instead of a Dude Ranch? Milking Cows instead of Herding them? Slopping pigs instead of riding & roping? Overalls & rubber boots instead of Chaps & cowboy boots? Feeding chickens? I don't know?
     
  19. lilyrose

    lilyrose Well-Known Member

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    We once stayed at a B&B where the couple running it were not the owners. The morning we ate breakfast I commented to the woman how wonderful it must be living in such a beautiful place and she literally snapped saying, "This is the most miserable existence. All you do all day is wait on other people and work, work, work. You have no time for yourself." The woman was harried and grumpy.

    I thought her attitude stunk, but I can see where the busyness of tending to guests 27/7 whenever they need something might be a bit wearying. Although whenever we've stayed at B&Bs we've hardly asked for anything at all, except to be left alone.

    It seems it might be rough tending to both animals and people. :cow:

    I've always dreamed of owning a B&B myself so I think it's a great idea. It's just more involved than it seems - maybe.