Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team

Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurial’

E is for Entrepreneur

January 18th, 2012 by Janet Wolf


All of us at The B&B Team work closely with aspiring innkeepers in our ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ Seminars. And in the immediate future are looking forward to meeting and hopefully inspiring many aspiring folks at the upcoming PAII Innkeeping Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, January 23-26.  Aspiring innkeepers are also aspiring entrepreneurs. Innkeeper = entrepreneur, interchangeable!

Question? Can a person learn to become an entrepreneur or are the essential skills ‘born’ in you? Let’s take a look.



  •        Positive attitudes and belief in yourself. People who have lingering doubts and anxiety over stepping outside a corporate mentality are most likely not meant for entrepreneurship. We have had some aspirers in our seminars who have queried; What if we fail? I can honestly say that not once did the thought of failure enter into our thought process when Rick and I started pursuing our innkeeping career. We educated ourselves by attending a seminar and PAII conferences, consulted with our financial advisors and innkeeping consultants, we researched and visited properties, did our due diligence when we identified a property and finally, gathered all our business and personal skills together and focused on the process that would lead us to our goal. By going through this process you gain knowledge which translates into confidence and belief in yourself. A very successful entrepreneur once said; ‘We entrepreneurs have a hard time imagining that what we believe in so much could do anything but succeed.” More about him as we move forward.
  •       Innovative and inventive mind. Your business/Inn is your baby; it must be nurtured and fed constantly. For instance, we always suggest a business plan be written in pencil because you will revisit it on a regular basis, and it will be revised as needed. Your baby also needs constant attention. An inventive and creative mind will be put to use to breathe new life into your property and your ever-changing marketing strategies. Keeping abreast of the latest hospitality and social media trends and then creatively adapting them to your Inn is a practice that can result in real success. It is also fun and challenging!
  •      Move at a hare’s pace, not a snail’s.  Take your innovative ideas and implement them sooner rather than later. Always work to be a step ahead. Quick thinking people tend to be more successful.

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (that successful entrepreneur I mention before) is one of the largest and most successful restaurant and hospitality companies in the world. But just like all entrepreneurs he started small with one restaurant. This quote from him highlights on the skills discussed so far. “The road to success is paved with mistakes well-handled. Overcoming adversity with imagination, courage, good humor and confidence is a crucial skill.” Mistakes? Yes, we have all and will continue to make some mistakes. Most can be foreseeable and avoidable from the beginning if you do your due diligence and go through the learning process. But I think Mr. Myers would agree that, if you make a mistake, have the courage to admit it, learn from it, change your direction and have the confidence to move ahead.

So, was the question answered? Can a person learn to become an entrepreneur? I think one has to listen to our internal voices. Do they say ‘go, go, go’ or do they say ‘maybe, I’ll see, I’m not quite sure’? Be honest with yourself when you listen to those voices! Then answer the question for yourself.

To conclude I will end with another quote from a favorite movie: A League of Their Own.  Coach Jimmy Dugan is talking to the team’s star player, Dottie Hinson as she is about to quit the team.

Jimmy: Baseball is what gets inside you. It’s what lights you up, you can’t deny that.

Dottie: It just got too hard.

Jimmy: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.

Starting your own business/Inn is hard work and takes courage and conviction. But if you love the ‘work’ of providing pleasure for other people, which is the essence of hospitality, it can really be worth the entrepreneurial leap and the ensuing journey. Yes it is the ‘hard that makes it great’.

Janet Wolf

Starting a Bed and Breakfast – Dream vs Reality

March 18th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

In a recent blog post I talked about how important education was in the pursuit of starting a bed and breakfast.  My analogy was that taking a seminar as the first step in exploring and learning about the world of hospitality is just like your first steps as a toddler where everything you explore is at a newer and higher level.  Our seminars cover so many important aspects of the bed and breakfast industry that our attendees end up viewing their dream from many different angles.  Reality does not squash the dream, it just brings it into focus.

One aspect of our seminars helps our attendees focus not only on the location of your bed and breakfast but the important question; “Do I/we want to live in that location”? Many people fall in love with a building which may be set on a beautiful piece of land but don’t think of the overall area, town or village which may not meet their personal (or business)  needs. This is just one of many topics we cover. Another is how to assess and value a property.  Quoting from our seminar book, “You MUST understand what you are buying and why, so you will know what to pay.”  We go over, step by step, the process we use in our bed and breakfast valuations. This reality check helps prospective buyers avoid costly mistakes, mistakes we see all too often.  I called these mistakes the “ouchies” in my recent blog.

We at The B&B Team offer our seminars in a wide variety of locations throughout the year. We choose wonderful inns in wonderful locations to host our seminar guests. We have two upcoming seminars, one at The Inn at Turkey Hill in Bloomsburg, PA taught by Scott Bushnell.  The next seminar is in Kennebunkport, Maine at the Captain Jefferds Inn taught by Peter, Rick and myself. Everyone on the team loves to teach and we believe our graduates have a great time while learning.  As you know in hospitality it is all about the guest!  In our seminars it is all about our attendees!  

So which is it, a dream or a reality, in your pursuit of starting a bed and breakfast?  We believe both are equally important, but as a future innkeeper, you can’t have one without the other. The entrepreneurial spirit is all about pursuing your dreams. Go for I, but take that first step and learn the realities or you may have a nightmare on your hands, especially if your location is on Elm Street…get it?

Janet Wolf