After being in business for 15 years, I can now look back and, with a more realistic perspective, see what I did wrong or could have done better when starting my up my bed and breakfast.
First of all, I should have known more about the type of business I was getting into. I had a very romantic notion of what a bed and breakfast was, although I did do a lot of reading on what was available on the subject.
But, it's what I didn't do that may have made a difference. I did not, but should have: 1. scoped out B&Bs on the internet, 2. talked at length to B&B owners 3. spent the night in several different kinds of B&Bs and 4. gone to a major industry conference or two. 5. found a seasoned B&B owner to me my mentor.
Secondly, I should have talked to a lawyer about the business aspects involved. And, I should have had a business plan.
Thirdly, I should have investigated all the zoning laws, historic, city, health and fire regulations.
Finally, I should have had more money at the onset. Or, at least, sat down with someone knowledgeable about the business and discussed the initial costs involved.
To be perfectly honest, I am a risk taker and, if I had done all of the above, I probably wouldn't have gone into business at all. However, my business turned out to be very successful and I attribute that to pure blood, seat and tears.