The Age of Entrepreneur

It is certainly an exciting time to be operating within the hospitality industry.  With the recent formation of the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP) and the first summit and marketplace a resounding success, Innkeepers and industry partners alike are reaping the rewards of a unified and revitalized industry.  Looking forward, the 2017 AIHP summit is being held aboard the Queen Mary and in partnership with Select Registry and the California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns (CABBI).  We couldn’t be more excited to continue our long term involvement with all three organizations.

Photo of the Original Queen Mary in California

For as long as we can remember, the “Inn Crowd” has been our crowd and its members our closest friends and collaborators.  With this in mind, we have always endeavoured to aid self-starters, entrepreneurial urban émigrés and others in the process of buying the right Inn.  Of course, not all people are up for the task and our Seminar for Future Innkeepers is one tool for prospective buyers to gauge whether they can handle the reality of Innkeeping.  (It isn’t all gracious living!)

A recent article in the Poughkeepsie Journal reminded me of why we take our role as matchmakers to the industry so seriously.  Among other things, the article stated that 63% of Americans plan to work during their retirement.  This statistic is very much in line with the profile we see time and time again of prospective Inn Buyers: many are looking for a business that will provide a rewarding lifestyle, in addition to financial security and, eventually, a return on investment.  One of the greatest thing about the Inn business, that cannot be said about many other ventures, is that owners can define viability on their own terms.  That can mean anything, from a six room Bed and Breakfast that services its mortgage and provides ample personal rewards for its single Innkeeper, to a 26 room, full service Inn where owners are free to don their restaurateur caps.  

Whatever their personal and financial goals, the Small Business Administration has deemed this segment of “retirees” significant enough to give them a title: “encore business owners,” in the search of a “second act career.”  With one in four individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 seeking an active retirement, this segment is the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States.  From what we have seen over the last few years, this golden age bears a golden opportunity for qualified Inn buyers.

Retirement savings in a piggy bankA silver lining for these second act careerists is the somewhat recent discovery that you can use retirement funds (tax and penalty free) to finance the purchase of a business. (Here’s a blog we wrote on this subject.) This is an increasingly popular method that makes the Inn dream more attainable to buyers who may not have had the financial capability to purchase an Inn in the past.  

With the hospitality industry in swing time and spring blooms in reckless abandon, it may be time for you to seek out a rewarding second act.

Warm Regards,

Eben Viens

Inn Partners

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