I read a lot of business books. Mostly on running business differently. There are standard ways to run B&Bs, but for the most part, I don't think we do anything by the standards, and that's fine by me.
We had guests recently who basically said that they were cool just hanging out and talking all day, because that's WHY they came to stay with us. My heart burst!
We started out being in business to save the house from foreclosure. We love this house.
But as the years have gone by, and airbnb has become more popular, we are beginning to love being in business so that guests, like our most recent ones, continue to grace us with their presence. When the stay is over, we relish the moments we shared...the stories, the messages, the pleasant/funny/profound conversations. We really do! We talk about guests all the time and we love getting updates from them.
We're in business because community is built in so many different ways. Some people are friends for life, some people are family or coworkers, and some people are guests in our home for a couple days. But in each gathering there is awesomeness. In each story told, there is empathy, positive energy, and interesting adventures. You can't get that in hotels. Each person in their own cube, living in isolation. Not for us.
Sharing a bathroom, a kitchen, and even an entryway creates community in different ways that only contribute to the overall experience. It may simply be an exchange of smiles, but in my experience of travel and now of being a B&B owner, there is only good things to be had by this type of sharing. So that's why we keep doing this.