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Starting a Bed and Breakfast business

Top tips and advice



Many people dream of running their own Bed and Breakfast business. In reality it may well mean total commitment, long hours, invariably seven days a week. If you can handle this it can prove very satisfying indeed as long as you take on board the following points:


Points to consider:

Do you have the right character and personality? Being friendly and fairly outgoing can be quite important to succeed.


It is always a good idea to talk to established B & B owners to hear whether the life is actually for you.


You are likely to be living in the same building as your customers. Consider if you will be happy with this and could it impact on your relationship.


Where do you really want to live and work? Would you prefer more country out of the way locations or very tourist orientated, close to the sea for example?


With any business you will need to draw up a business plan. Financial asisstance is likely due to initial statrt up costs.


Rememer the profit margins in this sort of business are not on the large side.


Research your local competition for bench marking your pricing.


You will need planning permission if the building has not been used for this purpose before. The most staightforward way is to buy an existing B&B business.


Work out the maximum number of guests you are prepared to accommodate comfortably with all that would need to be done.


Much of the costs can be reduced if you are prepared to do the cleaning and cooking. If you make a good profit it is then an option to hire staff to do some of the chores even if it is on a temporary basis.


The marketing plan will need to be thought about as well as a realistic budget. This can sometimes prove expensive, so explore many areas and take further advise. Having a website is always a good idea and getting your business advertised on the internet is very important (B&B guides and directories). Flyers and editorial coverage on local papers is also worth the effort. Your local tourist office should be made aware of your business. Also, networking with other B&B owners.


Subscribing to a reservation service agency can be very helpful, but look into the costs very closely.


Ensure information on past guests is recorded so they can be contacted in future.


Insurance is an important area. Public liability insurance will be required as well as the usual contents and buildings insurance.


Guest rules will need to be formulated. E.g. check in and out times, breakfast times, consideration, pets, smoking, children etc.


Rememer personal attention to detail goes a long way. Rooms must obviously be clean and inviting. Ensure the food and service is up to scratch. Give the rooms a feel and look of character. This should all maximise the chances in attracting those loyal returning customers.


Good luck in your quest.




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