How to start a bed and breakfast

how to start a bed and breakfast

Opening A Bed & Breakfast Business In 10 Simple Steps

Starting a bed and breakfast - Know yourself and know your guest; Set goals around what success means for you; Research and plan so you can avoid common start-up mistakes; Know what questions to ask when buying a property; Understand the best strategies . Jun 26, This article is part of our Bed and Breakfast Business Startup Guide a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your bed and breakfast business!. Its an image that puts you in an instant state of relaxationa roaring fireplace in a cozy rural bed and breakfast, sharing stories with fellow travelers while enjoying a glass of brandy or your favorite red Tony Sekulich.

This article is part of our Bed and Breakfast Business Startup Guide a curated list of articles how to ride a bike in the rain help you plan, start, and grow your bed and breakfast business! The romantic notions so closely associated with a bed and breakfast have made owning one a popular dream for many people.

Do you sometimes drive by a historic property and find yourself fantasizing about turning it into a bed and breakfast? Do you imagine spending your mornings preparing a hearty meal for tourists from around the globe and your afternoons filling the place with how do you unlock a layer in photoshop intoxicating aroma of fresh-baked cookies and muffins for when they return?

If this is something you have given serious thought to, starting your own bed and breakfast can be a rewarding and profitable venture. But be sure to go in with both eyes open, how to start a bed and breakfast it also requires constant hard work and attention to detail, which might not be a keen interest for everyone. This article offers step-by-step information on what goes into prepping for and launching your very own bed and breakfast business.

Often they are older historic properties which people seek out for the experience of centuries-old hospitality.

Whether the property is historic or not, what makes the experience different from hotels and motels or vacation rentals is the how to start a bed and breakfast attention guests receive from the owner. As the name would suggest, the nightly fee includes a hearty, home-cooked meal the next morning. Unlike major hotel how to start a bed and breakfast motel chains, bed and breakfasts are typically not owned by corporations.

The average American bed and breakfast has an occupancy rate of This more than anything can be a deciding factor in whether your bed and breakfast venture is a pleasant dream-come-true experience or a daily grind which will wear you down in no time.

According to Kathleen Karamanos, being able to interact with your guests is a key aspect of the how to start a bed and breakfast. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of bed and breakfast owners who mistakenly thought they could simply check their guests in and then not interact with them again until they checked out, as though they were running a conventional hotel or vacation rental.

This approach is a recipe for failure in an industry that relies on word of mouth and social media recommendations. The bed and breakfast industry is a common haven for those looking to get out of the high-stress, corporate lifestyle. While there is no question that great relaxation and satisfaction can be found in the decorating, baking, and cooking that will fill your day, there is still a business element that cannot be neglected.

It is probably no coincidence that nearly three-quarters of all bed and breakfast establishments in the U. Not only is the workload demanding for only one person, but often it requires two people with very different dominant skill sets. It is very common to see one person handle all the hospitality duties while the other focuses on the business responsibilities. That said, running a bed and breakfast can be a profitable and sustainable business.

Many couples use it as a way to provide steady income while maintaining a lifestyle they enjoy. However, it is not the type of business that will provide a huge cash infusion over a short period of time.

There may be special events conventions, festivals, and so on which how to start a bed and breakfast keep your bed and breakfast booked solid for a stretch of time, but in the long term, occupancy rates will ebb and flow depending on the season. Your busiest times will be all those occasions when you would normally be enjoying a relaxing get-away yourself. Every new business can benefit from writing a business plan.

You can also download our free business plan template to help you get started. Using a tool like LivePlan that has business dashboards that connect to your accounting solution how to say happy diwali right in can help you stay on top of your finances and even model scenarios for growth.

What if you added a second location? Many older couples sell their home or business in order to invest in a bed and breakfast which will serve as both their residence and primary source of income. If this is not an option for you, there are several funding optionsincluding finding private investors, getting a small business loan from a bank, or finding other business support programs.

This factors in costs for remodeling to meet regulations as well as brand new bedding, towels, appliances, fixtures, and decorative effects for the room. Always factor in maintenance costs, both preventative, and emergency. Even in the best-case scenario, you are still going to pay for regular upgrades and maintenance to the exterior, plumbing, and electrical. If these costs are not factored into the startup financing, you can find yourself in an operational bind before you know it.

To be successful and stand out amongst the competition, there should be something unique and attractive to the building you plan to use. Spend some time on choosing the best location before you buy your property. Many bed and breakfasts use a historic angle to draw guests.

Often a Victorian home can give travelers a sense of what it would be like living in the area in the late s. Others may use proximity to the waterfront or other notable features as a way to entice guests to stay there. Kathleen Karamanos believes the convenient location of her bed and breakfast is a big selling point for her business. You may have the most beautiful, well-maintained vintage property that seems perfectly suited for bed and breakfast conversion, but if it is in a strictly residentially zoned neighborhood, it may be over before you begin.

Check to see if a business license can be granted for the property at your preferred how to start a bed and breakfast. Without the green light from the zoning commission, you will not be able to move forward. Then, be sure to find out what other specific bed and breakfast regulations are in place in your jurisdiction. There was a time when it was common for multiple guest rooms to share a common bathroom.

If this is the plan for your how to apply for import permit in the philippines and breakfast, you would not be able to operate in the Province of New Brunswick, for example.

Kathleen Karamanos is required to have a separate bathroom for each family unit who stays there. Half of the rooms have a private bathroom while the other half have stand-alone bathrooms assigned to each room. Make sure you are aware of all local regulations for running a bed and breakfast as they vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Like any other part of the hospitality industry, staying at a bed and breakfast is really a luxury which is not available to everyone.

This goes well beyond simple zoning clearance and covers all the regulatory requirements in running this type of hospitality service.

Very few industries are more reliant on word of mouth to attract new customers than a bed and breakfast. It would seem the best way to get new guests through the door is to keep your current guests more than satisfied with their stay.

Use email templates to help streamline your communications with guests and your staff to save you time and increase guest satisfaction. Keep your website up to date, and consider how to start a bed and breakfast it makes sense to use listing platforms like Airbnb. And always follow up and ask for reviews.

Kathleen Karamanos launched a specific strategy to establish strong ties to the travel sites and local tourism boards. That strategy has since proven to be very successful. Kathleen believes you cannot overestimate the importance of travel advisory ratings in attracting guests. Despite being in a demographic known for their comparatively sparse use of technology, most of her guests find her bed and breakfast and make their first assessment online. She also strongly recommends getting involved with local travel boards and groups, as indirect marketing of your establishment can be very effective in increasing your occupancy rate.

Start thinking of special promotions and offers that would appeal to each of the above segments. Perhaps you are part of a couple looking to open up a bed and breakfast and you plan to divide the chores and responsibilities among yourselves.

This is not at all uncommon. Susan Poole is the owner of the award-winning 40 Bay Street Bed and Breakfast in Parry Sound, Ontario, and serves as a bed and breakfast coach for new and prospective owners. All of this is on top of the other weekly chores that must be done, such as grocery and supply shopping. If you are not fully prepared to take on this workload yourself and be fresh to interact with your how to start a bed and breakfast, you will want to bring in hired help.

Each owner will have to decide which responsibilities they want to take on themselves and which ones they want to delegate to employees. Free Bed and Breakfast Business Plans : The Bplans library of free sample business plans includes a section of four sample business plans exclusively for find how to cook everything app for android interest in starting a bed and breakfast.

This site also contains recipes, resources, and articles. Average rating 3. Vote count: No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post. Tony is a freelance writer and editor based out of Toronto, Canada. You can follow Tony on Twitter here: TonySekulich. Start a Bed and Breakfast or Hotel Business. Resources for Small Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. How to Start a Bed and Breakfast 12 Min. Read Starting By: Tony Sekulich.

What is a bed and breakfast? Step 1: Questions what would cause blood in stool consider before committing: Are you a people person?

Do you have a sufficient business background? A successful bed and breakfast owner will need to know how to: Plan for cash flow Hire and manage staff Strategize to maintain maximum occupancy rates Negotiate with contractors and suppliers And more!

Are you looking to get rich quick? Step 2: Create a bed and breakfast business plan Every new business can benefit from writing a business plan. Step 3: Consider your startup financing Many older couples sell their home or business in order to invest in a bed and breakfast which will serve as both their residence and primary source of income.

The right local economy: Like any other part of the hospitality industry, staying at a bed and breakfast is really a luxury which is not available to everyone. And always follow up and ask for reviews Kathleen Karamanos launched a specific strategy to establish strong ties to the travel sites and local tourism boards.

She outlines the daily and hourly commitment to keep the place up and running this way: Breakfast takes three hours from how to use camping stove preparation to finishing the clean-up Each bedroom and bathroom plus laundry take an hour Ensuring that rooms are booked takes up a lot of time as well All of this is on top of the other weekly chores that must be done, such as grocery and supply shopping.

Websites: Free Bed and Breakfast Business Plans : The Bplans library of free sample business plans includes a section of four sample business plans exclusively for those interest in starting a bed and breakfast. Tony Sekulich. Starting or Growing a Business? Check out these Offerings. Outpost Boost how to view 3d movies on computer productivity and collaboration with a shared email inbox Start For Free 14 days free.

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What is a bed and breakfast?

To run a bed & breakfast inn (B&B), you need to take care of business issues first, then go about the business of caring for your guests. To make sure guests get the best impression of your B&B, train everyone who answers the phone, get rooms ready the right way, and do the prep work for the breakfast part of the service. However, if you already have or are about to start a bed and breakfast with more than 3 rooms, then this is a completely different animal, and must be run as a real business. This is a huge pitfall that many people starting out fall into. Even if you love cleaning, washing, ironing and working 18 hour days, chances are even you are going to run. Oct 16, Its vital to secure a license before you begin operating a bed and breakfast. For starters, you will need a general business license as required by your local government. Depending on your state or countrys regulations, you may also need to prove that your primary residence is at a different address.5/5(1).

Establishing any business and excelling in it is not something that happens overnight. With countless factors to consider before opening a property to the public, and even more to contend with once your are running your business day-today, it can easily become overwhelming. Starting a bed and breakfast is an exciting chapter in your life. Many people may find the concept outweighs the practice. So you can look before you leap you should be able to answer these questions among others affirmatively:.

Another consideration is why you are opening a bed and breakfast. Are you embarking on this journey because the lifestyle appeals to you and you love customer service, or because you see it simply as an opportunity to make money? Loving what you do is generally the recipe needed for favourable results. What you define as success is up to you. Hopefully by providing an exceptional guest experience and becoming popular, your property can achieve profit through the right management and strategies.

Before that becomes a reality, you need to establish a steady revenue income. This means attracting regular bookings.

If you have already had a successful career and want to supplement your previous income, then it could be just the thing for you. There are a number of circumstances under which you might open a bed and breakfast. When starting from scratch and opening a new business, you first must consider many of the costs you might face.

They include but are not limited to:. And this is all before you account for costs on advertising and marketing, or if you need to hire staff! You need to educate yourself about how to market and sell your business and figure out what works.

Not understanding your market Printing off brochures and putting up billboards might seem like a great idea, but what if your ideal market is actually international? Think about what will bring you business. Over delivering and underselling You might be so excited about hosting guests that you go above and beyond the normal realms of service. If you deliver luxury, then you should be paid for it.

You need to conduct comprehensive analysis on the area you want to open in, your possible competitors, your possible target markets, and what guests will be expecting from a property like yours. Knowing this information will give you a clear plan of attack. As we know, first impressions are the biggest impressions and a bad first impression is hard to fix. Setting clear rules and policies for your guests will prevent your guests taking advantage of you or any awkward conversations or misunderstandings.

Not only do you need to set clear policies, they must also be visible and presented to guests prior to and during their stay. Sending out pre-arrival guest emails outlining all the policies your bed and breakfast may have around refunds, pets, property damages, early check-ins and late check-outs is the best way to keep guests informed.

As previously stated, you have to know this is the right job for you, lest you risk burnout in a short amount of time. Study your competitors and see how you can do things outside the box to delight guests and create the reputation that your property is the best in the area.

We now live in a technological world and those who stick to pen and paper management methods are being left behind, still frustrated by the amount of time it takes to do their admin and confused by constant human error. Investing in technology like property management systems, channel managers, website builders and more will not only improve the way your business runs, but also the perception guests have of your business.

These systems will give you cloud-based benefits that include automating and accelerating your administration and paperwork tasks, helping distribute your rooms online and expand your market reach, and enable your website to look and function great while keeping staying up-to-date with Google.

Before you operate, you need to make sure your business is fully legal and safe. This means taking care of zoning compliance, providing enough parking, obtaining permits and passing mandatory inspections, ensuring certificates and training like first aid and safe food handling are up-to-date, and purchasing insurance.

Any property with five rooms or more is too much to take on without help. Find those skill sets that you do need - is it bookkeeping, cleaning, or cooking? Or do you need a multitasker who can do a little bit of everything? Remember that your time is better spent on servicing guests and figuring out how to market your property.

The next step is getting your job description out to a talented pool of individuals. Advertise on social media, through family and friends, on association job boards and website forums, and regular job sites. Ask open ended questions to reveal their true character, get references from past employers, and even conduct practical tests if need be. You should only hire people you can trust. Then you need to maintain a good working relationship with the successful candidate.

To keep staff happy, make sure you:. There are a number of advantages to buying an established bed and breakfast since a lot of the groundwork has already been done for you and revenue stream should be immediately accessible for you.

Make sure you know the following as a starting point:. Further factors that will influence your decision to buy or reject a property centre around why it was sold in the first place. Is it for financial circumstances, family reasons or does it require a big investment? One of the most important things you can do is to put the opportunities into perspective. Researching the local competition before you buy is a smart move. This way you can sense any chances to create a niche for yourself and continue attracting regular business.

Then you can compare the revenue opportunities for each respective property. Online distribution is one of the most effective ways to bring guests to your hotel. Advertising your rooms on multiple channels gives you the best chance at raising your occupancy rate.

The most popular channels known in the industry as online travel agents, or OTAs include Booking. Normally this would mean a lot of time is spent on manually updating your listings when bookings are made and increase the risk of double bookings.

However, if you use a channel manager these processes will be automated and updated in real-time. That takes away one worry. In fact, direct bookings can still occur from these sites. If you have your profile completed accurately, visitors can move from your OTA listing to your own website.

From there they may make a booking directly with you, commission-free. You can make this easier and more attractive for them by improving the look, speed, and functionality of your website and integrating an online booking engine.

Just like a property management system and channel manager, a website builder and booking engine are designed to make bookings simpler for guests and more seamless for you , while aiding your ability to show-off your property and destination. One of the greatest benefits these technologies have is that they work together to keep Google happy, make your property easily accessible, and provide guests with an easy reservation process.

You can also take bookings via your social media channels on Facebook and even Instagram through your booking engine. Two of the most recent tactics to improve your online distribution come in the form of mobile devices and metasearch sites.

Mobile technology has been impacting online distribution for the last several years, but its rise in popularity is not slowing. You not only need to have a working mobile web design, but you need to be partnering with distribution agents who know how to drive mobile traffic. Guests who use their mobile phones or tablets to browse your website are looking for large, clear booking buttons, simple booking forms and a safe way to make their payments. When it comes to metasearch sites, a connection with them can result in a high increase in traffic volume.

These channels are no longer optional for hotels - they are a necessary part of your distribution strategy. Explore different metasearch sites, such as Google Hotel Ads, Trivago or Kayak, in order to discover the best distribution channel for your property. So you need to do everything you can to meet these expectations. Travellers will usually first see your property online.

They may have performed a Google search, be browsing online travel agents, surfing social media, or looking you up after receiving a recommendation. From their perspective, they have a lot of options so they want to know everything quickly, without having to search endlessly for information.

The design of your website is paramount. Once a guest has confirmed a booking you can both start preparing for the stay. Travellers will become excited and will begin anticipating their trip. Send pre-stay emails to suit both these needs.

You can also use this as a chance to ask them if they require anything in particular from you. Stay attentive to their needs and be available as much as you can in case they require assistance. After they leave you may want to thank them for the stay, ask them for a review, invite them to stay again with a discount, or alert them to the fact they left something behind.

The ultimate goal of welcoming a guest into your property is to gain a loyal customer who will come back each year. Obviously some businesses are more successful than others and there are many reasons for this. However, you can at least eliminate any fault of your own by ticking all the boxes when it comes to best practice management of a bed and breakfast. Drawing up a thorough business plan is the way to do this. The business planning process will include a lot of research.

Ask yourself what potential guests want and how you can bring your wants and their wants together. The same goes for local tourism organisations and associations. Online review sites are an essential consideration. You can use these to gain valuable feedback and also learn how to better run your business and serve your guests. Over the years you must have stayed in properties just like yours.

What do you remember being good and bad? Use these answers to inform your own business. Your bed and breakfast business deals with customer expectations, so the most important thing for you is to pass the right message to your customers. You need to formulate how your brand will be defined and how it will be viewed by travellers. Tweak your website so that it speaks the language of your ideal guests.

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