You’ve always wanted to run your own B&B. You have the right property, enough time on your hands to make a serious go of it and you’re confident the location is ideal.
So, where do you begin?
Make no mistake, running a B&B is incredibly hard work. For many, it’s a lifestyle business, but it’s a lifestyle that can quickly swallow you up and cause undue stress if you go about it the wrong way.
Help is at hand! We’d like to give you the leg-up you need to get started on the path to B&B success with the following five tips:
1. Work your personality into the business
Ask any guest who enjoyed their stay at a B&B what it was that set it apart, and one of their answers is likely to be “the owner”.
You are a huge part of your B&B business. You need to be welcoming, approachable and flexible if people are to recommend your property to their friends.
Thankfully, that’s you all over, so work your personality into the business from the moment it starts.
2. Don’t do it alone
When first starting out, you may have no choice, budget-wise, but to run the entire operation single-handedly (or in conjunction with your partner).
Despite this, budgeting for staff in the future is a vital tactic, because you’ll quickly find this is a business you simply can’t run by yourself.
For instance, think about finding help for the cleaning and breakfast preparation. Even just a few hours from the right pair of helping hands will make the world of difference once your B&B business starts to take off.
3. Embrace technology
Your website, online booking system, guest review platforms and social media will become vital tools as your business grows.
Just because you’re running an ultra-small business doesn’t mean you can do it without technology of this kind. In fact, without it, you’ll struggle to compete against the big boys of the industry.
Thankfully, all of this technology is within reach these days - none of it will break the bank or prove cumbersome to use.
4. Write a business plan
Many a B&B business owner has skipped this step in the belief that it isn’t required. You simply open your doors, advertise the accommodation that’s available and deliver a great guest experience, right?
At its base level, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing, but the absence of a business plan will mean you won’t haven’t planned or budgeted for the future. And that means your business will struggle to become sustainable.
You don’t need to pen War and Peace, but a concise, well-considered business plan written with the help of a knowledgeable friend or business associate will really make the difference.
5. Accept the realities of being a B&B owner
One of the most exciting things about running a B&B is that very few days are the same; you’ll be met with new challenges and triumphs every week.
This is where the realities of being a B&B owner need to be identified and taken into consideration. Make sure you’re comfortable with what it entails; the uncertainty, long days and varied roles you’ll have to play need to be met with a strong will and desire to succeed.
Like any business venture, it takes a huge amount of bravery, persistence and courage to become a B&B owner.
Follow our tips above, and you’ll embark on this adventure with a mindset that will give you the greatest chance of success.