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How to Buy a Bed and Breakfast

There are a few things you should be aware of before you buy a B&B and we let you know what they are here!

If you have dreams of working at home and escaping the monotony of office hours, you may be thinking about buying a B&B. Here are some things to get you through the buying process.

Sector overview

  • There are a lot of people in the UK who are choosing to staycation rather than head further afield. This is good news for B&B owners.
  • The overseas visitors that continue to flock to the UK are also helping to generate growth in the hospitality industry
  • In 2016 B&Bs had an annual room occupancy rate of 51%, which is an impressive figure for those B&Bs with multiple rooms.
  • B&Bs offer a personal touch that you don’t really get in a hotel and this is something that B&B owners can capitalise on. Guests are also able to stay in far more remote locations than they would be able to in hotels.
  • Technology has really helped with marketing and booking for B&Bs. Apps and online sites are something that anyone hoping to do well in the industry should take advantage of.

Essential skills

Before you jump into buying a B&B, make sure that it is the kind of job that you will be able to throw yourself into because it’s not the kind of job that you can clock out of at the end of the day.

If you are a person that thrives on living outside the repetitive 9 to 5 hours and you love the thought of never having to commute, then owning a B&B is exactly right for you.

Owning a B&B will allow you to make an income off of the property where you live, and this is appealing to a lot of people. You will, however, need to be ok with early mornings and a lot of cleaning and you certainly need to be a people person.

You will also need to be able to keep track of your accounts and marketing. Running a B&B is not as straightforward as having an extra room to rent out and you will need to be prepared.

What to look for in a bed and breakfast

Make sure that you know why the B&B is being sold. Make sure that you do your due diligence and find out exactly why it is for sale. If the B&B has a terrible reputation, it can be difficult to get rid of it and could affect the customers that you get.

The location of the B&B is really important. You need to make sure that there is a reason the guests would come to stay with you. Research the tourist attractions and events in the area and make sure you get a good idea of how many visitors come each year.

B&B’s can go through very slow seasons and it will help if you are prepared for this. Have a clear plan about how you can make it through quiet seasons financially.

While you are having a look at the number of visitors to the area, you should also check what the competition is like. How many other places are offering accommodation and how can you make yourself stand out?

Before you buy a bed and breakfast

Get to grips with the market before you buy a B&B. You need to have a good idea of what it is that will attract customers to your B&B and you can get to know this through extensive market research.

Your market research should include getting to know what kind of visitors and tourists come to the area. Are they businessmen, families, budget travellers?

Have a clear idea of what your costs are going to be before you dream of a huge income. There can be a lot of costs associated with running a B&B and all this will factor into whether or not your business will be able to break even.

Speak to the current owners of the business and do your due diligence to work this out properly. You will also need to factor in how much money you will need to put into the business before you start accepting guests.

Make sure that everything is in a contract. Don’t leave anything to ‘what the owner says’. Things that aren’t put in writing can’t be guaranteed- no matter how nice the people who buy from are!

Spend time making sure that you find the right seller with the right property for you. This is not a purchase that should be rushed!



Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.

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