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Bed and breakfast

How to Run a Bed and Breakfast

Find out if running a bed and breakfast is for you!

Running a B&B is a is a good way to make your home work for you and can be a good source of income.

It is not, however, an easy business. Running a B&B will blur the work/home line as you live where you work, and it will be important that you take a step back every now and again to make sure that you are giving yourself some time off.

Overview

Guests usually choose to stay in a B&B over a hotel because they want somewhere that has more of a personal touch. B&B’s are also usually in places a little more remote than many hotels.

These facets of a B&B are what you should use to promote your business alongside with anything that makes your establishment unique and, therefore, worth a visit.

Despite the quaint and remote qualities that draw customers to a B&B, you will still need to keep up with technology trends of the industry as websites like Airbnb become increasingly popular for guests to make bookings on.

Deckchairs

Challenges

Although this business might seem idyllic to a lot of people, there are some challenges that will come along with it.

In order to cater to guests and keep them happy, you will have to get up early and go to bed late. 

Of course, there will be time during the day where you will not be dealing with guests, but you will still need to keep up with administration and maintenance. 

Before buying a B&B make sure that you are ready for the hard work that comes along with it.

The hospitality industry is notorious for its dependence on the seasons which will make employing staff difficult as you will not want to have to pay an extra salary in the low season when you do not have as many guests.

Make sure that you have thought through how you will budget to get your business through the low season.

Breakfast

Marketing

It is important to keep in mind that it isn’t enough just to open a B&B. You will need to make sure that it is visible to potential guests.

There are various listing sites that you can advertise your business on and these will go a long way for marketing your business. You will also need to make sure that you have an easy to use and attractive website.

Cherry Tomatoes

Things to Consider

The hospitality business is one that is on the rise in Canada, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work to make it a success.

You will need to identify what it is about your business that makes it different to others and a worthwhile visit for your guests. Once they are there, make sure that their experience is one that they will talk about online and come back to if possible. 

According to Sue Marko, owner of luxury accommodation, Cougar Mountain Lodge in the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia "It's not so much internet reviews as it is word-of-mouth. If you do something good maybe your customers will tell somebody, maybe they won't, but if you do something bad you can guarantee they will tell everyone they know. So customer satisfaction is 100% of your business....."

Before you invest in a B&B, make sure that you have a thorough business plan that has considered the process and the multitude of costs that could appear.

This is an industry that will not have one day the same as the other and you will constantly be meeting new people. It will also be a way to avoid having to commute and it’s a great way for parents to balance work and life.

There are other things that have to be considered before starting a B&B. Think about what kind of breakfast you will offer your guests.

Typically, B&B breakfasts are home cooked, but it is far more challenging to cook for a number of guests at different times of the morning than it is to cook for your family.

Cactus

Find the right business

Even with all the right skills, your business can still fail due to reasons beyond your control. To combat this, you will have to make sure that you buy the right business.

Location is extremely important in the hospitality industry and so make sure that you have done a lot of research before you invest your money into a B&B.

Carefully consider other establishments offering accommodation nearby and whether you will be able to compete with them.

It will also be worth your while to research what attractions could bring people to the area and find out what kind of competition you have.

Most businesses have quiet seasons, but it is important that you have planned for this beforehand and are not caught off guard once the business is yours.

As long as you have done your due diligence and research, there is no reason that this won’t be your dream business.



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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