Starting a Bed & Breakfast – How to Turn Your Home into Your Business

Biting the bullet and setting off on a new business venture is without a doubt daunting. However, it may also turn into the greatest ride of your life. The truth is, people took a long hard look at their careers during the last two years and some decided it’s time for a change – the 9 to 5 office cubical just wasn’t enough anymore. Now, the next question is – what is?

In reality, there’s a whole world of options, but one may be just on the money – opening up a bed and breakfast. While starting out in the hospitality industry is no easy feat, it can be endlessly rewarding, both financially and otherwise. The real secret is knowing where to start and with the tips below, you’ll have all the necessary bases covered before opening day!

Opening a bed & breakfast – initial costs 

Any good business requires a bulletproof budget and a bed & breakfast is no different. Before opening your doors, sort out the expenses to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Here, the most pivotal aspect to focus on is insurance. Any savvy business owner will know to protect themselves and their business if anything ever goes south. When you’re self-employed, all the paperwork falls on your lap, and sorting out all the insurance papers beforehand will give you a solid footing before opening day. If you’re uncertain of where to start, don’t hesitate to hire a financial consultant to lead you through the bureaucratic mess. Once you’re on your feet, you’ll be able to file everything with one eye open. 

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Opening a bed & breakfast – the bed

There are two integral pieces to any B&B and they’re both a bit on the nose – the bed and the breakfast. Because you can’t have a decent breakfast without the right accommodations, we’ll tackle the bed portion first. Regardless of whether you’re buying a B&B or turning your home into one, remember that everything has to work – from the electrical down to the plumbing. Your guests are the ones generating new business and a lack of hot water doesn’t exactly constitute a warm welcome. However, getting the appliances to work isn’t the whole story. For your B&B to generate an income, it has to look good as well. While the style should be unique to you, some pieces are non-negotiable. Thus, along with a king-sized bed, your B&B will have to have a unique designer bedside table and lamp to match. Even though it may seem silly at first, you’ll notice it’s the little things that keep the guests coming back. 

Opening a bed & breakfast – the breakfast 

There are two key components of any successful B&B – the bed and the breakfast. While we’ve covered the accommodations portion, we’ve yet to tackle the food. Unlike the bed linens or wallpaper, the menu is something you figure out as you go. Of course, every bed and breakfast needs an initial menu, but from there it’s all about having your finger on the pulse. Listen to what the customers have to say about the food and keep an eye out for what goes back into the kitchen. If a dish isn’t a fan favorite, don’t hesitate to sack it. After all, a homemade hot pot has been known to outshine a Michelin star plate.

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Opening a bed & breakfast – an online presence 

Your bed and breakfast could be the most charming corner of the world and still not be attracting revenue. While word of mouth works for an already established business, new B&Bs will need a bit of a push. A surefire way to go about it is with a constant online presence. Even before opening your doors, it’s important to establish the business on all the major social media platforms. However, it’s not enough just to create a profile. You’ll need to be present and keep the profiles up-to-date so that potential guests are constantly engaged. Along with this, finding an already-established business to give your B&B a shout-out could also be a huge advantage. You’ll generate a substantial following that will hopefully turn into revenue.

Like the beginning of this article said – opening a bed and breakfast is not for the faint of heart. It takes a boatload of planning, nerves of steel, and excellent management. However, for business and creative souls alike, it can also be a dream come true. The only thing left to do is take that first frightening step into the great unknown!