Checklist for Starting a Bed and Breakfast

Post Date: June 24, 2019

One of the most rewarding small business ownership opportunities is a bed and breakfast.

If you have the personality and commitment, owning a bed and breakfast is a rewarding and lucrative business option.  As seen in the recent post Have Entrepreneurial Dreams? Watch These 11 Industries in 2019, entrepreneurs have many great options for business ownership today. If owning a hospitality business is on your list of possible ventures, here is a checklist for starting a bed and breakfast.

Is Your Personality a Good Fit?

Running a bed and breakfast is a different type of business ownership. Before deciding to open one, be sure you have the right skills, comfort level, and personality to be successful.

For one, you need to enjoy cooking, decorating, and engaging with new people on a regular basis. In addition, B&B owners need to be flexible, personable, and enthusiastic at the prospect of connecting with visitors in a meaningful albeit brief way.

Read the stories of Benetrends clients who have found success as B&B proprietors.

You also need to establish your own personal boundaries within the business. Otherwise, customers can easily take advantage of you. You will also need to be open to learning about new cultures, foods, languages, and dietary needs.

Set Your Expectations

B&B owners should have a clear understanding of the finances involved. For example, a B&B with four or fewer rooms is likely not going to generate enough revenue to make the B&B a primary source of income. 

If your B&B has four rooms at $100 and the rooms are filled every day of the year, you will gross $146,000 annually. However, the likelihood of every room being booked every night is slim. Furthermore, that total does not factor in expenses or taxes. 

Here are some other items to include in your B&B ownership checklist:

Choose the business model.  You can purchase a business outright, rent the business from the permanent owner, or negotiate a rent-to-purchase agreement.

Set your prices based on market conditions and factor in the following:

  • Type of room
  • Size and type of bed
  • Views from the room
  • Shared or private bath
  • Services and amenities offered

Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Based on your location, you may need to obtain a general business license and other permits, such as a food services certification.

Hire a great staff.  B&B owners can suffer from burnout when they are facing the daily challenges of cooking, cleaning, gardening, maintenance, marketing, hospitality, ordering, and accounting. If you choose to hire employees to take on one or more of these functions, you want to be sure that your staff, like you, can thrive interacting with an ever-changing customer base.

Decorate to attract desired customers, If you are appealing to customers looking for an idyllic, rural experience, then country cottage should be the theme in your B&B. If your B&B is on or near the ocean, a nautical theme will make customers right at home.

Get the services support you need. Running a B&B is a great experience. Given the vast responsibilities a B&B owner takes on, it makes sense to use a partner that can support your growing business. 

Benetrends has helped many entrepreneurs find the funding for their own B&B with an innovative solution that uses existing 401(k) funds to start or grow a business. Benetrends also has partnerships with places that offer credit card processing,  and business insurance.

Download Innovative Funding Strategies For Entrepreneurs to learn more.

Categories: Blog

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