How To Start A Bed & Breakfast

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Image of a sign reading Bed and Breakfast

Below is an overview of the bed and breakfast business

Bed and breakfast is a popular small business plan amongst retirees for example because many parents wind up with their kids growing up and moving out and, rather than sell their large home with its empty rooms, they opt to invest in that empty space.

A bed and breakfast is also a great way for retirees in a newly empty nest to meet new people.

Is A Bed & Breakfast An Easy Investment?

If you already have a home with a bunch of empty rooms taking up space, your bed and breakfast startup costs will be relatively low.

Beyond having the proper home insurance, attaining your business license, and passing inspection, (check the laws in your local area) you probably won’t have to spend too much money beyond stocking your home with the following:

  • A fully stocked home including food,  snacks, and beverages
  • fresh sheets and towels
  • toiletries, such as soap and shampoo, and maybe…
  • A few repairs here and there

On the other hand, if you’re looking to invest in buying a new home for your bed and breakfast, you may wind up resorting to taking out a loan or dipping into your savings.

Depending on the area and the economy (we can’t reasonably predict what the housing market will be by the time you read this), you may wind up putting a pretty heavy financial investment into your bed and breakfast. Luckily, you’re also investing in a home for yourself, which you will have to yourself when the tourism season ends.

Risk and Bed and breakfast

Which brings us to another point. In terms of risk involved in running a bed and breakfast, this varies quite a bit. If you’re living a big city, you can probably expect to do quite a bit of business, especially if your bed and breakfast is near bus stops, car rental services, airports, and other travel services.

On the other hand, if you set your bed and breakfast up small town or an area that receives very little tourist activity, your bed and breakfast will have to be a bit more of a hobby and a way to make an extra buck here and there.

If you’re absolutely serious about running a bed and breakfast, then there should be nothing keeping you from moving to a bigger city to run a more successful bed and breakfast.

Finding Investors for your bed & Breakfast business

However, buying a new house for a bed and breakfast, again, is a big investment.

A lot of banks are eager to loan money to people with a strong, solid business plan (and starting a bed and breakfast in a place like New York or London can be a solid plan for the right business owner), though you may also want to look into recruiting investors or business partners to help out with the costs of your bed and breakfast.

Advertising your Bed and breakfast

Advertising can be pretty cheap for a bed and breakfast. Most bus stations and the like will allow you to post fliers for your bed and breakfast free, and travel journals and classified ads can be cheap, if not also free.

Skills Requisite for a Bed and breakfast

In terms of the personal skills required of a bed and breakfast owner, you will need to be a people person to run a bed and breakfast.
Not only the ability to get along with others, but a sincere curiosity about people from other places will really go a long way in making the whole thing more pleasurable for yourself and for your bed and breakfast clients.

When your tenants leave, they should have a positive story about bed and breakfast and the people there, as such, they can recommend your little corner of the world to other travelers passing through the area.

And of course, you’ll want to be a good cook. It’s not a bed and go-get-some-donuts-from-the-bakery, it’s a bed and breakfast! A great meal can work wonders in turning a good bed and breakfast experience into a great one.

Cleaning Up Your Bead & Breakfast

You will also need to be just a bit of a neat freak.

Most bed and breakfast tenants tend to be polite and will clean up after themselves, but dishes, sheets, towels, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, these will be the owner’s responsibility, and cleaning up after dozens of people coming and going is a little more high maintenance than taking care of a single family.

Security Concerns For a bead & Breakfast Business

Consider security. Most bed and breakfast tenants will be peaceful, but in this day and age, it’s hard to recommend that you trust literally everyone.

Make sure you have a lock on your door, and possibly some means of self-defense such as pepper spray. You need to be careful. If you get bad vibes from a potential renter, it may be wise to tell them you’re all booked up for the night.

Aiding Weary Travelers

The primary motivation for operating your own bed and breakfast should be this: Giving weary travelers a bed for the night and breakfast in the morning. If this describes your goals, a bed and breakfast business can be quite rewarding.