The bed and breakfast market has exploded in recent years, thanks in no small part to the likes of AirBnB making it easy to rent out spare rooms and apartments. It’s also a very British tradition – the B&B has been the accommodation of choice for travellers, professionals, and even students looking for a cheap place to put their heads down.
So, if you were thinking of entering the B&B marketplace, what do you need to have in place? We thought we would take a look at everything you need to get started – so read on to find out more.
You have a few options here – either rent out a room in your current property or consider buying real estate specifically for turning it into a B&B. However, if you are just getting started, we suggest going with the former. It will give you the experience you need to get to grips with running a B&B and highlight many of the issues you could face.
Time on your hands
Don’t underestimate how time-consuming running a B&B can be. There’s a good reason why many new B&Bs are run by retirees or people that do it for a full-time living – because it can take up so much of your life. Looking after guests, marketing, maintenance, cleaning, serving breakfasts – it all needs doing.
You won’t get far with your B&B idea if you lack basic people skills. You have to enjoy meeting new people – and even being surrounded by them on a day-to-day basis. You will need exceptional customer care skills, enjoy a little bit of cooking, and be an early riser, too. Finally, how are your DIY skills? If you want to maximise your profits, it’s worth being able to fix and repair things when they break.
While the main thrust of a B&B is to provide a great service for your guests, you will still need to keep on top of your systems, such as bookings, paperwork, and marketing. There are plenty of services out there that will help you do most essential tasks. Industry experts Eviivo recommend that you choose a service that offers a broad range of services so you can take bookings, set up a website, and link with the major travel sites such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.
Solid grounding and training
While there are no qualifications needed to get started in the world of B&B ownership, we recommend taking a few courses. The likes of the Bed and Breakfast Academy or BandBTraining can teach you all the valuable skills you need, and some food hygiene classes will be essential. Don’t forget, as soon as you start serving food; you can expect to receive inspections from your local council on a regular basis.
Don’t forget the legal side to running a B&B, and make sure you have coverage in the event something goes wrong. You will need buildings cover, cancellation interest, and everything in between. Finally, hire a lawyer who specialises in hospitality – they will sniff out any problems with your business before they turn dangerous. Good luck!