Each year, more and more people are leaving behind stressful office-based jobs and setting up their own small businesses. But, the question is, what small business idea is right for you?
For many people, the idea of running their own bed and breakfast is the ideal solution – you can live and work from home, be your own boss and work hours that suit you. However, there are also a couple of downsides to consider. Such as, having strangers in your home and having to get up at 7am and cook breakfast for them.
But, if you think that the positives outweigh the negatives, then a bed and breakfast business might be the perfect business for you.
For our ultimate guide to starting your own bed and breakfast business, have a read of this:
- Set a budget
First things first, before you do anything, set yourself a budget. Regardless of whether you are using spare rooms in your home or are creating log cabins in the garden. There will be some bits and bobs that need to be done before you open. So, setting a budget is crucial.
- Be clear about what you want
As you start thinking about setting up your bed and breakfast, it is important that you have a clear set of goals and an action plan in place to achieve them.
Ask yourself important questions about the business: Do you know what type of bed and breakfast you want to open? How many guests do you want to accommodate? Do you have enough spare room in your house? What style of bed and breakfast do you want to set up – budget, family, luxury, or romantic?
By working out what you want from your new business, as well as what you want to achieve. You can plan properly, think through ideas and avoid expensive mistakes.
- Think about the competition
Before going ahead with your business idea, think about the competition in your local area.
Ask yourself how many bed and breakfasts there are in the area, how successful they are and whether they get the business. If there is already a lack of business due to the location or other factors, starting a bed and breakfast in the same area would be a bad idea. If this is the case, would you be willing to move to a more desirable location?
Think about what your competitors offer – price, food, accommodation, etc. Get ideas and inspiration from your competitors to help you create an amazing business.
- What should a good bed and breakfast be?
You want your guests to love your bed and breakfast. So much so, that not only do they keep coming back, but they also recommend it to their friends and family.
Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools, so it is essential that you give your guests what they want.
To create the perfect bed and breakfast, there are few basic things it is essential to get right. These include a clean environment, cosy rooms and comfortable beds and bedding. As well as an environment that is calm, relaxing and friendly.
- Make your business stand out
Once you have got the basics covered, you can then start working on the little things that will set your business apart from your competitors.
It is surprising how much the little things can make or break your bed and breakfast business. To create a successful business, it is important that you create unique and stylish facilities. Including bedrooms, bathrooms, dining room, and living room for your guests that are modern, comfortable and elegant.
It is also a good idea to provide a varied breakfast menu with a few unique touches added in, such as homemade jams, homemade waffles or pancakes, for example. Serving local bacon, sausages and eggs and using homemade bread, are all little things that will make your breakfasts stand out from your competitors.
- How will you run the business?
It is important to think about how you will run the business – will it be a part time venture around your current job or something you give up work to do? Will you and your partner run the business together or will it mainly be your venture? How will you manage and keep on top of everything? These are all important things to consider and discuss with your partner and family.
Think about how you will keep on top of everything, especially during peak times. Will you have enough time to cook, clean, take care of guests and get all the business washing done? To take care of things, you could consider hiring a cleaner, an assistant or use stalbridge linen hire services for your linen.
Think about what help you will need to make your business a success and work out the best ways to get it.
- Address legal requirements
Before setting up your business, it is vital that you address the legal requirements surrounding it. What local and national requirements and laws do you need to adhere to?
Make an appointment to speak to your local council to see what the rules and regulations are on setting up a bed and breakfast business. Will you need a food hygiene certificate? Do you need a child safety check? Find out exactly what you will need to do.
While word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to get your businesses name out there, it is also essential that you invest in other forms of marketing.
New bed and breakfast owners are advised to spend around 20% of their first years turnover on marketing.
So that you don’t get too overwhelmed, create a marketing plan and set a budget for it. Have a look at your marketing options and chat with other bed and breakfast owners for marketing ideas and advice.
- Create a website
To create a successful bed and breakfast business, it is essential that you have a website.
You can use your website for everything from reviews and accommodation information to making bookings and advertising.