A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business

starting a bed and breakfast businessHave you ever dream of owning a bed and breakfast business? If you are living in an old beautiful bungalow or a mansion of Victorian age with enough space available, then you can easily start a bed and breakfast business (B&B). For many people, it is a fun and collection of happy moments as they love to meet different people as their guests and cook food for them. It has been their dreams come into reality, attending lots of guests in the breakfast table who praise for the tasty homemade food, interior decoration and amenities. The most interesting part is that they are making money by providing all the services. The bed and breakfast is the perfect business idea that can be started at the home with the family members. It’s a feasible source of earning money while doing the work you enjoy the most.

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What Does It Mean by Bed and Breakfast?

Bed and breakfast is nothing but a home-stay. It can be simply described as the perfect combination of luxury, hospitality you get in 5 star hotels and also the comfort that you feel in personal residence, representing the excellence of both. When a person starts his bed and breakfast business, he utilizes the unused rooms of his house as the guest rooms where travelers or other people can stay overnight. He also offers them breakfast. The owner lives in the same house and attends the travelers as their own guests, not as the strangers coming to stay in the hotel rooms. Normally bed and breakfast is a small endeavor allocating 4 to 11 rooms within a private residence.

Bed and Breakfast Industry Trends

Bed and breakfast, a vital part of the travel and tourism industry has experienced a huge growth over the years. As most of the B & Bs are run by the family members, without employing other support staffs, so it is difficult to portray the actual scenario. A recent statistics have revealed that roughly 17000 bed and breakfast businesses had been registered in the different states of America. It has also been reported that 29% of B & Bs are operated in rural areas, followed by 23% in urban, 5% in suburban. About 43% of B & Bs are found in remote village. The U.S market share of B &B industry is estimated worth of $3.4 billion. The number of B & Bs increased rapidly and reached to 20000 in between the year 2000 and 2005 but later due to economic turmoil, the growth was hindered. New owners were found it difficult to secure finance for starting the business. With the improvement in economy, the demand of bed and breakfast started rising from 2010.

Why Do You Want to Run Bed and Breakfast in Your Home?

Is it because you love to stay in touch with different new people? Do you like to cook food, decorate home for your guests? Or is it simply because of making money using the extra space in the home? Reasons are various. Most people start this business as they have extra rooms than they need. Their children have grown up and settled near the working places. Sometimes retired professionals and widow or divorced people run the bed and breakfast and take pleasures entertaining the guests being their hosts. Obviously running a bed and breakfast gives you the satisfaction that you will receive after possessing this kind of business. Moreover, it’s a reliable source of additional income where you and the other members of your family involve in this venture actively.

What Personal Attributes Do You Need to Have?

bed and breakfastFor a successful bed and breakfast owner, you should have some personal attributes. Since you are going to provide lodging and breakfast to unknown guests, you will daily come in contact with different types of people and will need to spend some time with them in the same place you are living in. So, a good personality and flexibility is must to deal with them. You need to be a people’s person. If you visit the online travel portals, you will read lots of honest reviews regarding bed and breakfast owners. The feedback’s they got from the guests signify a lot for their business success and further prosperity.

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Before starting this business, check whether you (and your partner if any) have the following traits.

  1. Bed and breakfast business demands you to be flexible. A great number of people choose to stay here simply because of the homely atmosphere and the personalized attention they get from the innkeepers.
  2. Sure, bed and breakfast is a labor-intensive business; you have to do a lot of tasks on a daily basis such as preparing breakfasts, cleaning rooms and bathrooms, laundry etc. So, self-motivation is necessary as well as the patience. You need to have patience as you will work under pressure.
  3. You should be highly organized so that you can manage the daily tasks efficiently.
  4. Cooking and home décor are the two major aspects you need to take care of.
  5. You should be always cheerful and have high-energy level to attend every guest personally.
  6. Communication skill is very important for this business.
  7. You should maintain your privacy as it is required to protect you from the unnecessary interference of the guest in your family.

Legal Requirements of Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business

For starting a bed and breakfast business, you need to follow certain laws and regulations of the state you are operating it. You should contact the officials of your state to know the details regarding the legal requirements of starting this type of business. This is because zoning laws vary widely from one municipality to other. So you should check the local codes. Here is a list of licenses and permits you need to apply for starting a Bed and Breakfast legally.

  1. Trade name registration
  2. Business License
  3. Fire inspection certificate
  4. Food service license
  5. Health inspection certificate
  6. Motel license
  7. Kitchen insurance

Start-Up Expenses

For starting a bed and breakfast business, you need to invest a substantial amount. But it will primarily dependent on the location of your facility and how much will you spend for remodeling or alteration purpose. If you are using the vacant rooms of your apartments for B&B, then you can easily cut the over-head expenses associated to the property, at a minimum. If your plan is to buy a new property and convert it in bed and breakfast, then you need to spend an extra amount as mortgage payment.

There are some fixed expenses you need to bear and those are mostly related to furnishing and renovation of your B& B facility. You should buy new beds and furniture, do some electrical and plumbing work in the bathrooms and kitchen, install some new equipment in kitchen etc. Depending on the number of guest rooms, you’ll need to spend some amount on purchasing mattresses, pillows, bed sheets, blankets, towels and other supplies. There are some daily running cost costs that you can manage from the earnings by the bed and breakfast business.

What will be the Pricing of Your Bed and Breakfast?

You should decide the pricing of your service depending on the following factors:

  1. Features you added
  2. Consider the business location
  3. Do research the rates of your local competitors

Do consider the amenities you are going to provide your guests. If you are offering luxurious services like swimming pool, fireplaces etc, then your room rate will differ from the others. If you are located at the center of a famous tourist spot or a business destination, then you can demand a higher rate for your B & B. It is advisable to do a market research before setting the price as the room rates will vary season wise and also by the day of the week.

Who will be Your Potential Guests?

You should do a market analysis. Whom you will provide the services will entirely dependent on the position of your bed and breakfast. If you are living near the college or universities or located in a famous tourist spot, starting a bed and breakfast would be highly advantageous for you. Your targeted guests will be tourists, business travelers, honeymooners mostly. Sometimes, local people will be your customers when they have wedding, family reunion or any other get together parties. They need to put their out-of-town guests up in your bed and breakfast.

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