Starting a business from scratch can be a daunting task, so what better way to start a business than from the comfort of your home? Just think about it.
You already have the premises and the infrastructure to succeed, now you just need the people and the paying customers.
It is one thing you can cross off the list from the beginning to make life easier, which is why homeowners like to turn their homes into guesthouses.
However, making your home into a bed and breakfast is not a guaranteed way to make money.
Why? You are not guaranteed success because there are plenty of bed and breakfasts in the country.
What you need is a couple of vital, yet basic accessories, that will stand out from the crowd.
Without the following, you will find trying to make your B&B a success incredibly difficult.
Some bed and breakfast proprietors think they can skimp on the cash because they already have one of the biggest costs under control.
Yes, business premises are a big expenditure, but they are not the only one, so you will need money and plenty of it.
There are overheads that you will constantly have to pay for, as well as all the expenditures.
The Right Frame Of Mind
As with any business, you shouldn’t concentrate on the short-term goals because they are not a good indicator of success. Too many business owners want to become rich far too quickly, and as a result, their business fails.
So, ask yourself a few questions to make sure your intentions are good and just based on making a quick buck.
For example, do you have the capital to finance the B&B for the long haul?
Or, are your expectations realistic?
Do you want to help build something, or do you want to get out at the first opportunity?
Experience Of Running A B&B
In all honesty, you don’t need a huge amount of experience. But, some experience will come in handy because B&Bs throw up some unexpected obstacles.
People expect a lot for their money, even if you are one of the most affordable on the market. As a result, you will need to try your hardest to give them what they want.
In business, there is a saying that the customer is always right. Where hospitality is concerned, that is gospel.
Because the customer is always right, your choice of staff in important. In fact, your choice of staff could cost you money.
Employees have the tendency to treat difficult customers with a little more contempt than you. After all, no one wants to put up with their attitude.
Outside of the B&B, that is fine. But, inside, that will prevent them coming back and recommending you to their friends.
Simply put, your staff can be the difference between making the stay a pleasurable one, or making it a terrible one.
Obviously, they are paying for a bed and their breakfast, so you will need to provide the relevant accessories. Otherwise, you will have a revolt on your hands!
Until you begin, you won’t realise how many little things there are to take care of. You need numerous utensils, plates and tablecloths, as well as spare bed sheets and covers to name a few.
The trick is to buy good quality accessories because the customers appreciate when you take care of the fine details.
However, you also need to think of the price because you don’t have the cash to buy hundreds of luxury items.
All you need to do is check online and do some proper research. For example, a commercial tablecloth at Richard Haworth is known for its quality, as well as the price.
When it comes to standing out from the crowd, there is no better way to do it than with a good quality website.
Every business has a website in 2015 because to not have one would be suicide. However, because every business has a website, there is lots of competition taking away from your market share.
If they don’t like what you have to offer, they can simply click on the next link on Google and use their website instead.
By designing a website that looks good and is easy to navigate, you will have customers coming back time and again to book with your bed and breakfast.
But, aren’t marketing campaigns for huge companies with enormous budgets? No, every business needs a marketing strategy, and your B&B is no different.
Obviously, your strategy will differ from bigger companies because you don’t have the same budget.
So, instead of thinking about TV time and radio adverts, think about social media and local advertising.
A mix of social media and local advertising is brilliant because it hits a global audience and a local one too, the people most likely to spend the night.
The location is not something you can help if you are transforming your home into a guest house.
Basically, you are stuck with what you have. But, your location is one of the most important factors to the success of your business, so what do you do?
Well, in basic terms, you ask yourself whether your location is good enough to open a bed and breakfast. If the answer is ‘no’, you might want to reconsider your options.
Geography is important because you need the demand for beds, which is directly linked to what the local area has to offer.
If there are no attractions and nothing to do, the odds of a guest house succeeding are low.
A Partner In Crime
Running a B&B is a full-time job, so a partner can help take some of the slack. A lot of great businesses are created and are run by successful partnerships.
The pattern seems to be splitting the business in two: financial and the running of the B&B.
Obviously, the paths will overlap, but the main thing to remember is to have a someone will knowledge of either sector that you can trust.
And there you have it; the secret to opening and sustaining a successful bed and breakfast.