Owning a bed and breakfast allows you to have a great lifestyle, but only if you are prepared to face the challenge in the right way. Having realistic expectations will open the way for a happier experience, both for you and your guests. Here are 5 questions you should bring before deciding whether to open a b & b.
Why do you want to own a bed and breakfast?
Do you want to do it because you love cooking, decorating and meeting people? Or why, are you retired and do not know what to do? Or because you want to become an entrepreneur and you want to launch in the hospitality industry.
These questions do not preclude the fun or the profit of your structure, but they certainly affect the services that a b & b can offer. However, your answer will determine how you will judge if your B & B is “successful”.
What will look like for you?
Can you count success for the number of people you have with you? The number of beautiful reviews of the guests you receive? The amount of revenue generated?
Success can not be all of these things. But having a clear idea of how you measure success will help you understand what you need to do, what to focus on and what to quantify when you need to do your calculations at the end of the year – rather than depending on your “instinct”. It will also help you stay online and identify where you need help if things are not going as planned.
How much money do you need to make?
A number of new bed and breakfast owners start by saying that if they review their B & B running costs and have fun while they do it and it will be worth it. Others want to be able to make a living by transforming their home. Some people need to supplement their current income or a pension.
In most places, to be classified as a bed and breakfast, the owner must live on site and it is limited to the number of rooms that can be had. You will have to face higher costs for things like advertising, insurance and public utility services Depending on how you choose to run the B & B, you could be technically on duty 24 hours a day – and in high season, 7 days a week. You have the guarantee of having to work on weekends and holidays, when most of your family will be out of work. Evaluate the costs well, to keep a bed & breakfast you need more than you think.
What kind of personal support do you need for this project?
Having family and friends support makes it much easier to own a bed and breakfast. Getting their consent to your idea will help you a lot – from having a shoulder to cry when you have to face difficult customers, to word of mouth, when they tell their friends that you have a b & b.
Are you ready to be a self-employed?
If you’ve never been a self-employed before, it’s a shock to discover all the ways in which having a bed and breakfast affects your finances.
You must understand that you will be responsible for making all the decisions and managing the results. Not everyone is comfortable making decisions. Moreover, without an employer guaranteeing wage control, obtaining credit coverage becomes much more difficult and more expensive.
It is important to be honest with yourself about why you want to own a bed and breakfast. This type of activity has a big impact on your personal life and your finances. Clarity around your expectations will help you focus on things that will give you satisfaction at the end of the day, and will also make guests happier.