Many people would love to open a bed and breakfast.It allows the owner to work from home and earn a good amount of money.If you want to open a bed and breakfast, you'll need a substantial start-up fund for renovations and updates, as well as a business license, inspections, and possibly a notary, depending on where you are.Knowing what to expect when you open a B&B can help you save time and frustration, as the regulations will vary from state to state.
Step 1: Do you know what to expect?
It may seem like a fun and easy way to make money, but you will need a large initial investment to operate a B&B.The high costs of operating a B&B can cause bed and breakfasts to close within two years.As a B&B owner/operator, you will need to: take care of reservations charge billing accounts manage the business's finances entertain guests keep a clean house interact with local authorities as needed update licenses and permits make/ serve breakfast to guests
Step 2: Evaluate your abilities.
If you believe you have the skills to open a bed and breakfast, you should also assess your own abilities to operate a business that deals with serving and interacting with customers regularly.It's worth considering whether or not you can run a B&B if you don't have a good personality or skill set.A good B&B owner/operator needs to be self-motivated, hospitable, enthusiastic, and friendly, even when you are having a conflict with a guest clean the bathroom and laundry.
Step 3: Evaluate your facilities and location.
If you want to open a B&B and start your own business, you need to perform an honest evaluation of your location and facilities.The layout and condition of your home could affect your B&B venture.To be a successful bed and breakfast, you need to be in a community with a basic demand for a functional dining room, bedroom, and bathroom accessible to all guests.
Step 4: Decide on the market you want to target.
Every business has a target audience, and B&Bs are no exception.You can either market your B&B on your website or through local lodging lists.To best cater to your target guests, you'll want to modify your decorations/furnishings and amenities.It will not be realistic to appeal to every single type of guest, but there are five main types of guests to whom you should try.If you want to have your B&B business listed on local destinations' websites, you can offer free travel maps and brochures to nearby destinations.This will depend on where you are located.If you are in or near a major metropolitan area, or at least close to a few bigger business offices, you may be able to take advantage of this niche.It's a good idea to market your B&B as a close resort.Being close to a romantic restaurant may give you some advantage, though most of the time this type of guest will be had in any location.Consider offering a package that includes champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries for couples to stay at your B&B for a romantic weekend.This niche depends on where you live.If you live in or near a popular college town, you may be able to take advantage of parents, college sports fans, and out-of-town visitors.This type of market may not be very stable.Many locals need extra lodging for weddings, graduation parties, and family reunions.You can market your B&B to locals by advertising it as a great place to stay.
Step 5: Consider talking to an attorney.
Depending on where you live, opening a B&B can be either easy or difficult.It can be difficult to know if your home qualifies for a planned B&B because of the different laws in different states.New York has begun to enforce state-wide rules on what constitutes a hotel service.Many B&Bs were found to be illegal and had to pay huge fines and fees.If you want to avoid future legal problems, you should consult an attorney before you start renovations.
Step 6: Decide how big the operation will be.
The more rooms you have, the more money you'll make.Most states restrict how many rooms you can have.The maximum number of guest rooms can be anywhere from four to 10.More guest rooms are allowed in some states.Up to 14 rooms per B&B is allowed in Indiana.Ensure that your facility is in compliance by searching online for B&B regulations.The state of Iowa distinguishes between a B&B home and an inn.A B&B home has no more than four guest families at any given time, and is cohabited by the owner.A B&B inn can host up to nine guest rooms, but must be licensed and inspected as a hotel and food service establishment.Check to see if your state requires you to register as a hotel, dining establishment or both.
Step 7: Know how much you have.
Depending on the size, age, and condition of your home, you may need to put in a substantial amount of money on structural and/or aesthetic renovations.You will most likely need new beds, bedding, pillows, towels, and other items for the rooms you intend to rent.A startup fund is required for even small renovations.Depending on the size of the property, experts recommend budgeting $20,000 to $40,000 per guest room for a small property.
Step 8: There is a problem
If you need to make any renovations to your home, you'll want to hire a reliable contractor.A general contractor manages every part of a project, a specialty contractor works within a specific niche, an architect draws up designs for additions, renovations and structural changes, and a designer or design are the other types of contractors.Ask your friends and family to recommend a good contractor.You can look online for past customer reviews if you can't get a recommendation from someone you know.Someone you know or others online will recommend a contractor who has an established company.You should get a written estimate from multiple contractors.If there are any major deviations during the project, keep the contractor's written estimate.You can get a written contract with estimated start and completion dates.Don't pay with cash.You can keep a record of your payments with a check or credit/debit card.It's a good idea to keep all your paperwork in one place, as well as a record of all correspondences with the contractor you hire.
Step 9: It's time to update your kitchen.
Your existing kitchen may not be enough if you want to cook breakfast in a B&B.You will have to meet safety and Sanitation requirements in your community if you cook for yourself.You can find business requirements near you by searching online.At the very least, you will need a functional ventilation system, a preparation table, heat lamp, utensil rack, fryer, stove and oven, refrigerator and freezer dry storage space, kept off the floor and away from any hazardous chemicals.
Step 10: Quality beds and fabrics should be invested in.
Each of your guest rooms will need to be furnished with beds and dressers.Each room will need new bedding, pillows, and towels.You will need to replace them less frequently if you invest in higher-quality bedding and towels.When choosing bedding, take allergies into account.Some people are allergic to feathers.
Step 11: Your B&B needs to be furnished.
In addition to beds in each room, your B&B should offer comfortable furniture in bedrooms as well as common areas.At a minimum, you should provide a closet, night stand, reading lamp, dresser, arm chair, and blinds/curtains in each guest room.If you have any common areas in your B&B, you may want to include the following basics: sofa love seat comfortable chairs a writing table/desk and chair lamps end tables books, magazines, and board games a coat rack
Step 12: Purchase amenities for guest.
Both lodging necessities and finishing touches give the B&B a sense of comfort.Put out a decorative vase full of fresh local flowers, hang plants in the windows, and decorate the rooms with a variety of books and general interest magazines.It's a good idea to put an alarm clock in each room to make sure the last guest doesn't accidentally set the alarm to go off on a day that a new guest will be there.If you will be hosting a lot of traveling business men and women, you may want to offer a printer or fax machine.
Step 13: The rooms should be decorated.
You will want to add a personal touch once the rooms are renovated.A room with no walls is not very welcoming.A room full of photographs of your family will make it difficult for guests to feel like they are in their own room.On the side of caution, choose non-personalized decorations that will feel warm and welcoming in any home.If you live in a rural area and want to appeal to autumn foliage viewers, try decorating your lodging with local wilderness photography.If you want to change your location into a B&B's theme, you can hang wallpaper or mount deer antlers over the fireplace.
Step 14: Ensure the licenses/permits are secured.
Depending on where you live, the licenses and permits you need will be different.In some places, hotel operators have to apply, pay fees, and submit to a background check in order to operate a hotel.You may need both state and county licenses in some places.In other regions, you don't need a state license in order to get a county or city license.Contact your city or county government to find out how bed and breakfasts are regulated in your area.
Step 15: Decide if you want to hire staff.
If you and your family believe you can operate your B&B on your own, then you may be able to cut down on costs.Depending on the size of the B&B, the number of customers, or the health condition of your family, you may need to hire additional workers.You should hire an attorney and an accountant to help with your finances.Laundry, cleaning, meal preparation, checking people in/out of their rooms, and restocking guest rooms are some of the tasks that need to be done on a daily basis.It may be worth hiring some help if you can't do it on your own.
Step 16: Make a plan for your meals.
Breakfast is included in the cost of lodging.The laws governing food preparation in your region will affect what kind of breakfast you serve.Coffee, juice, milk, bagels, fruit, and yogurt should be included in a continental breakfast.A more gourmet meal, like omelets, tofu scrambles or a quiche, is always a highly-marketable option.As you plan your meals, keep in mind that some guests have food allergies and other restrictions.Depending on where you live, you may be required to install new kitchen equipment.There are additional laws and regulations governing how you store and prepare food.
Step 17: What to charge is up to you.
Setting your room rates can be difficult.You want to make money, but not so much that you will drive away potential guests with a high price tag.When setting your rates, consider the following factors: what kinds of amenities you offer (like private balconies, private fireplaces, or a private hot tub) from one room to the next where you're located, and what local destinations draw tourists to your area.
Step 18: Decide on rules for guests.
The needs and comforts of guests are one of the biggest things to balance in running a B&B.You will have to decide what is permissible and what isn't in your lodging, and you will need to figure out how to enforce those rules.Some common guest rules include, but are not limited to, whether or not guests can: bring pets, consume alcohol, smoke on premises, bring non-guests back to their room, watch TV, and be restricted to an evening.
Step 19: Sell your B&B.
You have to start marketing your bed and breakfast before you open.As long as you maintain your B&B, you'll need to maintain marketing and advertisements.In most lodging markets, an up-to-date website isn't enough.It takes a lot of time and effort to market your business, but it is necessary for the success of your bed and breakfast.Market your B&B to guests if you know your target audience.Understand the needs of your guests.To show how you meet those demands, Tailor your advertisements.There is an ad in the phonebook.Direct mail to previous guests can be sent with an e-newsletter.It's a good idea to advertise your business online as well as in print.If you create a social media page for your B&B, visitors can leave reviews or share your business's information with their friends.Your B&B's name and address should be on the sign.To let guests know they've found the B&B they were looking for, put a sign up at the end of your driveway or near your house.
Step 20: If you want to do business, open up your doors.
You're ready to open for business once everything is renovated and decorated, you've secured all the necessary permits, and set a nightly rate for your guest rooms.If you want potential guests to find you online, create a website and register your business with review sites.All receipts from visiting guests should be kept in a registration ledger.Many states mandate that B&Bs purchase and maintain an up-to-date guest ledger, and in some states a Code Enforcement Officer or Building Department representative may request this ledger to confirm that your B andB is adhering to local and state laws on the number of guests lodging at your