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Starting a business in 2016: Running your own B&B

21st January 2016 Print

The hardest part of starting your own business is taking the first step and getting your idea off the ground. Running a B&B is a dream for many of us – a proper British business model that stands the test of time.

It’s no easy feat to begin your B&B dream though. You’ve got to be prepared for early mornings and late nights, as well as being constantly on hand in case a quest needs assistance, as well as cleaning, admin and cooking breakfast. But don’t let fear of failure hold you back, let 2016 be the year that you get your B&B up and running! 

The UK tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, with B&Bs making up around 35% of the UK hotel sector. Popularity is a positive but this makes it an incredibly competitive segment of the industry.

Firstly, you need to be sure that your characteristics are right for the role, otherwise you’re not going to enjoy your job and your customers certainly won’t enjoy their stay. To make it in the B&B business, you have to possess a number of natural skills, including being a people person, being unphased by constantly meeting new people with different quiks and requirements, have great customer service skills, be a keen cleaner, and have some basic DIY skills for fix-ups. If you’ve got these skills in the bag then you’re already off to a smashing start, you just need the business know-how to compliment these. 

The Bed and Breakfast Academy runs a two-day business course at £250 per person, that teaches you everything you need to know about setting up, marketing and running a successful B&B, run in small groups so that you can get the most for your money.

Once you’re all set up in theory, you need to start thinking about where you’ll be based. Are you going to buy a new building, or are you going to set up shop in your own home? Either way, you’ll need to consider what kind of decor you’ll be going with, the best furnishings to purchase, whether you’re going to go for a luxury home-from-home vibe or a basic but cosy feel instead. 

When considering the best quality beds and storage options, if your building is already quite small a divan bed can be a fantastic option, providing guests with storage for their belongings. This can also help as storage space for fresh towels and sheets that you’ll need for each room. 

There are loads of other factors to consider, including staff, budgeting and competitors, but one of the most important elements of getting off the ground is marketing your business. How will you actually attract business, unless your target customers know that you exist or where to find you? The fastest way to communicate with your customers in modern times is via social media platforms, so get yourself on there as soon as possible to get the word out about your business, post consistently, promote offers and discounts and you’ll be booked up in no time! Don’t wait until you’re open either, get the word out about your new business as soon as you can.