Running a B&B (bed and breakfast) may seem like a tempting endeavour and something you are considering for your home however, there are some things you need to put in place before opening your doors to the public. Here’s what you need to know about turning your home into a B&B.
The B&B industry has grown dramatically over the years and like any business it has a level of professionalism and set rules and regulations that must be adhered to. Let’s have a look at some of the aspects involved:
What is a B&B and who are they suited to?
A B&B is different to hotel accommodation as they are generally a home that includes breakfast the next day. Before starting the process of turning your home into a B&B, you should ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the fact that strangers will be coming and going from your home on a regular basis. If yes, a B&B could be a great opportunity for you. If you intend on running it yourself, you have to be welcoming and enjoy cooking and looking after others to an extent. They are best suited to people who have the time to be able run it sufficiently or hire someone who can commit to running it for them. It is important to know that managing a B&B by yourself is a big job.
Rules and regulations
As a registered B&B business, there are many licencing rules and laws that are enforced and need to be adhered to. Regulations such as food safety, employment legislations, insurances, liquor licence and more are put in place to protect yourself, your staff, and your guests. You should book an appointment at your local council office to see if your home is suitable for a B&B and they can advise you of the steps you need to take to make your property compliant with council and state laws. If your business is not compliant, you risk getting slapped with hefty fines and you can sabotage your insurance. Not all insurance companies cover B&B’s in their policies, so it is important that you find an insurer that does.
Prior to turning your home into a B&B you should do a bit of research to ensure that others in the same field are getting frequent customers. If the majority of B&B’s in your local area aren’t making a profit, you probably won’t either. Additionally, you should decide whether you want to run your business from your home or another property and what kind of stay is suited to your area. Is it more luxury or simple? Your location plays a key role in your marketing and the type of audience you are trying to target. For example, if you are located in the city you may attract international and business guests. Whereas if you are in a scenic part of Australia, you might find people coming for weekends and longer stays.
How much it costs to set up your B&B is highly dependent on a number of things such as whether you need to renovate, buy furnishings or if you are purchasing a property with the intention of using it for a B&B. You will need to factor in the ongoing costs associated with running your B&B and if you are able to accommodate that amount of money long term. What you make in revenue depends on your location, how many staff you have, overheads and how much you charge per night.
Offer your guests something unique
Once you have lodged all necessary paperwork with the council and got all the licences and permits that are required, you can start to think about how you can make your guests stay memorable so they want to return and better yet, tell their friends about it. Offer your guest something that your competitors aren’t. It doesn’t need to be exuberant or expensive either. The smallest of gestures can leave the biggest of impressions. Here are some ideas:
- Locally made toiletries
- Free Wi-Fi
- Provide a list of attractions and restaurants in your area
- Handmade welcome gift
- Nutritious food pack
Learn about the accommodation industry
If you already have experience in business, you have an advantage on those who do not. If you have never ran any type of business before or worked in this industry, it’s a good idea to take a course that specialises in business management. This way you will be able to put your best foot forward to ensure your B&B’s success from the get-go.
Some additional factors to consider for your B&B:
- Do you plan on running it yourself or hiring staff??
- What are your guidelines for your guests, e.g.: smoking, cancellation policy?
- Think of dietary requirements and the comfort of your guests
- Are you going to run it year-round or only in the peak periods?
Remember, if it gets too much, don’t be afraid to hire help! Transforming your home into a B&B is an exciting time, however it does require careful planning to ensure that it is safe, compliant, and profitable. If you are looking for an innovative and thoughtful gesture to leave your guests, we can help. Here at LePack we specialise in gourmet food packs that are sure to be well received. If you have any questions or require additional information regarding a food pack solution for your B&B, contact our friendly team today, we are happy to help.