Starting a bed and breakfast (B&B) requires a business mindset first. You can’t start serving guests until you have all of the business concerns handled. So, how do you begin creating the B&B of your dreams? Here are some tips to get you started.
Location, Location, Location
You can’t start a B&B without a suitable location. This means you either need to convert your current home to meet the needs of a B&B or you will need to purchase a location.
Your current home may be appropriate if you have a number of extra bedrooms with private bathrooms. While some B&B’s feature shared bathroom facilities for guests, this option is not as popular as rooms with private bathrooms. If you want to appeal to the largest number of prospective guests, then adding these features may be mandatory. You will also need to fit all of the guestroom doors with locks for guest privacy.
If your home won’t work, or you prefer to keep the B&B separate from your living space, then you can purchase a property. You might be able to find a complete B&B that is currently for sale, or you can find a property that can be updated to suit your needs. To help determine your budget, you will need to qualify for a mortgage. For example, if you intend to open a B&B in Australia, then a mortgage broker Melbourne may be an ideal choice.
Any property repairs should be managed prior to opening. This includes improvements to guest rooms, bathrooms, the kitchen, and community spaces. Since a big part of a B&B is breakfast service, you need to make sure that the size of the space is suitable for serving the maximum number of guests your B&B can host. This includes the kitchen as well as any dining spaces.
Licenses and Permits
A B&B is a business, and it requires specific licensing and permits to operate. This can include a business license, occupancy certification, tax IDs, food service permits, proper insurance, and more. The exact requirements vary by area, so you will need to research what is needed based on the location of the operation. In some cases, acquiring the services of an attorney is advised to help navigate what can be a very complex business area.
Failure to obtain the proper documentation could result in your business being unceremoniously shut down. Additionally, you may be subject to fines or even criminal proceedings depending on the exact nature of the violations.
Acquire Supplies and Amenities
You will need to have a sufficient supply of linens, guest amenities, and other items to keep your B&B running. This can include everything from bedsheets to trash bags, and cleaning supplies to bathrobes. Small sizes of shampoo and conditioner, hand soap, and toothpaste are also a welcome addition.
The list of required items will vary depending on your exact offerings, so not everything needed can be included here. To help you get an idea, think of all of the items you like to see when you stay at a hotel or B&B and try to use that as a model for your offerings.
Prepare for Opening
Once you have all of your spaces updated, supplies and amenities ready, and all of the required licenses and permits, you can prepare to open. Often, this involves advertising your B&B and taking reservations. Depending on the size of the operation, you may also need to look into hiring additional staff, though it is possible to manage a B&B without additional personnel.
After everything is pulled together, and your first reservation arrives, you can celebrate that you have successfully opened a B&B.