There’s a lot that goes into running a successful inn. But the most detrimental thing you can do is treat it like a hobby. Do you think an excellent plumber treats his job like a hobby? Or a heart surgeon? Of course not. You must see your inn the same way if you’re to thrive.
See Your Inn as a Business
You may have a wonderfully romantic idea about opening your home up to paying guests and that everything will just work out right so long as you have the right location and ambiance for your bed and breakfast. However, you must make sure that all the decisions that you make are from a business point of view.
Running a bed and breakfast is extremely hard work, and you will want to make sure that you make a profit. You must run your business with your head, not your heart.
If you do not have business experience, make sure that you have people around you that do. You will learn things as you go along, but you should always have a good business sense if you are going to make this a success.
Make sure that you are aware of the legalities of running a bed and breakfast. This must be a first consideration. You must be aware and comply with all regulations which relate to a bed and breakfast in your area. You do not want to be shut down for noncompliance with a regulation. This could mean a hefty fine and signal the end of your business before it has even had a chance to get off the ground.
Speculate to Accumulate
Starting a bed and breakfast business can take a lot of money in startup costs. Just as with any other business, you must spend money to make sure that the business is viable.
If you are converting your own home, make sure that you spend your money wisely on facilities for your guests. An essential part of this will be spending money to ensure that you own living space is separated from the guest rooms and facilities.
If you have bought a bed and breakfast as a going concern you will still need to spend some money in updating the premises and making sure that you put your own personal stamp on the guest rooms. Always have a contingency fund so that you have some money for unexpected expenses.
When you are running the business, there will always be necessary expenses so that you can keep your bed and breakfast up to the standard that you want.
Do Not Neglect Your Marketing
This is an area where many bed and breakfast owners fail. They may have an idyllic place to stay and offer great customer service to their guests, but they are simply not getting enough customers. Bed and breakfast owners must have many skills, and marketing is one of the crucial ones.
Your internet presence is absolutely key here. You do not have to spend a great deal of money in setting up a website these days. The important things are that you get your message across to your potential guests about what you are offering to them. Photographs are key. If you can’t take the photos yourself get a professional to do it. Potential guests will be looking at the photos first so make sure that they are outstanding and show your bed and breakfast in the very best way possible.
Make your website clear and easy to navigate. If you don’t capture and keep the attention of your website visitor you are missing the most important marketing strategy that you can have.
Photo by Ozzy Delaney