Guide to a Successful Bed & Breakfast Business

Many thoughts in life become a dream as it is passionless. The success of starting a business lies in how you go about your dream with passion. Bed & Breakfast Business warrants the passion to kick-start the dream. 

One must clearly understand what the B&B business is about and proceed. If they imagine breakfast served around a fireplace with a romantic ambiance surrounding it, they are highly mistaken. It is yet another business, and the chances of you making a profit are as thin as in other businesses.

Rudimentary elements of a B&B Business

All businesses, including B&B, entail a basic infrastructure. To define this business ‘, it is a house you reside in and equipped with many bedrooms apart from your requirement. Thus you can provide overnight accommodation to tourists, and you can provide a hearty breakfast to them in the morning before they continue on their journey. A few customers would prefer to stay back till lunch as their transport arrives only at that point. The breakfast and lunch can be cooked by you as there may be a few occupants only. The breakfast is generally kept simple, and the wastage is minimized.

Any business would warrant an investment of your money, hard work, a perfect plan to execute it, etc. 

We have dealt with these issues, specifically so that the perfect plan for a profitable venture is in place. To be successful in this business there has to be a business plan, and the other factor is You.

It is First about You! 

Are you a Socialite?

The B&B business is genuine hospitality, and the owner has to socialize to make it successful. Interaction with the customers is most important, and the eagerness to serve them should deliver the impression. One need not go overboard, but the passion to serve should be evident. Such mannerisms go a long way as your customers spread the good word around. If you are an introvert and can hardly smile, B&B is not the business for you.

Sacrifices:

The clock does not run almost all businesses, which is true with hospitality businesses. Office goers can plan an outing on holiday or weekends. In the case of B&B, these days, good business is expected. Therefore, sacrificing your outdoor travel to relax is almost impossible.

Making That Fast Buck: 

It would be best if you had the right belief that your B&B business can make a profit quicker than most other businesses. In most cases, the infrastructure belongs to the entrepreneur, and they convert it into a B&B business with certain alterations. Thus, the rent is saved. Breakfast has to be served to a few people, which you can manage without extra help. Therefore, you can save on salaries. 

The one factor which acts as a hurdle between the ‘ fast buck ‘ and slow but steady profit is the occupancy rate. If the rooms are full, year-round, money is bound to come faster, thus increasing your profits manifold.

Launch when ready:

You have swung your dream into action, and the day of opening a B&B business is around the corner. There may be untouched areas, and it’s best to cover all that before opening the door to customize. The infrastructure or unplanned modus operandi would send negative signals to your customers as you decide to open the business with loopholes.

Never try Multi-Tasking

It is never a wrong move to run the complete B&B business show on your own. It is also necessary for you to be aware of your limitations in managing it efficiently. Mistakes in this hospitality business have an adverse effect immediately. It’s best to hire an able and additional hand who can work with you as business is good.

Matching delivery with a price

It is wise to price every service rendered to guests in your business. Guests generally desire freebies, and you should not be afraid to say ‘ NO’ to it. For example, they might require an extra bed, and it’s business acumen to charge for it. Therefore, it’s best to stick to your policies and watch your profit grow.

Ignorance is not bliss

You may have the perfect infrastructure to open a B&B business, but that does not excuse you from analysing the scenario existing in similar businesses in your vicinity. You have to take stock of competition, the rates they charge, and run a profitable business. Upon conducting such a survey, you can develop your SWOT analysis and be armed for any eventuality. On the other hand, a failure to do so would be costly.

Necessity to have a cutting edge

It is a fact that businesses that run on profit have a cutting edge that their competitors fail to provide. The B&B business is no exception to this rule. All you have to do is run a check on your competitors and provide a new unique experience that would not cost much. Such innovation would bring you more customers comparatively. For example, you can allow your customers to access the Wi-Fi and browse the internet.

For example, you can allow your customers to access the Wi-Fi and browse the internet.

No Ambiguity in policies

Any business would tend to lose customers because the rules are not worded correctly. Such misleading rules lead to ambiguous policies that the customer might take advantage of and cause you losses. The policies should be worded precisely and orderly without any conflict in-between them. It is best to avoid such embarrassment by informing the customer then and there of the extras they order.

Be a part of the B&B Consortium

Your B&B business would be one of the many in your town. It’s best to join the association created to protect the business. You can approach the association for help if you are cheated or blamed for contravening the law you feel is wrong. Moreover, you can keep yourself updated on the latest techniques to do the business.

These are all the prerequisites to run a B&B business, and it’s all about equipping yourself personally. 

B&B Business Plan

The business plan is the active and practical plan you need to make the business successful. 

Here are those plans:

Not everything is about hospitality

So, you possess all those qualities and character to open a B&B business. Although it is not complicated like a high-level Corporate, you cannot ignore the business part. Therefore, the perfect business plan must be in place before the business is opened. The following are prerequisites to a business plan for a B&B business.

In this regard, decisions have to be taken on 

  • How to achieve maximum business through 100 percent occupancy of rooms 
  • Minimum staff to carry out works with top efficiency
  • Strategize on both cash inflow and outflow and have cash in hand at any point to meet any contingencies.
  • Get the best bids to construct and maintain the premises from your building contractors.

Not without a budget 

You are opening a business that requires your culinary expertise along with your hospitality talent. Money is the other requirement, and you need to develop a realistic budget. Such budgets would point out whether you have enough money with you to set it up. The other part is the working capital.

With the ideal budget, you can determine the following: 

  • To borrow the funds which you may fall short of.
  • To determine your break-even point.
  • To determine how much business is required to make a sizable profit. 

The above concerns the general budget and is basic. 

There is the monthly budget or working capital budget that requires careful monitoring. The factors to be taken into consideration are:

Labour costs: 

Labour costs depend upon the number of employees you employ. You have to keep in mind that a B&B business requires extra hands to the extent you cannot manage on your own.

Interest costs: 

You have to consider the interest you pay on the money you borrowed to run the business. 

Promotional costs

Every business requires advertisement, including B&B business. Advertisement costs may be pamphlets, magazines or newspapers, etc. These costs tend to decline with the business becoming popular.

Pay yourself a salary

You have involved yourself in the business and perhaps sacrificed another opportunity to make money. Therefore, pay yourself a salary and treat it as an expense. 

These are the various cash outflows to be accounted for. 

Cash Inflows

Income in a B&B business flows in from two major sources. They are:

Room rent

The rentals would vary with the occupancy rate. If all the rooms are full, maximum flow is bound to happen. Such an occurrence can happen only in ‘ Season ‘ when tourism booms. Therefore, budget as per season and take into account lean periods. Assuming 100% occupancy through the year would end up in disaster. 

Food income

The breakfast business would witness a huge surge, but it directly depends upon room occupancy. As stated earlier, some customers would request lunch too. You should get the best rates from your suppliers and make maximum profit. Never overprice your meals compared to the customers. 

These are the cash inflows, and you can provide certain freebies to attract customers. 

It’s best to be conservative as the business would have both lean and boom periods. Set aside a part of your profit to manage the cash flow during lean times.

These are the cash inflows, and you can provide certain freebies to attract customers. 

It’s best to be conservative as businesses have both lean and boom periods. Set aside a part of your profit to manage the cash flow during lean times.

The menu with a variety

The menu has to be carefully worked out. It has to be delicious, healthy, and profitable. Some B&B’s maintain a Continental Breakfast like star Hotels or a more homely one with eggs, juices, and bread. It is best to have a different one every day or maintain it twice a week. Your repeat customers would appreciate it.

Room Ambience: 

Decor in the rooms would create a novel ambiance. You can choose a theme for each room, which could pertain to some culture.

Law-abiding

Before opening the business, it would be wise to fulfil all legal obligations. Allow the Health Department to inspect your kitchen whenever they wish to. Also, check with the local municipality on signages.

Go Online

Apart from the usual advertisements described above, it would be a good idea to advertise on the internet. There are many sites through which you can project the facilities you provide, and a few of them are Expedia, Airbnb, etc. Caution has to be exercised on updating the site, which specifies the vacancy you may have in real-time. The failure to do so would result in double bookings.

Monitor your progress through Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Review your progress periodically using the KPI. It is important to do this without adjusting the figures. By doing so, you would know 

Vacancy and occupancy of rooms in percentage over a period.

Sales per month and year and compare it with the budget. If the budget has been projected wrongly compared to the actual business, then re-tune the budget accordingly.

Response from Customers: 

The feedback from your customers goes a long way in determining your business in the future. You can find such reviews on the internet. Take a note of what customers have to say about your business and finetune it accordingly.

Conclusion 

Analysing your KPIs serves as the overall indicator of how your business is being run. 

In this article, emphasis has been laid on your entrepreneurial skills, followed by perfect business plans along with legal obligations. Never forget to project the tourism and cultural values of where your B&B business is located. The underlying truth is that a Bed and Breakfast Business has more chances of succeeding if your location is near a place where tourists flock.

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