Operating a bed & breakfast is quite different than being able to relax in one. Instead of waking up to the smell of a delicious breakfast cooking in the kitchen you will be the one making it. As everyone goes off to shower and get dressed you will be left to clean up the mess. Many people go to a bed & breakfast location because it offers a more intimate setting than a hotel. You are going to have to put on a smile each morning and make sure your guests enjoy their stay.
Even if you love to cook and you are an excellent decorator and housekeeper, operating a bed & breakfast can be a challenge. You have to be able to keep people coming through the doors in order to turn a profit. If rooms are empty for the night you still have plenty of overhead costs including the mortgage on the place and utilities. Too many nights of not enough people staying at the bed & breakfast and the finances of the business will quickly become strained.
Take a look at the structure of your town. What does it offer that will draw people to the area to stay in your bed & breakfast? You may get some business when people plan to come visit family and friends for vacations or to attend a wedding. If your town doesn’t offer too many attractions though, you may not have enough ongoing business to operate a successful bed & breakfast location
Don’t forget to take a close look at the competition you will have as well. Small towns generally don’t need more than one or two bed & breakfasts to keep up with the demand. If you live in a larger area then you may see there is a need for several of them to be in operation at the same time.
Think about how you will advertise your bed & breakfast so that people know about it. You should put ads in the newspaper and definitely have your information posted online. These days it is the first place people look when they are setting up such reservations. Make sure you post a phone number where they can reach you and plenty of pictures. You are more likely to get people to secure the reservation if they know what they layout of the bed & breakfast is both inside and out.
Don’t forget to offer an open house of your bed & breakfast too. This way local people in town can see what you have to offer. They may want to get out of their own house for a romantic weekend. Once they see what you have available they will be more likely to recommend it to people they know traveling to the area as well.
Take an honest look at your other commitments to see if a bed & breakfast is really going to work for you. It will require you to get up very early in the morning so you can serve a wonderful breakfast to your guests. You will also need to be available to meet all the needs of your guests, no matter what they may be. If you aren’t willing to put your time into your bed & breakfast you won’t be happy and it won’t be a successful business for you.
Be prepared to work hard every day in order to make your bed & breakfast a success. You are going to have to be flexible enough to keep all of your guests happy all the time. Since their needs will vary you never know what your day is going to entail. If you don’t like the real picture of what it is going to take to operate a successful bed & breakfast then look for some other type of business to pursue.