In 2014, the B&B sector was recorded to have an annual turnover in the UK of £2billion, making it 28% larger than the low-cost hotel sector. In the same period, it was also recorded to be 35% more lucrative than the general hotel sector.
It is clear to see then why so many people are attracted by the lure of giving up the everyday rat race and retreating to the countryside, hosting guests and enjoying a slower pace of life. With our 5 top tips, the process to fully fledged B&B owners should be a smooth and easy one.
Location, location, location
Choosing your location wisely is a vital first step towards running a successful B&B. You need to assess whether your desired location will be popular enough with guests that there will be enough business for you, taking into account any existing guest houses and B&Bs. It could be worth researching existing local businesses to check what sort of revenue could be expected and whether your guesthouse dream will be an economically viable one.
What is your unique selling point?
To stand out from the crowd in what can be a very competitive market, it is vital to try and provide a unique element to your property that will make guests choose it over the competition. Upsell your property’s particular charm, whether it be a beautifully restored Victorian property that is full of character and period features, or a modern build that is a few hundred metres from beautiful coastline.
Bring your business brain
While many people get caught up in the excitement of the B&B dream, it is important to stay grounded and remember that it is a business that you are trying to run and should be treated as such. You should set out with a clear financial plan, with a well thought out budget and acceptance of the fact that you are likely to be working reasonably hard (certainly in the beginning as the business takes off).
Staffing – and the issues it brings
Taking into account the fact that a B&B with more than four bedrooms is likely to require you hiring more staff, if you are thinking of running a larger scale B&B there are some further considerations that you will need to take. Employing staff brings with it a whole host of complications, including employer’s liability, pension schemes and the obvious increase in costs, which can substantially eat into your business’ profits.
Check you’re insured
Many standard insurers will be unable or unwilling to continue protecting a property that has a form of business being run from it. Luckily, there are now some non-standard specialists out there who will be able to insure your property at competitive rates. This means that you can rest assured that even if damage occurs at your B&B, there will be somebody there to help pick up the pieces, allowing your business to thrive.