How to Become a What’s Bed and Breakfast Owner
There are many advantages to becoming a what’s bed and breakfast owner. Most of these establishments are located in elegant historical homes with period decor or a theme throughout the house. These accommodations provide quiet lodging and peace of mind, and the owners often live on the premises. Many B&Bs will also assist guests in planning local activities, making reservations for dinner or afternoon tea, and preparing a delicious breakfast. The cost of a B&B depends on the location and its size, so research before making a decision.
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The first step in converting a home into a bed and breakfast is planning. While it’s difficult to put a price tag on a property, you can ballpark the cost of renovations and furnishing a room. A good rule of thumb is to budget between $35,000 and $50,000 per guest room. Smaller properties may be less expensive, but the conversion will require more planning than a regular home. Using guest surveys and wooing potential guests will help you estimate your costs.
The costs of operating a bed and breakfast business vary widely. Many B&B owners convert their current homes, but others buy additional property. The size of the property, location and down payment will all affect the cost. For example, a four-bedroom home might cost $450,000, while a two-bedroom apartment might cost around $35,000 a month. A free website called IncAuthority can help you estimate the costs of running a bed and breakfast.
To ensure the guest’s well-being, regulations for bed and breakfast establishments require that the property’s facilities be maintained to the highest standards. Rooms and public areas must have non-porous floors, disposable towels, and means of ventilation for the range and bathroom. Guest rooms must have washable surfaces and all-purpose fire extinguishers on each floor. B&B establishments must provide fresh linens and have an alarm system that will sound if there is a fire.
To operate a successful bed and breakfast business, property owners need to consider zoning issues. Not all local governments have adopted zoning laws, and the regulations for bed and breakfast establishments may vary by location. If the property is unzoned, the property owner should be able to implement the conversion. If the property is zoned, owners must check with the borough and municipal government to ensure that the zoning regulations allow the proposed change of use.
To increase your customer base, you can use social media. Create profiles on popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Maintain your pages regularly, and engage with your followers by posting interesting content. Include special deals and discounts, and provide quality pictures of breakfast. Include a list of key features, such as the location, amenities, and services offered. Also, consider sharing your posts on social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram.
Although many people think of bed and breakfast as romantic getaways, they can also be lucrative business ventures if you know where to look. For example, inns in big cities are obvious business locations, but in a remote country setting, you may not have large corporations, business centers, or colleges nearby. You can draw business customers, however, by personalizing your interactions with them and offering them special deals in low seasons. If you have a good location, you may even be able to offer special rates to attract visitors during the off-season.
Developing a unique selling proposition (USP) is a vital component of marketing a bed and breakfast establishment. A USP will help a business stand out in a sea of competition, while a lack thereof will result in a dead marketing strategy. The Balance Small Business offers tips for creating a USP, including the questions a business owner must ask himself. These include identifying the problems a business solves for its patrons, and the differentiators a business has over its competition.
Potential guests visit your website or social media pages first, so make sure your images are of high quality. Make sure your photos show the beauty of your property and highlight unique features. Post-high-quality photos of your guest rooms, dining areas, and common areas. If you have a world-class chef, highlight his or her specialties on social media. Be sure to post a sample of the current menu online. This way, guests can see what they can expect when they stay at your bed and breakfast.