Tourism is an industry in the UK that brings in a lot of revenue and you don’t have to lay out exorbitant amounts of capital in order to become part of the sector.
A Bed and Breakfast is a popular option for consumers and starting a one can be a profitable business with lower overheads than a hotel and, quite often, higher profits.
Inviting guests into your home for a fee can be a good way to make your property profitable. Guests in the UK, in general, also rate their stays in B&B’s higher than they do their stays in hotels.
There is more to starting a B&B than just popping people in your spare room, however, done right, it certainly can be a great lifestyle business.
As with a lot of other businesses, the location of your B&B will be really important. There needs to be a reason for guests to want to come to the area. Are there any tourist attractions, hiking trails or fishing spots? Whatever the reason that it is for people to come to the area is a way that you can market your B&B.
Having a B&B in a very rural area can be an attraction in itself, however, you must keep in mind that this might make it inaccessible to some people, which will limit the number of guests that can book a stay with you.
'Off-season' can be a problem for a lot of B&B owners as the number of bookings drops significantly and, therefore, so does their profits. It can be very valuable to have something that draws guests to the area all year round.
There is one thing that is for certain, you need to be a people person if you are going into running a B&B. Having guests in your home can be a great way to meet people and ensure that every day is different, but you will need to be prepared to go above and beyond to make their stay an enjoyable one.
Although it is not essential that you have formal hospitality qualifications, these will come in handy if you decide to open a B&B. You can also do a short course or online courses if you feel you are underprepared.
It is far more necessary, though, that you have very good organisational skills. Running a B&B means taking bookings, checking people in, changing rooms, cooking breakfast and keeping accounts all with a smile on your face.
You’ll need to be organised if you want to keep things running smoothly!
There are a lot of B&Bs that hire kitchen, cleaning or maintenance staff to help out in areas where the owners may not be as adept but remember that the more you can do yourself, the higher your profits will be.
In the off-season, it will be difficult to pay the salaries that you were able to when you were fully booked in the summer.
Buying an existing bed and breakfast
Buying an existing B&B will allow you to see the number of guests that are already coming to stay and see if this is something that you would be able to improve on.
Assessing a business’s plan that is already in existence means that you can have a clear idea of what kind of profits you can expect.
There will be an already established client base that you can start with and build on. Of course, it can be costly to buy an existing successful business, but it is often a great way for people who are new to the industry to hit the ground running and learn from previous owners.