Starting a bed and breakfast
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Golden tips for start-ups
You dream of your own bed & breakfast. You would like to welcome nice people and let them enjoy your home, its surrounding area, and a delicious breakfast. Running a B&B offers lots of satisfaction, but you have to handle it the right way from the start. We would like to provide you with a few golden tips to start well.
Ask yourself the question: how badly do I want this?Why do you want to start a bed & breakfast? Because you like going on holidays? To no longer have to struggle through traffic in the morning? These aren’t the best incentives. You really have to be passionate about starting a B&B in or near your own house. The time you spend running a B&B should not be underestimated. Besides, you have to surrender part of your privacy. Be sure to realize that it involves a drastic change of life both for you and for your family. It is important that your partner and child (ren) support your plans as well.
Do not underestimate the time you put into a B&BDo not underestimate the time it takes to run a bed and breakfast! Roughly said, as B&B owner you have to be at the disposal of your guests every day during about 10 months a year. Guests often arrive much later than they announced and you have to stay and wait for them. There is also a large guest turnover, short holidays are trendy. It is possible that you will have guests arriving and leaving every day during 4 or 5 months. Guests often take up a lot of your attention and time. After all, they partially choose a B&B because of the personal contact.
Put your financial things in orderInvestigate the financial and organisational feasibility of your B&B plans before executing them. What do you want to achieve with your bed & breakfast? How much money do you want to invest in it and what do you expect from the income? Would you like to make a profit or just cover expenses? Besides one-time costs (purchase of building and furniture, having a website built) you have to deal with a lot of fixed costs, such as public facilities, insurances, administrative costs and taxes. If you want your B&B to provide enough money for two persons, you will need six to eight rooms. If one of two partners has a job beside it, you have to think along the line of three to four rooms. During the first year you probably won’t get much income from your B&B so make sure you have a financial bridging.
Check whether there are special demands that apply to your premisesThe furnishing of your B&B starts with the first important question: which municipal demands does my B&B have to meet? Do you want a thorough renovation, then first check whether there are restrictive demands that apply to the premises, for example because it’s a monument. There is nothing more frustrating than having to demolish a beautifully renovated floor and having to lower it, because the ceiling turns out to be 4 centimetres too low.
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