Your B&B dream starts here

Starting a bed & breakfast

Starting your own B&B

What to pay attention to?

Starting a bed & breakfast
Your dreaming of your own bed & breakfast. You would love to welcome nice people and have them enjoy your home, a delicious breakfast, and the surroundings. But, where to start?

It’s important that you properly handle your B&B project right from the start. Starting and running a bed & breakfast is quite a challenge. You will be dealing with all aspects of a small business. You will be investing in the furnishing of your B&B, buying products, handling the administration, and setting up a marketing plan. Often you’ll need permits or permission from your municipality. You will also have to deal with questions such as: what to do in case of cancellations, how do I guard my privacy, what room rate shall I ask?

As you will be running your bed & breakfast longer, you will gain experience and automatically find the answers to those questions. You can also learn a lot from B&B starters who went before you.

Your B&B findable on the internet
After the right preparation, it’s time: your B&B opens its doors! Now, it’s essential to be findable on the internet as quickly as possible. Therefore, first register your bed & breakfast on, the largest B&B website in the world.

Soon you’ll be welcoming your first guests, and they will write a review. Exciting… what will they think of your bed and breakfast? It goes without saying that your bed and breakfast is clean and pleasant. And that your guests enjoy a comfortable bed and a lavish breakfast.

Thanks to your personal input and small acts of kindness they will truly feel welcome. Think of a fresh flower bouquet on the table, a pleasant conversation, or a welcome drink. You will get a lot in return for your service focus: that huge satisfaction when your guests leave well-rested and content after a lovely stay.

Read the best tips for starters:

Bed and breakfast for sale

All over Europe there are gorgeous bed and breakfasts for sale. Have a look at In addition to readymade B&Bs you’ll find homes that are suitable to start a bed and breakfast in, for example because they have multiple bathrooms. The properties are offered by B&B owners and real estate agents.

› View the offer

Bed & breakfast reservation manager

Are you opening a bed & breakfast and looking for a reservation system? If you register your B&B on you will automatically have our extensive reservation manager at your disposal. In one central location you answer new reservation requests and maintain the availability calendar. Have you received a request? You can respond to it with just one mouse click. Tip: place our reservation tool on your website for free, so visitors can also make a booking through there.

› Register your B&B

Market research Bed & Breakfast

How many guests does an average European B&B welcome annually, and how long do those guests stay? Are there still many bed & breakfasts with joined sanitation? And in which countries do B&Bs obtain the highest turnover? You can read it all in the research report ‘Bed & Breakfast in Europe – occupation, turnover and other key figures (PDF)'. If you’re planning on starting a bed & breakfast, then this report offers you a wealth of information.

› Order report (PDF)

Promote your B&B without commission

Would you like to promote your bed & breakfast on the internet but prefer not having to pay commission? At you pay a fixed amount per year, no matter how many bookings you receive. That way you can save hundreds of euros a year.

A simple calculation example:
Say a booking website charges 12% commission. With a booking worth for example € 62.50 you will pay € 7.50 on commission. If you receive 10 bookings a month, you will pay € 75.- a month, rising to an annual € 900.-

A mention on is much more affordable. For a fixed amount of only € 75.- excluding VAT you have a mention for an entire year. Converted, that’s only € 6.25 a month, regardless of the number of bookings. Make your own calculation: in almost all situations, promoting your bed and breakfast on will be the most affordable choice.

› Register your B&B

Golden tips for B&B starters

Turn your dream into a success

Starting a bed & breakfast: 10 tips
Being the world’s largest B&B platform we have helped many bed & breakfasts get started, with tips and advice. Below are our ten best tips, use them to your advantage!

Tip 1: Ask yourself the question: how badly do I want this?
You are convinced: my very own bed and breakfast is what I want. Still it is smart to stop and think about your motives beforehand. You really have to be passionate if you want to start a B&B in or near your home. Namely you will be putting a lot of time into it and you will have to surrender part of your privacy. Therefore, it’s important that a possible partner and child(ren) also support your plans.

Tip 2: Make a financial plan
Examine the financial and organizational feasibility of your B&B plans. How much money do you want to invest in your bed and breakfast and what kind of income do you desire? Make a calculation in which you not only include the one-off costs but also the returning costs, for utilities and insurances for example. The first year you probably won’t get much income out of your B&B, so be sure to have a financial buffer.

Tip 3: Check whether the property requires special demands
Are there municipal requirements your property needs to meet before you are allowed to start a bed and breakfast in it? It’s important to check this before you start to renovate/construct or decorate. It is highly frustrating when you have to demolish a beautifully restored floor, because an official tells you the ceiling is three inches too low!

Tip 4: Determine who you want to be
Ask yourself the question: what facilities will I be using to distinguish my bed & breakfast from the competition? Will you be offering wellness facilities, or are guests able to enjoy a stay on the farm with you? An equally important question: what kind of guests would you like to welcome: families, two-income couples without children, over-50s? The more concrete you are able to describe this target group, the more you can fine-tune your promotion and offer to it.

Tip 5: Be personal
Bed and breakfasts with a personal ambiance are the most popular ones on So don’t be afraid to put your own stamp on your accommodation: guests tend to really enjoy that. Try to be original in the decoration and let it reflect your hobbies and interests. Also show you are interested in your guests. Take the time for a chat and don’t be afraid to show yourself.

Tip 6: Aim on business travellers
Ever more companies are discovering bed and breakfast as the perfect form of accommodation. A chance for you to increase the occupation of your bed & breakfast in the less crowded midweeks and during winter season. Invite the secretaries of companies in your region for example, and introduce them to your bed and breakfast. Do make sure your B&B is equipped for business guests. In any case, offer free Wi-Fi and place a desk or table in the guest room.

Tip 7: Do not underestimate the time it takes to run a B&B
As a B&B owner you need to be at the disposal of your guests, day in day out, for roughly ten months a year. Guests often arrive later than announced, so you can’t leave your home. Especially if your bed and breakfast is successful, things can get busy. In high season you might see guests arriving and departing every day for about five months. After a busy period, grant yourself a vacation to refuel.

Tip 8: Make sure to maintain enough privacy
As a B&B owner you really have to maintain a certain level of privacy for yourself and your family. Most B&Bs offer their guests a separate entrance and private sanitary. In any case, make sure you have a private living space and a fenced off part of the garden, where you can occasionally withdraw out of sight from guests.

Tip 9: Offer regional products with breakfast
Guests really love it when artisanal and fresh regional products are presented at breakfast, preferably from your own property or from the farm shop around the corner. Therefore, offer (organic) regional products with breakfast and tell your guests where they come from. That way, breakfast also becomes a special experience!

Tip 10: A good first impression is vital
The doorbell rings, there are guests outside the door! Now it comes down to your skills as a host or hostess. Make sure your guests immediately feel welcome. Greet them cordially, offer them a welcome drink, and give them a tour of the B&B. Place a beautiful flower bouquet on the table for that ‘home feeling’. It’s these small acts of kindness that your guests will remember and mention in enthusiastic reviews.

Did you find these tips to be useful? In our newsletter for starting B&B owners we go further into the business conduct of a bed and breakfast. We also teach you how to use online marketing to quickly increase your turnover.

Read the best tips for starters › Register for B&B starters newsletter