If you are looking for a way to earn some extra income or to use the spare rooms of your house running a bed and breakfast business may be a good option. However, it is not for everyone.
Do you have the right personality?
To run a successful B&B you need to have a certain type of personality. If you like your own space or find practically everyone irritating, running a bed and breakfast establishment is not likely to be for you.
You will be dealing with members of the public on a daily basis and will be in a subservient position. Guests expect to be treated with respect and to be looked after.
It is important to be polite and friendly at all times. Being able to remember guests from previous visits, helps to make them feel welcome and bring them back time and time again.
On call at all hours
Many guests have the view that you should be at their beck and call. They may make what seem to you to be unreasonable demands at all hours of the day. This is not fair, but it is one of the realities of running a bed and breakfast business.
If a guest is stuck in traffic you could end up having to let them in and get them settled late at night. In the morning, you may have guests that want to leave early, in which case you may have to be up to let them out.
A good business head
Running any business is not easy. You need to be able to keep accurate accounts, file your taxes on time. It is also important to be able to understand your accounts and to be able to produce regular profit and cash flow reports. If you cannot do these things, a business can easily run out of money or end up making a loss because you do not charge enough to cover your costs.
You also need to be organised and disciplined. It is the only way to make sure that everything is done on time and no customers are let down. For example, forgetting to get safety checks done or not complying with fire regulations could mean that you are prosecuted by the authorities. Forgetting to pay your public liability insurance policy could end up costing you your property to pay compensation to a guest if they have an accident.
Running a bed and breakfast business is not easy, but it can be fun and rewarding. It is not a step you should take lightly take your time and think before you get started in the hospitality industry.
If you can, work for a few months in a hotel or bed and breakfast establishment. Doing so will give you some idea of what working in the industry is like and help you to decide if it is for you or not.