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Bed and Breakfast Business Idea

How to start a bed and breakfast? Does starting your own bed and breakfast sound like the perfect business decision for you?

Working from home, meeting new people, a solid earning potential; it all sounds so good.

You just can’t wait to put that “rooms available” sign up. Here are the things you need to consider before you start a bed and breakfast.

Does your personality lend itself to this type of business? Do you like to entertain? Do fussy or complaining people unnerve you?

Much of your day, roughly 10-12 hours, will be spent catering to the needs of others. You will be expected to wear many hats.

You’ll be the cook, the concierge, the housekeeper, the waiter, and the ever cheerful conversationalist. If you are still nodding your head and smiling, then you are ready to learn how to start a bed and breakfast.

Where To Begin – How To Start A Bed And Breakfast

No special training or education is required, although some of the keys to your success will be a location that is desirable to tourists, determination, and some decorating skill.

Your first decision will be whether to work out of your own residence, or to find a bed and breakfast for sale. If you are already living in a large enough, historical home you may not need to invest in a separate location.

You’ll need to check the zoning laws and acquire a business license. Also, contact your local SBA to ensure that you hold the appropriate licenses and permits for opening day.

Purchases And Marketing For Results

Once you have the basics behind you, it’s time to look at the nuts and bolts of how to start a bed and breakfast. Your main expense will be in renovations, remodeling and possible landscaping.

Make a list of everything else you will need:

Wholesale linens – You will need to change the bedding and table linens daily. Compare prices and buy wholesale.

Hotel supplies – You can purchase everything from dishes and towels to shampoos by using hotel suppliers.

Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, candles for power outages, and other emergency supplies.

Bulk foods such as coffee, tea, pancake mix, and canned goods can be bought in bulk at wholesale prices.

Accounting software, or the hiring of an accountant

Proper insurance (which may include liability, property, medical, etc)

You will also need to put effort into marketing. One of the most common misconceptions is the, “If I build it, they will come” mentality.

You will need to plan an open house, host community events for free publicity, submit articles to tourism magazines, and always carry business cards and brochures with you.

Last of all, put your personal signature on your business. Think like the guest, and ask yourself what special touches you would want:

Offer internet service

Have fresh flowers in the bedrooms, down comforters and bath salts

Provide classic books and romance novels

Create a soothing atmosphere with CD’s and candles

Provide bicycles and baby strollers

As you become more acquainted with the business, you will have a host of other ideas. Don’t be afraid to try them. Have fun and always ask your guests for advice.

They can answer the question, “How to start a bed and breakfast” better than anyone!

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