Running a bed-and-breakfast isn't a job; it's a lifestyle. As a bed-and-breakfast owner, you provide your guests the best of both worlds: the quaintness of being in a cozy home with all the perks of a luxury hotel. Bed-and-breakfasts are tough to manage, but have the potential to be a lucrative business that's a joy to operate. You can start a bed-and-breakfast with a lot of hard work and by following these tips:
- Consider getting a bachelor's degree Studying business, hotel management or hospitality management can give you lots of tools to help make your bed-and-breakfast successful. You'll learn about hotel administration, accounting, economics and marketing, which are essential to the success of a bed-and-breakfast [source: BLS].
- Evaluate the local markets and find a property You may have the perfect place already, but check out the other options travelers have in your area. Find a building in an area where there's a demand for tourism, as well as nearby attractions to bring in guests.
- Find out the legal requirements States, counties, and even towns have regulations for businesses. Your property must meet certain zoning requirements to have guests stay with you for profit. You'll also need to find out if your state has any insurance requirements.
- Create a business plan Figure out what your start-up costs will be and how to come up with the money. Determine how many guests you can accommodate and what services you want to offer. Consider what staffing you'll need. Even the smallest hotels need someone to wash dishes, landscape and housekeep, among other things.
- Decorate Bed-and-breakfasts are dependant on being special places that make guests feel happy. Determine the theme for your bed-and-breakfast and fill it with the right furniture and decorations to give it the perfect look your guests will love.
- Advertise You need to get your name out there to generate business. Market your bed-and-breakfast through reservation agencies, newspapers, travel magazines and websites. Create a professional website showcasing your beautiful bed-and-breakfast [source: Stark].