Are you interested in starting an bed and breakfast business in your home? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a bed and breakfast business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample bed and breakfast business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample bed and breakfast marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for bed and breakfast businesses. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a bed and breakfast business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
If you have interest of investing in the hospitality industry but you lack the start – up capital to start your own hotel or motel, then you should consider starting a bed and breakfast business. Bed and Breakfast business is perhaps one of the easiest means of owning a business portfolio in the hospitality industry.
What is a Bed and Breakfast Business?
Simply put, a typical bed and breakfast is a small lodging accommodation that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast to guest that lodge there. Aside from breakfast, they usually do not offer other meals (whether dinner or launch). Normally, people who run bed and breakfasts make use of their private homes or their family homes. The average bed and breakfasts have 6 rooms, but generally, bed and breakfasts operate 4 to 11 rooms within a facility.
It is important to state that the bed and breakfast business is a niche segment of the Hospitality cum travel industry. As part of this industry, bed and breakfasts are categorized as a private residence that provides a room and a breakfast for travelers or guests.
One thing is certain, it is easier to find several bed and breakfasts scattered in a neighborhood, which is why most bed and breakfast owners ensures that they put facilities in places that will not only guarantee the safety and relaxation for their guests, but also create an ambience that will give them room to socialize. In recent time, you can easily find facilities such as wireless internet access, free parking, spa services or nightly wine and cheese hours in the average bed and breakfasts.
Why Start a Bed and Breakfast Business in your Home?
This line of business is indeed a profitable business because you can operate the business with your family members thereby cutting operational cost to the barest minimum. So also, the fact that you are making use of your apartment means that you won’t be spending huge amount acquiring or renting a property to be used for the business except you just want to expand the business beyond the house you are currently living.
Starting a bed and breakfast business is a way to earn additional income for your family- especially if you have got enough rooms in your apartment. People who start bed and breakfast businesses do so as a result of maximizing the vacant rooms within their apartments. For some people, when their children grow out of the house or are in college, and their apartments are located in a traveling route or a tourist destination, they tend to take advantage and start a bed and breakfast business. Bed and breakfasts tend to be highly profitable in such areas.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business in your Home – A Complete Guide
- Bed and Breakfast Industry Overview
Statistics has it that there are roughly seventeen thousand (17,000) registered beds and breakfasts business in the United States and they can be found in all states, in major cities and remote rural areas in the U.S. There is no defined structure for Bed and Breakfasts, they are known to occupy everything ranging from modest cottages to luxurious mansions, and in restored structures from schools to wagons to churches.
- Interesting Statistics About the Bed and Breakfast Business
The result from a survey and research conducted reveal that the average number of rooms for a bed and breakfast is 8.5, up from 8 rooms in 2000, 95 percent of respondents offer rooms with private baths, 93 – 94 percent of inns or bed and breakfasts are non-smoking, Responding inns employ 4.6 people, 42 percent of bed and breakfasts have meeting rooms
So also it was revealed that most bed and breakfasts are operated by a family and hence they have no employees; they are run in – house by family members. According to the US Census Bureau County Business Patterns, there were 3,042 bed and breakfast inns with paid employees – 721191. These bed and breakfasts employed 19,665 employees in 2001 in the United States. According to a survey conducted by the PAII there were some 20,000 licensed inns in the United States in 2004.
The report from a survey published in 2001 by CNNMoney online and conducted by B&B Getaways. The survey asked how guests find out about bed and breakfasts and reported the following results: 49% Internet, 18% Word of mouth, 6% Print advertising and travel guides. The survey also found that one-third of bed and breakfasts charge more than $125 a night.
Usually, bed and breakfasts were seen as the ideal place for the weekend-getaway; nevertheless, this only accounted in occupancy for three nights of the week. Business travelers accounts for 52 percent of the lodging industry. Recently, bed and breakfasts are now shifting their attention to weekday travelers and they have gone ahead to start making provision for amenities such as in-room data ports, high-speed Internet connections, DVD, and many other trappings sought by business travelers.
So also, the number of bed and breakfasts adding meeting room spaces to their facilities is on the increase. The use of these facilities is often complimentary as bed and breakfasts are becoming preferred locations for retreats. A recent survey conducted by PAII found 42% of 800 respondents had meeting room space in 2002, compared to 28% in 2000.
The bed and breakfasts industry is still growing despite the fact that there are many players in the industry. For instance, in 2014, the federal government of the United States spent a total of $161,007 on Bed-and-Breakfast Inns. It has awarded 34 contracts to 5 companies, with an average value of $32,201 per company. The idea is that once a start – up bed and breakfast is well positioned and offers additional services, then they just need to do little to stay in business.
If you are contemplating on starting your own beds and breakfasts business in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out a thorough market survey and feasibility studies. If you get some key factors wrong before starting your own bed and breakfasts, then you are likely going to struggle to stay afloat.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business – Market feasibility and Research
- Demographics and Psychographics
Regarding the demographics and psychographics for the bed and breakfasts industry, it will be safe to say that it cuts across every adult that can travel from one location to another and can afford to lodge overnight. In essence, the target market for the bed and breakfasts industry cuts across adults of all class, race, religion, and culture.
It is important to state, that the owner of a bed and breakfast can decide to welcome those who they consider safe for them to accommodate in their house. This is so because the owners of beds and breakfasts live under same roof they use in accommodating their guests that they most likely have never met before. So safety is always a source of concern for owners of beds and breakfasts.
Having said, here are some of the groups of people that are considered target market for bed and breakfasts;
- Working class
- International and Local Tourists
- Top Executives
- Young Couples (Especially for Honeymoon)
List of Niche Ideas Within the Bed and Breakfasts Industry
Well it is difficult to carve out a niche for bed and breakfasts simply because the bed and breakfast is a niche segment of the hospitality industry and travel industry. Although some bed and breakfasts operate in a niche market such as floating bed and breakfasts are boats or houseboats which offer bed and breakfasts accommodation.
But generally, Bed and breakfasts operate from residential apartments run by a family either as secondary source of income or primary source of income. The owners of beds and breakfasts usually run the business themselves without the aid of full – time workers.
The Level of Competition in the Bed and Breakfasts Industry
You can hardly drive through a community located along a major road or a tourist destination without finding a handful of signposts indicating that their bed and breakfasts facility is in the community. This goes to show that there are loads of players in the bed and breakfasts industry. The reason for this cannot be far – fetched; accommodation is a necessity for travelers or tourists and it is easier to start the business.
Gaining a competitive edge requires a detailed analysis of the demographics of the surrounding area and the nature of existing competitors. And even if you are successful at first, new competitors could enter your market at any time to steal your regular clients. Don’t hesitate to adopt successful strategies from your competitors, but understand that directly competing with an entrenched rival is a bad idea for beginning bed and breakfasts.
The bed and breakfasts industry is highly competitive with respect to price, facilities available, services, accessibility or location, and food quality (breakfast). Consumers are highly focused on value for their monies and if other bed and breakfasts are able to promote and deliver a higher degree of value, your guest traffic levels may suffer, and it may impact negatively on your revenues.
List of Well – Known Bed and Breakfasts Brands in the Industry
Here are some of the leading brands in the bed and breakfast industry in the United States and also around the globe;
- Casa Portagioia – Castiglione Fiorentino, Italy
- Maxwell’s Piece B&B – Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom
- Arcadia Residence – Prague, Czech Republic
- Aenaon Villas – Imerovigli, Greece
- Sayle House – Cambridge, United Kingdom
- The Lake House – Clearwater, British Columbia
- Chestnut Lane Cottage – Matamata, New Zealand
- InPatio Guest House – Porto, Portugal
- The Garden House – Franschhoek, South Africa
- A G Thomson House Bed and Breakfast – Duluth, Minnesota
- Point Clear Cottages – Fairhope, Alabama
- The Welsh Hills Inn – Granville, Ohio
- The Bear’s Den B&B – Page, Arizona
- The Cedar House Inn – Saint Augustine, Florida
- The Mission Inn – Cape May, New Jersey
- The Reynolds Mansion – Asheville, North Carolina
- A Little Inn on Pleasant Bay – Orleans, Massachusetts
- Mansion District Inn Bed & Breakfast – Smethport, Pennsylvania
When starting a bed and breakfasts business, you just have to get your economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profits, grow the business and perhaps expand the business beyond one location to other locations within the United States and other cities in the world.
When conducting economic analysis for your bed and breakfasts business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, product, pricing, and promotion. As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review this key factors at regular interval while running your bed and breakfasts business. As a bed and breakfasts owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of you competitive landscape.
Bed and breakfast owners should also know that running their own single bed and breakfast (independent bed and breakfasts) is different from managing or operating a bed and breakfast chain or franchise. Managing or operating a bed and breakfast chain or franchise attracts additional impediments like incentive alliance, bureaucracies, growth strategy, and operational guidelines et al.
It is important to note that payment of utility bills and breakfast supplies is one of the most important factors contributing to the overall cost of a bed and breakfasts business and should be considered as a major factor when carrying out your economic analysis.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business from the Scratch or Buying a Franchise
It is common to see some of the leading bed and breakfasts brand in the United States in different cities in the U.S. This was achieved because some of the leading bed and breakfast decided to venture into selling their franchise and at the same time operating a chain of bed and breakfasts. No doubt, the franchise model has indeed help bed and breakfasts to successfully expand both locally and globally at a very fast pace.
If you are considering starting a bed and breakfasts business, then you have the options of either buying a bed and breakfasts franchise from an existing bed and breakfasts brand or starting your own bed and breakfasts from the scratch.
There are advantages for starting your own bed and breakfast business from the scratch and of course there are disadvantages. So also there are advantages for buying a bed and breakfasts franchise and there are disadvantages as well.
All you need to do is to look at what is available before you and then you will be able to make a good business decision as regard choosing whether to start your own bed and breakfasts from the scratch or buy an existing franchise.
Part of the factors that can influence your decision when it comes to choosing between starting your own bed and breakfast coy from the scratch or buying a franchise are the type of bed and breakfast business model that you want to build, your business goal and vision, your finance, the competition available within the location you intend starting your bed and breakfasts business, and available market et al.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Restaurant Business
Statistics revealed that amongst the many industries that were impacted by 9/11 terrorist attack, the travel industry and hospitality industry was probably the most affected. So also the last economic recession further affected the industry as there was a sharp decline in the number of people traveling.
Be that as it may, the threats and challenges that is likely going to confront a start – up bed and breakfast is the fact that they will have to compete with already established bed and breakfast c and also other bed and breakfasts that are likely going to be launched in same location as your company. You would have to go all out to compete for the available market in the location you choose to set – up your own bed and breakfasts
Other threats and challenges that you will face are economic downturn which usually affect purchasing powers, naturally or man-made disaster and also unfavorable government policies.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business – Legal Matters
- The Best Legal Entity to Use for a Bed and Breakfast Business
If you are considering starting a standard bed and breakfast business, a business that will source for contracts from government at all levels and big corporations, then you should take the selection of the legal entity for the business seriously.
When it comes to choosing a legal entity for a business, the nature of the business, the industry the business falls into and your business goals should inform your decision. When it comes to choosing a legal entity for a bed and breakfasts, you have the option of choosing from a sole proprietorship, general partnership, a limited partnership, an LLC, a “C” corporation, or even a “S” corporation. It is important to clearly state that these different forms of legal structure for business has its own advantages and disadvantages; which is why you must weigh your options properly before making your choice.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your bed and breakfasts business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your bed and breakfasts business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. One good thing about LLC is that, you can start your bed and breakfasts business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or even a ‘S’ corporations especially when you have the plans of going public or selling franchise.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your bed and breakfasts business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures amongst other benefits.
Catchy Business Name Ideas Suitable for a Bed and Breakfasts Business
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represent. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own bed and breakfasts, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Peaceful Heritage Bed and Breakfasts
- Travelers Destination Bed and Breakfasts
- Joel & Jamel Homes – Bed and Breakfasts
- Clearwater Community Bed and Breakfasts
- Lakeside Lodge – Bed and Breakfasts
- Mountain Top Mansion – Bed and Breakfasts
- Daniel McPhersons House – Bed and Breakfasts
The Best Insurance Needed for a Bed and Breakfast Business
When it comes to starting a bed and breakfasts business, there are key insurance policies that you must have in place same applies to any other industry you intend starting a business. It is important to note that you can’t be permitted to run a bed and breakfasts business in the United States, in Canada, Australia and in Europe if you don’t have the basic insurance cover for your business.
These are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own bed and breakfasts business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Kitchen Insurance
- Workers compensation (optional)
- Overhead expense disability insurance (optional)
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
Intellectual Property Protection and Trademark
If you are running a franchise bed and breakfasts business model, it is compulsory that you file for intellectual property protection. It will become handy and very useful as your bed and breakfasts brand begins to expand far beyond your reach.
The truth is that even if you are starting your own bed and breakfasts from the scratch, you would still need to secure your brand name from an intellectual property clearinghouse. It is difficult to build your bed and breakfast business from the scratch, and watch the brand name slip off your hands. Even if you intend buying a bed and breakfasts franchise, you would still need to contract the trademarks and service marks from the franchising company.
If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. Please note that the final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Start a Bed and Breakfast Business?
Generally, you might not have need for professional certification before you can be allowed to operate your own bed and breakfasts business in the United States of America, Canada, and Australia and even in Europe. But you would need to get clearance from local health authority and foods and drugs agencies before you can be allowed to open and operate a bed and breakfast business. This is so because the bed and breakfasts business is considered as a delicate business; it involves foods and drinks (breakfasts).
You will also need a kitchen clearance certificate, food handler certificate and perhaps other relevant certification as it applies to your country or even your state.
If you are starting this business in the United States, you are expected to join the relevant association. In the United States, the two primary nationwide professional associations are the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) and the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP).
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Bed and Breakfast Business
The legal requirement for bed and breakfasts business varies slightly from country to country, states to states and even from cities to cities. So it is important to contact your local authority to know the legal requirements that you would need in order to start your own bed and breakfasts business in your country.
These are some of the basic legal requirements needed before you can successfully start and run your own bed and breakfasts business;
- Business and liability insurance
- Food handler certificate
- Health inspection Certificate
- Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
- Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Kitchen insurance
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License
Writing a Business Plan for your Bed and Breakfast Business
When it comes to starting a business, one of the first steps that you are expected to take is to consult experts to help you draft a good and workable business plan or you can make use of business plan template to prepare your business plan. The truth is that, in order to successfully run a bed and breakfasts business, you would need to have a good business plan in place.
A business plan is the blueprint that is needed to successfully run a business; with a workable business plan in place, you will reduce the trial and error approach of doing business. You will be able to manage your business with purpose and perhaps with precisions; you will know what to do per time and how to handle business challenges and business growth or expansion.
In essence, if you want to start your own bed and breakfasts business, you are required to write a detailed business plan that can pass reality test when subjected to it; you should work with the facts, figures and other indices in the travel industry / hospitality industry as it applies to the locations or country you intend starting your bed and breakfasts business.
The whole idea of writing a business plan is not just for the sake of having a business document in place; but a detail guide on how to effectively run your business from the scratch. Your business plan should outline and cover strategies on how you intend to manage and grow your bed and breakfast business. The rule of thumb in writing a business plan is to try as much as possible to be realistic and never to over project when putting figures on income and profits et al. As a matter of fact, it is safer to underestimate when writing a business plan so that you won’t be so disappointed when reality sets in.
These are the key areas that should be covered in your business plan;
Executive summary and Company’s descriptions: you are expected to write about the concept of your business, descriptions of your company, your company’s vision statement, mission statement and where your company will be located and also if you intend partnering with other companies or opening bed and breakfasts in different cities in the United States of America and in other parts of the world.
Other key components that should not be missing out from your bed and breakfasts business plan are product offering, SWOT analysis, competitive analysis, marketing and sales analysis / strategies, target market, market goals, pricing, costing and financial projection, publicity and advertising strategy, expansion and growth strategies, budget and start – up capital generation et al.
Detailed Cost Analysis for Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business
When it comes to starting a bed and breakfasts business, loads of factors influences the amount that will be required to successful launch the business. Factors like the location you intend starting the business, the size of bed and breakfast business you want to start i.e. the number of rooms et al, and of course the state of the economy as at when you intend start the business.
No matter where you intend starting your bed and breakfast business, you would be required to fulfill most of the items listed below;
- The Fee for registering the business in the United States -$725.
- The budget for legal fees, insurance, permits and license – $5,000
- The Amount Needed to Rent a Facility for 6 months if you are not going to make use of your house (reconstruction of the restaurant is inclusive; electrical, furnishings, plumbing, painting and landscaping) – $100,000.
- The Cost for the purchase of room furniture, kitchen equipment and gadgets (mattresses, bed sheets, blankets, pillows, beds, fridges, smoke detector, TVs, microwave oven, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $10,000.
- The Cost for supply of breakfast ingredients for a month: $1,000.
- The Cost of Launching a Website: $600
- The cost opening party: $5,000 (optional)
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al): $5,000
Going by the report from our research and feasibility studies, you will need an average of $50,000 to start a small scale but standard bed and breakfasts business in the United States of America. Please note that this amount is excluding the cost of renting a facility. It is assumed that you are going to be making use of free rooms in your apartment.
If you want to start a medium scale but standard bed and breakfast business in the United States, you would need nothing less than $150,000. This amount includes the cost of renting a decent accommodation and also the amount needed for renovation.
And if your intention is to start a large scale bed and breakfast business with multiple BnB in the United States of America, then you should look towards generating over $500,000 as your start – up capital. With this amount you can make available top notch and first class facilities for your guest.
- Financing Your Bed and Breakfast Business
It is often said that money is the life – line of any business. No doubt raising start – up capital is perhaps one of the major concerns for entrepreneurs; it can be challenging raising capital to launch a business idea. Your idea must be workable and promising for you to secure finance from financial institutions or from investors.
The first thing to put in place before sourcing for start – up capital for your business is to draft a detailed business plan. With a good business plan, you can easily convince investors to invest in your business. The truth is that no bank can give you a loan if you don’t have a good and workable business plan. Besides, investors will not take you seriously if you don’t have a business plan on ground before launching out to source for start – up capital.
There are several options when it comes to raising money to finance a start – up business. Some of the options are;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Applying for loan from bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Sourcing for soft loans from family members and friends.
Choosing an Ideal Location for Your Bed and Breakfast Business
The fact that there different types of bed and breakfasts scattered across the United States does not mean that bed and breakfast business can thrive in every location. Before choosing a location for your bed and breakfast business, ensure that you conduct a thorough feasibility studies. There possibility of you coming across a bed and breakfast that just closed shop in the location you want to start yours can’t be ruled out. This is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set – up your bed and breakfast business.
These are some of the factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your bed and breakfast business;
- The demography of the location
- Accessibility of the location (closeness to major expressway and tourist destination is key)
- The number of bed and breakfasts in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community / state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business – Technical & Manpower Details
Aside from relevant software applications such as CRM software applications, accounting software et al and perhaps POS machines, there is hardly any technicality involved in bed and breakfasts. When it comes to operating a bed and breakfasts, it is important to ensure that you acquire brand new equipment and furniture. As a matter of fact, furniture, kitchen utensils and equipment are affordable.
Some of the kitchen utensils and equipment that you would need to launch your bed and breakfasts are;
- Gas Cooker, Microwave Oven, Fridge, Deep Freezer, Bread Toaster, Blenders, Steam Cooker, Pots, Pans, Cutleries, bed room furniture, tableware, sound system, flat screen TVs, POS machines, and bar equipment (optional).
If you have the required finance, it is to your advantage to acquire a property or lease a facility to be used for you bed and restaurant if you don’t have one in place; it usually gives you the freedom to design the facility the way you want to it to be. But if you are low on cash, then you don’t have any option other than to rent a facility for your bed and breakfasts.
As regard manpower, it is the practice in the bed and breakfasts industry for families to run the business without employing any full – time staff. But a standard bed and breakfasts would usually hire inn manager, account, cook, cleaners (double as laundry man) and security men. On the average, a standard bed and breakfasts would have between 5 and 10 employees.
The Service Delivery Process Involved in Bed and Breakfasts Business
Normally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some houses have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served either in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host’s kitchen. Sometimes guests’ preference is requested.
Over and above, bed and breakfasts are operated as either a secondary source of income or a primary occupation. It is the practice for the owner’s bed and breakfasts to prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms themselves, but some bed and breakfasts owners employ staff to handle their cleaning or cooking.
Starting a Bed and Breakfast Business – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies for a bed and breakfast business
It is important to clearly state that in this dispensation, customers use the Internet to find bed and breakfasts, to read reviews, to view facility available and the location of the bed and breakfasts; loads of processes have gone digital. This is why most bed and breakfasts are increasingly adopting technology and the internet for marketing and advertising their business.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your bed and breakfasts business;
- Advertise your business in relevant travels and tours magazines, local radio stations and TV stations (make yourself available for related talk shows and interactive sessions on TV and Radios)
- List your business on local directories / yellow pages (both online and offline)
- Direct Marketing
- Sponsor TV and Radio Programs
- Erect your signage in Strategic locations around the city
- Making use of sales Agents and sales reps
- Online Marketing (via your official website, social media platforms and blog et al)
- Referral Marketing
- Revenue Sharing Business Partners (Event Planners and Contractors)
- Public relations during exhibitions
Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Product Pricing for a Bed and Breakfast Business
It is a fact that any fluctuation in food cost (bread, flour, eggs, bacon, teas, coffees, beverages et al) directly impacts margins. One of the ways to get the right pricing and still make reasonable profit from bed and breakfasts business is to ensure that you buy foods and ingredients in bulk and perhaps directly from a farm market or a manufacturers / wholesale distributor. This will help you to mitigate cost fluctuations.
Possible Competitive Strategies for Winning your Competitors in the Bed and Breakfast Industry
When it comes to competing favorable in the restaurant industry, you would have to be very creative to stay on top. Quality and mouthwatering meals, assorted meals, excellent customer service and easy to locate facility are some of the factors that you can serve as your competitive advantage.
Possible Ways to Increase Customer Retention for the Bed and Breakfast Business
No doubt one of the strategies that you would need in order to generate repeated sales from your customers and also to retain them is to ensure that the quality and taste of your breakfast, the ambience of the rooms and facility and your customer service delivery are always on point.
The truth is that if the taste and quality of your breakfast and customer service delivery fluctuates, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers coming back; people usually go to places where they are sure of getting good value for their money. You can also make uses of promotional ideas such as loyalty schemes, direct marketing, door drops, and merchandising.
Over and above, when it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customers’ retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to satisfy your customers always whenever they lodge in your apartment. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products.
Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service provider or product is when there is a drop in quality or if when most often than not they tend not to get what they are looking for when they visit your shop or office as the case may be. Another reason is poor customer service.
If you can continue to improve on the quality of your customer service delivery and also give your customers options, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.
When it comes to managing your customers and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software. With a customized CRM system you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick survey, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
Strategies to Boost Your Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity to the public, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secret of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intention of starting a bed and breakfast business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from, then you must be ready to spend money on promoting and advertising your brand.
In promoting your brand and corporate identity, you should leverage on both print and electronic media. As a matter of fact, it is cost effective to use the internet and social media platforms to promote your brands, besides it is pretty much effective and far reaching.
Another strategy is to sponsor relevant TV and radio programs, advertise your business in relevant travels and tours magazines and newspapers and also ensure that your workers wear your customized shirts during working hours.
Creating a Suppliers/Distribution Network for your Bed and Breakfast Business
If you are running a bed and breakfasts, it is very important that you create channels for vendors to supply you breakfast supplies and toiletries et al. It will save you time and perhaps cost especially if they are the manufacturer or wholesale distributor. In order not to be disappointed, it will be wise to have more than one vendor / suppliers on ground.
Tips for Running a Bed and Breakfast Business Successfully
Running a bed and breakfast business involves itemizing the menus and drinks you want to serve your guests for the day, purchase of supplies, arrange your rooms and then welcome your customers.
After the day’s business, the books will be balanced, the rooms and facility will be cleaned and put in shape, plates, pots, and pans and every other stuff will be washed and kept in the appropriate place.
It is important to state that the success of any business lies in the commitment and dedication of the owner and employees. So if you intend running a successful bed and breakfasts, then you must ensure that you carry every member of your team along (it could be your family members). You should create time for meetings; a time where goals, processes and issues will be reviewed et al.
Lastly, you should keep your doors open for suggestions from members of your team and you should be willing to reward excellent performance as at when due. It is a way of encouraging healthy competition in your organization.